Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run finally gives “Star Wars” fans a chance to fly the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy at Disneyland.
One of Disney’s most anticipated and ambitious rides, one that takes guests aboard a Star Destroyer, will open Dec. 5 at Disney World, but not until Jan. 17, 2020 in Disneyland, park officials announced Thursday.
Dec. 5 is Walt Disney’s birthday.
Rise of the Resistance is expected to be the centerpiece of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The 14-acre land opened May 31 at Disneyland and will debut Aug. 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
No explanation was given for the delay in the Disneyland version of the attraction. Officials had earlier said the ride would open sometime this year.
Imagineers call Rise of the Resistance among the most technologically advanced and immersive attractions Disney has ever created.
What you’ll see in the attraction
The experience, believed to be as long as 20 minutes, involves many animatronic characters, large video screens that will show a space battle between Tie Fighters and X-Wings, and a trackless ride system in which vehicles will dodge laser fire from the four-legged AT-AT tanks.
Guests also will come face-to-face with the evil Kylo Ren of the First Order.
When Galaxy’s Edge first was announced in 2015, officials revealed scant details of the two attractions featured within the land: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, though it was assumed both would be in operation when the land opened.
Some were surprised when Disneyland officials announced Galaxy’s Edge would open May 31 without Rise of the Resistance. The anticipation for the new Star Wars land would exceed actual attendance, as Disneyland’s major rides have seen shorter lines this summer. A virtual queue for Galaxy’s Edge, to be triggered as crowds filled the land, has rarely been needed. The opening of Rise of the Resistance was expected to heighten demand.
Disney World passholders to get preview
As the debut of Galaxy’s Edge approaches in Disney World, some annual passholders will get sneak previews. Officials have yet to announce to any of the crowd-control measures initially used at Disneyland, and if the experience in Anaheim is any indication, such measures won’t be necessary.
As the wait for Rise of the Resistance continues, Universal Studios Orlando is capturing crowds and attention with its latest ride, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The ride, which combines a detailed dark ride with a low-flying roller coaster, drew lines of up to 10 hours when it opened in June.
That ride, too, has had its share of difficulties. Frequent breakdowns forced officials to alter its schedule, at times operating it half the day. Officials recently announced the attraction would open in the morning but close each night before the park shut down.
Still, people have been waiting three to six hours to board the motorcycle and sidecar as they swerve through a landscape made famous by Harry Potter.
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