Star Wars fans visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando face an enviable dilemma: Which advanced, immersive Star Wars ride should they make a beeline for first? Both Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run leverage next-generation technology to put riders in the middle of a Star Wars story.
If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Rise of the Resistance is more ambitious and advanced, placing riders in an intense battle between the Resistance and the First Order. Smugglers Run gives riders the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon through danger-filled space.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare every aspect of these two exciting Hollywood Studios attractions to help you decide which one you should race to ride first.
Ride Premise and Story
When it comes to immersive storytelling, both Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance deliver unforgettable experiences that transport guests to the Star Wars universe. Each ride offers a unique premise and mission, allowing visitors to become active participants in the story.
Smugglers Run Backstory and Mission
Smugglers Run puts you in the cockpit of the iconic Millennium Falcon, the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. As a member of the flight crew, your mission is to navigate through space, evade Imperial forces, and deliver precious cargo to a secret location.
The ride combines cutting-edge technology with interactive gameplay, allowing you to control the ship’s movements and fire its blasters.
The backstory of Smugglers Run is set in the time period between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, allowing fans to experience the thrill of being part of the Star Wars saga. The ride features a cast of familiar characters, including Chewbacca and Hondo Ohnaka, who guide you through the mission with their witty banter and expert piloting skills.
Rise of the Resistance Backstory and Mission
Rise of the Resistance takes you on an epic adventure as a recruit for the Resistance, the brave group fighting against the oppressive First Order. The story begins with a secret rendezvous at a hidden Resistance base, where you are assigned a crucial mission to rescue a captured Resistance member.
This groundbreaking ride combines multiple ride systems, including trackless vehicles and motion simulators, to create a seamless and immersive experience. As you make your way through the ride, you encounter iconic Star Wars characters such as Rey, Kylo Ren, and BB-8, all brought to life with stunning animatronics and lifelike projections.
The Rise of the Resistance ride is known for its thrilling moments, including a simulated escape from a Star Destroyer and a climactic battle against Kylo Ren himself. It truly captures the spirit of the Star Wars saga and leaves guests in awe of its scale and detail.
Ride System and Mechanics
Smugglers Run Ride System
The Smugglers Run ride at Disney World utilizes an innovative ride system that truly immerses guests into the Star Wars universe. As riders enter the queue, they are greeted by a life-sized replica of the Millennium Falcon, which sets the stage for the adventure that awaits.
Once on board the Falcon, guests take on one of three roles: pilot, gunner, or engineer.
The ride system itself is a motion simulator, complete with a full-scale cockpit and interactive controls. Pilots are responsible for navigating the ship through space, while gunners must defend against enemy attacks.
Engineers play a vital role in repairing any damage the Falcon sustains during the mission.
Rise of the Resistance Ride System
The Rise of the Resistance ride at Disney World takes ride systems to a whole new level of immersion. This groundbreaking attraction combines multiple ride systems, including trackless vehicles, motion simulators, and even a drop sequence.
As guests embark on their journey through the galaxy, they are transported from one awe-inspiring scene to another, seamlessly transitioning between different ride vehicles and experiences. The trackless vehicles move in sync with the on-screen action, creating a sense of realism and adventure like never before.
One of the standout features of the Rise of the Resistance ride system is the battle sequence. Guests find themselves in the middle of a heated battle between the Resistance and the First Order, with blaster fire and explosions all around.
The combination of physical sets, special effects, and high-tech ride vehicles makes for an unforgettable experience.
Both the Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance ride systems offer unique and exciting experiences for Star Wars fans. While Smugglers Run puts guests in the driver’s seat of the Millennium Falcon, Rise of the Resistance takes them on an epic adventure through the galaxy.
The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and whether you prefer a more interactive or immersive experience.
Queue and Pre-Show
Smugglers Run Queue and Pre-Show
The queue and pre-show experience for Smugglers Run at Disney World is a thrilling adventure in itself. As you make your way through the line, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the Star Wars universe.
The queue is designed to resemble the interior of the Millennium Falcon, complete with iconic details and props from the films. You’ll pass by the famous Dejarik holographic chess table and even catch a glimpse of the cockpit before boarding the ride.
But the excitement doesn’t stop there. Before you embark on your mission, you’ll be treated to a pre-show briefing by none other than Hondo Ohnaka, the pirate and smuggler from the Star Wars animated series.
Hondo sets the stage for your adventure and gives you important instructions for your mission. It’s an immersive and interactive experience that gets you pumped up for what’s to come.
