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Disney is dropping costly Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a blow to immersive entertainment



The Walt Disney Company is abandoning one of its most adventurous and risky projects today by announcing the end of Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser project. The Galactic Starcruiser, colloquially known as the “Star Wars hotel,” is a two-night stay-at-home theme park that doubles as a live-action role-playing game.

His last day of work is set for September 30th.

“Star Wars: Galactic Battlestar is one of our most creative projects ever, and has been praised by our guests and recognized for setting new standards for innovation and immersive entertainment,” a spokesperson for Walt Disney World said in a statement. “This premium boutique experience has given us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for his latest journey, we will use what we have learned to create future experiences that can bring in more of our guests. and fans.”

Galactic Starcruiser opened early last year, and in our review of the experience, we praised it for its focus on building the world and inviting guests to play. If it worked, we wrote that it would have the potential to revolutionize the way we vacation, but the Galactic Starcruiser ran into a major hurdle from the get-go: cost. A two-day stay for two people started at around $5,000 and then prices increased based on the number of guests or extra amenities. A family of four will need to spend around $6,000 for two nights.

The move appears to be purely a business decision, as Disney emphasized that the Galactic Starcruiser was one of the highest rated in terms of guest satisfaction ratings. But it was also said that Battlestar was extremely expensive to run, primarily because it had about a dozen main cast members who had to perform and interact with guests throughout the work day.

Galactic Starcruiser features about a dozen main cast members who interact with guests over the course of two days.

(Allen J. Cockroaches/Los Angeles Times)

What made the Galactic Starcruiser so special is hard to describe. I took the first paid Starcruiser “flight” and left as a big fan, believing that those who could pay for it would be happy. I wrote that the experience was “perhaps the most ambitious travel project ever undertaken by the Walt Disney Co. since the inception of the original Disneyland” as it simulated space flight and placed guests at the center of a giant live video game.

A lot will happen in two and a half days of vacation. The sweeping narrative of the journey of a galactic starship is a battle for control of the ship known as the Halcyone between the evil First Order and the good guys in the Resistance. There are subplots. Among them: an alien romance, a potential villain who has items to steal, a droid with confidential information, an attempt to rescue Chewbacca, and a one-day quest to capture a TIE fighter, which has scenes involving the famous droids R2-D2 and C-3R0 .

There are multiple entry points throughout the ship to participate. The bartenders make small talk, including stories about their home planet, while pretending that the spiced “lava” drink could actually explode. Your room without a view of the “real world” from the outside is equipped with high-tech monitors that mimic space windows. D3-09, the droid inside the control panel’s video screen, remembers your exploits and even tries to role-play you by asking how you would react to different scenarios.

He was mainly influenced by mass theatrical performances, especially the New York “Sleep No More”, as well as the vibrant board game for the imagination and fantasy “Dungeons and Dragons”.

Passenger on the Maiden's Bridge

A passenger on the bridge of the first “flight” of the Galactic Starship.

(Allen J. Cockroaches/Los Angeles Times)

Plus, it’s now the theme park’s latest victim to have tried to rely on actors and immersive, gaming experiences. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a theme park at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, was presented as a sort of live action game in its own right, but never fully realized that potential as there are a limited number of actors able to create a game-inspired narrative. Disneyland has experimented with real-time role-playing games, specifically the short-lived Legends of Frontierland, which came out in the summer of 2014.

Legends of Frontierland attempted to turn Disney’s original “land” into its own playing field. It was one of several gaming trials that involved Disney SoCal’s large consumer base to see how Walt Disney Imagineering, the theme park arm of the company, could push guests into gaming-inspired endeavors. The Legends of Frontierland game was relatively vague. The guests tried to accumulate small wooden tokens known as “bats” which were used to buy land or bribe others. The goal was to be on the team with the most land.

And throughout the 1990s, Walt Disney World had the Adventurers Club, a favorite nightclub dedicated to fictional exploits, where rocks could come to life, artifacts were haunted, and guests were treated like would-be members. There were old-fashioned radio shows, cabaret-style performances, and a lot of seemingly drunken songs. Filled with puppets, not-so-hidden rooms, and wacky songs, the Adventurer’s Club was more or less an exciting tropical drink theater dedicated to the love of exploration.

But while audiences crave such immersive experiences – even without actors, Galaxy’s Edge is an all-encompassing theme park that’s reminiscent of Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter – being able to create them on a slightly larger scale now remains a challenge that hasn’t gone away. it was decided. During the launch of Galactic Starcruiser, I interviewed Phil Hettema of the Hettema Group, an industry luminary who has worked with Disney, Universal and others in themed entertainment for decades. Hattema noted that the theme park space has been trying to solve the problem of mixing immersive theater and role-playing games for decades.

