CONCEPT ART: First Look at Immersive Guest Transport System for the Star Wars Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Since being announced right here on WDWNT.com (and Disney confirming it a few months later), there has been a lot of discussion among Disney fans trying to figure out just how Disney will transport guests from the upcoming Star Wars Hotel to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The immersive hotel experience (with the current proposed name Star Wars: Galactic Journeys) is set to fully-encapsulate guests in the Star Wars universe, putting them aboard a 2-night, 3-day space cruise on the Chandrila Star Line. The resort will close guests off from the real world with projection windows displaying scenes from outside of the space cruiser, so a transportation system would need to do the same.

Disney has even released concept art of what the shuttle would look like, in story at least:

Concept art of a guest shuttle for the Chandrila Star Line (Star Wars Hotel)
Concept art of a guest shuttle for the Chandrila Star Line (Star Wars Hotel)

Well, here’s what that transport actually looks like…

The intergalactic transports for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge are actually heavily modified buses.
The intergalactic transports for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are actually heavily modified buses.

No, it’s not the “Black Box” ride, it’s a heavily modified bus. Guests will enter from a jetway which will put them inside the sealed-off center section of this bus. They won’t see a driver, nor the outside world of Central Florida, at least not until they disembark at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

The jetway keeps Star Wars Hotel guests from seeing that they aren't actually in space.
The jetway keeps Star Wars Hotel guests from seeing that they aren’t actually in space.

A look inside the transport from above reveals a limited number of seats, all facing inwards. It appears as though even this short bus ride will be a rather intimate experience you may never forget.

The inside of the transport is heavily themed, leading guests to believe they are in a space capsule on its way to a day of vacation fun on Batuu.

The experience is completed by large screens that act as windows out into space. This should make for a pretty neat arrival in Black Spire Outpost starting with seeing Batuu from space.

So, what do you think? Are you excited to visit the Star Wars Hotel at Walt Disney World and take an intergalactic bus ride? Will it be in your budget? Well, you do still have a bit of time to save before it opens in time for the 50th anniversary of WDW.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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Mr. Incredible
Guest
Mr. Incredible

It shouldn’t be a bus, it should be a short monorail because a bus rocks back and forth and hits bumps. Travel in the vacuum of space is smooth.
Unless they have the middle part of the bus where the guests sit on an independent suspension system so it masques all of the bumps and jostling experienced on a bus.

Meg
Guest
Meg

The whole Star Wars themed hotel sounds too niche for me. I can’t recall – will it be based on the original trilogy or the sequel trilogy? Or something completely new? As far as I’ve seen, galaxy’s edge has been a miss for Star Wars fans (not Disney Star Wars) due to it being based on the sequels. If the hotel is going the same route, that would be disappointing. This would be cooler, in my opinion, if it were just generic space themed. But then again, I like sunlight…so idk how I’d feel in a hotel for 2-3 days… Read more »

Hilly
Guest
Hilly

I’d have to somewhat agree with you. I am a HUGE Star Wars fan, but for some reason this whole hotel idea seems like it’s missing the mark for me.

Giwreh
Guest
Giwreh

It 99,9% sure, would be completely new, as that is how Disney can avoid an IP-rights clash at the moment the actual contract between Lucasfilm & Disney breaks off. (Which IS possible, everything of that kind is possible in the film media world) The whole setup of the Batuu thing, seems to be based on that lawyers driven concept.

Ryan M Thompson
Guest
Ryan M Thompson

The idea that Galaxy’s Edge has been a failure is a poor rumor. Disneyland’s version has lower than expected numbers, but that’s because Disneyland raised ticket prices up to $149 during it’s opening, AND a large majority of their passholders were on blockout for the months it released. Disney World’s version is seeing bigger previews, and has a lot of sold out dates for the major attractions. it all is based on Sequel trilogy, would be weird walking around bumping into characters like young Luke or Leia and then later see Darth Maul or something… they want this to feel… Read more »

Malum
Guest
Malum

There are other hotels. This is a seasonal hotel for Star Wars fans

Bus non-rider
Guest
Bus non-rider

A bus? Seriously? Weak sauce, Disney.

Austin Ray
Guest
Austin Ray

I guess you expected it to be an imperial transport that flys you into the park?

Bus non-rider
Guest
Bus non-rider

Obviously not. But come on, at least a small monorail or smooth train. Something in a tunnel to give the illusion of being transported in a high-tech manner. As Mr. Incredible noted, a bus isn’t a smooth method of travel. This just looks like an airport jetway to a bus. It looks cheap.

