Last weekend some of the REA team traveled to outer space aboard The Halcyon, Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser.
We created Star Wars identities for ourselves, met characters, learned skills, accomplished missions, and watched scenes play out right next to us.
As REA writer Richard Burns described it, “It felt like we were IN a new Star Wars movie that not very many people had seen yet. It was a new story and we were part of it. We weren’t the stars of this movie, but we were standing right next to the stars and we were talking with and helping the main characters.”
The improv acting was outstanding. It really made the scenes… especially how the cast interacted with the kids, and played to the adults. The cast was incredible.
The non-performer cast were also committed. For instance, our server was all-in on our bit with our buddy Moss (from the planet Escaparium, who traveled with us) sharing our drinks.
The other people on our voyage who were fully engaged added to the experience. Their costumes, backstories, and commitment to the world made our experience better.
The beautiful “ship” and the alien food and drinks were impressive, and more of a highlight than we were expecting. They managed to make the cuisine strange and also very appealing, which was no small feat.
We didn’t enjoy every aspect of our “planet side” trip to Batuu. The missions were the weakest part of the experience and detracted from the park. However, the trip to Batuu was so worthwhile because the Star Wars rides were that much more powerful when we were living in a Star Wars universe (and costumed!) Plus the transport from our ship was pretty cool… and some of our group stumbled into bringing some secret cargo back with them!
The finale was more powerful than any of us were expecting, whether because of nostalgia, the acting, the score, the effects, or the fact that we’d spent two days living in the world, it delivered for everyone in our group.
Disney got a lot right… and not very much wrong. However, in doing so, they ended up with a product that the world wasn’t quite ready for. It was both too expensive (for regular folks wanting a Disney vacation) and not expensive enough (for the incredible production with such a large staff.)
It’s a huge loss to our industry that this experience is closing. We enjoyed it as players. We loved it even more as experience and event designers, and we’re eager to take from it into what we create next. We’re so glad we took this voyage.
We’ll be doing a longer piece that’s more in the weeds later. Stay tuned.
Thank you to our Patreon backers. It was you, our community, who convinced us to take this voyage, and it was so worth it.
Special shout out to those who joined this month: Zach Bradham
Abi · Kwest Club
Chris M. Dickson
Eliviascape (Pat Toupin)
Haley & Cameron Cooper
Jacob Sager Weinstein
Jan-Luc Van Damme
Jess and Troy Seidl
Keystone Escape Games ( Mark )
Laura E. Hall
Lavender Dawn Irven
M. Sean Molley
Neil Patrick Harris
The Ministry of Peculiarities
The Wild Optimists
Victor van Doorn
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