ORLANDO, Fla. — Seventy minutes. Every time this reporter checked the wait time for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run — the main ride at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge until the new Rise of Resistance attraction opens Thursday — the time read: 70 minutes.
A wait time of more than an hour for a ride that barely lasted 15 minutes, including the time spent walking through the ship and sitting inside waiting for the ride to begin.
Smuggler’s Run is set up to be an iconic experience. It gives Star Wars fans a chance to pilot, engineers and manage the Millennium Falcon — something that would have seemed like a dream 10 years ago. But it is here.
The problem, though, is fans don’t get enough time to interact with the iconic ship, making you shrug and smile as you leave rather than jump for joy. And with such a long line, there’s little reason to jump back in for the experience again.
The Millennium Falcon ride sets up a simple premise. You’re on a smuggle run at the direction of Hondo Ohnaka, who appeared in “Star Wars Rebels” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” You’re going to chase down a runaway train and collect bounty that you’ll use later to help the Resistance.
Participants are separated into different groups by cards — a red, green and white card. Two people are assigned to pilot the ship, two others work as “engineers” to keep systems running and the final two work as gunners.
A reporter was given a red card and was designated to be a gunner for his mission. Sitting in the chair, this reporter was left to mainly tap quickly on a blinking red button on his left. The rest of the ride played out ahead of him. Two chairs obstructed the view.
In some sense, the ride inspires you to get back in line. Pilots may want to experience the gunner position. Gunners and engineers will surely want to be pilot.
But the ride only lasts 10 to 15 minutes. The time that you get to embrace you role gets cut short. You want more. And then you want more of another position. There’s this deep need for more of an experience, more of a game, more of a thrill.
Once the ride is over, you walk through long tunnels of the ship before heading into the Batuu landing base, which is carved into the rocks. It’s a nice walk. But it takes time — almost as long as the entire ride.
That’s the major problem with the Smuggler’s Run ride — time. The ride doesn’t offer enough time. And you can’t get back the time you spent waiting in line to ride it.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has the benefit of adding another ride this week. The new “Rise of the Resistance” ride will surely give guests another activity. Otherwise, it’s hard to see why ride enthusiast would want to stick around. You could find more thrill from a Millennium Falcon experience in “Empire Strikes Back” when Han Solo navigates the asteroid field.