82ºF

A beginners guide to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

What to expect when piloting the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy

ORLANDO, Fla. – Now that "Star Wars": Galaxy's Edge is now open at Disney World in Orlando, the first place you're going to want to go is on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

[ READ NEXT: Own any of these old Disney VHS tapes? You could be sitting on big bucks | A beginners guide to 'Star Wars': Galaxy's Edge | Sensory-friendly Disney: Park offers pass to those unable to wait in line ]

This ride is closely related to Star Tours, but instead of being a passenger, you are now in control. The new attraction also has a single-rider line, so parties of one won't have to wait as long to get on.

What we need to discuss is the line -- this probably seems like an odd question, but in the world of immersive queues, Smugglers Run might just give Avatar: Flight of Passage a run for its money. Read on to decide for yourself.

Here is a look at the inside queue and what you should expect as you board the bucket of bolts and pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.

The queue

Photo: Tom Metevia/ Graham Media Group

As you walk into the mechanic’s shop for Ohnaka Transport Solutions, the smell of grease and oil is in the air. As you make your way past tool kits and spare parts, you are able to get lost in the number of details in the area. There's a large engine inside the center of the room, and overhead, you'll hear a radio that has been left on as it plays music while you wait.

As you walk up ramps and cross over metal-grated flooring, you'll see the wear and tear that this shop has been through over the years as well as a couple of nests that have been made by those pesky porgs.

Photo: Tom Metevia/ Graham Media Group

After you exit the mechanics shop, the next room offers you amazing views of the top of the Millennium Falcon and the rest of Black Spire Outpost through giant windows. The line stops at this point, and you wait to move into a holding room.

Photo: Tom Metevia/ Graham Media Group

Once you exit the main line, you'll be put into a holding area before the main attraction. Look up and you'll see display panels on the wall showing the specs of the Millennium Falcon.

Here's the backstory: Chewbacca has lent the Millennium Falcon to Ohnaka Transport Solutions to make some “deliveries,” and Hondo Ohnaka hires you to make sure they get where they need to go.

The mission

That brings us to Hondo Ohnaka. He explains the situation and gives you your orders. The plan? Hijack a First Order transport train and steal a shipment of valuable coaxium. Ohnaka insists that this is all perfectly legal, so we won't question it. 

Behind Ohnaka, the Millennium Falcon is lowered from its position outside into the hanger bay to where you and your fellow crew will board the iconic spaceship.

Inside the Falcon

Photo: Tom Metevia/ Graham Media Group

As you walk down the jet bridge, you are given your credentials and you find yourself inside the “main hold” of the Falcon, which you will recognize as the “chess room” from the Star Wars movies. 

Once there, you will be given your credential.

Credentials are designated by a color and a position. Pay attention to the color of your card, which is also written at the top. Flight crews will be walking around the cabin asking for a certain color credential. Until then, look around the ship and take a lot of pictures.

Insider tip: If you hear a siren and the lights begin to flash, you're going to want to look for the large red flashing button. 

After your color is called, you'll line up with pilots up front, gunners in the middle and engineers in the back. This will be your flight crew for the mission. 

Photo: Tom Metevia/ Graham Media Group

If you were given the pilot card, you will be responsible for either left and right or up and down movements. The controls are similar to an airplane -- up is down and down is up. If your pilots aren't well versed in video games or joystick controls, you're in for a bumpy ride. Right pilots get an extra task: making the jump to light speed. 

Insider tip: If you are tasked with being a pilot, go easy on the controls. Slow and easy movements will lead to a smooth flight and cause less damage. 

Engineers, pay attention: If your pilot is a little rough with the controls, you will have much to do as your ship will take on more damage along your route. Be sure to press any button that lights up green to repair the ship.

Gunners, same goes for you. Press any button that lights up. You'll also be responsible for firing the harpoons at the transport train, so keep your trigger hand ready.

Photo: Tom Metevia/ Graham Media Group

Before you board, you'll get one last briefing from Ohnaka. The missions can vary, so each time you ride, it will be a somewhat different experience, just like Star Tours.

The attraction is about 4 1/2 minutes long, from beginning to end. The cockpit will look and feel like the inside of the Millennium Falcon. 

Watch as reporter Kirstin O'Connor pilots the Millennium Falcon during the media preview day for Dinseyland's opening of Galaxy's Edge in California. 

As your mission comes to an end, you will see how much damage was done and how big your payout will be. The less damage you acquire, the larger the payout. 

The next ride set to open in the land is Rise of the Resistance, which has a planned opening of Dec. 5.

Rumor has it the ride is finished, but it has spoilers for the new movie, which is also slated for release in December.


About the Author: