Asking Too Much of Guests
Luckily, the adults who attended Adventurers Club needn’t have any relations with the characters inside its walls. Although Hathaway Browne, Madame Zarkov, and the rest were thoroughly entertaining for guests, their primary goal of their visit was to go out, drink, and laugh. The stakes involved were substantially more lax, and made an excursion to the club far more financially reasonable than a weekend-long experience.
Additionally, the price of entry into the Adventurers Club was comparatively slim. An evening’s admission to all fifteen clubs, bars, and music venues in Pleasure Island cost $14.50 in 1989, about $35 in 2023– over 69 times cheaper than one half of a two-adult visit on the Galactic Starcruiser ($2418 as of opening). A two-day journey cost a minimum of $1,498 per person, an unreasonably costly for the average park-going family. In comparison, a one-park ticket for Walt Disney World already forces guests to shell out a minimum of $109 per day per person.
You Aren’t Supposed to Leave
Even as guests shell out thousands of dollars to attend, Disney does everything it can for guests to keep guests from leaving. They don’t even want you to visit Galaxy’s Edge– to embrace the deep-space sentiment, entertainment options lie about to keep guests occupied as much as possible for as long as possible.
Besides the Climate Simulator on Deck 4, every window inside the ship is a spaceport– only one room in the Galactic Starcruiser allows guests to see the sunlight. While this sounds enjoyable at first glance, the human mind relies on sunlight for many of its circadian rhythms– causing some guests to experience cabin fever. Every hotel room has a spaceport that does not show sunlight-- throwing off the built-in indicator of the brain that tells time of day and causing guests distress.
On the other hand, Adventurers Club was only one of numerous destinations inside Pleasure Island– you could enter and exit as you pleased. While the fragile sense of immersion on the Galactic Starcruiser depended on staying stationary, Adventurers Club sought no such requirement. Despite freedom to exit seems like standard operating procedure, the Galactic Starcruiser could not entice enough guests to stay put and pay for a continuous, two-day experience.
The Death of Interactive Theater in Disney World?
While the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser and Adventurers Club are dissimilar in theme, franchise, and era, they both relied heavily on providing entertainment through a structure originating in interactive theater. While guest participation in theatrical experiences at Walt Disney World exist, they are nowhere near the degree of planning and execution that these attractions regularly required.
Turtle Talk with Crush remains a fan-favorite, but requires only one actor (and a host), and the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is only occasionally in an operational capacity. The sheer financial loss of the Galactic Starcruiser and its closure may dissuade Disney and other theme park creators from creating interactive theatrical experiences in the future– but interactive theater as a medium could offer impressive results if given its proper dues.