Disney's STAR WARS Hotel Nearly Received THE MANDALORIAN Retheme Before Bob Iger Pulled Plug

Disney's STAR WARS Hotel Nearly Received THE MANDALORIAN Retheme Before Bob Iger Pulled Plug

Disney World's Star Wars-themed Galactic Starcruiser will close down this September, and new details have now been revealed about what went wrong, scrapped ideas to save it, and how much the company will lose.

By JoshWilding - May 25, 2023 07:05 AM EST
Filed Under: Star Wars
Source: The Wrap (via SFFGazette.com)

When the news broke that Florida's Walt Disney World planned to open a Star Wars-themed hotel, there was a huge amount of excitement among fans of the franchise. 

Unfortunately, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was met with mixed reviews from the start. With trips starting at $4809 for two guests in a standard cabin and going upwards of $6000 for a family, it was immediately out of reach for the vast majority of people visiting the theme park. Still, it did initially sell out and there were plenty of fans who seemed to enjoy the experience of heading into a Galaxy Far, Far Away. 

We recently learned that the hotel will close its doors this September, a rare failure for the House of Mouse when it comes to its theme park offerings. Now, The Wrap (via SFFGazette.com) reports that the project likely cost Disney upwards of $1 billion, and there were even tentative plans to open additional Starcruisers in Anaheim, Paris, and Tokyo. 

Cast members working in the hotel didn't learn of the sudden closure until the news broke in the media, and insiders believe former Disney CEO Bob Chapek - who remains an unpopular figure among Disney fans - is largely to blame for its failings. 

His decision to streamline many of Galaxy's Edge's features as a cost-cutting measure resulted in them being incorporated into this hotel, hence why they didn't work particularly well in their new home. Chapek was also keen to bring more wealthy guests to the Disney Parks after the pandemic, explaining the high admission fee and increases in everything from regular ticket prices to Genie+ replacing FastPass. 

"Once you went through the one-percenters who could afford it and the fanatical ‘Star Wars’ fans who would sell their mother to do it, you were done," a Disney insider tells the trade. Another adds, "No one connected to this came off well."

Before returning Disney CEO Bob Iger made the decision to close the hotel's doors, a number of ideas were thrown around. Among them were "tours" of the facilities that would have given access to the bar, dinner show, and gift shop for an additional charge. They also considered retheming it to The Mandalorian, but Iger said no. Now, it's unclear what will become of the building that has 100 hotel rooms in it. 

Oh, and how much will Disney lose from this venture? At least $300 million.

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TheUnworthyThor
TheUnworthyThor - 5/25/2023, 7:25 AM
Yeah, it was simply too expensive. Imagine all the places in this world you could go and all things you could see for that kind of money.
philinterrupted
philinterrupted - 5/25/2023, 8:32 AM
@TheUnworthyThor - not to mention for only a day and a half.
seismicblast
seismicblast - 5/25/2023, 7:37 AM
The theme didn't matter really. It was way overpriced for what was delivered. The package also wasn't all-inclusive, in other words you didn't get meals or access to any of the other resort locations like Typhoon Lagoon. Most people won't pay $5000 for "alien" themed singers and a couple group yoga sessions with lightsabers.
IronMan616
IronMan616 - 5/25/2023, 7:52 AM
"insiders believe former Disney CEO Bob Chapek - who remains an unpopular figure among Disney fans - is largely to blame for its failings. "

LMAO. Still blaming the old regime. It was all Kathleen Kennedy. She's the person behind the entire failure of Lucas Entertainment. Star Wars is a failure, Willow was a complete disaster and Indy looks like it's going to be a failure.

She's the president of of Lucasfilm, it squarely falls on her shoulders. Of course, the person that wrote this article is too afraid to say that.
ShimmyShimmyYA
ShimmyShimmyYA - 5/25/2023, 7:55 AM
@IronMan616 - wtf does she have to do with the parks lmfao y’all got an obsession
IronMan616
IronMan616 - 5/25/2023, 8:07 AM
@ShimmyShimmyYA - The hotel was her baby.
philinterrupted
philinterrupted - 5/25/2023, 8:34 AM
@IronMan616 - no it wasn’t. There are different divisions in Disney. She’s not overseeing the sides of it that made this a failure.
Taonrey
Taonrey - 5/25/2023, 8:45 AM
@IronMan616 - " The hotel was her baby" either you're trolling are extremely delusional
DocSpock
DocSpock - 5/25/2023, 12:20 PM
@IronMan616 -

Truer words were never spoken.

