Disney’s biggest Star Wars project will soon be scrapped saddening fans from around the world who dream of experiencing the galaxy far, far away.
Needless to say, Disney is a conglomerate that showcases a multitude of properties and franchises. Its projects are closely related and interdependent on performances of the films, toys, parks and recreational experience, theatrical entertainment and everything related to a franchise it owns.
The intangible properties which are stories, characters and concepts and the like become tangible in toys, amusement parks and rides. The performance of the movies in the box office keys in on the popularity of a story which influences the next attraction within the company’s parks and physical properties.
From the moment the company acquired Lucasfilm way back in 2012, people knew that the places where the fantastical stories of George Lucas will soon be within reach. The most ambitious, extensive, immersive and expensive of these is the Star Wars themed Galactic Starcruiser experience which launched in March 1 just last year.
Disney Discontinues Biggest Star Wars Project
Now, Deadline reports that Disney means to pull the plug on this one-of-a-kind attraction closing its doors to fans who are currently saving up for the experience. The company did not elaborate on the reason why they are closing the attraction other than it being a business decision.
We all know what drives a business to continue operating and it is a healthy flow of cost and revenue. Right off the bat, people are concluding that the current track of the attraction isn’t healthy on the revenue side of the equation.
For one thing, not a lot of people can afford the experience. The package consists of a two-night adventure which includes special immersive activities, themed dining, and even a “spaceport” day on Batuu at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It is priced at $4,800 for two guests and almost $6,000 for four guests sharing a cabin.
Meanwhile, some analysts say that this decision is brought about an altogether different situation. Seeking Alpha points out that this is:
part of the ongoing feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over what Disney has called “targeted retaliation” against the company through crackdowns on its special taxing district.
Disney meant to construct a $1B office campus in Florida and move about 2,000 of its California employees to the offices. Mostly those coming from the Imagineering department in the company which work closely with film and series productions to create a novel experience for their properties.
Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s theme park and consumer products chairman initially said in 2021 that the move to Lake Nona project is due to “Florida’s business-friendly climate”. Two years and some legal disputes later, he stated “changing business conditions” as a reason for canceling the venture.
Walt Disney World however, still has about $17 billion allotted for construction over the next decade — growth that would create an estimated 13,000 jobs. D’Amaro said:
I remain optimistic about the direction of our Walt Disney World business.
Because of this decision to pull out of its project in development in Florida, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is on course towards its closing run. An update on the attraction states:
The final voyage for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will take place Sept. 28-30, 2023. We are so proud of all of the Cast Members and Imagineers who brought Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life and look forward to delivering an excellent experience for Guests during the remaining voyages over the coming months. Thank you to our Guests and fans for making this experience so special.
For Guests who previously booked a voyage on or after Sept. 30, we will be contacting you soon to discuss your options and modify your plans. As we prioritize these Guests, at this time, new bookings are temporarily paused and will reopen on May 26.
A number of people respond in the comments stating that the price makes the experience exclusive and targets the elite among Star Wars fans. Because not many can afford, not a lot avail of the experience and thus, the company has in effect lost millions if not billions from the project. An official statement regarding Starcruiser’s end of operations indicates:
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is one of our most creative projects ever and has been praised by our guests and recognized for setting a new bar for innovation and immersive entertainment. This premium, boutique experience gave us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, we will take what we’ve learned to create future experiences that can reach more of our guests and fans.
Disney’s Business Decision to Halt Star Wars Project
With the decision closing the attraction for good, some are speculating that the company is merely reassessing how the experience can be packaged to accommodate a more attainable price. Having the data on development, implementation, and maintenance of the project will give them concrete basis as they evaluate their options.
I, for one, don’t believe that they would totally toss the undoubtedly pricey physical installations as well as technologies developed through the attraction. There are so many options to repurpose or repackage the experience. One way or another, they will be able to come up with something that more people will enjoy.
For another thing, the attraction has thousands of professionals employed and these people depend on the experience they are selling through the attraction for their own livelihood. Like what people say, when a door closes, others open. Even the 2000 or so job positions that would have been moved to the new project will be welcomed back in California.
What do you make of Disney scrapping its most expensive Star Wars project ever? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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