Debbie Downer
Guest
Debbie Downer

Fine. You walk, we take the bus.

Bus non-rider
Guest
Bus non-rider

Eh. I just thought Disney could do better. I’m genuinely shocked that others aren’t disappointed in this. I guess I’m the crazy one. Hopefully the reality is better than what’s being shown here.

Giwreh
Guest
Giwreh

Raise prices for the hotel room with yet ANOTHER $250 per night …, and they could do better … lol …. haven’t you understood that everything is connected to MONEY ? :-)

Hiya Pal
Guest
Hiya Pal

I was a little concerned about this being like that episode of Dr Who on the transport with no windows, but if it has projections like the Hogwarts Express, it should be pretty cool!

Joey
Guest
Joey

I give them an A for effort but won’t the guests immersive bubble be popped once they arrive in Batuu and see me standing there in my Jessica Rabbit tee and my Heidi Klum Minnie ears?

Lars
Guest
Lars

THIS.

Thomas McCarthy
Guest
Thomas McCarthy

I still not sold on the idea of a hotel with no windows I’m definitely not interested in a bus with no windows in it either.

gidget
Guest
gidget

Yes, I suspect that all these ‘immersive environments’ will just trigger my claustrophobia if I can’t see out a damn window!

Juan
Guest
Juan

This looks pretty cool! But with all the trouble they are going with for complete immersion, I can’t believe they aren’t allowing guests to wear non-mask Star Wars costumes

tvnutt
Guest
tvnutt

I thought the guests will be getting costumes? Did I read that wrong?

Ese Vato
Guest
Ese Vato

It should be a ’65 Chevy Impala lowrider complete with bouncing hydraulics and a chain link steering wheel

Agnes Weessies
Guest
Agnes Weessies

Being handicapped, with only very short range walking ability, how are mobility scooters accommodated? I would hate to think those physically challenged are excluded.

Chloe
Guest
Chloe

Hopefully there’s an attendant on board. All transportation needs to be wheelchair accessible. It’s the law.

Matt
Guest
Matt

A bus with no windows. just think of the trip back with someone that has Batuu sausage farts.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

People will complain, of course. They can’t help it, they live for it.
But it’s actually a pretty cool themed way to do transport between the hotel.
A monorail would be an extremely expensive option for a very, very small hotel.
That wasn’t going to happen.

Melanie B.
Guest
Melanie B.

I agree, they can make this work really well and blend the experience from the hotel from the park nicely. I’m sure they will do a beautiful job– as others have said, the Hogwarts Express gives them a standard to meet or beat!

Stephen Freitas
Guest
Stephen Freitas

This is a massive mistake! The transport needs to be a rail system like the Hogwarts Express at Universal. As a bus it’s transportation. As a rail experience it’s an attraction. Perception is everything. Spend the extra money Disney.

Remy
Guest
Remy

If you do the star wars experience do you get to go outside of star wars land when you go to the parks? That doesn’t make sense that you would it seems like people participating in it would have to be separated from all others at Star Wars land. Maybe there will be a back entrance experience that is private to those participating in the star wars experience. Also is Star Wars land big enough to entertain guests as the sole source of attractions?

Ken
Guest
Ken

What I’ve read is that you’ll do a number of activities on the space ship, then go on “missions” in Batuu using the transport to get there. You’ll likely have access to areas that are not open to regular guests.
I’m sure they’ll have enough to do to fill up 2 days of activities.

robert l epps
Guest
robert l epps

I would assume that those few guests would also be getting special missions and additional to do. (at that price I would expect it.) special integration with rise of the resistance would be appropriate if kylo ren boards the cruise liner later looking for a particular spy that may or may not be hidden in the ships travelers.

Ken
Guest
Ken

I think if they have a super smooth road that’s dedicated to this bus and a heavy duty suspension it will work fine.
The Hogwarts Express *is* a train so having an actual train with swaying, etc. works perfectly.
You don’t want any sensation of bumps while flying a space ship, so unless they used a maglev train (which would be crazy expensive) a bus is a good way to go if it is engineered properly.

smxp
Guest
smxp

The critical comments here are hilarious. This is the most amazing immersive experience ever. Star Wars fans will be willing to give their right hand to go once it’s actually open.

Sven
Guest
Sven

First of all, thank you for this wonderful description of what ist all planned about the new Star Wars Hotel.
I was very excited to see the Hotel in 2021, when we come back all the way from Germany to Central Florida. But for sure this is not in my Budget. I hope to get a chance to see the Hotel without booking a Star Cruise.

Best greeting from Hamburg, Germany