Galactic Star Cruiser Adventure!

At the beginning of the month, I had the privilege of enjoying Disney’s galactic star cruiser adventure with my son. However, our adventure started 6 months prior when Diane Bean, our travel agent with Off On Vacation Travel, contacted me to let me know that Disney would be opening this new experience in March of 2022.  I jumped at the opportunity.  I really wanted to be one of the first people thru this adventure.  Diane found us a slot a month after the Galactic Cruiser opened. The experience we enjoyed is truly one of a kind. There is only one galactic cruiser at the moment, and it is located in Disney World just outside of Hollywood Studios. The premise of the experience is that you go on a star cruise on a galactic cruiser called the Halcyon. The setting is during the time of First Order attempting to take control of the galaxy. While on the cruise, you will have the opportunity to enjoy an excursion to the planet Batuu (Galaxy’s Edge, Black Spire Outpost in Hollywood Studios). Additionally, while on board, you can participate in any number of adventures and missions. In this article I will share some of our experiences with you. Hopefully this will inspire you to tryout out this once in a lifetime adventure for yourself!

Firstly, patrons are encouraged to show up in costume with a backstory. This will allow you to immerse yourself completely in the two-day experience. The cruiser will allow all Star Wars costumes except helmets that completely cover your face. Several X-Wing pilots showed up and were allowed to wear their helmets because they have an open face. They want to be able to tell who is working for Disney and who is a patron. For those that love cos-play, this is your opportunity to wear and use your favorite outfits in a variety of settings, to include two formal dinners! Anyone and everyone can enjoy the experience whether you bring a costume or not. It is not a must, but it does enhance your experience. Lastly, you also can buy costumes and accessories on the ship itself. Now, it’s time to discuss the experience!

Day 1. 

When you arrive at the security the experience begins. The gate guards are well versed in Star Wars lore and begin asking you questions about whether or not you are smuggling spice, weapons or harboring known fugitives. They also check to ensure you are the right passengers for the ship. Once the gate lifts, and you drive thru, you make your way to the Star Cruiser departure terminal. There you will be greeted by attendants who will help you with your luggage, provide you with your wrist band and then direct you to stand in a TSA like security line. The wrist band is vital to your experience on the Galactic Cruiser. It opens your room, gives you access to all the various computer terminals around the ship, and it gives you special access to lighting lanes in Galaxy’s Edge. As my son Nathan and I stood in line, we took in all the various passengers who were dressed in their co-splay outfits ready to start a new adventure.

After you make your way thru the second security check, passengers are sent to a mustering area where you will receive a brief on what to expect on your journey. Vital information about the safety functions of the ship is explained. Once the brief is finished, you proceed to your departure pod which blasts you into space towards the Halcyon, your Galactic Cruiser. It is a great experience as you pass thru the atmosphere, you can watch as your pod docks with the Halcyon thru the small windows above your pod. 

When the Pod doors open you are greeted by the spacious atrium of the Halcyon. To the left you see the bridge, closed and locked down for obvious reasons. As you make your way around the atrium you will see the entrance to the Sub-light Lounge as well as the entrance to the shipboard store where you can purchase clothes, souvenirs, droids and lightsabers. Several members of the crew are scattered around the atrium. They are there to orient you to the ship, instruct you on how to operate your data pad, direct you to your room and explain its features. 

The data pad training can be skipped but I don’t recommend it. First you will need the Play Disney application on your smart phone. This will give you access to the data pad application. The data pad provides you the schematics of the ship, the map of Black Spire Outpost and access to pertinent characters and crew of the ship. This access provides you the ability to interact with the crew digitally in order to accomplish missions assigned to you. Additionally, your wrist band gives you access to terminals around the ship which can provide you missions and digital pass codes to allow you access to sealed off portions of the ship such as Engineering and the Cargo Bay. These same terminals, properly accessed, will also send your data pad information, missions and messages pertinent to your stay and adventures on the Halcyon. 

Your attendant will lead you to your cabin, where you will open it with your wristband. You cannot access any part of the ship without your wristband. Thus, this makes the ship the safest place for kids in all of the Disney parks. Once inside your cabin you are treated to a spacious room. We opted for a king size room which featured two bunks. The room features a window, a data terminal and all the usual features one can expect from a Earthside hotel room. The bathrooms are classically European and very user friendly. Shampoo, body wash and conditioner are provided in the shower. The commode has its own private room. The doors to the room, bathroom and commode are all barndoor style, as if you are really on a starship. The data terminal allows you access to one of the ships protocol droids. The protocol droid is interactive and will answer your questions, sing you a song, tell you a bedtime story and provide you vital information to help you during your stay on the Halcyon. The room is very comfortable and really enhances your experience of being on a starship. 

Your data pad also provides you your itinerary for the rest of your stay. Each passenger’s itinerary is tailored to the overall experiences you previously booked. For instance, during day 2, Nathan and I were scheduled to build droids and lightsabers in the morning. So, all of our shipborne activities were centered around our scheduled excursion to Black Spire Outpost. 

