A galaxy “far, far away” is getting closer. Disney (NYSE: DIS) is offering up new details for the Star Wars-themed hotel that will raise the bar at Disney World in terms of lodging immersion. We still don’t have an opening date, as that remains a couple of years away. However, with Disney clearing so much land to expand the parking lot of Disney’s Hollywood Studios ahead of next year’s debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the global theme park leader confirmed on Wednesday that the hotel will be going up adjacent to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
When it opens, it will be Disney World’s most elaborate, exclusive, and naturally expensive hotel among the massive resort’s more than two dozen lodging destinations. Guests arriving on the “starship” will be whisked away to rooms where every cabin window has views of space. Disney may save a bundle in exterior landscaping knowing that guests can’t see outside of their rooms, but the large-screen projections won’t come cheap.
Stories throughout the resort will unfold during guest stays. Folks will be encouraged to wear Star Wars-inspired attire, a suggestion that loosely translates into a clothing boutique onsite that will probably make a killing outfitting guests when they realize that dads in cargo shorts and kids in Kylo Ren t-shirts may seem out of place in this optional cosplay experience.
The power of the dark side
Knowing the actual location of the hotel presently in development isn’t a surprise. It’s been widely assumed — since plans for the ambitious resort were unveiled last summer — that the hotel would be next to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The promotional literature has always promised seamless connectivity to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the 14-acre expansion that will open at the park in the late fall of 2019.
Utility permits were filed two months ago, all but confirming that the hotel would go up just south of the park at the northeast intersection of World Drive and Osceola Parkway. The hope here is that Disney making the location official this week means that the media behemoth is about to break ground.
The interactive hotel won’t be open in time for next year’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge debut or the ninth installment in the iconic Star Wars series that hits theaters on Dec. 20, 2019. Disney doesn’t need it then, as those two events next year will generate enough buzz on their own. Ideally the new property will open in 2021, in time to serve as the crowning achievement of that resort’s fiftieth anniversary. However, since this won’t be an ordinary hotel, it will be hard to tether it to an timeline until we get closer to when Disney’s reservations system will be flooded with lodging requests.
The future is bright for the only Disney theme park in the entire planet to experience a decline in attendance last year, according to industry watcher Themed Entertainment Association. Toy Story Land opens by the end of this month. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the resort’s first Mickey Mouse-themed ride will open next year. Now we have confirmation that the most highly anticipated new Disney hotel will go up adjacent to the park. This slow-moving vessel is about to start picking up some serious speed.
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