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Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

As you probably know by now, Jason and I had the opportunity to go to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on opening day. One of the highlights of our time there was seeing the life-sized Millennium Falcon in all its glory. It will never be something that either of us will tire of seeing as it's truly a breathtaking sight to be standing so close to one of our favorite ships in the galaxy. Behind it lies the Smuggler's Run simulation attraction. While I didn't ride it myself (I get motion sickness extremely easily) I did walk through the line with Jason. Today I will be talking about what that experience was like and Jason shares an honest and thorough review on the ride itself.


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Smuggler's Run went back and fourth from being anywhere from a thirty-five minute wait to an hour and a half wait while were there. We found that the busiest times were during the first and last hour during our four hour reservation there due to the overlapping time slots. We got in line about halfway through our time on Batuu and we stood in line for around thirty minutes or so. I would suggest to observe the wait time on the digital queue indicator above the entrance of Smuggler's Run and on the Disneyland App. We noticed they weren't always matched up so it might be good to ask a Cast Member before entering if you're trying to time manage. This issue may be all cleared up now that the park has been open for nearly two weeks.


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

The line itself continuously moved and with much to look at inside, it made it an enjoyable experience. One of the very first things I noticed was a game of Sabacc that had been left unfinished. What a delightful nod to Solo: A Star Wars Story! Tools, weapons, and even an gigantic thruster engine could be spotted throughout the line. While you're in the room where they're testing the engine, you get to experience a bit of environmental storytelling which was definitely entertaining. I'm interested to see if there will be new treasures I'll spot the next time I walk through!


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

One of the best parts about being in line is getting different views of the Falcon. We got a closer look at some of the incredible details which are completely realistic. You'd swear that you could just hop in the cockpit, buckle up and take off! We were also able to see the multi-purpose transport shuttle from a different angle which is parked on the hangar bay next to Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo. At this point in the line you are quite close to making your way to a familiar face. That is, if you've seen either The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels and I sure hope you have!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Friends, from this point on Jason will be continuing this article with his review of the Smuggler's Run attraction along with some photos he was able to capture with his phone.

After the mission briefing that we received from Hondo Ohnaka, we were all ushered into the next area and split into crews of six. The smugglers handed each of us crew members a colored card which had an assigned role that we would play in the mission. There are two Pilot slots (Pilot and Co-Pilot), two Gunners, and two Engineers (they make in-flight repairs as needed). I received an Engineer card. After this, a door whooshed open and, before I knew it, we were inside the Falcon. The MILLENIUM FALCON!! It was an exhilarating and surreal experience.

I nearly tripped over my own jaw which was essentially on the floor for the entire time that we were inside the fastest hunk o' junk in the galaxy. We navigated our way down the twisting, white corridors of the ship and soon found ourselves in the presence of the infamous Dejarik table where Threepio gave Artoo possibly the greatest advice anyone received in the entirety of our favorite saga, "Let the wookie win." Disney has done such a wonderful job of creating the look and feel of Galaxy's Edge that I really felt like I was IN THE FALCON. This wasn't a replica - this was the one-and-only; the legend. That is how I felt when I was there.


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

It is a shame, then, that the entire experience didn't seem (to me) to be handled with such care and devotion to preserve travelers' pure joy at finding themselves inside what is probably many people's very favorite spaceship of all time. I say this because I felt that this part of the experience was entirely too rushed.

I didn't even have a chance to snap a picture of the Dejarik table without some random other patron sitting there before my crew was shuffled into the next section to prepare for the mission (sorry, random other patron). Mind you, this should be the most exciting part since the next section is inside the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, but I think it speaks to how wonderfully they recreated the interior of the ship that, when it was time to see the cockpit, I was still thinking, "Hold on a minute, I want to spend more time HERE!"

So, it was time to fly the mission. We lined up in front of the next door and, when it opened, there it was... the cockpit! I will be honest and say that I didn't take in all of the sights inside to the degree that I feel I should have. I didn't take in all of the details or look for nods to the source material (I'm willing to bet they are there). I was overwhelmed by the pace at which everything was happening. It seemed to go by in a blur.


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Unfortunately, I didn't at all care for the ride experience itself. I'm hoping that this would change if I rode it again and got to be a Pilot or Gunner, but I really don't feel like I would wait very long to try it again. I would, however, wait in the line just to see the inside of the Falcon again, so I suppose I might as well try the ride at that point. Maybe I will like it more.

There are a couple of reasons that I didn't care for it. One is that I don't think the Engineer role is well thought-out. I feel as if they needed a third role and they just came up with something to fill that slot that sort of made sense when thinking about some of the things that may need to be performed mid-flight.

The engineer role basically consists of pressing buttons or flipping switches to repair the ship as it takes damage. The buttons and switches will illuminate and flash to indicate when you need to do this. I believe that sounds also alert you to take action as well. Overall, there isn't a lot that I felt like I was really doing.

The reason that I don't think the role that I played is well thought-out is that I felt like I was pulled out of the experience instead of immersed in it. The buttons and switches that the Engineer must attend to are on the side wall of the cockpit which requires the Engineer to constantly look away from the screen whenever making repairs. Therefore, I felt that I missed a lot of what was going on onscreen. Also, even when I was watching the screen, I was focusing on listening/watching for audible/visual cues for me to repair our ship. Therefore, I personally couldn't focus on what was actually going on in the mission and I felt like I basically missed out on all of it. I'm not sure what the other two roles are like since I have not experienced them, but I would imagine that you would be watching the screen the entire time as a Pilot and Gunner.

I don't like the fact that the experience is controlled by the participants. It is essentially just a big video game, and one that I felt didn't look to be state-of-the-art. I was actually shocked by how dated the visuals appeared (to me). I think video games that are available on a simple home console look much better by comparison. Earlier in the day, I rode Star Tours, and I honestly think that looks better than Smuggler's Run. I definitely expected something that looked much more modern and like the movies. I think that would add to the immersion instead of feeling like I was just looking at an old video game, which I did.


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Smuggler's Run Review | Anakin and His Angel

I believe that I am in the minority on this one. Everyone else on my crew seemed to love the ride, and that is fantastic. I definitely think that you should ride it for yourself - you may absolutely love it. Besides, the line alone is worth waiting for, even before you get inside the falcon.

All in all, I wish that some of the choices made for Smuggler's Run were different, but I am very happy for everyone who enjoys the ride (which seems to be a lot of people), and I can't wait to see what the next ride is like. It will probably be more my (light)speed.

Have you had the chance to ride Smuggler's Run? What did you think of it? Let us know in a comment below!

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