- Disneyland’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area features a brand new ride called Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
- Six park guests at a time take a seat in the iconic “Star Wars” spaceship and use buttons and levers to control the ship’s movements as a video screen makes it seem as if you’re really flying.
- Multi-tasking during the ride can be overwhelming, but it’s a ton of fun.
- You’ll want to strategically place people in the three various positions (pilot, gunner, and engineer) based on their skills.
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Disneyland’s brand new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land is packed with new shops, eateries, and interactive experiences. The most immersive of these is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, a new attraction which allows guests to literally take the controls of the iconic “hunk of junk” spaceship and fly on a dangerous mission.
During the opening celebrations for Galaxy’s Edge, INSIDER rode this new Millennium Falcon ride twice, and we’re here to give you the rundown of what to expect (and which pitfalls to avoid) when you ride.
The ride’s story focuses on Chewbacca and a character from ‘The Clone Wars’
The story of Smuggler’s Run starts with Chewbacca bringing the Millennium Falcon to the Black Spire Outpost following the events of 2018’s Star Wars movie, “The Last Jedi.” Chewy needs to get the ship fixed up, and so he makes a deal with Hondo Ohnaka – a smuggler you might recognise from “The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels” animated series.
Hondo wants to use the Millennium Falcon to steal coaxium, but first he needs a flight crew.
That’s where the park-goers will come in.
There are interactive elements in the line for the ride itself
Once you make your way up towards the front of the line, a maximum of six people to a group will be given a set of colour-coded cards with three different seat assignments.
Then you get to hangout inside the Millennium Falcon itself as you wait for your boarding group to be called.
While you’re waiting, look for “Star Wars” Easter eggs like Luke Skywalker’s training remote and helmet from the scene in “A New Hope” when he was first practicing with a lightsaber in the Millennium Falcon.
There are also Porg nests, since this ride was designed with the events of “The Last Jedi” in mind.
While waiting, you might hear a series of alarms and bangs going off. That means the group currently flying the Millennium Falcon is making some fatal mistakes. If you’re in the room when this alarm sounds, look for a flashing red button you can press to deploy a quick repair.
Many of the buttons and levers around the entire interior of the ship are designed for you to play with.
But on the ride itself, you’ll want to be strategic about who sits in which position inside the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit.
Every person on the ride takes on a ‘job’ – each with varying degrees of necessary skill
Each person will either be a pilot, a gunner, or an engineer. The two pilots sit in the very front, with the gunners behind them and then the two engineers in the far back. If you’re group has fewer than six people, then those empty seats are simply not activated (and it won’t effect your ability to fly the ship).
The pilot seated on the left controls whether the ship turns right or left. The pilot on the right will need to power up the Falcon, jump to light speed, and control whether the ship moves up or down.
Both pilots need to do the brunt of the work when it comes to navigating the ship and avoiding crashing into things. This is a tricky task, but a very fun challenge. If the ship accumulates too much damage, your ride could be cut short if the Falcon’s systems all fail due to damage.
The gunners’ job is to wait for the green lights to activate and then pummel away as fast as you can to fire the blasters. Before the ride starts, the gunners can choose whether they want their weapons to be automatic or manual. Automatic will make things much easier, while manually increases the number of buttons you’ll need to pay attention to.
The flight engineers monitor the ship’s systems, making sure to press their green-lit buttons in order to engage repairs.
You’ll know it’s your turn to use the controls when green lights flash on the panels
Hondo’s voice will come over the intercom to help direct riders, but the easiest way to know what to do next is to watch the control panel lights.
As we mentioned, you need to be on alert for the bright green light which will turn on whenever you need to do something with a button or lever. The only one of these you might miss comes when it’s time to jump to light speed. That isn’t a button, but instead a lever on the dashboard with a circular blue light at the top.
The pilot sitting on the right side needs to pull this downwards in order to engage hyper speed and jump to safety.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run isn’t a 3-D experience, but it might overwhelm you on the first try
Unlike Star Tours, this ride’s predecessor in Tomorrowland, Smuggler’s Run, doesn’t require any 3-D glasses. But that doesn’t mean the flight simulation won’t feel incredibly visceral and almost overwhelming in the moment.
The cockpit moves and shakes in uncanny relation to the way your team uses the controls, and the detailed screen visible through the Millennium Falcon’s windows really makes you feel as if you’re looking out of a spaceship into the galaxy.
All of this can be overwhelming for a first-time rider, especially when you need to be paying attention to the control panels in front of you.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is absolutely a ride you’re going to want (or need) to experience more than once if only to get a handle for the interactive nature of the ride. It’s an attraction like nothing Disneyland’s team has ever built before.
There is a single-rider line, though depending on the time of day it might not be available to park-goers. But if it is, that would be a perfect way to build up practice of the different positions.
For more on Disneyland’s massive new “Star Wars” land, see our photos of all the shops, eateries, and other hidden details you won’t want to miss.
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