Disney Continues Cost-Cutting, Now It’s Impacting Star Wars
Star Wars Galactic Voyage, the expensive $2,000 hotel experience, is being cut down from three experiences a week to two, with more cuts likely in the future.
Disney is struggling these days; outside of recent hit films Avatar: The Way of Water and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, everything else around the House of Mouse is falling apart. Theme Park Tourist reports that the ambitious Star Wars Galactic Voyage hotel experience is the latest victim of cost-cutting measures by the new CEO Bob Iger. Due to a lack of demand, the expensive interactive experience is cutting back from three shows a week to two starting in October, with further cuts likely if tourists stay away from the $2,000 hotel stay.
The unique experience opened almost a year ago, promising guests a one-of-a-kind hotel visit centered around letting guests live out a Star Wars adventure. Allowing guests to side with the Resistance or the First Order, staff dressed as various denizens of the galaxy far, far away add to the truly unique ambiance. If not for the astonishing price tag, the Star Wars Galactic Voyage hotel experience would be on the “must do” list of every fan that grew up wanting to be part of the Rebellion, but alas, Disney was too ambitious and priced themselves out of the market.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney for a second time, recently admitted that the pandemic-era Disney World prices were too high, which turned out to be the canary in the coal mine for the companies shrinking fortunes. During the same investor call, Iger also mentioned less Marvel content would be released in the future, actively wondering if every hero needed three movies. Star Wars isn’t spared from the belt-tightening, with the pricey hotel experience only the tip of the iceberg.
Star Wars Galactic Voyage reducing the number of dates available is a symptom of a growing problem: no one at Lucasfilm or Disney seems to know what to do with the franchise. As big as The Mandalorian is, it’s not making the sort of money that a feature film would for the company, and it’s also not engaging with the wider audience. Disney+ has lost subscribers from its all-time high, and even then, most of the subscription base is families with young children that watch Moana and Encanto on repeat.
The lack of any upcoming films following the cancellation of Patty Jenkins’s Rogue One is even more damaging to the brand than reduced trips at an over-priced hotel. Ahsoka, The Acolyte, and Skeleton Crew are all aimed at the same hardcore audience as The Mandalorian, which seems to be getting smaller and smaller every year. While it doesn’t help that the Galactic Voyage hotel forces guests to stay in small rooms with no windows, its problems are entirely from the cost and a growing sense of dismay over the larger franchise.
If you want to board the Star Wars Galactic Voyage, it would be better to do so sooner rather than later, as interest dropping to the point that the experience begins scaling back is not a good sign. Only one trip this year has been sold out, making it more likely that additional trips this year will be canceled. Star Wars is a franchise in desperate need of some good news, and right now, no Jedi is coming to its rescue.