The Millennium Falcon: arguably the most iconic ship in sci-fi history. Being able to pilot the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs was a dream for every Star Wars fan growing up. In 2019, that dream has become a reality. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is the first attraction to open at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It allows travelers in Batuu to take control of the Millennium Falcon like never before. Does it live up to the dream of flying a starship? Is it the best attraction at Walt Disney World now? After riding it several times and trying each position, I think now is the time to give my opinion on it.
If you read my full review of Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll remember how I praised the land for its outstanding detail. The queue of Smuggler’s Run is just another example of those touches that have been placed by the Imagineers in Black Spire Outpost. And Smuggler’s Run is another perfect example of this. The queue is incredibly detailed, with touches such as a ga/e of Sabac from Solo: A Star Wars Story, as well as other weapons and such. The queue also takes you above the beautiful Millenium Falcon and gives you some really unique views of the ship, and you get to see more of the impeccable detail of the ship itself.
Then you get into the preshow area where you get to see the Hondo Ohnaka animatronic which absolutely outstanding. His movements are nearly lifelike, and he even walks around. His lines are pretty good too. I really like the way he’s represented throughout the ride in general.
Finally, you get to your final room, which is the Falcon itself. The famous holochess table is there (it’s a great photo op) and you can find other details such as the helmet and droid Luke Skywalker used in A New Hope. In a way, it is kind of unfortunate that the ride is so efficient that you’re not in there for very long. Speaking of the efficiency, waiting for Smuggler’s Run isn’t that bad of an experience at all. Part of that is due to the excellent queue as mentioned previously, but also the ride is incredibly efficient. It loads so quickly and can handle a lot of guests at a time. And the ride currently doesn’t have a Fastpass which means that you almost never stop moving while you’re waiting in line. And the line itself is hardly ever above 90 minutes and usually stays right around an hour since it is a people eater. All around the waiting experience is pretty manageable.
But how does the ride itself actually hold up? Well stepping into the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon is truly an awesome experience. It’s really a dream come true. Before you board, you will be assigned one of three positions: Pilot, Gunner, or Engineer. I am fortunate enough to have tried all of them now and which one you have can greatly impact your experience. I’ll start with Pilot, which is easily the best. Being able to control the Millenium Falcon is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in a theme park. Especially when you’re on the right side and can make the jump to lightspeed. The pilot is also going to have the greatest impact on how your group does, from what I’ve found. The next is gunner, which can also be a lot of fun. There are two modes for it, manual and automatic aiming. With automatic, all of the aiming is done for you and all you have to do is just hit one button. This is good for younger children or people who don’t have much experience with video games. With manual, you’re given a little more control and have three buttons that control the height of your shots. It’s not perfect, but it does make it a little more interesting. Then you have engineer. When I first did Engineer, I expected it to be by far the most boring and uninteresting position. While it definitely is the weakest, it’s more fun than I expected. You’re tasked with making repairs every time the ship crashes. This is mainly button mashing, but you also get to fire the harpoons as well when you are going after the cargo. Overall, all of the positions are fun, but Pilot is by far the best. It is a must-do experience at Walt Disney World, which brings me to the ride’s biggest drawback: your ride experience is heavily determined by how good your pilots are. With good to great pilots, this ride is good to great for everyone. But with bad pilots, it can be a very bumpy and unenjoyable experience. If you are the pilot, your success is also influenced by the other positions. This is what ultimately holds the ride back from being my new favorite ride at Walt Disney World.
Overall, Smuggler’s Run is a great ride and is a must-do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s not perfect, but it is a ton of fun. And being able to take control of the Millenium Falcon is amazing and a dream come true for any Star Wars fan.
Final score: 9/10
. . . . .
Want to stay up to date with our latest theme park plans, reviews, and more? Be sure to follow us on Instagram @Limitless_Park!