Friday, March 4, 2022

We Toured Disney's New Galactic Starcruiser: Part 2!

I'm back and we have parsecs more to go, bots & droids, so walk/roll this way:

The cruise cabin hallway views are SO satisfying. Ahhhh. Just try not to imagine two twin padawans holding hands at the end and asking you to play with them.

Our preview night had two cabins open for our gawking pleasure: a standard size and a suite. Let's start with the standard, and work our way up.

Like the hallway, the cabin design is extremely satisfying: so many doors, hatches, and bits of furniture that fit seamlessly into the walls. There's a pull-out table & seats on the far wall, and see the little handle on the lower right of the viewport? That leads to an emergency exit of sorts: it looks like a closet, but I believe if you push through the far wall it actually goes outside the building. o.0

The viewport has moving spacescapes beyond it, but is suuuper glare-y, and almost impossible to photograph or film well. Boo. We did play with the buttons that lower the shield, though.

On the right under the TV screen is a fold-down bunk, and to the left of the bed are these adorable bunk beds:

The bunks are roomier than they look; over 6 feet long. The urge to crawl inside one was strong, but I figured the other people in there might disapprove.  (I had to wait for a break in the crowd to get these people-free shots.)

Loooove the pops of orange.

The bathroom feels like any other cruise ship bathroom, except for the nifty Death Star lights on the mirror:


Now let's scoot over to the suite, which is about to make this standard size cabin feel like a clown car.


BOOM. Welcome to the suite's living room.

My first impression upon entering was that it was enormous, a bit sparse, and doesn't have enough orange. Heck, there isn't ANY orange. C'mon, Disney.

I am so happy I found this gif I can't even tell you.


To the right of the entry is this small bar area:

LOVE the metal glasses, they look like art!

To the left is another small counter with a mini-fridge below it, and above it...


I was hoping for buttons or switches that might produce, say, a cloud of poisonous Dagobah swamp gas - but sadly no dice. Unless maybe the circle is a wrist band reader, and that triggers something? Probably not, but a girl can hope.

Crowd-free shot of the suite living area:

Did you spot my friend Kelsey in the crawlspace in my first photo? That leads to the bedroom. It's a fun feature for the kids, or for scaring your spouse half to death in the middle of the night. (Just spit-balling here.)

There's a short hallway on the right leading to the bedroom on the left, and a large bathroom on the right. The bedroom is almost exactly the same as the standard room, so imagine that again, since the crowd never broke enough for me to get a panorama. Here's the bed again, though:

Thought some of you might appreciate the intro leaflet:

And here's a closer look at the room's comm panel:

This is mostly wrist-band activated, so it didn't do much - but in my video you can see us getting a few bloops out of it with the punch button.

The suite's bathroom is so non-descript I almost didn't include it, but I *know* you want to see, soooo:

Whoop, there it is.

Right, let's get out of this pristine and mildly generic sci-fi space and go somewhere TRULY Star Wars: Engineering.

Engineering is the complete opposite of the cruise cabins: dark, cramped, dirty, and filled with visual clutter. This area is sensory overload in the best way.

Everywhere you turn there are enticing buttons, levers, dials, blinking lights, and fun effects:

Best of all: every button, lever, and dial does something. Sparks fly. Steam hisses. Lights flash.

Engineering is a playground that rewards people who can't keep their hands to themselves - and that's BEFORE you get to the in-world missions.

When John and I first arrived there was a mission in progress to help Chewbacca install a new power source, so the First Order couldn't take over the ship. (Or... something like that.)

Chewie and the cruise director (a rebel spy, aw yeah) instructed us to break into teams to help. We split into various parts of Engineering and merrily punched buttons and pulled levers with abandon.

John and I manned these exhaust pipes. When the lights blinked green, we rotated the levers and released the gas buildup. This area reminds me of the scene where Vader pursues Luke into the bowels of the Death Star:

Engineering was happy chaos while all the teams manned each of the stations. There's so much to do, I don't think anyone who wanted one was left without a job. Here's another station with a labyrinth of piping: you trace each lighted pipe to its end, and plug in a hefty cable:

Again, it is VERY dim in here, and much of the lighting is filtered through ceiling grates to give off funky filtered shadows.

Which looks, just, so cool. Now THIS is Star Wars, y'all.

Eventually we reconvened in the middle to check our progress on the ship's status board:

We totally failed, y'all.  (WOMP WOMP)

But don't worry, Star Wars is all about second chances. So back to our stations we went, and the second time was the charm.

