The resistance member hands me an orange ticket.
“Your role for this mission is on the ticket,” he says secretively.
I look down at the card he’s given me. IT reads “Ohnaka Transport Solutions – Pilot”.
I’m about to become the pilot of the Millenium Falcon – the fastest hunk of junk in the universe.
The resistance members rush me towards the flight deck alongside a second pilot, two gunners and two engineers.
The ship is ready to take off. It shakes beneath our feet and rumbles loudly as we rush to secure our seat belts and make the jump to hyperspace.
My role is to move the Millenium Falcon left and right. My co-pilot will make the ship move up and down. The gunners must destroy all enemy ships and the engineers must restore all damage sustained in the mission.
This is a smuggling run. Our mission is to find a train and secure a cable to it so we can loot the goods. It’s much harder than it looks. The controls are extremely sensitive. Sometimes we successfully navigate down deep ravines, through narrow industrial structures and over mountains. At other times, we bump and crash our way through the ride.
At all times, it feels real. That’s the magic of Disney. More than any other theme park Disneyland has the ability to immerse you completely in another world.
Right now everyone in our crew is screaming, bashing buttons and doing everything they can to ensure we secure the cargo. We all completely believe we are on this mission.
With Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Disney has combined incredible, realistic graphics with the action and adventure of a computer game. You not only ride this ride – you control it.
You can be sure that huge fans will get season tickets just to perfect this ride and get the highest score. Our score was dismal thanks to some rather large damage to the hull.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland California on May 31. An identical land will open at Walt Disney World Orlando Florida in August this year.
Galaxy’s Edge is based on the fictional planet Batu, which is run by the First Order. The resistance is outlawed.
The cast members in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are always in character. Ask a cast member to take a photo and they will tell you they like your transmitting device. If you ask a First Order member about where to find lightsabres – they won’t tell you. But ask the right person and this land reveals many secrets.
Two Stormtroopers check a woman’s papers as I walk towards the marketplace. I hug the wall and chat with a couple of characters standing in front of a door. One of them is holding a strange lizard-like animal. They tell me I should avoid trouble up ahead and instead come inside to see “some antiques”.
Inside, is what I have been waiting for – Savi’s Workshop – a clandestine lightsabre outlet.
Inside, the resistance team ask me which lightsabre is calling to me. I choose blue – the colour of Obe One, Luke Skywalker and Rey and head to the middle of the room to practice my lightsabre skills.
Wielding the weapon left and right, pretending to be Rey, I find one certain spot is incredibly strong with the force. I can’t tell you too much about it- that’s a secret you will have to find for yourself.
Every single detail inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is deliberate and perfect. The paint has worn on the yellow railings on the way up to the Millenium Falcon exposing the metal underneath in imperfect patches. Inside the Catina, which sells delicious alcoholic cocktails, tubes of blue, yellow and purple liquids bubble in glass containers surrounded by industrial metal and piping. If you look closely enough – you can find bullet holes in the walls – signs of previous battles between scum and villainy. Star Wars fans will love the X wing perched on the edge of the building as you first enter Batu.
At the Droid Depot, guests can design, assemble and activate their own droid from parts that circulate around the factory on a conveyer belt. Look up and you will see legs, arms and pieces of scrap metal traveller around the room above your head. If you don’t have enough time to make your own – you can buy ready-made drones in the shop too.
The highlight of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is definitely the Millenium Falcon. The full-size replica dominates the land and guests can admire it from every angle as the line up for Smugglers Run. It is exactly like you remember it from the films.