Disney: Passengers' choices are keys to Galactic Starcruiser stays, Imagineer says – Orlando Sentinel

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We are no longer far, far away from overnight stays in the “Star Wars.” Walt Disney World’s Galactic Starcruiser will start welcoming guests/passengers March 1. The experience is being prepared near Disney’s Hollywood Studios, home of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land, which is incorporated into the Starcruiser itinerary.
A Starcruiser visit includes a two-night stay aboard the Halcyon, meals, interactions with characters, an outing to the planet of Batuu and passenger decisions that affect storylines running the length of the experience. There is an emphasis on immersion.
But calling it the “Star Wars hotel” doesn’t capture what is happening there, said Scott Trowbridge, portfolio creative executive with Walt Disney Imagineering. As Disney World geared up for its 50th-anniversary celebration, Trowbridge shared thoughts on Starcruiser topics with the Orlando Sentinel.
“That’s understandable that that’s what people are saying because there isn’t really anything to compare it to … which is why we call it a multiday immersive adventure. … It’s the stories that happen and the way that all the adventure unfolds according to your choices aboard. … No one has ever built anything like this before, which is very exciting but also we have that challenge of what do you compare it to?
“It really is kind of easiest to compare it to a cruise. It follows a cruise model. It acts kind of like a simulated cruise in space. You book it like that. You kind of experience it like that. It’s all-inclusive like that. So that’s probably the closest thing to compare it to until people experience it … and it kind of becomes its own thing.”
“Once you get aboard there’s going to be many invitations for you to engage in different ways. Do you want to express affinity for the Resistance? Do you want to support your loyalty to the First Order? Do you maybe just kind of want to hang out with the smuggling crowd because they look more interesting? The people you meet, the missions you undertake, the choices you make will affect the way you see this story play out — the things you’ll be invited to attend and the mission you’ll be given to do, all kinds of supporting the way you have decided you kind of want to live out this adventure.”
“Just like on a regular cruise ship, you’re going to have that shore excursion, but this time, you’re going with a purpose. … If you have accepted, and maybe had an affinity for one of these groups, the Resistance or the First Order or others, you may end up with different tasks and goals and perspectives on the time you spend in the land. The way that the adventure attraction experiences the land have meaning. Those stories will follow you, from the ship to the land from the land back to the ship. … You’ll be invited to do lots of cool things there on the land that help the mission.”
“It does not. It might affect who joins you for dessert.”
“There is no way for you to experience everything on one journey, so there will always be things for you to discover.
“Our fans are going to do what they’re going to do, and we love our fans. I hope that like any good movie or story or experience, that it doesn’t ruin it, that there aren’t spoilers for those who have not yet done it. I hope our fans will kind of understand and respect the fact that other people want surprises.”
“There’ll be opportunities. Like I said, everything’s an invitation, never an obligation. So, if you decide that oh, I want to. … of course, you can do that.
“If all you want to do is kind of sit back and watch, drink your space cocktail and watch everything play out — also totally fine. It’s still going to be an amazing experience. And if the family decides to do different things, I actually think that’s kind of fun. Because then they can come back together and kind of compare notes and kind of have that ‘What did you do? … ‘Well, you’re supporting the First Order, so I’m not going to tell you.”
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“You book your two days, two nights and that’s it. … unless you want to do it all again. … We do hope that people will make it part of a larger Walt Disney World vacation experience because it’s an addition to it. There are so many other great things about Disney World for everybody that it makes sense to combine it with a larger Walt Disney World vacation.”
“We have always been a company that innovates or tries to innovate. And I think this is a real innovation in immersive attraction experiences and immersive vacation experiences. So, inventing new things like that … it’s hard — but it’s fun.”
Read the Orlando Sentinel’s “Disney World at 50″ series — a year’s worth of stories leading up to the 50th anniversary of the historic opening of Walt Disney World on Oct. 1, 1971. Find stories, photos and videos at OrlandoSentinel.com/wdw50.
Order your copy of “Disney World at 50,” the Orlando Sentinel’s new hardcover keepsake book chronicling the 50th anniversary of the opening of the most magical place on Earth. Supplies are limited. Order your copy at OrlandoSentinel.com/disneybook.
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