Good Journey’s! Disney’s brand new Galactic Starcruiser is truly something out of this world. The new resort opened in March 2022 and I feel so fortunate that my family got to experience this unique adventure recently. It’s hard to put into words what it is, but it’s not just a hotel by any means.
You and your family live in a movie for two days, where everything you do is part of a story line or action sequence. Your experience takes place aboard the Halcyon – a luxury starcruise part of the Chandrila Starline. – CSL. The Halcyon is gorgeous and every detail makes you feel like you are staying in outer space. But don’t be fooled: this won’t be any normal interplanetary cruise.
While on board you will decide your own path in this immersive adventure and your story changes and evolves as the cruise sails on. You will find yourself lost in a world with characters so unique and storylines that seem like they came right from the movies. You won’t want your adventure to end.
Here are my 20 tips for the Galactic Starcruiser with kids.
BEFORE YOU BOOK THE GALACTIC STARCRUISER
Is the Galactic Starcruiser right for your family? This was one of the biggest questions we have been asked and I’d say you need to consider these two major aspects yourself.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 1: Consider age of children.
I personally think in order to get the most out of this experience and the cost, the best age is 7+ for this adventure. Your child will want to participate on their own and that will require use of a datapad (aka cell phone) throughout their journey. If your child can handle that then it might be a great time to go. I did see several younglings on board but they can’t participate in every activity as normal. Modified experiences for those under 7 are provided, such as droid racing and light saber training. They will be labeled as Loth-cat activities. While these are equally as fun, they do mean part of your family gets split up at times.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 2: Willingness to interact.
You don’t need to be a massive Star Wars fan to enjoy this cruise, but it certainly helps! Rather, your willingness to be involved and interact with people plays the most vital role. To maximize your experience, you will want to speak to cast members, fellow guests and be a part of the action around you. I am an introvert and I even ran around speaking to strangers on board. You don’t need to know every detail of Star Wars either, Disney designed this so that everyone can really enjoy this.
BEFORE YOUR GALACTIC STARCRUISER ARRIVAL
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 3: Plan your costumes.
You don’t have to dress up at all, but this was a really fun way for my entire family to get excited before our trip. Even if it was just a Star Wars themed tee shirt, most people on board were dressed up in some capacity. Some guests wore fully immersive costumes based on their favorite Star Wars character while some wore their favorite Chewbacca tee. There was a full range onboard, but many went down the middle like us. We did more of Disney bounding attire, while our kids wore costumes. Disney will send you a link to exclusive costumes about 30 days before you arrive, which is only for those booked on the Halcyon. We decided to just build our own outfits and found lots of inspiration online. Just make sure whatever you wear it’s comfortable for lots of moving around.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 4: Get the Disney Play App.
Everyone in your traveling party will need a Disney play account – yes even the padawans! Set this up early before you arrive. You can actually begin to explore the app months before your journey and that was equally as fun. You will watch your itinerary begin to form, get messages from the cruise and explore the ship virtually.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 5: Book your excursion at 60 days.
At 60 days, just like in the parks, you can call to book special experiences while on your Batuu excursion day. You can call to book Oga’s Cantina, Savii’s light saber building and the Droid Depot. You will have a special line to call and times are reserved especially for those on the Halcyon. Most people have had no issue booking those experiences even closer to their sailings. It’s important to use the special hotline so that your times are added to your Disney play app itinerary. While these are fun experiences to fit into your day, I personally recommend doing this another time if possible. Your time on Batuu will be fast and limited and these experiences can take up a good chunk of your time.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 6: Plan your arrival day.
Disney will work with you to get you from your other Disney resorts and transfer luggage. Make sure you call ahead or speak to your resort guest services to make sure this is arranged ahead of time. Some guests arrived by taxi or uber as well and can be dropped off right at the door. Valet parking is included and required. There is no busing to other parks from the Galactic Starcruiser either. I recommend arriving in Disney or the Orlando areas the day before if possible to maximize your time and arrive refreshed.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 7: Book a photoshoot and thank me later.
Disney is offering a steal of a photoshoot for guests on board the Halcyon. It’s called the CSL photoshoot and it’s a 30 minute photo session on board for $99. You get all the images taken and there is one photographer and one lighting specialist with you. The locations you can access vary by the time of the day you book but the photos are really quite amazing. They do book fast and are limited. I recommend a time mid day on Day 2. Guests will be off the ship on Batuu and more locations are available. I cherish these photos that really captured the adventure we took together. We got 40 images from our 30 minutes and brought all our own props. I cherish these photos and I think the photographers did incredible.