Installing the coaxium power source.

If we'd arrived at a different point in the evening then we'd have met the First Order officer, Lt. Croy, who was busy sabotaging the ship. So even with our short preview, there were multiple story lines going.

Inside that pod-like unit behind Chewie is what I can only describe as the Warp Core, because once again, the Trek vibes are strong:

This area has one of the coolest puzzles in the whole room, because it's run by an AI that can detect your intelligence level and adapt. You read that right, friends; I watched it in action. If you solve it quickly it will get harder, and if you hit random buttons - like a kid might - it gets easier.


The warp core also has another crawl space for the kids:

There are so many details and nooks and crannies in Engineering, I hope you'll forgive my hanging out here so long. As I said in Part 1, one of our new cast member friends let me come back here at the end of the night when it was empty, and I couldn't stop taking pictures.

Ok, last one.

Next, let's head back to the lightsaber training pod. John and I slipped in during the very last group of the night, and hung back to watch some of our friends in action:

This is best in video, but you can just see the "Force" sparkles on the far wall here, and the training beam. The front line of guests wield special lightsabers that react when you block the beam. Everyone behind holds Tron-like shields to block any extra beams that make it through.

Here's a look at the room empty, since we got to hang out with the techs while they ran some turret tests:

The shields slot into the wall on the left, another super satisfying design feature. They light up with a spinning animation when they're first activated.

Another hat tip to the lighting designers, because the lighting is this room - like so many other areas of the Halcyon - is truly gorgeous.

And while I'm at it, a huge hat tip to every tech, crew member, and performer aboard the Halcyon, who've been working incredibly long hours for many, many months. One told me she'd already hit 46 hours that week, barely 4 days in. Another said this 4-hour preview was the most time he'd spent with his wife in months. So hey, y'all be good to the CMs out there, k?

If you ever require an "alternative" (aka non launch pod) exit or entrance to the Halcyon, it will be through this tiny Cargo Hold:

This room is jam-packed with Star Wars Easter eggs, and I'm told there were dozens of hours of meetings, inspections, and tweaks to get it "just right." The tragedy, of course, is the room is so poorly lit you can barely see the treasures within. So maybe bring a flashlight.

I can tell you there's one of the famous ice cream makers in that metal cabinet, though; that one's easy to spot. ;)

This is the Halcyon's ship logo, located in the launch pod hallway outside the ship, I believe. One more in a long list of beautiful details - but I've abandoned any effort to make this post a reasonable length, so here ya go.  ;)

(If you're still here, btw, hi, I love you.)

(Now you say, "I KNOW JEN GEEZ")

Now to the prettiest part of the Halcyon. Yes, even more stunning than the Crown of Corellia dining room. Mosey with me on over to the Sublight Lounge - not be confused with the Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland, although I desperately want to see Sonny Eclipse singing in here:

The lounge is directly off the atrium, and no amount of waiting will get you a clear shot of the whole thing, because everyone wants to be in here.

On the left wall of the entrance is this fancy bottle in a wall niche:

I'm told you can ask any server for the backstory of why this is here, but I... did not.

Once inside, it's really impossible to take a bad photo of this bar:

This lighting design is the stuff that dreams are made of, and then add to it all the moving elements like bubbles, water funnels, and two alien fish lazily swimming through their bar top tanks:

I want my whole house to look like this.  (The lighted part, not the fish part.)

In front of the bar is a holographic Sabacc table, though I'll admit the holograms are a little hard to see:

This is about how it looked in person:

We didn't play ourselves, but I'm told this is easy to learn and quick to play.

The rest of the lounge seating is fairly simple, though I really like the padded alcoves; they look so cozy:

And finally, let's close out the night with a look at the show finale. It starts with a Red Alert that of course isn't called a Red Alert, but everything turns red and there's a klaxon, so... ::shrug::

Trooper is judging me for crossing the streams.

We hustled over to our muster stations, where there was a lot of shouting and hubbub.

Lt. Croy pops out and continues to be eeee-ville:


Hoooooo, y'all, and then. Next thing we know, Kylo Ren appears, and then REY shows up, and they have a lightsaber battle so epic only video can do it justice. This fight choreography is flat-out AMAZING, friends. I'll embed my video at the end of this post again, in case you didn't watch it last time. (Remember, you promised to act surprised this post. ;))

A few fun facts: both actors use their own voices during the 'saber fight. Meaning Kylo is not pre-recorded. Sadly I missed it with my video, but when Rey first appears she debuts the first-ever extending lightsaber, so be sure to find another video online of that, it is amazeballs. Even better are the *screams* of joy from the fans, though. Ahhh, what a moment.