My new armor was not complete, so I traveled with Star Wars shirts and ball caps. Nathan had packed only one formal Jedi outfit. So, we decided to buy a few items in the ship’s store. Once we dressed in appropriate Star Wars attire, we made our way back to the atrium. Nathan was now dressed as a ship’s captain, and promptly renamed himself, Captain Kane! As we walked up from the fifth deck to the sixth deck in our new outfits, we were greeted by Wannee, a beautiful Rodian entertainer. Wannee and Captain Kane had quite the discussion. She spoke Rodian and so did Nathan. Apparently, all his time in front of Clone Wars cartoons taught him a thing or two. 

CPT Kane and I decided to tour the ship. Everywhere we went, the crew saluted my son, conversed with as if he was a Captain, and I quickly fell into the role of his incognito Mandalorian bodyguard. We made quite the pair. 

I don’t want to spoil the whole adventure for folks who are interested in participating. There should be a bit of mystery as to what you will experience. However, I will say that CPT Kane and I participated in many adventures. The main antagonist is the First Order. They were ever present during our space cruise. The storm troopers and their Lieutenant will interact and engage with you if you want. While attempting to avoid the attention of storm troopers, we learned how to run the bridge of the ship. We also did missions with Chewbacca, Hondo Ohnaka and some of the crew. Captain Kane managed to break Chewie out of the brig after dinner on our first night! The culmination of another one of our missions allowed us to open a Jedi Holocron. We also participated in lightsaber training. The neat thing is all the mission’s link to each other. They string together a story and adventure over the course of the two days you are on the ship. Different passengers participate in different parts of the mission in order to accomplish a common goal. At the end of your journey, you see the results of your work. 

During your first night on the ship, you are treated to a culinary delight along with some excellent entertainment. Gaia, from Ryloth, was our main entertainer accompanied by Wannee on her cool space instruments. The First Order made an appearance as they were searching for Chewbacca as well. After dinner there were more missions and an opportunity to learn how to play sabacc. The ship even held a sabacc tournament. The Sub-light lounge is a great place to have a nightcap, and they have age-appropriate drinks for your younglings.

Day 2.

There is one main mess hall on the ship. This is where you take your breakfast, lunch and dinner. As mentioned above, you are always treated to entertainment with your dinner meal. CPT Kane and I started the day with an early breakfast because we had to jump on a transport to Black Spire Outpost. Even though the night time entertainment and food were excellent, breakfast was my favorite meal on the Halcyon. The eggs and fruit were fresh. The meat was cooked just right. I even had gourmet coffee delivered in fine ship’s china to my table. It was a great way to start the day.

We had a 9 am muster to transport to Batuu. Once at muster, we received a quick brief in an acclimation chamber in order to help us adapt to the jungle climate. Then, we boarded a transport directly to Batuu. This transport lacked windows but you were treated to some wonderful local Batuu tunes. 

When you arrive at Black Spire Outpost, you really feel as though you are on planet Batuu. It is an amazing experience. Once we arrived, we had the run of Black Spire Outpost. There were missions to conduct. There were “rides” to ride. Thru the Galactic Cruiser experience, your wrist band gives you lightening lane access to Rise of the Resistance and Smugglers Run. Both experiences have 3 hour waits WITHOUT a lightening lane pass. With the pass, you can run right thru the experiences with no wait. Rise of the Resistance is roughly 25 minutes long. Smugglers run features a smuggling run for Hondo. CPT Kane was granted the privilege of flying the Millennium Falcon! After we conducted those missions, it was time to build our droids. CPT Kane and I both opted to build astromechs because we heard how difficult it was to control a ball droid. Patrons are able to pick out and design the colors and type of astromech they want. You can purchase a personality chip for it as well. Once complete, you place your new droid in a backpack (paid for separately) and carry him/her around the park. The backpack’s are specifically designed for the droid and when open, the droids will interact with other droids at Black Spire Outpost. 

After we completed our droids, it was off to build our lightsaber’s. This is a great experience. You are able to pick out the main design of your saber and you are given a tray of accessories based on your design to customize the saber to your desires. The lightsaber construction experience is quite something because they teach you about the lore of the saber and they treat the crystal choosing as a ceremony. The cool features of these lightsabers include the ability to change out your kyber crystal as well as the ability to remove the blade. I highly recommend saving your money to engage in this cool experience. After your saber is built, they will provide you a bag to carry it in which all airlines will accept as carry-on luggage. 

Once we were done, it was time to grab lunch. We headed back to the ship with our new wares grabbed lunch in the mess hall and then made our way back to Batuu. The transports are quite frequent and there was little to no wait time. CPT Kane and I took our time that afternoon walking around Black Spire Outpost. We went to Oga’s Cantina (the ship schedules a time to experience a drink there). We also made our way to Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. You don’t have to purchase anything and you can still have an awesome experience. There is a tremendous amount of Star Wars lore on display. One of the display’s includes a live baby Sarlacc. You can buy additional blades and kyber crystals in this establishment as well. We made our way down the main market street and noticed a pet shop and a Mandalorian store. We almost purchased a kowakian monkey-lizard. 

Once we were finished experiencing Black Spire Outpost made our way back to the ship. We continued to engage in some really cool experiences and took part in a major space battle. We departed the next morning around 10 am. My son and I were not completely ready to leave. All in all, this was an awesome father-son trip that we will both remember for the rest of our lives. I hope this article gives you a taste of what we experienced and provides you some inspiration to go. CPT Kane and I will return again in a few years. 

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