Rise of the Resistance Queue and Pre-Show
The queue and pre-show for Rise of the Resistance takes the immersive experience to a whole new level. From the moment you enter the queue, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a Resistance base.
The attention to detail is incredible, with props, set pieces, and even audio effects that make you feel like you’re part of the Star Wars story.
As you make your way through the queue, you’ll encounter different scenes and encounters with beloved Star Wars characters. You may even come face-to-face with a life-size AT-AT walker! The queue seamlessly blends storytelling and anticipation, building up the excitement for what’s to come.
Before boarding the ride, you’ll be ushered into a pre-show area where you’ll receive a mission briefing from Rey herself. This pre-show is not just a passive experience; it involves special effects and holograms that make it feel like you’re really communicating with Rey.
It’s an awe-inspiring moment that sets the stage for the incredible adventure ahead.
Smugglers Run Ride Experience
The Smugglers Run ride at Disney World offers an immersive and interactive experience that puts you right in the heart of the Star Wars universe. As a member of the Millennium Falcon crew, you’ll embark on a thrilling mission to smuggle goods for Hondo Ohnaka, a well-known character from the Star Wars series.
Once inside the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, you’ll be assigned a role – pilot, gunner, or engineer. Each role comes with unique responsibilities that contribute to the success of the mission. As the pilot, you’ll navigate the ship through asteroid fields and enemy territory.
The gunner is in charge of defending the ship from enemy attacks, while the engineer keeps the Falcon running smoothly.
The ride is filled with stunning visuals and realistic simulations, making you feel as if you’re truly flying through space. The interactive nature of the ride allows you to control the outcome of the mission, adding an extra layer of excitement and engagement.
Rise of the Resistance Ride Experience
The Rise of the Resistance ride takes the Star Wars experience to a whole new level. As one of the Resistance recruits, you’ll find yourself in the middle of an epic battle between the Resistance and the First Order.
The ride begins with a journey through a Resistance base, where you’ll encounter iconic characters such as Rey and BB-8. From there, you’ll board a transport vehicle, which will take you on a thrilling adventure through enemy territory.
The ride seamlessly combines elements of a traditional dark ride, a simulator, and a walk-through attraction. You’ll encounter lifelike animatronics, breathtaking visual effects, and even face off against Kylo Ren himself. The level of detail and immersion in this ride is truly unparalleled.
One of the standout features of Rise of the Resistance is the use of trackless ride technology. This allows for unpredictable movements and surprising twists, making each ride experience unique. Combined with the impressive set designs and captivating storytelling, this ride is a must-try for any Star Wars fan.
Repeat Ride Value
When it comes to the repeat ride value, both Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance offer unique experiences that make them worth revisiting. However, there are some key differences to consider.
Smugglers Run, located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, puts you in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. As a pilot, gunner, or engineer, you’ll work together with your team to complete a mission. The interactive nature of this ride allows for different outcomes each time, depending on how well your team performs.
This makes Smugglers Run a great choice for those who enjoy a bit of role-playing and want to try out different roles on subsequent rides.
Additionally, the level of control you have over the Millennium Falcon gives Smugglers Run a high replay value. You can experiment with different strategies and see how they impact the outcome of the mission.
Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, the thrill of flying one of the most iconic spaceships in the galaxy is an experience that many visitors find irresistible.
Rise of the Resistance
Rise of the Resistance, on the other hand, is an epic and immersive experience that takes you on a journey through the Star Wars universe. From the moment you step foot into the Resistance base, you’re transported into a thrilling adventure filled with stunning visuals and heart-pounding action.
Unlike Smugglers Run, Rise of the Resistance follows a set storyline with multiple scenes and encounters. This means that while the overall experience remains the same, there are so many details to take in that you’re likely to notice something new with each ride.
From the animatronics to the special effects, every aspect of this attraction is meticulously crafted to create an unforgettable experience.
Moreover, Rise of the Resistance features a trackless ride system that adds an element of unpredictability. The ride vehicles move in sync with the action happening around you, making each ride feel unique.
This, combined with the captivating narrative, makes Rise of the Resistance a ride that begs to be experienced multiple times.
Both Star Wars: Rise of Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run are incredibly immersive, exciting rides that bring guests into the Star Wars universe like never before.
Rise of the Resistance tells a thrilling, dramatic story and incorporates multiple ride systems to constantly surprise riders. Smugglers Run empowers riders to pilot the Millennium Falcon through a dangerous off-planet mission.
While Rise of the Resistance wins out as the more ambitious, impressive overall attraction, Smugglers Run offers better repeat ride value with its variable roles and outcomes. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either of these groundbreaking Star Wars rides!