You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series! Today’s attraction is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newest Walt Disney World attraction opening August 29!
What is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is the first attraction to open at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This interactive simulator allows guests to act as pilot, gunner, or engineer aboard the cockpit of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy!
The story here is guests have been recruited for a profitable mission by Hondo Ohnaka of Ohnaka Transport Solutions with whom Chewbacca has cut a deal to lease the Falcon. Before boarding the six-person cockpit, guests receive their roles which they will perform during the flight much like Epcot’s Mission: SPACE. The difference here is the cockpit contains over 200 buttons, switches, and levers which perform a function when activated. How well a guest performs their role impacts the overall success of the mission. But don’t worry! Hondo is there to help guests along and many of the buttons and switches light up when needed.
Where is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
What is the History of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
A Star Wars-themed land was first announced at the 2015 Disney D23 Expo for both Disneyland and Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. In 2017, it was announced that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would be the name of both lands while the name of the land’s two attractions, including Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, wasn’t announced until 2018.
Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run debuted on May 31, 2019, while Disney World’s version of the land and attraction are set to debut August 29, 2019.
What Do You Need to Know About the Queue for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
The queue begins at the entrance to Ohnaka Transport Solutions next to a life-size Millennium Falcon. Guests ascend catwalks through this “space garage” where several other damaged ships are being repaired. While the best part of the queue is the gorgeous panoramic views of the Falcon, be sure to take in the other sights. The whole queue is highly detailed ranging from oil dripping from the damaged ships, Porg nests in the rafters, and cleverly re-purposed droids.
Next, guests enter Hondo Ohnaka’s command center where an impressive audio-animatronic Hondo explains the attraction’s premise. Guests are then handed a colored boarding card displaying their assigned role aboard the Falcon. While waiting to hear their boarding color, guests can explore an area designed to look like the iconic hold of the ship. (By the way, if you don’t get a selfie at the holographic chess board we nerds know as Dejarik, you’re doing it wrong.)
Once a guest’s boarding color is called, they hand over their boarding cards and walk down the ship’s signature corridors to enter the Falcon’s iconic cockpit.
What are the Ride Vehicles Like for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
The ride vehicles, or cockpits, are simulator cabins hidden from each other to make guests feel like they are in the one and only Falcon cockpit. A simulator seats six guests, each with their own station. The pilot and copilot are up front to steer while the two gunners area seated behind and in the middle and followed by the engineers. Each seat has a tall back and a fabric safety belt. It keeps guests secure, but also allows for mobility in order to push those buttons and pull those levers.
What Do You Need to Know About the Ride Experience on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
Due to the three different roles guests perform on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, the result is three different ride experiences. The most coveted role is definitely pilot. The pilot to the left maneuvers the Falcon left and right while the pilot to the right moves the Falcon up and down. The right side pilot is especially awesome, mainly because they get to “punch it” for lightspeed! Trust me, it’s the highlight of the attraction.
Behind the pilots are the gunners, who are occupied shooting down enemy fighters; and behind the gunners are engineers who repair the ship during the flight through controls.
This attraction is pretty much a simulator married to a video game. Unfortunately, the video game element can be both overwhelming and a challenge. Guests who have the role of pilot will find it difficult to maneuver the ship, not to mention the fact they share the ship’s controls with the other pilot. The pilots must also be ready to push buttons when they illuminate and listen to Hondo’s instructions over the intercom. Some pilots may feel pressure from the gunners and engineers in regards to performance since they don’t have control.
There are two modes for gunners: manual and automatic. In automatic mode, the gunners only need to push a the button to fire as the aiming is done for them. However, in manual mode, the gunner has three buttons to use for firing. The top button shoots high, the middle shoots towards the center, and the bottom button shoots low.
The automatic mode is great for kids, but it yields fewer credits. Gunners can also keep their fingers on the buttons the whole time in order to watch the screen without distraction. You can’t run out of ammo. But if a high score is what you’re after, be more strategic as accuracy is the goal. Continuously firing only lowers your overall score.
The engineer is responsible for turning on the ship and pressing buttons throughout the ride to make repairs. There’s also a moment when the engineer will need to fire a harpoon. Just look for the buttons to illuminate and be ready to press them as quickly as possible.
The total ride time spans about 5 minutes, and the ride experience itself is smooth and fluid in comparison to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. For the best overall experience, knowing everyone in your six person crew helps since everyone needs to works together. But if you’re not worried about that overall score, just relax, look for those illuminated levers and buttons, and enjoy it. If you’re a Star Wars fan, just being aboard the Millennium Falcon is a dream come true!
What Do You Need to Know About the Accessibility on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
Guests must be able to transfer from their wheelchair and ECV.
What Do You Need to Know About the Health and Safety Advisories for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
Guests should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, and heart, back, and neck problems. Expectant mothers should not ride. Motion sickness may be an issue for some, but the overall ride experience is smoother than a ride like Star Tours. Also, the video screens displaying the action aren’t attached to the ride vehicle which should decrease the chance for motion sickness.
What are the Height Restrictions for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
Guests must be at least 38 in. to experience Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
What You Need to Know About FastPass+ for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run?
As of now, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will not be offering FastPass+ when it opens August 29. Hollywood Studios will open at 6 a.m. August 29-31. Beginning September 1 and through November 2, 2019, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open at 9 a.m., with Extra, Extra Magic Hours starting at 6 a.m. Currently, all major attractions (not shows) are scheduled to be open for Extra, Extra Magic Hours, but that could change.
Does Weather Affect Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run?
Since Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and its primary queue is located indoors and out the elements, weather will not affect this attraction.
What’s the Best Time of Day to Ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run?
Expect Smugglers Run to be mobbed from the moment the park opens for years to come. The full queue and preshow are well worth experiencing your first time through, but the single-rider queue can save you time on follow-up flights.
Did I answer all of your questions about Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.