By James Herrera
Final voyage will be Sept. 28th-30th, 2023
When the Galactic Starcrusier was first announced at D23 in Anaheim, California 2017, I was beyond excited. A hotel dedicated strictly to Star Wars?! All the early concept art made it look like a dream. You could check into your room and there’s a giant window that gives you the illusion you’re in space. I couldn’t wait to sign up.
It was promoted as a two day “cruise” aboard a Starcrusier called The Halcyon, going across the galaxy. On board would be droids, blue and green milk on tap, and some of your favorite characters like Chewie and Rey. Everything seems to be going great until the First Order shows up and there’s a showdown between Rey and Kylo Ren. As a Star Wars fan, this sounded like a dream come true. To wake up in a hotel room and see space outside, and to be fully immersed in Star Wars, beautiful. Plus having blue milk on tap sounds pretty sweet to me.
Flashforward to 2021 when the cost of this amazing experience was announced. If my wife and I wanted to go it would cost us close to $5,000 dollars. This of course be on top of the price of the plane ticket to get out there also we would need to get another hotel after The Halcyon experience ended.
Fun note, for a moment the Star Wars Stuff Podcast as a group considered going, but we all realized what everyone else realized… It was way too expensive. Which is where it all started to go wrong.
Disney announced today that The Halcyon would be closing in September this year. Ticket sales have been stopped for now.
It was doomed before it even set sail.
If a family of six wanted to go on the cruise, it would be over $6,000. I came from a pretty big family and this kind of vacation would take a few years to plan and save for. You start to think and realize for $6,000 you could do a lot. I just checked on a 7 day vacation for six people to Hawaii and it comes to around $11,000. But this includes the price of the plane tickets, rental car, tours, meals, and a resort hotel. Think about it this way, if you wanted to stay at The Halcyon for 4 days (which is not an option) it would cost a family of six $12,000.
Planning to go to Hawaii sounds pretty good now, huh?
I don’t understand what Disney was thinking with the pricing. There was no way it was going to succeed. It was made for the wealthy. Plain and simple. Disney tried really hard to make this something important, and big. They had that awkward announcement video where they had Gaya the Twi’Lek singer singing. It was really weird, not going to lie, gave me some Holiday Special vibes. They even wrote a book called The Princess and the Scoundrel, about how Leia and Han Solo went on board The Halcyon after their wedding for their honeymoon (just gonna leave it like that). Plus Disney limited themselves like they did Galaxy’s Edge, they put it in the timeline between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
On paper it’s a smart move. You have a new Star Wars trilogy and you want to bring in that new audience to see the parks and to go on The Halycon. But what happens in 15 years? 20 years? 40 years? Will we still be going to Galaxy’s Edge to see Rey and Kylo Ren on Rise of the Resistance? Or flying on a mission to steal Coaxium with Hondo? Even though new projects will be coming out? Using the groundhog day effect at Galaxy’s Edge has been a huge criticism of Disney. Fans in love with Star Wars want to experience all of Star Wars. We want to see Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo. Having Galaxy’s Edge in such a small timeline really put Disney in a corner. If The Halcyon was announced where you could see your beloved Star Wars characters, I think people would be a little more inclined to spend the money. But even doing that wouldn’t have changed the fact you would be spending over $5,000 for it.
So what now? What’s the plan? Are they just going to demolish it? Nah… here’s what I think should happen. They should take out all the rooms, expand it a little, and turn it into a great sit down Star Wars restaurant/experience. Have it still on The Halycon, have it still feel like you’re in space, but make it something people can walk in whenever they want to experience what it would be like to be on a cruiser in Star Wars. I feel like it would make more money like that.
Also, this is an in general thing, drop the timeline from Galaxy’s Edge. Make it, and I hate to say this, Star Wars Land. Have different themed days where you see Darth Vader one day, and Kylo Ren the next. Make the First Order troopers also Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers. Go on board The Halcyon and see your favorite characters walking around. This would draw the people in.
I really hope Disney is learning from their mistakes. Because this one was catastrophic. But hey if you want to try and go on The Halcyon before it closes, bookings start for the last time, May 26th.