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Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run - A Look At The Attraction Before The Ride

The Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run is one of the signature attractions at the Star Wars Galaxy's Edge land that you will find within Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney Does Attractions Through Storytelling

Walt Disney was always all about the storytelling.  What often differentiates Disney theme park attractions from the others centers around the ability to weave a cohesive story into and around the attraction you are experiencing.  In the Star Wars Galaxy's Edge land the Disney and Lucasfilm Imagineers went to great lengths to deliver more than just a thrill ride.  They really wanted to allow guests to escape to the world of Batuu and for a brief moment believe that they are in the presence and about to board THE Millenium Falcon that has played an iconic role in the Star Wars sagas that have engaged fans for over 40 years.

The Attraction BEFORE the Ride

Only WDWorld will give its review of the Attraction before the ride for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.  We will look closely at the details that are often overlooked and assess how well Disney set the stage for this E-Ticket attraction.

We will start with the Millennium Falcon itself.  You may not realize, but this is the first time a full scale Millennium Falcon has ever been built.  Prior to entering the attraction and through various viewpoints in the queue you can obtain a full 360 degree view of this legendary ship.  Details abound throughout and they strive hard to pay proper homage to this legend.

No matter if you are viewing the Millennium Falcon from the ground level or you can steal a glimpse from above, the level of detailing is amazing.  This is sure to excite any long time Star Wars fan.  Whether you see it during the light of day or the illuminated night on Batuu there is no bad time to see Han & Chewbacca's "home."

The Smuggler's World From The Inside

As you enter the queue you encounter not just a way to contain hundreds of people waiting for a ride, but rather an inside look at the world of intergalactic smugglers and what their base station might look like.

From parts of engines to parts of space cruising vessels details abound.  This is certainly an area that will reveal more details the more times that you pass through it.

It is easy to imagine a high stakes card game being played by a variety of alien beings at this table.

The massive engine test station roars to life at various points with voices heard on the intercom discussing their successes and failures.  All wonderful details to absorb on your way to the "ride."

The Pre-show Featuring Hondo Ohnaka

The next stage of the attraction helps set the stage for the attraction to explain the story of what you are seeing and experiencing and what your role will be in this adventure.

Prior to the start of the pre-show there is a gathering area where the cast members will usher a set number of guests into a holding room with view screens that will explain what the 3 different categories of participants will be doing.  Here you can learn about the Pilots, Engineers, & Gunners.  At this point in the process the hints are subtle and many will not even notice that the detailed instructions shown on the monitors are actually beneficial instruction to aid in their mission.

Next you are admitted into the pre-show are where you will meet Hondo Ohnaka, smuggler & pirate, from Star Wars Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels series.  Regardless of whether you recognize him or know his backstory you can still follow his instructions and listen to him describe your role in this adventure.

Above all you are witnessing some of the most impressive audio animatronics that Disney has ever created.  You will swear that you are listening to a live actor portray Hondo Ohnaka as opposed to an audio animatronic figure.

Preparing For Your Mission

The next stage of the attraction is to receive a card that lets you know what your role will be during the mission.  You can be one of 3 different roles: Pilot, Gunner, or Engineer.  Each has a distinct responsibility during the mission.  Your card also is color coded.  Your group will include 2 people in each role to fill the  6 spots that it takes to successfully operate the Millenium Falcon.

The last staging area gives you time to mill about and take pictures amongst the amazing features in the spaceport while you are waiting to board the Millenium Falcon.  You can even check out a very familiar looking chess board that is perfect for taking pictures and selfies.

Expect just a couple of minutes here while waiting for your boarding group color to be called and to receive instructions.

Final Instructions From Hondo

The last part of the attraction prior to the ride is to gather and receive last second instructions from Hondo Ohnaka via video screen.  Pay attention because this could make the difference between a successful smuggling mission or a failed attempt.

It Really Is All About The Storytelling

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run goes to great lengths to tell a story to engage guests in the experience that many have dreamed about for years - flying a mission aboard the REAL Millennium Falcon.  Despite any shortfalls, this attraction before the ride is what brings million to experience Disney's Theme Parks around the world.

Do not rush to get in the single rider line without experiencing the whole attraction.  Doing so would deprive you of some of the best elements of the story and the attraction itself.  Don't be afraid to let yourself be in Batuu and immerse yourself in the surroundings and the fantasy of Star Wars.

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