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A Ride Chicken Review of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

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One thing that makes Disney parks great is that the rides are accessible to many, with no health, height, or other restrictions. But — not all of them. If you’re traveling with a ride chicken (or even if it’s you), it can be tricky to figure out which attractions will cross the lines and which ones will be OK. Read on to hear my ride-chicken take on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. I’ll cover whether the queue is worth it, what types of motion sickness triggers you’ll find on the ride, and the best ways to minimize the possibility of nausea if you decide to take the plunge.

If you’re not at all familiar with this motion simulator attraction, the key thing you’ll need to know is that you’ll be piloting the Millennium Falcon on a Smuggler’s Run to retrieve some coaxium. The cockpit of your ship holds a team of six, with two each assigned the roles of Pilot, Gunner, and Engineer. If you’re looking for even more detail, see Five Things to Know About Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.

If You Definitely Won’t Ride

The queue for Millennium Falcon is jam-packed with Easter Eggs and fun details, and offers some great views of Galaxy’s Edge and the Millennium Falcon that you can’t get from the ground. And the pre-show is fun. There is a chicken exit, so you can go through the entire queue, be companionable with your group, see all the cool stuff, and ditch at the last minute.

The Smuggler’s Run queue is the only place in Batuu that has this topside view of the Millennium Falcon

For my money, it’s worth waiting through the queue at least once. Honestly, I’d be willing to wait through this one repeatedly even if I wasn’t going to ride, but I’m a Star Wars geek so take that with a grain of salt. If you don’t plan to ride, let a Cast Member know when you reach the chess room where roles are assigned, and they’ll show you to the exit.

One thing to note: if you don’t plan to go through the queue and you’re with a group that’s never ridden before, don’t let them suggest the single-rider line as a way to shorten the time you’ll spend waiting for them. It bypasses the entire queue and joins the regular line in the chess room. They’ll miss everything, including the pre-show. And if you’re up for it, I recommend the datapad game in the Play Disney Parks app while you’re waiting; it’s a fun scavenger hunt all over Batuu and you’ll notice a lot of cool little details about the land.

If You Aren’t Sure About Riding

Motion sickness or other ride chicken problems can be very individual, so let’s take them one by one. One thing to know is that the ride can vary a lot, but no matter who is doing the driving (two people in each group of six are chosen as pilots), it’s designed to have some exciting moments. Which, in this context, means unexpected bumps and jolts.


There are no two ways about it, this ride is not smooth. Think about riding in a big truck down the bounciest, jounciest dirt road full of ruts and potholes that you can think of. It’s like that. It’s not quite to the point where your mouth will be falling open and slamming shut, and a plain old seatbelt suffices for restraints on this ride. But you’ll definitely feel that it’s choppy. As mentioned above, a good pilot can give you a ride that has fewer bumps and bounces, but there will be some no matter what.

Ride Vehicle

It’s individual seating with nobody directly to either side, and the seats are reasonably comfy. They’re not super-plush, but there’s enough padding to absorb a little bit of the jolting. The seats are large enough to be plus-size friendly, and the seatbelts are too. If you don’t have an issue with other rides at Disney World that use seatbelt restraints, you’re unlikely to have a problem on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. There is a grab bar built into the rear of the seats in front of you if you’re not sitting in the very front as a pilot.


Despite all the bouncing, you never fall far enough in one go to be called a drop. You won’t get that feeling of your seat falling out from under you.


The Falcon will race down tunnels of varying brightness and face into the darkness of space at a couple of points in time. But the cockpit remains reasonably lit throughout. Not bright, but there’s plenty to see by. The total light level varies throughout the ride as you pass through different environments, but the lighted panel strips on the side of the cockpit in the image below remain on for the entire ride.


At a couple of points during your trip you’ll see the streaky white lights of the classic “jump to hyperspace”. And you’ll also see bursts of light from weapons fire and explosions. But there are no sequences of regular, repeated flashing that create a strobe effect.


