Ever since I had first heard about it, I was interested in doing it, but it wasn’t until I suggested that Matthew join me in visiting Disney that it became a reality. I’m talking about the Galactic Starcruiser, a Star Wars-themed hotel larp-like experience at Disney World. This is a two-day stay at a hotel that is themed like an intergalactic space cruise ship, but involves live-interactions with cast members, an unfolding plot, secret missions, an “excursion day” on the planet of Batuu (Galaxy’s Edge theme park area in Hollywood Studios) and so much more!
Matthew’s friends from California were looking into doing this experience and had extra room in the suite that they were going to book – I immediately said YES! And despite everything that had been going on for us over the past few months – from trips to Seattle, Prague, New York, buying and moving in to a Key West house etc, I was SO EXCITED for our cruise on the Chandrila Star Line!
From the moment that you emerge from the launch pod (yes, there’s an experience just to enter the hotel), you are fully immersed in this world. There are no windows in the hotel, only screens where you can see the planets outside, and in accordance with the plot, occasionally you see the starburst of lightspeed.
The official events begin at Muster, where the Captain greets us, but is interrupted during a safety briefing by the First Order who board the ship suspecting rebel activity. From then on, you are thrown into an unfolding story where based on the characters that you interact with, you receive missions to complete that either help or hinder the rebels or the First Order – or maybe you play a double agent!
The cast members were so amazing at including everyone, even large groups of people as we completed tasks in the engine room, smuggled Chewie around the ship, helped decode secret messages brought in by the Diva who would perform that evening at dinner, learned to operate the bridge, practiced with light-sabers and so much more.
It felt like being on an adrenaline high for 2 days – there was always something to do and everyone’s experience was a little different. Matthew was invited to a secret Jedi ceremony, while I was officially declared a member of the resistance (Ignite the spark!!). We all assisted the Diva in saving her home planet.
Overall it was an incredible probably-once-in-a-lifetime experience and I HIGHLY recommend it it you have any inclination.
After returning to planet Earth, I went straight to Animal Kingdom, where I met up with Russ and Jax for a day of exploring the park. They were a willing audience to hear me gushing about my Starcruiser experience as I came down from the adrenaline rush of the past two days!
On Thursday, David arrived and set up to work from Alex’s office for the rest of the week. I also had to work on Thursday as I had to attend and present at our quarterly board meeting. Thursday evening, Bethy had managed to get preview tickets to the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie, so we had a great night out. On Friday, I meet up with Russ and Jax at Magic Kingdom and we had another fantastic park day.
Saturday was the day that David would join us in the park. Bethy and I woke up early in order to secure our place in the virtual queue for the Guardians ride – which she is amazing at and got us in Group 2!
It so happened to be also right around the time that the coronation was happening in England, so amazingly I was able to watch this historic moment.
We did Epcot in the morning and then park hopped to Hollywood Studios in the afternoon so that David could see the Star Wars land, returning to Epcot for a huge pizza dinner! It was a fantastic day out with the 6 of us, we were able to ride all the rides we wanted and enjoyed good food, drink and company.
After an incredible week with friends, we flew back to Baltimore and Highwind. We’ll be wrapping up our winter projects and readying her to cruise for the summer – our first real boating after 6 months.