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Have you ever dreamed about having your own Star Wars adventure? Now’s your chance to save money while you walk (or rather, fly) in Han Solo’s footsteps and board the Halcyon for a two-night excursion in a galaxy far, far away.
You could save 30% on Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser experience when you book your reservation with the Disney® Visa® Card* or Disney® Premier Visa® Card* for a visit on select dates between May 1 to Sept. 16, 2023. If you don’t have the card yet, you can apply today and the cost of the trip can help you earn either card’s welcome bonus.
We’ll walk you through how each of the Disney cards work, explain the Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser experience and run you through how to save even more on your next Disney trip with the help of a general travel card.
What is the Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser experience?
Join the First Order or become a part of the Rebel Alliance while aboard the Halcyon, where you’ll learn to wield a lightsaber like Luke and fend off a remote-training droid. The choice-driven story experience — think murder mystery dinner show meets escape room and live-action role-playing session — is what you make of it. If you’re looking for a play-by-play of the experience, check out CNET’s sister site The Point’s Guy’s, review.
The deal comes with meals too. Each guest gets breakfast, lunch and dinner on both days, plus one free drink (alcoholic if you’re 21 or older).
It’s a fairly expensive package, ranging from $4,809 to $5,999, depending on which cabin you choose and the number of guests. These prices are based on the Standard Cabin. Using either of the Disney Visa Cards to book your trip could save you a good amount of money. However, it’s only available for specific dates:
- May: 1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 19, 21, 23, 25, 29, 31
- June: 2, 4, 6, 14, 18, 20, 24, 26, 28
- July: 2, 8, 10, 22, 24, 30
- August: 3, 13, 29
- September: 8, 16
Try to book as early as you can — it’s first come, first serve. It’s also worth noting that the 30% offer excludes Galaxy Class Suites and Grand Captain Suites.
How to save on this Star Wars experience with your Disney Visa Card
The best way to save is to book your Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser with your Disney Visa Card. Whether you have the Premier or the version without an annual fee, it’ll knock 30% off the price. However, if you use the Disney Premier Visa Card, you’ll also earn 2% back in Disney Reward Dollars, compared with 1% with the Disney Visa Card.
Here’s how that breaks down using the price estimates above:
Discount savings and rewards
|Package price||Savings with 30% discount||Price after discount||Rewards (Disney Premier)||Rewards (Disney Visa Card)|
|$4,809||$1,442.70||$3,366.30||67.32 Disney Reward Dollars||33.66 Disney Reward Dollars|
|$5,299||$1,589.70||$3,709.30||74.18 Disney Reward Dollars||37.09 Disney Reward Dollars|
|$5,999||$1,799.70||$4,199.30||83.98 Disney Reward Dollars||41.99 Disney Reward Dollars|
For new cardholders, booking one of the above packages with either Disney card lets you meet the spending threshold for its welcome bonus. That means you’d earn either a $300 statement credit with the Premier (after spending $1,000 in the first three months) or a $150 statement credit (after spending $500 in the first three months) with the no-annual-fee version.
However, because the Premier carries a $49 annual fee, you’ll want to subtract it from the value you get from its welcome offer.
Saving over a thousand dollars is a huge boon, and you could use the money you save to cover the cost of a hotel or Airbnb (which you’ll be better off paying for with a dedicated travel credit card that earns better rewards rather than your Disney Visa). You’d also have more rewards to use later with the Disney Premier card.
Before applying for either card, make sure you can afford to pay down your balance in full to avoid interest charges. Between the steep price tag of this experience and rising credit card annual percentage ratings, we don’t recommend trying to finance your trip with a credit card.
Do these cards have lasting value?
Choosing a credit card for a one-time promotion is rarely the best move. However, this is one of the few instances where it could be worth getting the Disney Visa Card simply because you planned to book the Star Wars vacation.
For people who love spending their summers at the entertainment mecca, it’s easy to continue using the card afterward. But if you’re planning a one-off trip, you’ll still get good value from the Galactic Starcruiser discount alone — even if you let the card collect dust in a drawer afterward. Neither card’s rewards are really worth using beyond the discount unless you visit Disney on the regular.
While the Disney Premier Visa does offer rewards for everyday purchases, consider picking a flat-rate cash-back card or dedicated gas or grocery card instead that has more useful redemption options.
In this case, choosing the Disney Visa Card for its lack of an annual fee and access to the Star Wars discount is the most cost-effective option, rather than choosing the card with the higher rewards. Then, you can use a higher-earning travel card to pay for the rest of your vacation costs to maximize your rewards.
Other cards to help maximize your Disney vacation
It’s worth noting that the fine print says you only need to pay the deposit with either card to qualify for your bonus. That means you could use the Disney Visa Card to pay your trip deposit and swap to another credit card that earns more rewards to cover the remaining balance.
Booking the room will likely count as a travel purchase for your card, so you could use any of these great travel credit cards to earn additional points while booking your vacation:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Easily one of the best general travel cards, it earns 2x points for all travel purchases. But it truly shines thanks to its redemption options. You can redeem your rewards for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards to earn a 25% bonus. Or, you could do a bit of extra work and utilize its 1:1 point-transfer rate to Chase’s hotel or airline partners to book your next vacation and potentially get more value out of your points. It also currently features one of the best welcome bonuses around, and the cost of the Star Wars experience would knock out a good chunk of the spending threshold. Even if you don’t book the Galactic Star Cruiser with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can use your Ultimate Rewards points to fund your airfare or other hotel stays.
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card*: Another great option for general travelers with a high welcome bonus. It earns 2x miles per dollar no matter what you’re buying. You can then redeem them for past travel purchases (made within 90 days) at a value of 1 cent per mile. Like with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can use the card or your miles for other aspects of your travel — like your flights or hotel stays for additional nights — when you’re headed to Disney.
- Citi Premier® Card: A well-rounded option. You’ll earn high rewards on travel expenses like the Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser as well as on everyday purchases like gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants. It also includes a $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit toward a single hotel stay of $500 or more when booked through Thankyou.com, excluding taxes and fees.
The bottom line
The Disney Premier Visa Card and the Disney Visa Card could both save you thousands of dollars while booking the Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser experience. But you might be able to save even more if you combine it with another card that earns better travel or cash-back rewards, which you can then use to offset other costs from your vacation.
While the Disney Visa discount can be a great deal if you were already planning to book a Galactic Starcruiser vacation and have the cash on hand to pay for it, don’t let the discount sway you into booking a trip you weren’t intending to take or can’t afford. Despite the fact that both Disney Visa cards come with special introductory financing on Disney vacation packages, we don’t recommend taking on credit card debt for the sake of a vacation. It’s better to save up the cash beforehand — using tools like a high-yield savings account — and then pay off your credit card immediately after booking.
*All information about the Disney Premier Visa Card, Disney Visa Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.