Disney formally announced on Saturday at the D23 Expo that it will open an immersive hotel in Orlando, as part of Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (due 2019), and it has all the makings of a superfan’s wildest dreams. The hotel will feature employees in-costume and in-character at all times, be elaborately designed from lobby to elevator to room as a starship, and include only fake windows with expansive views of outer space. (Apparently, there’s no such thing as a bad room view: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chair Bob Chapek confirmed that “every single window has a view into space,” whatever that means.) Most intriguing — perhaps unnervingly? — each guest who stays in the hotel will immediately enter into their own “story line” and undertake “secret missions.”
Disney officially describes this feature as an interactive experience that will “touch every single minute of your day.” That sounds, well, a little intense. It also sounds a lot like HBO’s Westworld — except, instead of gunslingers and saloon barkeeps, Disney is advertising lightsaber duels and droid butlers. How family-friendly! Let’s look on the bright side here: As long as none of the employees are secretly programmed to go on homicidal revenge missions; as long as there’s no time-jumping funny business; and as long as the programmers themselves aren’t really also part of the interactive experience, thereby making it impossible to distinguish reality and fantasy, we should be fine.