How Disney World "Transports" Guests to and From Space on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Walt Disney World is taking guests on a journey to a galaxy far, far away with the launch of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, an immersive two-day experience launching on March 1st. The immersive (and expensive) experience puts guests directly into the middle of the Star Wars story, allowing them to spend a couple of days on what is essentially a cruise through outer space. Guests are "transported" to the Halcyon for its 275th anniversary voyage, and that entry process is a unique experience in its own right.

At a preview event for the Starcruiser, ahead of its March 1st launch, had the chance to take in some of the experience firsthand. The entire experience starts with the boarding process, which is the first sign that the Starcruiser is unlike anything else you've done before. 

Since the Halcyon is in space, and landing it here on Earth would require a lot more room than Disney would likely want to occupy, the experience utilizes transport pods to take guests to and from the ship. The boarding process begins a lot like a standard cruise ship would. You and your companions head to the gates with your luggage and you're brought into a welcome center. That's where the comparisons stop, however. 

The Galactic Starcruiser uses a pod system similar to the one featured in the Rise of the Resistance ride. Guests head into an enclosed room with small "windows" at the top of either side. The room moves a bit as the pod takes off, and you can track the journey by watching through the windows. The trees in view disappear in favor of stars. As you watch, you'll see smaller vessels from the Halcyon attach your pod to the larger ship. Eventually, the pod docks, and another door will open, introducing you to the atrium of the Halcyon Starcruiser.

The same kind of process takes place on the second day of the journey when guests travel to Batuu, aka Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. A pod will take you down to one of the docking bays on the Outer Rim planet, allowing you to enter through a different part of the park than usual. Once the entire trip is over, you'll make your final journey in the pod back down to where you first arrived.

Guests will never see the actual outside world without taking a pod, preserving the mirage of being aboard the Halcyon for their entire stay.