Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run… What Is It?
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance are the two rides located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars themed land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Smugglers Run is the simulator where six guests will ride together and get different roles in the cockpit. Riders sit in three rows of two and have the opportunity to get the role of pilot, gunner, or engineer.
You may have heard that this ride is almost video-game style: what the riders do in the cockpit affects what happens in the ride. This is partially true. The storylines in the ride do differ a bit based on your actions, but there isn’t as much variation as we were led to believe when the ride first opened. Ultimately it seems that the pilots have the biggest impact on what happens in the plot.
At the end of this article we’ll go into a bit more detail on each of the roles you could get, and give a bit more info for first-time riders.
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The Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run experience begins right outside the 112-foot-long replica Millennium Falcon. In the queue you’ll walk through the corridors of the ship, which look nearly identical to the sets in the Star Wars films. An animatronic Hondo Ohnaka will give you the instructions for your mission (You may recognize Hondo from the Clone Wars series. If not, you've likely heard of his voice actor, the infamous Jim Cummings).
You will get a ticket based on your position (left or right pilot, gunner, or engineer). The queue is long and winding, but it's packed with details and opportunities for photo ops. Star Wars fans with keen eyes and an attention to detail will definitely find lots of cool references hidden throughout!
What To Expect From Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Smugglers Run is most similar to Mission: Space in Epcot and Star Tours in Hollywood Studios. You feel similar amounts of realism from the screen and the movement of the ride vehicle. You will sit in a seat during the ride with a single safety strap across your hips.
Your vehicle remains stationary, so you won’t be moving up and down, off the ground, or on a track. Instead, the ride vehicle will be tilting and rocking from side to side to mimic the motions that you see on screen.
For guests worried about getting motion sickness you might be happy to learn that this ride isn't in 3D and does not require wearing any glasses. Additionally, the screen is not attached to the ride itself. Some people prone to motion sickness say that this helps.
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What's The Best Role To Get?
This, of course, depends on who you ask. It seems that the general consensus is that the pilot is the best, but some people think otherwise. Some find the engineer to be the best role, since the back row gives you a good view of the action and you can sit back and watch everything that's happening. Others say that they'd prefer to be the gunner if they can't be a pilot. Here's a bit more detail on each:
The two pilots sit in the first row. The left pilot controls the Millennium Falcon going left and right. The right pilot controls the ship going up and down and gets to send the Falcon into lightspeed. There is a control panel in front of the pilots’ seats that has the buttons and levers you’ll use to steer.
The gunners sit in the middle row and are in charge of shooting enemy ships. First you’ll be able to choose between an automatic or manual setting. If you choose automatic, your only job is to press the fire button, and the system will automatically aim for you. In the manual setting, you will also have to aim using the low, medium, and high settings.
The engineers sit in the back row. Their job is to use the control panel on the wall next to them to fix the ship any time it gets hit by enemy fire. Some people call this position boring, but some say it’s underrated.
The Secret “Chewie Mode” And How To Access It
If you're a serious fan of the Disney parks, you may have heard of something called “Chewie Mode.” This is a “secret” mode that you can unlock by performing a certain series of actions using the controls on the ride. Chewie Mode allows you to hear narration by Chewbacca during the ride instead of the standard one by Hondo. Here's how to do it:
During pre-check on your flight you will be asked to follow certain checks on your control panels. Don't activate your position immediately. To begin, both pilots will need to push their controls either to the far left and right or the far up and down. After this, they need to push the “activation” button. The gunners and engineers also need to ignore the pre-check instructions. Instead, they'll just hold down one of the white buttons on the control panels, then press the “activation” button. Make sure all of this is done before the cast member does their final seatbelt check and presses their own final confirmation button.
Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run offers a Single Rider queue. This line is often a bit shorter than the stand by line. Single riders will join parties with an odd number of riders, so if you join the single rider line with a friend, know that you will be separated. There's also the chance you may skip a significant portion of the queue, missing out on some of the details and movie references.
You can also use Lightning Lane via Genie+. You will have to pay for this feature, but it does save some time. Child Swap and Disability Access Service are also offered for guests who meet these requirements.
Guests must be 38 inches or taller to ride. The ride lasts for approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds.