MEET OUR THEA AWARD RECIPIENT FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: BRAND EXPERIENCE
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, USA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Brand Experience Overview Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a first-of-its-kind multi-day immersive experience with interactive connected storytelling at Walt Disney World Resort based on business model of highly personalized immersive experience, limited capacity and premium pricing. Blending immersive theater, interactive role-play and fine dining, this new adventure in a galaxy far, far away goes beyond anything Disney has created before. The experience follows in the footsteps of Walt Disney who said better to ‘sell 7 days vs. 7 hours’.The experience begins when guests arrive at the Galactic Starcruiser Terminal near Disney’s Hollywood Studios and check in for their voyage aboard the Halcyon starcruiser. Guests enter a Launch Pod and see their world fall away as they jump to hyperspace and draw closer to the starship. When the Launch Pod docks, guests step into the ship’s main deck Atrium to begin their journey. Over the course of their stay, guests have a chance to explore this magnificent ship and become the heroes of their own Star Wars stories. The narrative takes place between blockbuster films “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” The well-appointed cabins (100 in total) feature a viewport out to space that continuously changes throughout the journey. Guests also enjoy out-of-this-world dining and entertainment, experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in new ways, and discover some of the ship’s secrets as their personal adventure unfolds. Throughout the multi-day experience, guests’ choices determine their stories as they interact with characters such as Rey, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren, crew members, droids and other passengers. Guests may be asked to deliver a covert message, take part in a high-stakes heist, defend the ship or hide an ally. The decisions guests make affect how their tales unfold. What sets this attraction apart?
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a highly innovative hospitality and immersive multi-day experience leveraging the development trend of providing more unique and personalized experiences thru integrated immersive storytelling and interactive theater. The immersive experience features thrilling onboard activities, such as learning the ancient ways of the lightsaber, visiting the starcruiser’s bridge to learn about its systems and how to operate them, and playing holo-sabacc in the ship’s lounge. It also boasts a robust and imaginative dining program. Guests can deepen their engagement with characters and storylines by using the Play Disney Parks mobile app and interacting with D3-O9, the ship’s Logistics Droid, via vidscreen and have real-time conversations about their adventures while onboard the ship and participate in secret puzzles. The invention of the background machine on the live performance side – for example, each performer works two days straight, so the characters are the same and consistent for your own journey. Also, there’s a director in the background running the entire 2 day as a live play” – they take shifts for each “cruise”. Databands are exclusive to the Starcruiserand each person receives one to use during the stay connecting guests with their data on the "ship" (as MagicBands do in the park). They allow guests to use simple taps to unlock cabin, participate inside missions, and more. Disney’s Imagineering team is showcasing the future of immersive experiences for theme parks and attractions by focusing on how we change the way people play together, the way stories are told together (immersive theater). It is also not just one story but many stories, integrating state-of-the-art technology with using new real time imagery that runs thru the whole spaceship.
The experience excels in taking the complexity of the branching storytelling, how it becomes specific and individual, how it threads all together, how it makes choices matter, how it accommodates family/group dynamics in the continuity of a 2-day experience. How long did the project take to complete?