You’re flying. Sometimes over a planet, and sometimes through space. A fair portion of the time you’ll be flying through an enclosed tunnel that may help you feel closer to a solid surface. But if you have trouble looking out the window of an airplane as it begins its descent, then there are going to be some points in your career as a smuggler that give you the heebie jeebies.


Some parts of the flight feel faster than others. As you’re bobbing and weaving and trying to harpoon the coaxium, some parts feel very fast, as fast as riding in a car on a highway. But if rides that rely on 3D screens to simulate motion make you sick, there’s good news for you here. Because Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is a simulator, it manages to convince your body that you’re moving at the same speed as your eyes are seeing. You might still get motion sickness, but it won’t be because your eyes and your inner ear are telling you different things.

As you’re flying, you’ll feel like you’re flying.

Spinning / Direction

There’s no spinning on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. But there’s a small amount of side-to-side rolling motion, similar to what you’d feel when an airplane is turning. Compared to the general bumping, it’s not what sticks out and makes an impression. At one point in the ride, the vehicle tips over the edge of a tunnel and flies “down”. This sequence is very short, so short that it’s unlikely to cause any effect that lasts once you’ve leveled out again.


Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is about 4 1/2 minutes long. If you’re likely to become ill right away then the jouncy truck description above is likely to have already turned you green and kept you off the ride. But if you do start to get nauseous partway through, you may need to do a bit of gritting your teeth towards the end. There is a brief pause in the middle where the vehicle is still for several seconds, enough to take a couple of deep breaths. In through the mouth, out through the nose, consciously relax your muscles, and get ready to go for the second half.

If You Decide to Ride

If you decide to ride, you should take the same steps to minimize motion sickness that you would on any other thrill ride. Stomach neither too empty, nor too full. Make sure you’re properly hydrated, and if it’s allergy season make sure you’ve got any sinus congestion under control.

Beyond that, you’ll want to think about which of the 3 roles you’d like to play. Some recommend the Engineer position as it’s closest to the back and farthest from the screen. However, in both the Engineer and Gunner positions, you’ll need to turn sideways to look at the buttons you’re supposed to push. If turning sideways in a car tends to make you feel sicker, you’ll probably find the same is true on the Falcon.

An alternate approach is to ride in the Pilot’s seat. The positions on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run are assigned first come first served between parties, so your best chance of being a Pilot is to ride in a larger group where your family or friends will allow you to take it. But once you have it, you’re likely to be so distracted trying to steer the ship and find all your controls that you won’t have time to get motion sick. If you’re the person who always needs to drive because you get motion-sick as a passenger, then the Pilot’s seat of the Millennium Falcon will be your best choice.

Most riders who get motion sick on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will have garden-variety nausea similar to what you’d get from a bumpy ride in a car. Once you’re off the ride your stomach should settle reasonably quickly; finding a cool place to sit will help.

Do you tend to get motion sick? Have you ridden Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

4 thoughts on “A Ride Chicken Review of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

  • My biggest question with all these types of rides is that if you keep your eyes closed or don’t look at the “screen”, does it just feel like a bumpy ride in the back of a school bus. Like if someone who is totally blind goes on these types of rides, will they have any chance to feel sick. Asking for a friend…….

    • Hi Kevin, on this particular ride, very likely yes. There will be a bit of side-to-side jerking, but mostly just bumping around and yes, that could still make someone feel sick if they are bothered by that type of motion. That said, it is much bumpier than the bumpiest schoolbus I have ever personally been on. Your mileage may vary.

  • Using the single rider line will likely get you assigned to the engineer’s role in the back. If you want to pilot or be a gunner, you’ll have to go through the entire queue.

    Saddest thing I saw was a couple that had Genie+, but were assigned to the engineer’s seats.

    • Another great reason not to use the single-rider queue as a first-time rider.


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