Disney World’s Big Star Wars Project Has Troubling News

The theme park giant has rarely seen anything Star Wars fail, but its latest massive investment clearly has major problems.

Disney World and Universal Studios keep trying to outdo each other. Universal, for example, set a new standard for immersive theme park world when it build “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and Disney fired back by adding the equally impressive “Pandora: The World of Avatar” at Animal Kingdom and “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.

The two companies push each other to add new rides, build out new lands, and in the case of Comcast’s (CMCSA) – Get Free Report Universal Studios, build a whole new theme park. Epic Universe, which CEO Brian Roberts said was being built for a very specific purpose during his company’s third-quarter earnings call.

DON’T MISS: Big News on Epic Universe, Universal’s Disney Killer Theme Park

“And I’m especially excited for Epic Universe to open in the summer of 2025 which will transform Universal Orlando into a weeklong destination,” he said.

And while Walt Disney (DIS) – Get Free Report has not directly answered Universal’s challenge by announcing a fifth gate at Disney World, the company has continued to grow its theme park empire and related offerings. That has included new rides like the upcoming Tron Lightcycle and a fairly extensive overhaul of its Epcot theme park. 

Disney also made one major investment at Disney World, the “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” immersive hotel that appears to be, if not failing, at least sputtering pretty badly.   

Image source: Walt Disney

Disney Makes Major Cut at Its Star Wars Hotel

Star Wars has generally been a goldmine since Disney paid $7 billion to acquire the property from George Lucas. While the most-recent trilogy of films met a mixed critical reactions, they were huge box office hits. That was also true of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” with only “Solo: A Star Wars Story” being a bit of a box office dud (and even that is relative given that the film still earned $392 million in global box office).

The space fantasy saga has also become the cornerstone of the Disney+ streaming service with “The Mandalorian” being a breakout hit and any show carrying the STar Wars name also being successful. At the theme parks, “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” drove record attendance at Hollywood Studios and has been a major draw at Disneyland.

Disney, however, may have misjudged demand for two-day immersive Star Wars experience that starts at $5,000 for two people. “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” originally proved that wrong by filling up quickly, but the company may have misjudged the potential audience for the project and now it has sent travel agents an email saying that it’s going to cut the number of “Galactic Starcruiser” “voyages” between October and the end of December.

Demand Drops For Disney’s ‘Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser’    

Since it opened in March 2022, Disney’s Star Wars hotel has offered three two-night voyages each week. The company is cutting the number back, according to the email it sent travel agents, which was first reported by Theme Park Tourist.

“When the voyage calendar is live, you may notice the schedule has been modified to provide two voyages per week, except for holiday weeks where we may have three voyages. We’ve been learning a lot during our first year of operation and have adjusted voyage dates to meet the needs of our guests.”

There’s no way to spin that other than that demand has not met capacity so Disney needs to run fewer “trips.”

Disney did begin running sales at the end of 2022 offering “Galactic Starcruiser” voyages at up to 30% off, but only for Disney Vacation Club members. The company also cancelled a number of “voyages” during the summer due to low occupancy, allowing those passengers to rebook on a different date with a 50% discount.

“Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” offers an interactive two-day, two-night experience that also includes a visit to “Galaxy’s Edge” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 

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