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Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

An Attraction in Hollywood Studios

Last updated: June 20, 2024

At a Glance

Smugglers Run lets guests fly Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon, the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.” Guests approaching the attraction will see a life-size Millennium Falcon parked outside the spaceport, periodically venting gas as technicians tinker with the temperamental craft. (You can look at the replica, but you can’t walk under or touch it.)

To board, you’re recruited by Hondo Ohnaka, an animatronic pirate who has cut a deal with Chewbacca to use the Falcon for some sketchy transportation business. After ascending to a second-story catwalk with wraparound views of the ship, visitors enter Ohnaka’s command center, where Hondo explains the mission, while the Falcon can be seen on a video screen preparing for launch. Ohnaka is one of Disney’s most advanced animatronics, with electric motors capable of 50 functions, and his movements are eerily fluid.

At this point, you enter the Falcon through an umbilical bridge and are assigned to a flight crew of up to six people. While awaiting your turn, you can relax in the ship’s instantly recognizable main hold, complete with a holographic chess board from the movies.

When the time arrives, your flight crew walks down the ship’s curving corridors and appears to enter the Falcon’s one and only cockpit, thanks to a patented carousel system that keeps the small simulator cabins hidden from each other. Your mission has you stealing supplies from the First Order to sell on the black market. Each rider is assigned his or her own station: a pilot and copilot up front to steer around obstacles and activate the hyperdrive, two gunners in the middle to shoot down enemy fighters, and a pair of engineers in the rear to repair the ship when the pilots and gunners mess up. Computer-generated scenery is projected on an ultra- HD dome outside the windshield. By far, the best role is that of pilot.

What separates this ride from other simulators (such as Star Tours) are 200 buttons, switches, and levers in the cockpit, each of which does something when activated: Watch for indicator rings to illuminate around certain controls, clueing you in to the correct moment to punch them.

Another difference between Smugglers Run and other simulators is that the video screens displaying the action aren’t attached to the ride vehicle. This not only allows for a more realistic display of the action but also reduces the potential for motion sickness.

At the end of the day, however, in spite of the amount of money, time, and technology that Disney has invested in this attraction, the Smugglers Run ride experience is a disappointment. Seats for the gunners and engineers are situated far enough back from the video screens that it’s like watching a drive-in movie through a tunnel. Worse, the controls for those four seats are mounted at a 90° angle from the action on-screen: If you’re in one of these seats, you can either look at the screen or the controls you’re supposed to be working—but not both. It’s so hard to work the controls, in fact, that we gave up halfway through our rides.

The experience for the pilots is no better—one pilot controls left and right movements while the other, inexplicably, controls up and down. The real Millennium Falcon doesn’t work this way, and nobody with any sense would design actual controls like this.

Terrible ergonomics are only part of the problem, though. Star Wars fans have known since 1977 exactly how the Falcon’s guns and gunners are supposed to look and work. What Disney has built here captures none of that—the thrill of combat has been reduced to push-button data entry. It’s an inexcusable design compromise, one that undercuts the entire land’s claim at realism.

Finally, the script that our rides followed was so comically predictable that it actively distracted from the experience. If you’ve ever been on any other Disney simulator, say, Star Tours or Mission: Space, you’ll recognize the exact same plot points, at the exact same pace.

The Millennium Falcon enjoys a beloved, unique place in American cinema. We think it deserved better. That said, opinions among the Unofficial team aren’t uniform: Seth Kubersky, author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, describes it as “a four-star ride in a five-star wrapper.”

Current Standby Wait Time
Lightning Lane - Genie+
Gone
Guest Overall Rating
Our Overall Rating
Preschool
Grade School
Teens
Young Adults
Over 30
Seniors
Duration
5 min
Rider Switch?
Yes
Minimum Height
38 in
Queues
  • Standby
  • Single Rider

Touring Tips

When To Go
As early as possible
Early Theme Park Entry?
Yes
Extended Evening Theme Park Hours?
Yes
Disney’s posted wait time for this ride might be the most accurate estimate of how long you’ll actually wait than any other major ride in Walt Disney World. Smugglers Run wait times drop off after 6 p.m. Ride early in the morning, immediately after Slinky Dog Dash.

Other attractions you might like

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Wait Times

Here's roughly how many minutes you'll wait for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at each Hollywood Studios Crowd Level.

1
30 to 57
2
42 to 65
3
53 to 70
4
53 to 78
5
53 to 81
6
57 to 88
7
64 to 101
8
69 to 101
9
75 to 105
10
96 to 124
Hourly View and
Sunday,
Nov 29, 2020
View another date
Wait Times for
Millennium Falcon:
Smugglers Run
Sunday,
November 29, 2020

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Submitted Wait Times
120 min Posted Standby at 10:43am
45 min Actual Standby at 11:16am
48 min Actual Standby at 1:35pm
64 min Actual Standby at 3:09pm
45 min Posted Standby at 4:18pm
40 min Posted Standby at 5:32pm
50 min Posted Standby at 6:06pm
34 min Actual Standby at 6:06pm
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