REVIEW: First On-Ride Impressions of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

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Editor’s Note: A very fortunate traveler to Batuu has reported back from Black Spire Outpost and relayed their experiences to us for the information of future travelers. The following is a recollection of their flight aboard the Millennium Falcon. Your interplanetary mileage may vary.

One word: Incredible.

Other accolades apply, of course; amazing, authentic, transformative, detailed, inspired. They all amount to the same thing. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be––no, is incredible.

In a mere handful of days, Disney’s eagerly-awaited new land will be opening inside Disneyland Park. Early unveiling has commenced for the few and fortunate. Cast Members and their invited guests can now explore much of Batuu and test ride the one available attraction: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Just seeing it is an experience. Following the incredibly creative example of Cars Land, and more recently, Pandora, the new Star Wars scene positively transports you to a movie set far, far away. The level of detail and authenticity drag you into another galaxy. The sights, sounds, and eventually the smells… most guests will never realize that the entire area was once––up until very recently––a backstage maintenance facility.

The attraction itself simply adds to the feeling. Guests wind their way through a convincingly fashioned spaceport for a time until making their way, undeniably, onto the decks of a perfectly-reconstructed Millennium Falcon. True to the brand, the queue is part of the adventure, which is fortunate, as guests will be spending a fair amount of time in it. The queue is insanely detailed, think Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom detailed.

It takes a while to get from the head of the line into a seat on the ride. Part of that is intentional. There are several pre-show segments, and a number of hallways and flight decks. Then, there is the fact the entire area is going to be beset by more humans that can practically fit into any limited space, despite what Disney hopes to alleviate with the novel reservation system.

Once in the captain’s chair, the sense of nostalgia is almost overwhelming. The rumors and fleeting online glimpses are true. The ride itself takes place within a true-to-life Millennium Falcon flight simulator.

Veteran Walt Disney World guests will immediately recognize similarities with the much-beloved Star Tours. I’d say the two experiences are parallel in terms of thrill level. While many would liken this to Epcot’s Mission: SPACE attraction due to flashing interactivity and scripted expectations, you really are in full control of your flight experience with the Falcon. That being said, if you incur damage on your journey, you will see it… and feel it.

Six guests at a time enter the legendary Millennium Falcon cockpit, adopting one of three roles: pilot, gunner, and engineer, and are then arranged into two rows, accordingly. The assignment is not strictly nominal. Should you choose to––and you ought––each flier has a series of duties to fulfill. The captain has certain flight responsibilities, gunners get to shoot at potential targets, while engineers are charged with fixing damage wrought by the actions of the others.

All the while, beyond the segmented flight screen, a dramatic galactic adventure unfolds. It can be difficult to focus upon and properly appreciate the space age creativity, what with all the button pressing and piloting going on. Try to balance your responsibilities with the available passive enjoyment, or you may come to the end feeling as though you have missed something. For those who want a more hands-off experience, there are autopilot buttons in the cockpit. You have the option of just setting them and simply enjoying the ride.

Smugglers Run fulfills a lifelong dream for many to pilot the Millennium Falcon, and the level of detail is above all that has preceded it. This, combined with the variations in each ride, will make this a highly repeatable experience for guests… despite the fact that it’s really just the world’s largest arcade gaming cockpit.

You can always ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run again, and you should. Who knows, though, when you’ll get that next opportunity.

About the author

Jessica Figueroa

Jessica lives in South Florida with her 15-pound cat Gordo and a small army of Tsum Tsums. You can contact her, ideally with photos of your cats, at [email protected]

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Ro Robinson
Guest
Ro Robinson

What is your take on disability and plus size riders for this attraction?

Marjiscott
Guest
Marjiscott

The disabled rider must be able to sit in a cockpit chair and close the seatbelt to enjoy this ride. I was on it yesterday, bringing my wheelchair with me.

Justin
Guest
Justin

Any idea how long the seatbelts are? Disney is usually pretty forgiving on seatbelt lengths?

