Smuggler’s Run takes place inside the Millennium Falcon. It’s a flight simulator where you either get to be a pilot, gunner, or engineer. A total of 6 people can ride in a cockpit with two people occupying each position at a time. We were fortunate enough to ride Smuggler’s Run twice during our visit – once as pilots and once as gunners.
One of the most awe-worthy spots in Galaxy’s Edge is the huge Millennium Falcon they built as the ride entrance. It is a very impressive sight and great for a photo-op. They did not skimp when building out this amazing ship.
Likewise, the ride queue to get to the cockpits is phenomenal – filled with lots of detail to keep you busy while you stand in line. Plus, they have a throwback to The Clone Wars with an incredible Hondo Ohnaka animatronic that sets up the story. He needs you to get cargo that will assist the Resistance to Coralia using the Falcon, which he has borrowed from Chewbacca (who makes a few cameos himself). Before you enter the cockpit, you get to hang out in a huge version of the Falcon’s Main Hold, complete with the chess table Chewie and the Droids played on. Let the Wookiee win, folks.
Piloting the Millennium Falcon was easily the superior experience, even if it was stressful learning to fly a spaceship on the spot! One pilot controlled whether the Falcon went up or down, and the other pilot controlled if it went left or right. As a pilot, the simulator screen is right in front of you as you sore through the sky. The tension is crazy as you try to keep the ship afloat. You can crash the ship, so you actually need to try to fly it so you don’t ruin it for the other passengers.
After the fact, this is how Adam described the experience to a friend:
Adam: “If you get to be the pilot, be the right pilot. You get to do something extra.”
Mandi: “You get to do Lightspeed.”
Adam: “YOU DON’T JUST GET TO ‘DO’ LIGHTSPEED. YOU GET TO ENGAGE LIGHTSPEED!”
Cue Mandi’s terrible impression of Captain Picard saying, “Engage.” I know… wrong fandom.
We enjoyed this ride a lot overall, but there are some downsides. The gunner position was only okay – you were basically trying to defend the Falcon by shooting down enemy ships – but the control buttons were off to the side, which made it hard to gun down ships and focus on the adventure in front of you. Even in the pilot seat, it can be a little hard to fully experience the ride as you are trying so hard to focus on flying the ship. But I guess that is what Star Tours is for – where you can sit back and just enjoy the 4D experience of riding a space ship.
You are also relying on the other people in the cockpit to manage their positions and when you are in with strangers, it can be a little overwhelming. Since we were piloting the ship, we wanted to do a good job for the crew, but it was still not the smoothest ride. Fortunately we were in with people who were kind about it, and we tried to give the pilots the same courtesy when we were the gunners. I would hate it if we ended up with someone who was really aggressive about the ride and made us feel bad about how poorly we flew.
We would rate this ride as a 4/5. There is definitely a lot of innovation that went into it. It’s amazing to see how technology continues to advance the theme park experience.
I am prone to get motion sickness on simulated rides, but I did pretty well on this one.
If you are okay with spoilers, here is video of the adventure (shot by 4k WDW). It shows the amazing queue leading up to the ride and the simulation itself.