ANAHEIM, Calif. (KGO) -- To be totally honest, I wasn't sure I would like the 'Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run' ride at Disneyland's brand new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
As a Disney Parks fanboy but not a Star Wars fanboy, I figured Star Tours was good enough. And don't get me wrong, I really enjoy Star Tours (a flight simulator ride that debuted at Disneyland in 1987). But when I heard the largest expansion in Disneyland's history would open with a new Star Wars simulator I thought it sounded a little reductive.
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Well, I was wrong.
The ride rocks. First of all, the Millennium Falcon is actually there. You walk right past the 100-foot-long 'fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy' and then enter a building that eventually gets you to the cockpit.
The ship is imposing. It feels like the real deal. And, that's because it is. Never before has such a large scale version of the ship been attempted in real life.
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After winding through a lot of hallways, you get to the cockpit of the ship and you become either a pilot, a gunner or an engineer. Each has specific duties and buttons or levers to push which actually affect the outcome of the ride.
I thought the interactivity might hurt the quality of the computer renderings you see out the window of the Millennium Falcon cockpit, but it looks great.
Immediately, I was hooked. And I was seated next to five total strangers. I can't imagine how fun this would be with your family or friends. It felt like there were real stakes.
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The whole experience was so intimate and...I'm not sure how else to say this but...real. It felt real. It didn't seem like a facsimile of an adventure but an actual journey.
One I hope to take again and again.
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Hop into the pilot seat of the Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge