The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has claimed another victim at the Disney Parks. As first reported by Blog Mickey, many projects Disney Parks had planned or were already in progress have been defunded. One of those projects is the Disney Star Wars Hotel. As a result of the parks closing and revenue screeching to a halt, the lay-offs have also started. Disney has stated that they plan to continue to pay their full-time Cast Members for as long as they can. Disney executives have already taken pay cuts and now we hear that contractors are next on the chopping block. Contractors are of course used to being in and out of work – it’s the nature of the business they are in – but this time some received the news as early as the day the parks closed.
Disney Star Wars Hotel, Galactic Starcruiser Delayed
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel is still in the early stages of construction. It was scheduled to open sometime next year. The 2-day immersive hotel experience was designed to allow guests to live their own Star Wars adventure. The hotel has been defunded in order to pay for other projects that were further along in the construction process.
The hotel was scheduled to launch sometime next year. With the project now defunded, it is unlikely that happens. How quickly funding returns and construction resumes will depend on how long the pandemic lasts and when the Disney parks reopen. The Walt Disney Company is a massive corporation with a variety of revenue streams, but the parks have long been one of their biggest cash generators. It will take some time to recover from this unprecedented closure.
Hopefully, the Disney Star Wars hotel does not face the same issues that the Pop Century hotel project did following the 9/11 attacks. Budgetary challenges caused the hotel’s plans to be cut in half. The shells of the unfinished buildings sat empty for years until the Art of Animation resort replaced them. Given the prominence of this project and the importance of the Star Wars brand to Disney’s bottom line, that seems unlikely.
Attractions Already Under Construction Continue
Several new attractions were already in the process of being built and are in various stages of construction. Projects such as Tron Lightcycle Run, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure are all still on track to be finished. The funding for these projects is coming in part from the defunding of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel and the money set aside for the EPCOT refurbishment that is already partially underway.
As always, we will keep you as updated on the situation as we can. Keep checking edgeofthegalaxy.com for future updates. We will resume our normal coverage of Galaxy’s Edge as soon as the parks reopen.