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Can’t Afford Galactic Starcruiser? Here Are Some Disney Splurges That Won’t Break the Bank

The Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser hotel has been laden with intrigue and controversy from the beginning.

Thanks to the rise of social media, the smallest Disney Parks addition is always met with scrutiny. Well, the addition we’re discussing is certainly not small. When the long-awaited Star Wars (1977) themed hotel was announced at the 2017 D23 convention, fans rejoiced.

This announcement came after a slew of new and successful Walt Disney World lands. New Fantasyland ushered in a polished new era for the Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom‘s Pandora had a jaw-dropping debut.

Guests were still giddy for the upcoming opening of Galaxy’s Edge (a.k.a. Star Wars Land) in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The goodwill with Guests could only go up from here, right? Not exactly.

As details for the Stars Wars Galactic Starcruiser emerged, Guests learned the experience would be unprecedented. This Disney Resort Hotel would mimic a two-night journey into space aboard a starship, named the Halcyon Starcruiser. Passengers would rarely leave the hotel and instead take part in all-inclusive features and their own Star Wars adventure. Galactic Starcruiser itineraries would include entertainment, unlimited food/drink, and role-playing missions with inhabitants of the Halcyon. (Lucky visitors would be invited to secret missions.)

Passengers would also be encouraged to dress up in elaborate costumes, invent their own character, and truly embrace their immersive Star Wars story. This would be Walt Disney Imagineering at its finest and a Disney experience like no other.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Credit – Disney

Sounds cool, right? Well, when the pricing was revealed, many fans had the wind knocked out of them. An average two-night stay (which is the only option, by the way), would average between $4500 and $6000 for a four-person standard cabin.

After that, fans became much more skeptical. The hotel design was questioned. Promo videos had to be taken down, due to backlash. Suddenly, this two-night, hotel-only experience (except for one quick ‘excursion’ to the Black Spire Outpost at Hollywood Studios) wasn’t the darling of the Disney fandom.

Now that it’s open for business, reviews have been mixed. Some fans swooned over it, but others remain unconvinced. Specifically, many people are still stuck on the price. No Disney vacation is cheap, we know this. However, this is the first time Disney has offered an experience where the price was so high for such a relatively short amount of time. If you also can’t justify a $5-6k two-night vacation, consider these alternative Disney splurges. They are pricey, but they will give you more bang for your buck.

Galaxy’s Edge – One-of-a-Kind Shopping

If you love spending time at Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, consider building a working droid or lightsaber. (Reservations are required.)

At Droid Depot, you will select droid parts from a running conveyor belt and piece together your newest friend. Hold your happy squeals in as a Cast Member brings your droid to life. It will blink and beep at you just like R2-D2! Each droid is $99.00.

Meanwhile, at Savi’s Workshop, you can build a lightsaber from the hilt up. Upon your arrival, members of the Resistance will usher you in the workshop discreetly. (You can’t tip off the First Order after all.) From there, you will select your lightsaber style and Kyber crystal. We don’t want to spoil the ending but prepare yourself for a goose-bump-inducing finale.

This experience is priced at $219.00 per lightsaber. Also, both experiences let the builder bring a Guest to observe, so don’t worry about missing out on cool photo ops. All in all, the droid and lightsaber building will win the hearts of any Star Wars fan.

Lightsaber Building

Credit: Disney

Celebrate Halloween or Christmas

Pre-pandemic, Walt Disney World was renowned for its two seasonal holiday parties, Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

While neither event returned in 2020, modified versions were introduced in 2021. Both events, Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours Event and Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash, featured special entertainment, Park lighting/music, complimentary snacks, character sightings, and shorter lines for attractions.

Even in a reduced fashion, these events were still a welcome return to semi-normalcy. Both events were priced roughly between $150 – $200 per ticket for a three-hour event, and Guests could enter the Parks 2 hours beforehand. So, no this won’t be a cheap evening, but it also won’t cost thousands of dollars. We don’t know exactly what 2022 will bring for seasonal events, but we’re hopeful for more holiday soirees.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Soldiers

Credit: Disney Tips

Choose Another Deluxe Resort

The Halcyon may be out of your budget, but Walt Disney World has no shortage of luxury hotels. Whether you prefer a modern, elegant, tropical, or rustic aesthetic, there is a hotel and ticket package for you at a more cost-effective rate.

To illustrate, we’ve priced out a seven-night summer stay (including 8-day Disney Park tickets) for Disney’s Contemporary Resort for a family of four. Currently, this vacation package is priced at about $7,000. Depending on Galactic Starcruiser dates, this is a relatively small upcharge. You simply can’t deny the math and fact that you are getting more for this week-long vacation option.

contemporary resort

Credit: Disney

Go on an Actual Cruise!

The Walt Disney Company has been justifying the high Galactic Starcruiser price because the experience is cruise-like. The experience is supposed to be so enthralling; Guests shouldn’t want to leave the Halcyon.

All the food, entertainment, character interactions, and needs can be met in this one, albeit amazing, building. While we’re sure Disney is taking care of their Guests, we can’t help but compare it to a Disney Cruise Line experience. DCL has been an industry leader since the mid-90s. With their magnificent ships, mouth-watering food, and endless entertainment options, it’s no wonder Disney Cruise Line has such a cult following.

Fortunately for those fans, cruising has returned. When pricing out a seven-night summertime Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy for a four-person standard cabin, the price currently totals at a little under $9,000. This isn’t cheap, but this week-long cruise includes all the ship amenities, meals, and stops at heavenly tropical ports. You may not be ready to cruise just yet, or you may be waiting for restrictions to drop. Either way, you’d get more for your money if traveling with Disney Cruise Line.

Disney cruise line wish

Credit: Disney

Please know we understand if you can’t resist the call of the Halcyon. Every fan has their monetary exception, whether it’s daily Mickey Premium Bars or collecting limited-edition merchandise.

But if the thrifty voice in your head can’t take that Star Wars plunge, we hope you can spoil yourself otherwise. That’s what a vacation is for!

About Rebekah Sedwick

A lifelong fanatic, Rebekah can't remember a time when she wasn't obsessed with Disney. When she's not planning her next trip, you can find her reading, dancing, spoiling her puppy, and always clicking 'Jump to Recipe' on food blogs. Rebekah resides in Pittsburgh with her husband, who has converted to the "dark side".