All eyes have been on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the new Star Wars hotel experience coming to Walt Disney World, but hopping a space cruise isn’t the only way to immerse yourself in a brand new Star Wars locale in 2022. Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge is an elaborately themed bar coming to Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish. I got a sneak peek at some of the details — here are some exciting updates to share about the out-of-this world watering hole.
Setting the Scene
Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge is an elegant, high-end bar inspired by the luxe spaces found aboard yacht-class ships like Dryden Vos’ in “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” or among Canto Bight’s casinos in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Rich leathers and shimmering metallic details feel light years away from the grittier vibe of Oga’s Cantina and its inspiration, the cantina in that wretched hive of scum and villainy, Mos Eisley — and yet every bit as Star Wars.
A Seamless Transition
With Hyperspace Lounge located just steps from the Disney Wish’s Grand Hall, moving straight from the fairy-tale splendor of the sprawling atrium’s glittering chandelier and Cinderella-inspired details to a highly immersive space lounge would be jarring, so the Walt Disney Imagineers behind the project devised an incredible solution, explained Danny Handke, senior creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Guest will pass beneath a metallic gold-lined archway into the darkness of a black antechamber — a step Handke called a “palette cleanser” for guests previously immersed in the Wish’s fairy tale spaces — before airlock doors swoosh open to reveal the lounge.
The Galaxy on Display
Once inside, “jewel-colored eye candy” is visible around the room, said Handke. One of the first things guests will zero in on is a Holotube showcasing rotating holographic models of nearby ships (I spotted The Ghost, the ship owned by Twi’lek Hera in “Star Wars Rebels,” during my sneak peek).
The lounge’s jaw-dropping centerpiece, though, is the epic “space window,” a breathtaking high-definition screen displaying ever-changing space vistas, from floating rock to ships cruising (or jumping) by, and planets including Tatooine, Mustafar, Coruscant, and the Forest Moon of Endor. The fruit of another mind-blowing collaboration with Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic, the screen showcases a satisfying highlight reel of deep cuts and newer additions to the Star Wars universe (look out for Ace Squadron starfighters and Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser’s Halcyon). Spoiler alert, but blink and you could miss ships like a Star Tours StarSpeeder or the Eravana (of rathtar infamy).
Travel between planets happens every 7-10 minutes, with hyperspace jumps to each. Determining how to depict the jumps was a serious point of deliberation, Handke said, noting that it was essential to consider the orientation of the ship and the importance of not causing guests to experience motion sickness as a result of visuals on the screen differing from the motion and direction of the ship. Scenes on the portside screen, therefore, move left to right, in sync with the movement of the ship (think Hogwarts Express). For the same reason, the decision was also made to portray a sideways (rather than head-on) jump to hyperspace, only the second time ever in Star Wars history.
Scattered throughout the room are various oddities housed in glass display chambers — creatures and objects from planets like Coruscant and Mustafar (I may have spotted a Coruscanti hawk-bat).
What’s on Tap
More than just a collection of booze, the drink display in Hyperspace Lounge is part of the show. Bubblers filled with colorful liquids similar to those seen on Canto Bight in the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” add interest behind the bar, and spirits are all contained within custom glass vessels with metallic details (no Jack Daniels labels in view here). Elegant beer taps look like works of art, with each design a nod to the planet where the beer hails from — one, unmistakably Mustafarian, gives serious Sith vibes; others look straight from Coruscant or Naboo.
Similar to Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, signature cocktails and exclusive beers each have their own Star Wars origin and backstory, and interactive tasting experiences will be available for adults in the evenings.
Families and children are welcome in Hyperspace Lounge by day, and will recognize iconic John Williams melodies filling the space. In the evenings, as the lounge transitions to an adults-only space, the music will shift to more of a “cantina” vibe (TBD if that means cantina music that’s more DJ Rex or more Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes).
The Disney Wish sets sail on its Maiden voyage June 9, 2022.