In its 50 years of existence, Walt Disney World has done a lot for vacations in general.
Innovation mixed with imagination is Disney’s brand and the brand is strong.
Still, I’m not sure in the entirety of its existence Disney has done anything better than the creation of Galaxy’s Edge, Batuu and its two rides: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
Listen, I’ve been obsessed with Star Wars since I was three years old. For years I fervently believed I had The Force.
I’ve kept up with the lore – the canon – through games, movies, TV shows, books and more.
I’m not the biggest Star Wars geek in the world but when I tell you that Black Spire Outpost makes me feel like I’m in Star Wars, I know what I’m talking about.
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What does the Millennium Falcon ride do?
It’s a flight simulator – the upgraded version of the popular Star Tours ride with more interaction and fewer seats.
There are small drops and near vertical positions. And also, it’s very immersive.
In terms of the adventure itself, you’re sent on a mission by Hondo Ohnaka – a fan favorite (and a personal favorite) from the Rebels and Clone Wars animated series.
Your job will be to go to Corellia – Han Solo’s home world – and steal coaxium, the fuel needed to enter hyperspace, from a First Order Train.
Hondo, who has borrowed the Falcon from Chewbacca, essentially serves as your guide. In other words, he offers suggestions and commands from his ship which is escorting the Falcon.
How long does it take to ride the Millennium Falcon?
The ride itself is about four and a half minutes. The standby line is longer.
The average wait time for 2022 was about an hour. There is also a single rider line.
Is Lightning Lane access available at the Millennium Falcon ride?
Yes. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is one of the rides available for Lightning Lane access through Disney Genie+.
Use the My Disney Experience app to manage availability.
How does the single rider queue work?
On this ride, it’s one of the more efficient single-rider lines in the park for the simple fact that most guests don’t come in packs of six.
You don’t get the first choice at seats, though. There are two pilots, two gunners and two engineers. The main group gets to choose their seats. There were five people in our group so the young man who joined us got one of the engineer seats.
Afterward, when we apologized for all the yelling and screaming, he said he had a great time and hadn’t waited very long at all.
So there are jobs? What do we do?
This isn’t a passive ride. The crew’s job is to mash buttons at the right time. The better you do, the smoother the ride.
The pilots fly the ship. Specifically, the left pilots control left to right, the right pilots control up and down. They also get to hit the button that launches the Falcon into hyperspace.
I would imagine it would take a lot of practice for two pilots to coordinate in such a way that the Falcon flies smoothly. Our group was all over the place.
The gunners fire the lasers to protect the ship from the First Order Tie Fighters. It’s a lot of pushing buttons over and over.
The engineer’s role is to operate the grapplers which steal the coaxium from the train and bring home the cargo. They also do repairs on the ship.
Are there any Easter eggs on the Millennium Falcon ride?
Yes, there are lots of familiar guns and blasters, a few droid parts and an empty Scout Trooper’s helmet being used as an oil can.
The biggest thing – and I’m not even sure it qualifies as an Easter egg – is Chewbacca mode.
To activate it, prior to activating your position, pilots push the control to the extreme left or right and the extreme up or down. Gunners and engineers have to hit and hold one of the white buttons on the console before hitting the orange activation buttons. All six members of the crew must do it for it to work.
What is Chewie mode? Once activated, Chewbacca will shout and growl your instructions instead of Hondo. It’s fun and cool but unless you speak Wookie, it’s not overly useful in terms of doing what’s needed to accomplish the mission.
Is the Millennium Falcon ride fat friendly?
Yes. This was my biggest worry. I am a big guy and many of the rides at Universal Studios do not accommodate me.
Therefore, as we approached the actual entrance to the queue, I quietly asked a couple of the cast members if they thought I could ride. They were honest. One said she thought so but she wasn’t sure. When I sat down in the left pilot’s seat and could buckle the seat belt, I nearly cried tears of happiness.
Where is the Millennium Falcon ride located?
The ride is located toward the rear of Black Spire Outpost, the out-of-the-way spaceport on Batuu, the planet on which Galaxy’s Edge is set.
It’s at the entrance to Ohnaka Transport Solutions. In fact, just look for the giant Millennium Falcon and find the line.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride restrictions
As we’ve said, overall, the ride vehicle is very accommodating. The height requirement is 38 inches.
Of course, those with heart, blood pressure or back issues should be cautious. Expecting mothers should not ride.
I suffer from pretty serious motion sickness, which isn’t great for a thrill ride of this type. I’ve gotten queasy on Star Tours as well as some of the motion rides at Universal.
Smuggler’s Run was no different, but I just had to close my eyes for a few seconds and let the feeling pass.
Is the Millennium Falcon ride good?
Hahahaha. I got to punch the button that made the jump to lightspeed. And I also launched the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy into hyperspace.
An Ewok could pop out and hit me in the face halfway through the ride and I wouldn’t care.
Yes. It’s freaking awesome.
Which Star Wars ride is better?
I think all three Star Wars rides at Disney are great.
I wish they had more and figured out a way to get Star Tours into Galaxy’s Edge so you didn’t have your Star Wars experience interrupted by a trip past The Muppets.
But the ranking is quite clear: Star Tours is third, Smuggler’s Run is second and Rise of the Resistance, which is probably the best ride I’ve ever been on, is first.
Is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run worth it?
Heck yes. It’s a dream come true for Star Wars fans.
I’ve said Rise of the Resistance would be worth the full price of your ticket to Disney’s Hollywood Studios by itself.
But in Orlando, there are many simulator attractions that put you in the action both at Universal and at other Disney parks. With the exception of Flight of Passage in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the ride experience of Smuggler’s Run is the best of them.
Look, I got to walk through the Millennium Falcon, past the holo chess board and through the same halls that hosted Han and Ob-Wan and Luke and Leia as well as Finn and Rey.
I sat in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. And it’s perfect. It’s absolutely perfect.
Would you change anything about the Smugglers Run ride?
I don’t know if all the button pushing is necessary or adds much to the ride. However, I understand why Disney wanted everyone to have a job.
But for practical reasons, the gunners don’t get to sit in a ball turret like in the movie so it’s really not as interactive as you might like.
I mean, hitting a button, pulling switches or a lever isn’t exactly thrilling and there are times that if I wasn’t flying the thing I might prefer to sit back and watch.
Still, there’s something to be said for everyone to have something to do.
How did you do spelling Millennium Falcon over and over again for this story?
Reader, not well. I didn’t keep track but if I got it right 20 percent of the time, I’d be impressed.
Have you ridden Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run? Let us know about your experience in the comments.