Disney launches new degree of immersion in ‘Star Wars’ expertise
Walt Disney Co’s latest theme park providing goals to make followers overlook they’re in Florida and as a substitute really feel like they’re vacationing in luxurious in a galaxy far, far-off.
The two-night “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” expertise, opening Tuesday at Walt Disney World in Orlando, places friends right into a story set on the Halcyon, a modern house vessel mentioned to be the place the place Princess Leia and Han Solo took their honeymoon.
Disney’s designers hope guests embrace the prospect to play a task within the fictional world created by George Lucas. Guests on the Halcyon can work together with house droids, or Han’s bushy sidekick Chewbacca, and meet new characters.
Crew members will supply coaching in deal with a lightsaber or battle incoming threats from the ship’s bridge. “Star Wars” costumes are inspired.
“We are attempting to make it secure and enjoyable to play Star Wars,” mentioned Scott Trowbridge, portfolio inventive govt at Walt Disney Imagineering.
The first-of-its-kind journey is expensive, beginning at $4,809 for 2 friends. That consists of two days and two nights in certainly one of 100 Starcruiser cabins, galactic-inspired food and drinks, and a go to to Batuu, the “Star Wars” planet contained in the Disney World theme park.
Designers mentioned the Starcruiser expertise takes parts from gaming, theater, storytelling and hospitality. Matt Martin, senior inventive govt within the Lucasfilm Story Group, known as it “immersive theater meets a cruise.”
Like a conventional cruise, all friends board on the similar time. A captain and cruise director supply a welcome, however issues go awry when Stormtroopers seem. Characters ask guests for help, urging them to determine to align with the Resistance or the evil First Order.
“You can select to deceive a personality, you may assist them, you may achieve their belief, you may double cross of us,” mentioned Ann Morrow Johnson, govt producer and artistic director for Walt Disney Imagineering. “And you may actually proceed that relationship with them as you need your story to unfold.”
A glitzy eating room presents nightly musical leisure from an intergalactic diva and band. In the cocktail lounge, guests can play a spherical of sabbac, a card sport within the “Star Wars” universe. Or they will chill within the atrium with none stress to take part within the story, the creators mentioned.
“If you wish to lean in and put on a few of galactic finery and cosplay, it’s completely high quality,” Trowbridge mentioned. “But additionally for those who simply wish to sit again, put on your Star Wars T-shirt, drink a cocktail and watch the planets drift by, that’s additionally OK.”
The firm didn’t disclose what it spent to construct the expertise, which was in growth for greater than six years. But executives mentioned they adhered to Disney’s well-known consideration to element and aimed to create a high-tech, luxurious expertise.
The Starcruiser is adjoining to Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge, certainly one of two “Star Wars” areas that price greater than $1 billion to create.
As COVID-19 circumstances drop and well being restrictions ease, crowds are returning to Disney parks. Revenue for the parks division exceeded pre-pandemic ranges within the final three months of 2021.
With the Starcruiser, “there’s a vital funding, not solely on this specific model we’re launching, but additionally within the know-how and underlying capabilities we’ve got developed,” Trowbridge mentioned. “We are bullish about increasing the methods by which we will have interaction with our friends.”