Whether it’s your first flight on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run or your first time embarking on this adventure with someone who has a disability, there are some things you need to know before you blast off.
There are a few things you should know before you board the #MillenniumFalcon #SmugglersRun at #StarWars #GalaxyEdge #Disneyland Get your #accessibility info here!Tweet
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What type of attraction is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run?
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is a ride like no other in the Disneyland park. It’s a mix of Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster, but instead of just trying to get the highest score, you work together with the rest of your crew to complete your mission. There are three flight crew roles (2 people per role) available which I will explain later in the post.
There is no track and the cockpit doesn’t move from its location. It does, however, shake and rattle! Like Star Tours, the ride vehicle tilts forward and backward and side to side to simulate flight in outer space. There are no steep dips or jarring turns like with Space Mountain.
Who should NOT ride?
WARNING: For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride.Per the official Disneyland website
This ride can get quite bumpy. Especially if your pilots are accident-prone. With that said, if Star Tours doesn’t bother you neither will Smuggler’s Run. I am unable to ride Star Tours as I always end the ride with a pinched nerve in my neck. Yet, I have never had a problem with Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run.
One thing I must stress is MOTION SICKNESS! The projection and flight feels authentic. It’s so realistic that I almost threw up during my first flight as a pilot. However, it is not an issue when assigned the role of gunner or engineer because I do not have to look out the window unless I want to. Those jobs require keeping an eye on panels and pressing many buttons.
Service animals may not accompany guests into the cockpit. After receiving your assignment, you will be assigned to a boarding area that has a kennel available. You also have the option to use rider-switch.
Wait times for this attraction are all over the place! I have seen them as low as 20 minutes and as high as 180!
Mornings are always the busiest. Even though people have heard and seen how the wait times drop within one or two hours of opening, they insist on starting their morning there.
Unless it is the weekend, a holiday, or a special event like the opening of Rise of the Resistance on January 17, 2020, the wait time will drop and stay at a reasonable time throughout the day. If not, Disneyland has a virtual system in place to allow guests to do other things while they wait to enter the queue. To date, this system has not had to be used in this park. This may change on the 1/17/2020. We will just have to wait and see.
Accessibility and Queue Information
The standard queue for Millenium Falcon is ADA accessible. While tight on some turns there is room for all types of mobility aids. The single rider queue is not accessible and not an option for guests who are not able to handle stairs.
Back to the standard queue. The longer the wait time is, the more twisty the queue becomes. As the wait time increases, more sections of the queue are opened and they have many turns. You will not experience that portion of the queue if the wait time is under 60 minutes.
The queue begins outside and the surface is flat. Upon entering the indoor portion the walkway becomes a ramp. This ramp is quite steep. We have witnessed many motorized mobility aids roll backward and struggle to go forward. It could be problematic for a manual wheelchair user if they do not have the arm strength required. I could not do it without assistance from a family member.
As mentioned earlier, service animals may not go inside the ride vehicle. They may be caged or you and another guest in your party may use the rider switch service.
If you use the DAS program for cognitive or any other disability besides mobility, follow the directions given to you by guest services.
Queue part 2: The pre-pre-show
When you reach the top you will be asked for the number of people in your party and instructed to go right or left into the pre-show room. It doesn’t matter where you wait (front, back, left, right, or smack dab in the center). Just make sure that your party stays together, especially after Hondo Ohnaka sends you on your way.
During this pre-show Hondo Ohnaka welcomes you and offers you an opportunity of a lifetime, to transport valuable merchandise across the galaxy. He needs pilots to navigate, engineers to operate the ship, and gunners to defend the shipment. There are two openings for each position for each flight, bringing each flight to a crew total of six. Do not worry if you have less than six in your party. The cast members will combine your party with others and fill in empty positions with single riders. This takes place in the third portion of the queue.
Queue part 3: Wait and learn
We’re almost there. After leaving Hondo Ohnaka you and your party will go down a narrow corridor. This is why it is important to keep your crew together. At the end of this corridor, your crew will be assigned flight positions. If your crew has more than 6 people, you will be divided up. It’s best to choose who will be flying with who before reaching this point.
Each crew member will be handed a card with their assigned duty and guided into the waiting area. Flight crews consist of 2 pilots (one navigates up and down while the other side to side), 2 gunners, and 2 engineers. You are welcome to trade with anyone in your group, but if no one wants to trade, what you get is what you are.
There is a fun photo opportunity in the area along with other stuff to explore. If you look carefully, you will find Porg nests throughout the entire queue.
Your flight crew position cards are colored. When the cast member calls out your color, you and your crew need to stop what you are doing and line up where instructed. Crew members using a mobility aid will be asked if they need to use the special entrance which allows them to use their mobility aid until they enter the cockpit or if they are able to stand a few minutes without it. You are then led to one more waiting area where Hondo Ohnaka goes over your job one more time.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run Get ready for takeoff!
You made it!! It’s time to enter the cockpit. Walk in order of position, take your seat, and buckle up baby, because you’re in for a wild ride!
The pilot on the left side controls the right to left movements, while the right pilot moves the falcon up and down. The up and down movements are inverted, meaning that moving the gear up moves the ship down and vice versa. Gunners and engineers are to push their buttons as they light up.
Relax and have fun! I know a few people who put off going on this attraction because they were afraid of not performing well. Here’s the deal, it’s fun no matter how bad the crew is. Remember that you are working together and not against each other. Also, note that a bad crew doesn’t end the experience any sooner than an experienced one.
When you’re done, be sure to have your picture taken in front of the Millennium Falcon. Do not be intimidated by a line for the photographer. There are several taking pictures at the same time and it moves along quickly. Plus they take much better photos than you or I would.
My Review of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run has become my favorite attraction in the entire Disneyland park. I have a feeling that it will be moved to number 2 after the 17th, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. Anyways, the reason I love this attraction is that it is one of the few rides that does not aggravate my chronic pain. The seats are comfortable and the movements of the cockpit feel natural.
My only complaints are with single riders or other guests that are added to our crew. We have had a few who decided to ignore their crew card assignment and pushed their way past my wheelchair to take the positions they wanted. I let it go for the first two times, but that’s it. Now I speak up and remind people of the rules. If no one will trade positions and you don’t like your position, too bad! Get back in line after you finish riding and try again! Thankfully most of the people we have flown with have been a lot of fun.
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