ARRIVING AT THE GALACTIC STARCRUISER
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 8: Arrive slightly later than 1pm.
This might not be a popular opinion but everyone wants to arrive at 1pm and be on the ship first. You can arrive anytime between 1-4pm. We arrived at 12:45pm and waited about an hour outside to get to security. The wait wasn’t terrible but when you have kids who are really excited to get on that ship, it can feel longer. The line dropped dramatically after 2pm. And people who arrived at that point simply walked up to check in. While you wait on the line a cast member will check your family in, give out your special databands (magic bands).
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 9: Datapads for everyone.
Everyone in your party will need a cellular device on this trip to get the full experience. Disney is currently providing guests cell phones for those that do not have one. We used one of Disney’s devices for our youngest and it worked perfectly. They provide a charger and the cell phone comes with a hard outside protective cover.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 10: Security Check in requires scanners.
When you arrive at the terminal you go through x-rays just like at the parks. Because you won’t be going through scanners to enter Galaxy’s edge you go through the screening process here. Your luggage will also go through scanners just like at an airport. We kept one important bag with us but it wasn’t even necessary since our luggage beat us to our cabin.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 11: Go to lunch!
You can get so busy during the arrival time period you might forget about lunch. It runs from 1-4pm. All meals are included on board and each seating has unique offerings you won’t want to miss.
ENJOYING YOUR GALACTIC STARCRUISER STAY
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 12: Interact with everyone you can.
The biggest thing I have to say it speak to as many cast members/actors as you can on board. Get involved and walk up to groups talking to the captain or cruise director. Explore the ship because you never know when you might stumble upon a fun adventure with Chewbacca in the engineering room.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 13: Go to Batuu early.
Your itinerary will list a time for our transport to Batuu but these times are flexible. We went to Batuu on the earliest transport and Galaxy’s edge was a bit empty at that point. It also gave us time to explore and do missions.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 14: Use the free lightning lane passes.
Part of your cruise includes complimentary lighting lane for both Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run. Don’t skip these because riding these is part of your journey. Riding them was part of our missions. It was a nice perk to be able to walk right on these rides.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 15: Visit Oga’s.
Even if you don’t have a reservation for Oga’s Halcyon, guests get to go right in! Yes, another perk of the cruise. We didn’t know about this until we walked up and a cast member asked if we wanted to come in. She spotted out special Halcyon pins and got us right in. You might even have a special mission to complete like we did there.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 16: Don’t Use your meal credit.
This might also not be a popular opinion either but the shop has such unique food options that we didn’t want to miss it. You get a lunch credit on Batuu to use at docking bay 7, but we thought we could do that anytime we were in Galaxy’s Edge.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 17: Buy Souvenirs.
Visit the Chandrila Boutique on board before the end of day 2. The boutique on board is gorgeous and feels like a fancy high end boutique. Be sure to do your souvenir shopping before the end of day 2 as the store is closed on departure day. There were many upset fans that day realizing it was closed. The items on board are exclusive to guests staying on the starcruiser. There is even a special pop up shop outside the terminal with different items on the day you disembark.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 18: Ask for free water bottles.
One of the perks of staying at the Halcyon is getting free cold water bottles on Batuu. We used that often during our excursion day. It can get hot and let’s face it bottled water purchases can add up. They also provided cooling towels and rumor has it ponchos on rainy days. There is a very nice area to sit and cool off and relax just for Halcyon guests.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 19: Bring a power chargers.
I can’t stress this enough but bring back up cell phone chargers or power cables. My cell phone battery was drained by lunch time each day. Between missions and taking videos and photos, it couldn’t keep up with it all. I used a power charger and the concierge desk actually had replacements for us as well. In addition, the Halcyon had power charging ports throughout the atrium.
Galactic Starcruiser Tip 20: Screenshot your datapad.
I had no clue how invested I would become with the interactions with the cast and crew. The day you check out your datapad is cleared and no messages will remain. I was really disappointed to see this and wish I had screenshotted some of the back and forth between us and the crew on our datapads.
We had the best experience traveling on the Galactic Starcruiser. I initially went into this journey saying it was a “one and done” type stay and we’d never do it again. Boy was I entirely wrong. The moment the hatch doors closed and our shuttle was returning down to earth we looked at each other and said “we must do this again!” We fell in love with this experience and every aspect of it. Disney has created something truly unique and different here and I for one can’t wait to go back in the future.