Robert Clark
Guest
Robert Clark

My wife is in a wheelchair and was able to transfer and ride twice on the ride today…

Victor
Guest
Victor

Plus size riders are not an issue.

Hilly
Guest
Hilly

This description is the realization of my cautious optimism for this attraction. It sounds like the coolest part about this is actually leading up to the actual ride, being able to walk onto the Falcon. But the ride itself really doesn’t appear to be that innovative… just a juiced up Star Tours, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Mark
Guest
Mark

But you can control this one…that’s why it’s innovative. Very exciting!

sknf
Guest
sknf

Despite all the breathless hyperbole, this one sounds pretty rote. OK, so it’s the Millennium Falcon. Still a screen-based simulator. Been there, done that…heck, it’s a remake of a ride that’s still in the same park! Hate the “interactive” echoes of Mission: Space…I’ll be going autopilot all the way. Much more interested in Rise of the Resistance. Is there an opening date for that yet?

Gordon D
Guest
Gordon D

Ugh, I hope my wife and I don’t get paired with non-participants. Just riding = letting everyone else do the work, while at the same time, taking them out of the experience.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

@Gordon – you have the option of going auto-pilot. TBH, other players going auto-pilot might actually make you more successful in your role lol. I don’t want the ship to crash while I’m blowing up stuff!

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

Everything I’ve seen on the other ride is that it’s basically the Indiana Jones/Dinosaur concept. Slap Star Wars on something, and the hyperventilating fans eat it up. And yet, it doesn’t seem that there’s much truly new here. The big problem for me is, I don’t like Star Wars at all. It has never really interested me.

Kevin H Jones
Guest
Kevin H Jones

Being witness to the unfortunate turning away of oversized guests upon them not being able to fit in the Flight Of Passage simulators, I would hope those few people found it to be the necessary kick in the pants to make a lifestyle change in advance of Galaxy’s Edge. A week at Disney beats weekly trips to Golden Corral, hands down.

DC Clark
Guest
DC Clark

Not everyone is plus sized because of a buffet.

ZebraGirl
Guest
ZebraGirl

wow Kevin, I hope to grow up to be as judgemental as you one day… you are the pinnacle of rude, was it hard getting that far in life or just a natural born gift to have a pop on the web. Takes guts from your keyboard eh?

jose
Guest
jose

lol I went to google tsum tsums hahahah nice!

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

Do you think this ride is okay for someone who experience motion sickness?

Robert Clark
Guest
Robert Clark

I rode it twice today. It moves less than Star Tours.

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

Sounds like … Star Tours. Really? More than 30 years later, we’re still stuck on a screen-based motion simulator? And a queue that’s basically Indiana Jones. Gosh, a lot of people sure have bought into a bunch of hype.

Mike
Guest
Mike

How else would you propose to create a ride that provides the experience of piloting the Millennium Falcon? There is no other way to do it, unless you believe Elon Musk is going to work with Disney to actually blast you into space.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

This is a very bad description of the ride …. but I think it’s because the author doesn’t want to go into too much detail and spoil the whole ride for the rest of us. I see this as an awesome simulator video game. Why do people keep comparing to Star Tours? MFSR is a small enclosed cabin with 6 people – not 30….totally different experience.

MagicMaker
Guest
MagicMaker

Regardless if it was you or not that visited the land, shared this information, and took the pictures and video that’s being circulated around it’s because of people like you and those that share stuff like this why Disney hates doing previews for Cast Members

Tom Corless
Admin
Tom Corless

Maybe they don’t usually do them because everything is behind schedule?

Ignacio
Guest
Ignacio

The ability of the pilot will impact the outcome of the ride. We were fortunate enough to get on twice. The first time our pilot did a very good job maneuvering thru the obstacles on the screen. At one point i thought this is a really long ride. The second time around our pilots were not paying attention and kept crashing into everything making our trip pretty short.

Jen
Guest
Jen

I enjoy Star Tours, and while I rode Flight of Passage I’m embarrassed to say that the motions in FoP scared me a little (I’m not a roller coaster fan). Does Smuggler’s Run have those same fast-dropping sensations?