“Every client we talk to right now – and it’s not just in the entertainment world – experience is everything, and immersion is everything,” Hattema said last year. “Even in commercial branding. I think the only thing that has stopped big things like this is the capital needed to do it and knowing that there is an audience that will pay what it’s worth to make it make financial sense.”

But while the Galactic Starcruiser was the most ambitious immersive project to come from a theme park company, viewers still have options on a much smaller scale. Universal Studios Florida recently launched an escape room in City Walk with Back to the Future and Jurassic Park themed rooms. And then there’s Meow Wolf, which will open its fourth location outside of Dallas this summer. Meow Wolf focuses on immersive art but increasingly adds storytelling to its installations, giving its spaces a frontier theme park feel.

Disney has said it will not abandon the immersive space, but will target a wider audience in the future. Without knowing what the company is working on, one would expect future projects to not have such unaffordable prices, but one-on-one interactions with actors can be a victim, as it has been in many cases in the past. .

“We want to deliver immersive experiences on an even bigger scale, so we’re taking that creative spirit and everything we’ve learned from this 100-room premium boutique to focus on future initiatives that can bring in more of our guests and fans. ”

Guests can book one of the last Galactic Starcruiser flights starting May 26th.


Jamal Sims on how he choreographed “New Cool” for “Pink Ladies”



Choreographer Jamal Sims is no stranger when it comes to creating top-notch dance routines for television and film projects, and his work on the “New Cool” episode of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies only expands his repertoire.

“Because I grew up on this film, I [the choreography] what’s in me, says Sims. Diversity.

The scene set for “New Cool” is reminiscent of a scene from another favorite act from the original Grease movie – complete with overalls, wrecked cars and loads of lube.

“[‘New Cool’ is set] in the mechanics class,” Sims said. “I [knew], saying that it will be compared to “Greased Lightning”. Indeed, this number pays homage to John Travolta’s overtly sexual anthem. Sims says the key difference between the two is “narrative”.

Greased Lightning for John Travolta was all about the male ego,” but for Pink Lady Cynthia (played by Ari Notartomaso), Sims says the number was about “Cynthia expressing who [they are]”.

Notartomaso inspires confidence in the T-Birds during “New Cool” in hopes that their character can join a male outcast group. “In our story, the T-Birds are not as cool as they are in Grease,” Sims said. “Cynthia tells them, ‘You guys have the ability to be the coolest.’ [group at Rydell].’”

Led by Notartomaso, Cynthia takes the reins in what Sims describes as “I can show you better than I can tell you” throughout the issue.

“The T-Birds don’t want it from above,” but Cynthia’s dominant and persuasive nature influences the group. “We see them starting to fit [Cynthia]Sims adds. However, once [the boys] jump in sequence, it’s all about Cynthia and they’re just dancers in the background.”

Sims, too, attributes the number’s success in part to the fact that Notartomaso added his own twist throughout the process. “Ari was so passionate about who Cynthia is,” Sims said. “I let Ari improvise and give her own interpretation because [it’s] the important thing is… that they added their flavor.”

Another subtle delight of “Greased Lightning” comes when Notartomaso and the rest of the Greasers enter a “fantasy sequence” in which Cynthia and their male counterparts are dressed in matching classic T-Bird outfits. “That was important to do,” Sims said. “When you dream of becoming a part of something, and suddenly [Cynthia has] on this T-Bird jacket, [it becomes a] dream come true [moment]”.

The fantasy sequence calls for a series of male moves, which Sims believes describes the story of the Cynthia character arc. “The song… feels masculine and sexy,” Sims said. “[The number] Cynthia expresses who [they are] – This is courageous, rude and implacable.”

The number concludes with the assembly of a makeshift motorcycle, a factor that Sims said was the “hardest” part of the choreography, but which serves as the point of return for the performance.

“[The T-Birds are] building the bike that Cynthia has always dreamed of,” said Sims. And with the support [them] it’s a dream. By the final picture, the dream is fully realized.”

After all, that’s exactly what “New Cool” was meant to deliver. “It was a completely different angle [than Greased Lightning]” said Sims. “But [Notartomaso] quiet [had] edge, and you clearly see that from above – they [just] have it.”

Check out the official “New Cool” video below.

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Actress Sarah Goldberg discusses the final season of ‘Barry’, her character’s dark twist and finale



Actress Sarah Goldberg discusses final season of ‘Barry’, her character’s dark twist and finale – World Today News

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Actor Sarah Goldberg stars as Sally Reed in the fourth and final season of the hit dark comedy “Barry.” Goldberg joins “CBS Mornings” to discuss her character’s dark turn, why Barry and Sally’s relationship is not a love story, and what fans can expect from the must-watch ending.

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