During my trip to Walt Disney World I visited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and experienced the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction. Did it live up to the hype?
Before we begin please note that this is purely my opinion at the Star Wars theme park. I cannot speak for others who have experienced this attraction.
I arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida about a half hour after opening with my husband. Our objective was to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge first.
More from Editorial
- How animation changed Star Wars: Ewoks and Droids
- The Acolyte might change Star Wars storytelling
- No Star Wars for Feige, and I’m ok with that.
- 3 major ways the Star Wars Holiday Special changed canon
- If Jon Favreau remakes the Holiday Special, it needs to star Peli Motto
It was pretty clear after we entered the park that smaller groups of guests had the same idea. We watched them speed walking around holiday decorations and even passing the Star Tours ride.
We used the main entrance near Grand Avenue and were immediately welcomed with the end of the line to Smugglers Run. Stepping into the line we discovered it was an 80-minute wait. Many guests lined up behind us while others continued through the park.
In the beginning, the line moved fairly quickly. We walked through the length of the park (the designated planet Batuu) and observed some of the many interesting things we had heard about prior to arriving. This included where the soon-to-be-opened Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride was located.
Moving with the line I was able to spot the Droid Depot (where we’d be assembling our own droid later that evening) with ease. We passed many Disney cast members dressed in Batuu attire to keep the long line organized while also greeting us with friendly smiles.
The line, though continuously moving seemed endless the closer we got to the Millennium Falcon, however, the wait was not unbearable.
I cannot speak for everyone but if I had to choose between waiting outside or inside the ride for the majority of the time, I’d rather remain outside. The advantage of spending the majority of my wait time waiting outside was the fact that we had time to observe and take in this new environment.
There were so many sights and realistic sounds that I wasn’t expecting around every corner. When it comes to any Disney ride or park I like to be fully immersed. I want to believe I am standing in the middle of the Black Spire Outpost, passing droids and avoiding the First Order. Even with all of the videos I had watched before my trip I was not prepared to see the Millennium Falcon.
Standing a few feet away from this icon was indescribable. We, like many of the guests, took the opportunity to take as many pictures as we could of this marvel.
At some point during our wait, the time decreased from 80 minutes to 70. The last portion of our wait was inside the ride, however, we were not quite inside the Millennium Falcon just yet.
We went up and down some stairs, passing several props such a large engine that would turn on and off with realistic hums alongside charming and funny conversations from the speakers overhead.
Since it was just the two of us we knew we were going to be placed with other pairs or another larger group. The ride itself seated six people: two pilots, two gunners, and two engineers.
We were not able to choose our jobs as they were assigned to us. One moment we were taking one or two steps down a narrow hallway and the next we were asked how many in our group and told to move towards the four people ahead of us.
We were handed cards that indicated that we were going to be the engineers with our instructions. We didn’t have long to read them but the job was pretty clear.
It was then that I noticed for the second time the list of warnings for this ride including motion sickness. I often get motion sick in fast-moving rides but I felt confident enough that I could manage.
After we met with Ohnaka, a very lively and impressive animatronic, we were ushered inside to a temporary waiting space before moving towards the cockpit. We didn’t have much time to look around before entering the cockpit and instructed to fasten our seat belts.
The trick to prevent motion sickness in my case was to not look at the screen directly the entire ride. As an engineer, I wouldn’t have been able to watch the screen for long because my job was endless the entire time.
Any time we were hit by the enemy or accidentally crashed into objects, the Millennium Falcon needed repairs. This meant pressing any flashing buttons, repeatedly.
This also means I had to place all of my faith in the pilot. He did fairly well, colliding into a few plateaus and ships but didn’t crash. You feel every dip and turn and trust me you cannot hold back loud cheering and hardy exclamations. We jumped into hyperdrive several times and the experience felt like we were placed right into our own movie.
By the time the ride was over, I immediately debated getting back on the long line to ride it again. This is a rare occurrence for me because I rather spend that time experiencing as much as possible.
Overall Smugglers Run was more than I imagined it to be, even with my prior research. It’s hard to describe in detail and is best experienced in person. However, that could easily be said about Galaxy’s Edge as a whole that I will elaborate on further in upcoming articles.
I would like to reiterate that you read all the warnings before riding especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Keep in mind that unless you are in a group of six you will be placed with others, and you may not have an option in choosing your job. Prepare yourself in case of long wait times and enjoy the ride!
With all of that said, Smugglers Run lived up to the hype and was worth the wait. I look forward to visiting Batuu again very soon and perhaps pilot the Millennium Falcon.
Have you visited Galaxy’s Edge? What did you think of Smugglers Run? Leave your answers in the comment section below, I’d love to read them!