It seems like a no-brainer. Build an immersive two-day experience for Star Wars fans in the most popular amusement park in the world, fill it with world-class amenities and interactive play, then sit back and let the fat tourist dollars roll in. But what actually happened with Disney’s Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser experience was a painful lesson in price point economics.
While the Galactic Starcruiser experience may have seemed like a license to print money, the reality has proven to be quite different. Fans are staying away in droves, and the obvious cause would seem to be the resort’s astronomical sticker price, beginning at $899 a night for a two-night stay which totals out to a staggering $6K bill for a family of four. With gas and grocery prices rising significantly over the last year, “A Galaxy far, far away” is separated as much by the family budget as it is by light-years.
Still, Disney is willing to spend more money on figuring out just why fans aren’t willing to drop the price of a used car on a two-day hotel stay. Prior guests to the resort who filled out a survey after their stay are being asked to become part of a paid focus group to solve what Disney apparently deems a mystery: why did this dream experience blow up faster than the Death Star?
According to Disneyland News, those chosen for the focus group will participate in a 90-minute virtual session between June 20 and 23, 2022, for which they will receive a $175 Disney Gift Card.
The resort experience has faced an onslaught of criticism since the first promotional photos were released online. Many guests have complained that the majority of the stay is entirely indoors (granted, the selling point is that you’re in a spacecraft, but still). Indeed, the hotel rooms, which resemble cabins on a galactic spaceliner, don’t even have windows but instead feature a large effects screen that mimics the view of space travel.
It remains to be seen if the company will be able to redesign the project in order to recoup its losses. Or even try something radical like reducing its rates a bit.
Update June 6, 2022, 11:23am CT It appears that reportage on the resort’s failure may be premature. Although Disney is assembling focus groups this appears to be merely a standard operating procedure for the parks to take the pulse on a given consumer experience and does not indicate that the resort is in trouble. An SF Gate article published earlier this year stated that the hotel/experience, which only has 100 available rooms, had not been selling out.
While this may be technically true it isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of the resort’s success. According to The Motley Fool, “The next availability is for Aug. 16, and pricing hasn’t budged since the maiden voyage in March.” While that may not indicate if the experience will succeed or fail in the long run, it certainly doesn’t qualify as a “flop” as indicated by a currently trending article by Fatherly.
We Got This Covered regrets the error.