Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is one of two signature attractions inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opening later this year. We just returned from the media preview of Disneyland’s brand new land. Continue reading for our full VIDEO and ride review of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. For a complete overview of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge head over to my article on Family Vacation Critic.
Kids have flown the Millennium Falcon since the original Star Wars film opened in 1977. First with Kenner’s toy, then with the 7,500 piece LEGO kit, and now with Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – the ultimate Star Wars playset. Walt Disney Imagineer, Asa Kalama, the creative lead developing the Millennium Falcon ride, said “from early on in development we knew we wanted to allow people to fly the Falcon.” Those Imagineers teamed up with Lucasfilm to create a 1:1 replica of the Millennium Falcon set as it appeared in the latest film Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and that’s where the story begins.
Supposedly, after “The Last Jedi,” Chewbacca flew the bucket of bolts to Black Spire Outpost on Batuu (the setting for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) for repairs. Bartering with Space Pirate Hondo Ohnaka (from Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series), Chewie loans the Falcon to Hondo for replacement parts. Hondo borrows the ship for a couple of runs to bring supplies back to the Resistance. Ohnaka has the ship, but needs a crew. Step right up, visitors of Galaxy’s Edge. Imagineer Kalama explained, “we wanted to not only let you ride inside the Millennium Falcon, but let you participate in the experience. You get to fly the Millennium Falcon, go on an adventure, and complete a mission for the Resistance.”
After winding through the attraction queue (keep your eyes out for hidden Star Wars gems like an abandoned game of Sabacc), we meet Hondo Ohnaka himself – the most complex and sophisticated audio animatronic ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering. Accepting Hondo’s offer, guests enter the Falcon via an access hatch on the ship’s starboard airlock. Once aboard, you and your crew wait in the ship’s main hold and lounge, where you can sit at the holo-chess (Dejarik) table or inspect other equipment around the room (lots of Star Wars Easter Eggs here too).
When your crew is called, six people strap into the cockpit assigned to one of three roles: pilot, gunner, or engineer. Each role is crucial to the success of the mission, and the crew must work together in order to succeed. While all roles are important, the pilots who sit in front and steer the ship is arguably the most fun position. Note, those prone to motion sickness may want to sit further back in the cockpit (gunner or engineer role).
The interactive nature of the attraction takes a little getting used to, and there is a challenge to learning how to control the ship. That all adds to the ride repeatability of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Guests definitely will not master flying a Corellian freighter the first time out – unless they are particularly strong in the Force. If the Falcon’s damaged during Smuggler’s Run, the ship’s handling is affected, the ship’s hallways will show wear leaving the attraction, and Hondo deducts Galactic Credits from the take. However, no matter how your crew handles the ship, the ride results in a happy ending – either by bringing a little or a lot of cargo back to the Resistance.
For those who have always imagined stepping inside the cockpit and taking the controls of this iconic Star Wars ship, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is a dream come true. The attraction is truly a participatory experience you share with family, friends, and fellow crew members, and is a ride you can go on again and again to truly master the experience. As Han Solo says, “she may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.”
Thanks to Matt Dobrovolsky of DarthVader92 for the video. For more details on what else you will find at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, be sure to check out my strategy guide on Family Vacation Critic. What do you think of the expansion of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland? Have you ridden Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run? What was your role? What did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Instagram, Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.