WarMonkey
WarMonkey - 5/26/2023, 6:51 AM
@IronMan616 - It was defiantly all KK. Chapel wanted original SW theme and she as head of Lucasfilm went for the sequel trilogy treatment. It was defiantly her baby, she was in charge of the whole thing.

Also side note: It may have been initially almost sold-out but after the 1st trailers and promotion materials came out about 2/3rds of those people cancelled their reservations
Simonsonrules
Simonsonrules - 5/25/2023, 8:19 AM
I look forward to the unauthorized documentary.
KanchaCheena
KanchaCheena - 5/25/2023, 9:04 AM
I don't understand.. why didn't they just lower the prices?
DevilsDreams
DevilsDreams - 5/25/2023, 9:31 AM
@KanchaCheena - greed?
maybe overheads?
MrDandy
MrDandy - 5/25/2023, 9:40 AM
@KanchaCheena - most likely overhead. It was basically like a mini cruise ship with a role playing story element with a cast of actors over two days.
EarlChai
EarlChai - 5/25/2023, 9:50 AM
@KanchaCheena - From a quick google, there’s reports that the Starcruiser cost either $350-$500 million, or $1-2 billion. 🤷‍♀️ Going with the more reasonable $500 million, and a rough average cost of $5,500 per room, that’s 90,909 rooms to break even. The Starcruiser had 100 rooms and initially operated at three “tours” a week, so that’s 303 fully-booked weeks—or 5.8 years of non-stop, full-capacity tours to just break even. Not counting, of course, operating costs for food, production of merch, and paying cast members to be fully in-character for 48 hours at a time.
DevilsDreams
DevilsDreams - 5/25/2023, 9:33 AM
I just can't justify spending over £10k for a 2 night stay! Not when I still want to buy a house, pay for a marriage, etc.
How they couldn't see that this was pricing people out is ridiculous!
EarlChai
EarlChai - 5/25/2023, 9:34 AM
“insiders believe former Disney CEO Bob Chapek… is largely to blame for its failings.

His decision to streamline many of Galaxy's Edge's features as a cost-cutting measure resulted in them being incorporated into this hotel”

I googled it. The California Galaxy’s Edge opened in May 2019. The Florida one in January 2020. This guy became CEO in February 2020. Something doesn’t add up.
Vanillain
Vanillain - 5/25/2023, 12:19 PM
@EarlChai - Chapek was the global head of Parks and Resorts before he was the CEO. He was responsible for Disney Shanghai, Pandora, and the two Galaxy's Edge.

Trades have previously reported that the Galaxy's Edge initially was more immersive - more actors, performances, roleplay, etc.
MrDandy
MrDandy - 5/25/2023, 9:39 AM
This whole idea was broken from the beginning. Spending two days on a cruise that goes nowhere and you can’t leave despite being in Disneyland that costs as much as a new kidney.

Who was this for?
TheShape9859
TheShape9859 - 5/25/2023, 12:17 PM
@MrDandy - Walt Disney World...not Disneyland
MrDandy
MrDandy - 5/25/2023, 12:50 PM
@TheShape9859 - yep. Typo and no edit button
HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt - 5/25/2023, 11:18 AM
The entirety of Star Wars at the Disney Theme Parks were torpedoed by Kathleen Kennedy when, at the 11th hour, mere months before the first park opened, she demanded that they switch everything from being themed to the original trilogy characters to her garbage sequel trilogy characters.

She, and she alone, is responsible for all of the failures. Well, her and Bob Iger, because Bob Iger continued to let her make terrible decisions and not fire her.

Blaming Chapek here is hilariously wrong, but predictable.
DocSpock
DocSpock - 5/25/2023, 12:19 PM
@HistoryofMatt -

Very very true.

What a fiasco.

TheShape9859
TheShape9859 - 5/25/2023, 12:22 PM
If it had been cheaper, the show/story they were telling not so corny and cheesy it might have been good. Should have gone with The Mandalorian to begin with
HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt - 5/25/2023, 1:40 PM
@TheShape9859 - Should have gone with the original trilogy characters in all the Star Wars Galaxy Edge parks and rides and hotel as originally planned to begin with.

There. FIFY.
LSHF
LSHF - 5/25/2023, 3:31 PM
I'm guessing that some employee was at the initial meetings where they were discussing this ignorant idea, and this person used common sense and logic to try to talk Bob Chapek out of it, but was reprimanded or fired.

It happens a lot.
WarMonkey
WarMonkey - 5/26/2023, 6:58 AM
This was KK's thing and she is responsible. Here's the trailer that came out that started a landslide of early cancellations and bookings.

It's freaking hilarious!
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