What it is like aboard the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Disney World


Aboard the Galactic Starcruiser (CNN) — The light purr of the engine hums as planets, spaceships and asteroids go by within the surrounding home windows.

The galactic celebrity Gaya dazzles along with her songs, capturing the eye of visitors and First Order lieutenants alike whereas colourful alien-inspired cocktails are handed round.

There is a slight commotion within the nook as a bunch tries to smuggle Chewbacca off the ship — however the sometimes watchful stormtroopers appear equally distracted by Gaya’s efficiency in order that they happily do not discover the towering fuzzball and his younger helpers.

These are a number of the sights and sounds for a passenger touring aboard the Halcyon, the ship on the heart of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort expertise, opening Tuesday, March 1, at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

To name it a resort can be uninspired and inaccurate — it is a voyage. I participated this week in one of many Starcruiser’s first journeys (also called a “media preview”).

The primary of its variety, Galactic Starcruiser is an immersive two-night keep the place visitors can expertise what it is perhaps prefer to journey aboard a gleaming starship a very long time in the past, in a galaxy far, far-off. And for Star Wars followers, it is an opportunity to reside out your personal story, slightly than merely following the trials and tribulations of beloved characters.

Captain Riyola Keevan (center) is one of the new characters you'll meet aboard the Halcyon.

Captain Riyola Keevan (heart) is likely one of the new characters you may meet aboard the Halcyon.


Your story, decided by your selections and actions from starting to finish, coincides with these of the newer “Star Wars” movies. Members of the First Order and the Resistance make an look alongside the way in which.

Alongside acquainted faces equivalent to Rey and Kylo Ren are new characters developed for the Halcyon expertise. A few of these embrace the blue-skinned Captain Riyola Keevan who leads the voyage, heat and interesting cruise director Lenka Mok and SK-62O, an astromech droid typically noticed rolling across the ship.

Galactic Starcruiser was developed for the previous six years alongside Galaxy’s Edge, the Star Wars theme park expertise in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and it exhibits.

The occasions on the Starcruiser are inextricably linked to the very rides and market stalls of Black Spire Outpost and its planet, Batuu, the place you disembark for an journey on the second day of your keep earlier than returning to the ship for a showstopper finale on the final evening of the expertise.

This is not simply one other themed Disney resort. The crew of the Halcyon is dedicated to your keep as a voyage — and in true Disney trend, they by no means break character. Costumes and galactic-inspired apparel are inspired, and in the event you do not deliver any from your own home planet, there are some obtainable (for buy, in fact) onboard.

Halcyon passengers enjoy a meal and performance by Gaya in the Crown of Corellia Dining Room.

Halcyon passengers get pleasure from a meal and efficiency by Gaya within the Crown of Corellia Eating Room.


Whereas I did not pack my Princess Leia hair buns and greatest senatorial robe, my space-themed clothes had been a success (and comfy within the Florida warmth). My fellow vacationers, nonetheless, undoubtedly loved absolutely immersing themselves by sporting each acquainted and fully authentic costumes.

Company looking for passage aboard the Halcyon ought to put together for an action-packed, select your personal adventure-style tour.

Embark on an area voyage

So let’s be clear — no, you are not likely going to area. However there’s quite a lot of consideration to element to simulate the closest factor many people should a cruise among the many stars.

That is in all probability not an expertise for the informal fan. And at 1000’s of {dollars} for the two-day expertise, it is an funding. (Extra on charges under).

Company with reservations arrive at an industrial-style terminal to start their Galactic Starcruiser expertise, and even the safety groups ask in the event you’re smuggling in any undesirable creatures in your baggage. Passenger service crews suit you with an information band — sometimes known as a MagicBand for Disney visitors.

Right here, they are not simply your ticket into the resort and parks, however tapping your information band in opposition to sure interactive components within the Halcyon adjustments the trajectory of your story.

In addition they ask that you’ve got a cellphone loaded with the Play Disney Parks App. Throughout your keep, this primarily turns your cellphone into an information pad, which can assist you sustain your distinctive itinerary, obtain messages from characters, tackle secret missions and unlock a brand new stage of interactivity in Galaxy’s Edge.

If you happen to select to embark on this journey, be sure to have methods of retaining your cellphone charged all through the day since you’ll be utilizing it quite a bit.

