Disney World Closes Its Newly Launched 'Star Wars Hotel' Amid Cost Cuts and Layoffs

Disney World is closing down its Star Wars-themed luxury hotel two years after it opened the much touted property offering immersive space experience. The Star Wars hotel, which offers 'galactic starcruise' and a sci-fi inspired star wars experience, was opened at Disney World in Orlando in March 2022.

Walt Disney Co. said on Thursday the 'Star Wars: Galactic Starcruise' will hold its 'final voyage' on September 28. "This premium, boutique experience gave us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, the statement read. .... We are so proud of all of the Cast Members and Imagineers who brought Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life ... Thank you to our Guests and fans for making this experience so special," Disney said in a statement.

Disney World Star Wars hotel
Disney World Star Wars hotel Disney Parks

Part of Cost Cutting Measures?

Disney World did not specify why it was closing down the hotel, which was one of its most expensive and ambitious projects. However, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger had said at the beginning of the year the company was looking at cutting costs to the tune of $5.5 billion.

One of the Disney executives said the closing down of the ultra-pricey property was a business decision, according to CNN.

The two-night stay at the Star Wars hotel used to cost the guest an average of about $4,800 to $6,000. The priciest services at the hotel would cost upwards of $20,000, according to reports. The customers who spend these amounts would get voyages that mimic sci-fi space journeys coupled with food, programming, entertainment, besides access to the 'Galaxy's Edge' area of the Hollywood Studios theme park.

Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World flickr / Travis Wise

Mass Layoff

In February, Walt Disney Co said it was laying off 7,000 employees as it tries to trim costs amid souring economic conditions. The job cuts, announced by CEO Bob Iger, aims to save $5.5 billion in costs for the entertainment giant. Disney has as many as 190,000 people on its rolls as of 2021 annual report, and the current round of layoff means 3.6 percent of Disney's global workforce will leave the company.

Iger also unveiled a plan to restructure the sprawling empire into three segments -- film, television and streaming; sports unit focusing on ESPN and Disney parks, experiences and products. "This reorganization will result in a more cost-effective, coordinated approach to our operations .... We are committed to running efficiently, especially in a challenging environment," Iger said.

Global revenues for The Walt Disney Company decreased 18 per cent to $1.1 billion and operating income dropped 18 per cent to $0.1 billion, owing to a decrease in advertising revenue due to lower average viewership, especially in India where there was no cricket in the September quarter, the report had said at that time.