My only quibble with the finale is Kylo's breaking the ship's atrium verrrrrrry slowly. He force-chokes the big overhead light, and by all rights the light SHOULD spark and free-fall, only to be caught by the cables, left dangling like this:

But instead, the light lowers like a sedate elevator, which is almost comical in the moment. "I'LL MAKE YOU PAY... IN LIKE...5 SECONDS. ...EHHHHH"

Again, most of the finale is in my video, so don't miss the end space fireworks and triumphant music. It's all around Star Wars warm fuzzies, and a beautiful ending to an incredible show experience.

We got a special extra ending for our show, though - one no other guests or press will ever see.

After the show director instructed us all to put away our cameras and phones - no photos allowed - she invited the entire cast and crew onto the top balcony to take a bow. Keep in mind that every show character had two actors that night, plus all the behind the scenes techs were up there, so it was a full house. And the applause... ohh, the applause. I still get a little teary remembering, it's a moment I want to take with me forever. These exhausted, exhilarated, proud, and oh-so-talented people stood up there, beaming, over a crowd of their own cheering loved ones. Their smiles, their laughter - one of our friends up there pointed at us in the crowd, while I screamed myself hoarse. Can you imagine? Can you hear it? Gah. I wouldn't trade that moment for anything, not even a full press tour. Sweet Stay Puft. What an honor. (Thank you again, my friend. Thank you.)

While I go blow my nose, here are all my videos again, so you can re-watch that finale showdown:

And lastly, a few closing thoughts:

Since we only had a free 4-hour preview, of course I can't tell you if the Star Wars Starcruiser is "worth it." Let's face it, the 48-hour stay costs so much that most folks reading this will probably never experience it, myself included. What I can tell you is the most worthwhile part of the Starcruiser - the X factor - is interacting with the cast. That's where the magic happens. Don't get me wrong, the ship is incredible, the gadgets and gizmos are aplenty, but it's locking eyes with the characters in story that will resonate and stay with you forever.

I'm sure you've heard the Halcyon called "Star Wars larping," and that's entirely accurate. This is not a relaxing resort stay. It's a fully interactive adventure that depends almost entirely on the energy and excitement you bring in with you. If you don't like talking to strangers or being silly in public, then this is probably not the best way to drop five grand. However, if you love cosplay, role-playing games, nerding out, and playing along with other adults - oh yeah, and also Star Wars -  then this is absolutely for you.

K, my friend, I hope you had fun re-living my preview night with me! As I mentioned in Part 1, if you want more then I highly recommend Ordinary Adventures' Youtube coverage of their full press stay. Kitra & Peter have 4 hour-long videos posted, and actually went back for their second voyage this week, so there's lots more to come. (Not sponsored, I just really like them. Kitra fangirls like I do, and her joy lights up the screen.)


Hey, did you know you can send me a tip through Paypal, or even sign up to support me monthly? That's only if you have the means and are feeling super generous, though; I promise just your being here is enough for me. I love you bunches, thx for sticking around.


  1. I wish I could do this experience! So bad! Sadly, unless I win the lottery, that ain't happenin'. It looks so much fun.

  2. Oh, to be independently wealthy...

  3. Thank you so much for bringing us a brilliant taste of this experience! It wouldn't be my bag, but it's fun to get a goggle and also to read your enthusiastic descriptions!

  4. Thank you for sharing your amazing experience and all these beautiful photos! I love that you brought up the crawl spaces -- I was immediately reminded of the LEGO Star Wars video games when I saw them and am glad they're incorporated into the Galactic Starcruiser. Like many others, I will probably never get to experience this and am probably too reticent to get the most out of it anyway, but glad to be able to live it vicariously through you and John.

  5. That is amazing!! This and other reviews are probably the closest I'll ever get to it, so thank you for all the info!

  6. The lounge is so full of glow-y, rainbow-y goodness! Thank you again for this tour. It's so dreamy!

  7. I wish I had so much more money than I do so I could see this IRL someday. Ngl, I teared up a bit at the end of the video. So amazing! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I'm SO GLAD you were able to experience the magic!

  8. Jen, I have not commented for a long time, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your writing style and tone. It's always like reading a post by a girlfriend who wants to share what mattered to her in any given day--it's fun, it's helpful, it's sincere. So I just wanted to be that girlfriend for a moment and give you a virtual hug back. (((hug))) Have a great week!


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