Disneyland's coming Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction, one of two E-ticket rides anchoring the park's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge expansion, gives guests the unique opportunity to pilot the Corellian YT-1300 light freighter — the fastest ship in the galaxy.
"If you think about it, it's only been Han Solo, Chewie, Lando, Rey and now me," Disneyland ride operator Mark Diwas told the OC Register of being just a handful of beings to ever pilot the ship once belonging to legendary outlaw Han Solo. "So that's pretty cool to say right now until we open and then everybody is going to be able to fly."
The flight simulator sees riders take off from the Black Spire Outpost on the remote planet of Batuu, the setting of Galaxy's Edge, and battle enemy ships as they work together to retrieve loot for space pirate Hondo Ohnaka, who welcomes guests as a lifelike Audio-Animatronic housed at the start of the ride.
Diwas is happy to test the attraction for Walt Disney Imagineering, who have been fine-tuning Smugglers Run for months ahead of its May 31 opening as the land's debut attraction. Working Smugglers Run during its try-out phase has been "absolutely very exiting," Diwas said.
"It feels very real with all the show lighting on and all the sound effects and background music. This has been a dream of many Star Wars fans for over 40 years now. People have been wanting to fly the Millennium Falcon for that long. People are going to be so amazed and in love with what they are going to be able to do."
"We're trying to make sure we get this right for the Star Wars fans who are going to be coming," Diwas said. "We know how dedicated and how much they love the story. So we are doing our best to make sure when they come into Batuu for the first time it's going to be something that they're going to love. It's a very big challenge."
Guests will step into the Falcon's familiar hallways before climbing into its iconic cockpit, where they'll be met with 200 fully functional buttons, knobs, and switches, each directly impacting every new ride.
As detailed by the OC Register, crews of six will be assigned specific tasks, with such duties as piloting — navigating the ship through a rousing intergalactic battle in deep space — while gunners fend off enemy ships, leaving engineers tasked with the pivotal duty of maintaining the Falcon's flight systems and repairing any damages.
The climax of the ride sees the pilots make the jump to hyperspace, as Han and loyal co-pilot Chewbacca have so many times before, by activating the ship's throttle lever. "Wait until you do it for real," Diwas said.
The other major attraction of Galaxy's Edge — Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance — will find guests caught between the warring factions of the heroic Resistance and the oppressive First Order, and will open later in 2019.
Disneyland Resort is now informing guests Galaxy's Edge will operate on a no-cast reservation system between May 31 and June 23, 2019, and that no standby lines will be available during that time. Guests staying at any of the Disneyland Resort's three hotels during that period will be registered for reservations to experience the land.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens May 31 at the Disneyland Resort and August 29 within Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort.
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