Have you ever wondered what it was like to be on the crew of the Millennium Falcon? Now you have a chance! On August 29, 2019 Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to the public. The preferred entrance is from the Muppet area, and you will exit at Toy Story Land. You are traveling to Batuu when you go to Galaxy’s Edge, and the land is very detailed with minimum signage to keep the authenticity. When you find the parked Millennium Falcon you have found the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride, a motion simulated interactive experience.
Hondo Ohnaka (originally seen in Clone Wars) has a mission for you! Your mission on the ride is to work with your flight crew to intercept a First Order train shipment of coaxium–the fuel needed for faster-than-light travel.
The ride has the regular stand-by line, a single rider line, and what will eventually be the FastPass queue. When you use the single rider line you do not see the pre-show with Hondo, and instead come in right before the Chess Room. Flight crews are taken from the stand-by line and completed with the single rider line, as needed. You are handed your credentials for your flight crew–a color and a flight role.
If you are in the single rider line with a group, remember you are likely to be separated from them and should use the stand-by line to ensure you get to stay together. You will also likely be an Engineer since you will be the filler for the groups, unless someone from your color credentials is willing to switch with you while in the Chess Room.
The flight crew consists of six members, two of each of the three different flight roles, hence why Hondo modified the cockpit with six seats instead of four. The Pilots steer the ship–one vertically and one horizontally. The right pilot may be the most sought after role in this ride because along with vertical steering, they get the legendary hyperspace lever! The gunners shoot everything. The Engineers are in control of system repairs, life support, and operate much needed tow cables as part of the mission.
Once you have your credentials, you go into the Chess Room and have a couple of minutes to explore while you wait on them to call the color for your group. When your color is called, you line up by twos with the Pilots first, Gunners in the middle, and Engineers in the back. Your flight crew is briefed on your roles and led to another corridor for a transmission video from Hondo. The transmission was different each time I rode.
You are then led to the cockpit where you take your seats and buckle up. As a fan, it was a great experience to be sitting in such a classic and legendary cockpit. The buttons and levers for the pilots are in front of them. The gunners and engineers use buttons on the wall next to them. Each seat also has a screen that Hondo uses to transmit into at the end. I did notice as an Engineer I was almost concentrating more on making sure I pushed the buttons than I was on the screen at the front.
When your flight crew is ready, Hondo dispatches you to the planet Corellia (Han Solo’s homeworld) and helps guide the flight crew throughout the mission. As you are lifting off, Hondo mentions that the left pilot is responsible for moving their stick left and right to maneuver side to side, and all three times I rode the three different pilots all turned to the left and brushed up against the wall.
I was an Engineer two different times, and both times what I had to do varied on how well the pilot was doing during the flight. On my last flight the pilots were younger and did more damage during the flight, so my role as Engineer was more active. However, even if your pilots are perfect, you still have a major role as an Engineer because you are responsible for harpooning the First Order train to obtain the coaxium.
At the end of the mission, Chewbacca helps autopilot you from afar back to Batuu. Once you’ve landed, a transmission comes in from Hondo with a summary of how your crew did on the flight. After taking out his cut of the reward and the cost for any ship repairs, you are then told how much your flight crew earned. (I’ve read this can play into interactions with Cast Members at various parts of Batuu. They may make comments on how well, or not, you did for Hondo.)
When you leave the cockpit, the corridors will vary based on how well your crew did as well. If you came back with lots of damage, the corridors will have flashing lights and transmissions of people talking about the damage. The exit leads you right next to the entrance of the ride, so if you want to ride it again immediately, you don’t have to go far!
When I think of the Millennium Falcon cockpit I think of Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia, and now I’ve had a role in that cockpit! The ride is the most interactive ride I have been on, and each time I rode it was a different experience.
This has me even more excited for Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge, which is currently scheduled to open December 5, 2019 in Orlando.