The First Order has their suspicions about spunky droid SK-26O and his allegiances.

The First Order has their suspicions about spunky droid SK-26O and his allegiances.

Ashley Strickland/CNN

As soon as contained in the constructing, you are guided to a Launch Pod. By view ports close to the highest, pine timber give technique to starlight and the void of area as you bounce to hyperspace. As soon as the doorways open, you enter a brand new world within the ship’s atrium the place many key moments will transpire throughout your keep.

The ship comes with its personal lore, which shall be shared in comedian books and novelizations within the coming months. Apparently, the Halcyon was the backdrop for Leia and Han Solo’s honeymoon.

Not like most of the ships within the Star Wars universe, the Halcyon does not have that rustic or lived-in feeling like that cute hunk of junk, the Millennium Falcon. The interiors, and even the SK-620 droid rolling by, gleam with a crisp newness extra paying homage to Dryden Voss’ First Gentle yacht, as seen in 2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

Contained in the ship

From the atrium, glimpse the ship’s bridge and its huge, starlight-filled perspective, store the Chandrila Assortment for unique headtails, outfits and merchandise or stroll contained in the Sublight Lounge, the place visitors can sip on a Cloud of Bespin cocktail and study to play Sabacc — the sport Han Solo performed to win the Falcon from Lando Calrissian.

Decks positioned beneath the atrium embrace interactive spots for lightsaber coaching or serving to characters within the engineering room, in addition to the Crown of Corellia eating room for meals and leisure.

For visitors needing a reminder of their house planet, since not one of the home windows provide a view of something however the darkness of area, the ship features a Local weather Simulator. This small courtyard consists of partitions of crops from across the galaxy, stone preparations — and the daylight and sky seen from above feels an terrible lot like Florida.

There are 4 decks of small-scale cabins and the ship can maintain between 100 and 500 passengers. Every cabin comes geared up with a window searching into area and a video display screen that may join you to a brand new droid named D3-O9.

For cabins able to internet hosting 4, they’ve included older Star Wars era-inspired bunkbeds and a mattress that pulls out from the wall — however it should nonetheless be a decent squeeze except you improve to the bigger Galaxy Class Suite or Grand Captain Suite. Starcruiser facilities embrace customary bathrooms outfitted with rain bathe heads, an interactive TV and a mini fridge.

Hold a watch out for an orange blinking mild when D3-O9 is prepared for a chat. This new logistics droid has a candy disposition and is able to real-time dialog by listening in to what you say so long as the hyperlink stays lively. If you happen to ask properly, she’ll sing you a lullaby or inform you a bedtime story about her hero R2-D2’s experiences in “A New Hope.”

A standard Halcyon cabin includes a queen bed, two bunk beds and one that pulls down from the wall -- and a well-appointed view of space.

A typical Halcyon cabin features a queen mattress, two bunk beds and one which pulls down from the wall — and a well-appointed view of area.


Not one of the meals or drinks aboard the Halcyon sound acquainted at first, however a better take a look at the descriptions reveal totally different takes on the issues you understand and love in the event you reside within the Milky Approach galaxy.

Breakfast and lunch are shared buffet-style like an Earth cruise ship, with distinctive choices every day equivalent to vegan-friendly delicate kale polenta and matcha sugar-dusted pastries served with blue butter (or, what occurs in the event you churn blue milk lengthy sufficient).

Dinner is a lavish affair each nights.

On the primary evening, Gaya serenades diners along with her best hits alongside different fellow musicians — simply hear out for some hidden messages within the songs.

The second evening gives a “Style Across the Galaxy,” with a really smoky (and intensely blue) tackle shrimp cocktail, adopted by tender beef brief rib from Chewbacca’s house planet (which pairs effectively with a pleasant Cabernet Sauvignon). And do not forget to avoid wasting room for dessert: chocolate air cake.

Journey awaits

From the second visitors enter the atrium of the ship and passengers fill the room, characters start to look. And as soon as the journey is formally beneath approach, nothing in regards to the easy pleasure cruise goes based on plan.

It is a bit disorienting to stroll into this atmosphere and be approached by new faces, however you quickly get caught up in attempting to grasp what’s taking place and really feel compelled to assist the characters.

Sporting a blue mechanics swimsuit is Sammie. This endearing and earnest everyman is on a mission to assist the Resistance, however he wants your assist to take action. Then, there’s the sassy and smug First Order Lieutenant Harman Croy, who boards the ship along with his stormtroopers shortly after the journey begins.

The actions in your itinerary, and your personal poking in regards to the ship, will set your story in movement on day one. Then, you are actually pulled into the motion throughout the Batuu tour on day two, which begins as early as 8:30 a.m.

Droid-piloted transports from the Halcyon take passengers straight into Galaxy’s Edge (with no home windows or turnstiles to interrupt your immersive expertise) and particular pins determine you to passenger companies crew members stationed all through Black Spire Outpost.

My fellow voyagers and I had been instantly approached by a crew member upon getting into the park who requested if we wished to assist the Resistance. Once we mentioned “sure,” we had been whisked onto the favored Rise of the Resistance journey inside seconds — which often has a wait of hours — by a secret passageway.

We additionally jumped aboard the Smuggler’s Run journey to pilot the Millennium Falcon, delivering shipments of much-needed coaxium for the Halcyon’s captain that will turn out to be essential to the storyline later within the night.

When the information pad app is working — many people skilled glitches in ours whereas we had been within the parks, disrupting our missions — you possibly can tune into forbidden radio frequencies to decrypt messages, hack into ships and droids and even tackle jobs to assist Rey and Finn.

Your Starcruiser keep lets you e-book reservations for coveted Galaxy’s Edge experiences — to get pleasure from drinks at Oga’s Cantina, or customise a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop or construct a droid on the Droid Depot.

The final “transport” leaves for the Halcyon at 4 p.m. and as soon as you come back, you might have a particular second that happens with an outdated fan favourite.

Cruise Director Lenka Mok (left) meets with passengers in the Halcyon starcruiser Engineering Room to discuss a secret mission.

Cruise Director Lenka Mok (left) meets with passengers within the Halcyon starcruiser Engineering Room to debate a secret mission.


Every particular person’s expertise on the Starcruiser is extremely distinctive and through my keep, I by no means bumped into anybody on the very same mission as mine. You possibly can select to assist the Resistance, the First Order, look out for your self as a scoundrel or check out all the perimeters.

No matter your storyline, the motion intensifies on the ultimate evening by a collection of occasions that result in an exhilarating conclusion and an epic celebration.

After an early dinner, I discovered myself working round with Sammie and Chewbacca and dealing a protect station on the ship’s bridge earlier than issues got here to a crescendo. With out spoiling it for you, it is an extremely fulfilling technique to finish your keep earlier than trying out the following morning.

Know earlier than you go

The hefty price ticket for the fixed-length, two-night keep, which runs $4,809 for 2 visitors, $5,299 for 3 visitors or $5,999 for 4 visitors, consists of most all the pieces besides specialty and alcoholic drinks, in addition to any merchandise, images or further belongings you need to do within the park like buy a lightsaber or construct a droid.

If you happen to’re prepared for an journey with little downtime and a fast-paced schedule, that is the Disney tour for you. And if you wish to discover the Disney parks afterward, construct in a day to compensate for relaxation. I really feel like I would like a trip to get well.

The depth of the schedule and motion is supposed for Star Wars followers who need to reside out their very own story. Anxious about how your youngsters would possibly deal with it? Throughout my keep, the youngsters had been the bravest and a number of the most keen to leap in and assist their favourite characters like Sammie and Chewbacca.

My favourite moments of the journey, apart from sampling otherworldly meals and dwelling inside the Star Wars universe so close to and expensive to my coronary heart, had been after I felt like I used to be a part of the motion. There’s nothing fairly like feeling a lightsaber come to life in your palms and permitting the Pressure to information you as you block coaching blasts.

But when interactivity is not your factor, you may also sit again and observe all the pieces — there’s greater than sufficient to soak up.

“We designed this for the individuals who love Star Wars and the individuals who love the individuals who love Star Wars,” mentioned Wendy Anderson, govt artistic director for Disney Stay Leisure over Galactic Starcruiser.

“We actually wished folks to really feel assured simply watching, sitting again having a cocktail and watching the celebs streak by, but when they wished to play deeper, we allow them to do this. I feel we created a container that permits folks to really feel protected expressing themselves.”

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