Galactic Starcruiser

In the theme park industry, it is nearly impossible to succeed without continuous innovation and the development of new and exciting experiences to draw in guests. However, some risks come without much reward. 

Join us as we look at 4 of the most expensive theme park mistakes...

1.Rocket Rods at Disneyland - Cost: $25,000,000

Image: Disney

Rocket Rods at Disneyland was conceived as a high-speed thrill ride, utilizing the existing PeopleMover infrastructure. Construction began in 1997 amidst much fanfare. Engineers worked to adapt the track and create a futuristic experience that would rival the enjoyment of the beloved attraction it would replace.

Upon its grand opening, Rocket Rods dazzled visitors with its sleek design and promises of rapid transit. However, technical difficulties quickly plagued the ride, leading to frequent breakdowns and lengthy periods of downtime. The high-speed nature of the attraction also caused strain on the aging infrastructure, resulting in significant maintenance issues.

Despite attempts to rectify the problems, Rocket Rods proved to be financially unsustainable. Eventually, Disneyland made the difficult decision to permanently close the attraction, marking the end of its brief presence in the park. The track and infrastructure remain and serve as a reminder of the enjoyment that once was and the failure that followed. 

2. Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World - Cost: $400,000,000

Galactic StarCruiser
Image: Disney

The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was an immersive hotel experience located at Walt Disney World Resort that opened in May of 2022. It offered guests a unique opportunity to step into the Star Wars universe and live out their own adventure aboard the Halcyon, a fictional starcruiser. Guests would be fully immersed in the story from the moment they arrived, with the hotel designed to resemble a spacecraft. Upon check-in, guests would become part of the ongoing narrative set within the Star Wars galaxy.

The experience included interactions with characters from the Star Wars universe, such as Rey, Chewbacca, and Kylo Ren, as well as the chance to participate in lightsaber training, droid racing, and other immersive activities. Meals were even served in a themed dining room, complete with alien delicacies and entertainment.

From the beginning, fans critiqued the extravagant price tag. The two-night experience averaged at least $5,000 for two people. Many resort visitors argued that they could stay at one of Disney World’s other hotels and visit the theme parks for much less for a family. 

Other guests who did visit the Starcruiser commented that it was not worth the price to visit again, leading to low levels of repeat visitors. Unfortunately, after only a year and a half of operation, it was announced that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser would offer its last voyage in September of 2023.

Continue to read about Son of Beast at Kings Island and X at Six Flags Magic Mountain...


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