About Me: My name is Jillian, and I'm the Manager and a travel specialist here at LGT. I'm married to Peter, mama to 3 wonderful boys and 2 crazy house panthers. I love to read, have an unhealthy addiction to the tv series Once Upon a Time, like listening to the ocean and my favorite city is Los Angeles. There's nothing a good strawberry milkshake from In 'N Out can't fix!
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Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
On Thursday, May 18, 2023, the sad announcement came that the Galactic Starcruiser (The Halcyon) was closing.
Wait, let's back up just a little bit.
In 2019, at D23, one of the most ambitious project that Disney has every undertaken was announced. We weren't looking at something that we could actually see here on Earth. This was something that was completely based in someone's mind. Sure, we had stories, but stories are open to interpretation...and everyone's ideas are different.
We did have Batuu, and the Black Spire Outpost. Some of the things that were included in the Halcyon were supposed to be on Batuu, but were now going to be incorporated into the Halcyon. Sweet!! I mean, not really, but, ok, let's roll with it, we're still getting them, in a way. Projects change, and I get that. We're expanding the Star Wars universe, and I'm all for it.
We first thought this was going to be a hotel. Then we were told it was going to be a cruise. Wait, a cruise? But, we can't go into outer space, so, are we getting on one of the Disney Cruise Line ships? Are we reimagining one of the ships? Because that would be cool, I won't lie. Then (as a Florida resident, and mom to a cast member), I saw the construction berms going up while I was driving the kiddo to work. It was a land-based ship! Woah now, this will be different!
When I was little, my younger brother tortured me with everything Star Wars. I had to watch the movies over and over on VHS. I had to play Star Wars with his action figures. He named all of his toys Luke, and everything was a space battle, and the good guys always won. Of course, that made it ingrained in my brain. (I had a serious soft-spot for the murder-bears, more commonly known as Ewoks) I always protested, because I didn't want him to think he was 'winning' by getting to play what he wanted to play, but Star Wars was just as cool to me as it was to him. Princess Leia was everything I wanted to be when I grew up- she was smart, sassy, beautiful, and stronger than any of those nerfherders. She commanded the Rebellion, and everyone listened to her. She created Hope.
After attending the opening of Galaxy's Edge on Batuu at Disney's Hollywood Studio, and seeing the Millenium Falcon for the first time with my own eyes, I knew that I had to be on the Halcyon when it opened. When it was announced at D23, I immediately knew it was going to be expensive...how could it not be? Imagineers from all over were going to pour their brains into this. This wasn't just going to be a hotel, or a cruise...This was going to be IT. You were going to live on the ship. You were going to have dinner with the Captain of the ship. Stormtroopers could shop up at any moment, and I just knew it. You were going to be able to walk into The Black Spire Outpost (I didn't know how, but I knew we would go on planet somehow).
And then, they told us we could dress up.
Are you kidding me?!?!
My mind went bananas! Oh my goodness, what was I going to be? Are you sure we can dress up? Like, really dress up? Only on the ship, or in The Outpost too? For real, for real? Or just a little bit? Per Disney's park guidelines, or full-on for real costuming? I'm pretty sure I asked our manager 10 times if we really could dress up, fully, for this experience, with face makeup and all, because if I was going, or any of you, our clients were going, I did not want to give incorrect information. It was confirmed, we could full on dress up, face makeup and all.
When I tell you that I skrimped and saved, eating mac 'n cheese and frozen pizza for more than a year to be able to do this, I am not lying. I saved every penny I could, and we were able to build our costumes, book the first opening voyage, and I'll tell you, we were completely blown away!
The food, the rooms, the people, the stories, everything was completely immersive. There wasn't a moment you weren't part of your surroundings. Everything was tied into this experience. Nothing was left out. The minute you stepped out of your car, you were completely surrounded by the experience until the minute you departed from the Halcyon. My son Charlie made friends with Sandro, and even got to hang out with Gaya for a little bit, and I ran afoul fighting with Lt. Croy about the way the First Order treated people (channeling my inner Princess Leia for a bit there). Lt. Croy remembered my name the entire journey, even shouting my name from afar throughout the cruise. Charlie even almost won a droid race against a Sith Lord from the 501st Florida Garrison (one of our real life friends from our Star Wars Lightsaber meetups on Batuu with Galaxy's Edge Discord) Charlie was sad he didn't win, but when he realized he almost beat a Sith Lord, he felt a little better about it.
When we finally got back to our quarters for the night, we realized the window looked out to watch the stars, meteors and ships pass by. Here is where my one and only complaint about the entire voyage comes in: The light around the window. I only wished there was a way to turn that light off, because I would have stayed up all night long, watching the stars and ships fly by us. In retrospect, maybe it's a good thing it was there, I probably wouldn't have gotten any sleep at all. Watching those ships and all the stars, and the occasional shoot-out was amazing. There were even jumps to hyperspeed! So cool!!
There's still time to take a voyage on this amazing experience. The Halcyon's final departure is September 28, 2023, and bookings reopen on May 26th. Let's get your cabin secured!