Disney World’s ‘Star Wars’ Hotel Isn’t a Flop

If the facts don’t fit the populist title you crave, you can always use force, Luke. A story trended on social media on Thursday night claiming that waltz disneyit is (SAY -2.94%) the most expensive hosting experience is a flop. star wars: Galactic Starcruiser opened its doors just over three months ago, charging at least $4,809 for a two-night stay for a party of two.

That’s a lot of money to pay for less than 48 hours of immersive simulation, and the high price doesn’t make it accessible to the masses. Most people probably want the star wars-the theme experiment fails, and any sign of weakness in the concept is clickbait gold. However, before we take a victory lap, we might want to nip the schadenfreude in the bud. Galactic Starcruiser is not a failure, at least not yet.

out of this world

Let’s start with the origin story of gossip. Disney surveyed customers who paid to take the simulated trips. They are also inviting some of them to be part of a virtual focus group that will take place later this month. Original reports from polls and focus groups on popular blogs for Disney enthusiasts described none of this as unusual.

It’s not unusual. Theme park companies are always hungry for feedback. I received emails for online surveys after visits to Disney World and Comcastit is (CMCSA -0.73%) Universal Orlando for the past few months, and neither company is suffering for business. They are both posting record operating revenues and profits for their theme park segment, despite turnstile clicks from international visitors well below pre-pandemic levels.

Consumers pay for their theme park getaways. Per capita visitor spending at Disney World is up 40% from 2019, and it has a park reservation system in place to control crowd levels. It also suspended most of its annual pass sales for new accounts. The Comcast resort doesn’t require advance reservations, but it just hiked the prices of its annual subscriptions by 6% to 8% last week – after an 11% to 15% hike ago barely four months. Desperate companies don’t raise prices and announce record financial results.

These Garden Variety Theme Park Surveys don’t typically lead to paid focus groups, but it’s important for Disney to know what its first three months of space travelers feel on a deeper level for a whole new experience. at premium price. Those who participate in the 90-minute session would receive $175 in Disney gift cards as compensation, roughly what they paid per room earlier this year for 90 minutes on the Galactic Starcruiser. This is an experience for wealthy people star wars fans, and time is money on both sides.

Early reports weren’t surprised by polls or focus groups. They know that theme parks are constantly taking the pulse of their visitors. The original report made waves because the investigation came from Disneyland — not Disney World. Speculation was that the experiment was going so well that Disney was going to expand the concept to the original West Coast resort. It was eventually clarified that this was not the case, and the search is for the existing Galactic Starcruiser in Florida only.

Image source: Disney.

The space race

How did a mildly positive story take a decisive negative turn when non-Disney sources jumped on the non-event? Human nature. Publications know that most of their readers will never justify spending so much on a live role-playing game. Many people want experiments so that the well-to-do fail. There is also a conservative section of the population that resents Disney World for taking a “woke” political stance in Florida.

Never mind that reality paints a different picture. star wars: Galactic Starcruiser is an exclusive experience. The interactive two-night trip only has 100 rooms available which it must fill every two nights. On a complex of more than 36,000 rooms, we are talking about less than 0.3% of the accommodation capacity on site. This can not serve everyone.

The bashing-experience Paternal the article claims that “nobody” wants to book a stay, but look at it. As of Friday morning, the next two months are complete. The next availability is for August 16, and prices haven’t budged since the maiden voyage in March.

It’s too early to call Galactic Starcruiser a long-term success. Disney will need to differentiate the experience over time to encourage return visits from its early adopters. He may have to mix things up to keep them fresh – just like cruise line inventory does – with different star wars themes and different route lengths. However, at the moment, the interactive bar-raising experience is not a flop. It’s just an easy target for crits with an aim as bad as Stormtroopers.

Comments are closed.