Disneyland welcomes the millionth rider on its Millennium Falcon

July 18, 2019, 1:30 PM · Turns out the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy is pretty durable, too. Whatever repairs the crew at Ohnaka Transport Solutions has been doing to the Millennium Falcon seem to have worked, because Disneyland announced today that the Falcon just welcomed its one millionth rider since docking at the Black Spire Outpost.

Disneyland this week designated a family of four from Mississippi as including the millionth rider on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land since its May 31 opening to the public.

Given that the ride has been open for 48 days as of yesterday, one million riders would mean that the Falcon is putting through a little more than 20,000 riders per day. With the park open for 16 hours most of those days, that would work out to an average capacity around 1300 guests per hour, which is in the ballpark of what people expected for the ride. But to hit this number now with that capacity testifies to a solid uptime record for the attraction in its first few weeks of operation, which is always worth commending.

Smugglers Run offers the most demanding interactive experience in a major theme park attraction, challenging riders to fly the Millennium Falcon on a mission to capture and deliver valuable coaxium to smuggler Hondo Ohnaka. It's an amazing social experiment, but one that frustrates some riders on repeat visits, as two of the three roles available on the ride are clearly less rewarding than being assigned to pilot the Falcon.

Still, it's the Millennium freakin' Falcon, lovingly created to the finest detail, providing Star Wars fans with the chance to fulfill a long-time wish to board and ride the most iconic spaceship in the Star Wars galaxy.

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Replies (26)

July 18, 2019 at 1:43 PM

Hopefully they "Let the Wookie Win".

I would say the throughput on the ride is even more impressive considering that through the first month of operation, there were ebbs and flows of guests in the queue due to the reservation system Disney was using to control access to Galaxy's Edge. Reportedly there were times during this period of operation where lines were literally "walk on" with CMs furiously ushering guests onto the ride. There had to have been times during this period where cabins were going either partially or fully empty (some guests claim to have flown "solo" during the transition period between reservation blocks).

One can only hope that when RotR finally opens, it's anywhere close to the reliability of MFSR.

July 18, 2019 at 1:44 PM

What? But according to all the "Disney has ruined Star Wars" blogs, no one goes to Galaxy's Edge!

July 18, 2019 at 3:03 PM

Make a new Star Wars land but don't include the characters of the original iconic trilogy - who came up with that dumb idea?

July 18, 2019 at 4:38 PM

@ Andrew, well they have Chewie & Stromtroopers, lol.

I still think setting the land in Batuu gave them the most leeway. The more generic the setting, the more freedom they have in chasing / adapting or creating whatever version they want.

July 18, 2019 at 4:56 PM

I found the attraction rather underwhelming.

July 18, 2019 at 5:33 PM

Oh wait... I thought Galaxies Edge was a failure?

July 18, 2019 at 7:48 PM

@Jay R.
They can have all the leeway they want with the land to adapt to all the new Disney movies that come out, problem is the true SW fans hate the Disney SW movies!

July 18, 2019 at 9:28 PM

Mr. Torrance, speak for yourself, I know plenty of SW fans who do enjoy the new films.

I had to put up with this 20 years ago on "no TRUE Star Wars fan can defend Episode I." Now, those same elitists are going "the prequels were truly fantastic and Lucas should have been allowed to finish it up" after years of slamming his creative ideas.

As mentioned in a recent article, if they had given Tattooine or Death Star, you'd have fans complaining "this is too expected, they should have done something more original."

July 18, 2019 at 9:35 PM

@Mike, I know plenty that do not, no need to get all bent out of shape about it!

There will be critics irregardless, but it would have been a bigger hit if they stuck to mostly the original trilogy.

July 18, 2019 at 10:09 PM

Sorry if I sounded short with you. Although you did just say "true Star Wars fans hate Disney films" and now are saying "Plenty do not.' Sort of giving mixed signals.

However, I don't want to hijack this thread on a huge replay of that debate so let's just agree to disagree.

July 19, 2019 at 1:25 AM

I really have enjoyed Disney’s Star Wars reboot much better than the awful prequels before it. I’ve been critical of the lack of direct references to the original Trilogy but that is a relatively easy “fix” since the land diffidently looks and feels like Star Wars. Add some classic Star Wars music and characters and it’ll be prefect.

July 19, 2019 at 7:54 AM

I think Disney was given a tough task trying to create nostalgia from long-time fans while still making Galaxy's Edge relevant to the current and future generation of Star Wars fans. Movies can make hundreds of millions of dollars and then vanish into relative obscurity, but theme parks require more forethought that allows them to last the test of time. Disney was going to get criticized for whatever they did in the parks, and the same goes for the movies when they bought Lucasfilm, increasing the overall exposure of the IP.

Every individual has a picture in their mind of what the "perfect" Star Wars land looks like, so there was absolutely no way Disney was going to meet those expectations. There's also something to be said for those who went to see ANH in the theaters back in 1977, and how much longer they will be regular theme park guests. Why cater a $1+ billion investment to a generation that will be retiring and shrinking as they age? The next generation of fans that saw the prequels in the theaters would be the most coveted demographic - more or less guaranteed to be regular theme park guests for the next 2-3 decades with younger children, but we all saw how poorly received those movies were among the wider Star Wars fanbase. That leaves the current generation of teenagers and 20-somethings that will be regular theme park guests for the next 30-40 years, so I don't think it's any secret why Disney would want to target that demographic for their most expensive park expansion ever.

Let's face it, fans are all over the place in terms of loving and/or hating elements of the Star Wars Universe. From "Han shot first" to "midichlorians" to "emo-Ren" to "Ahsoka is the most awesome Jedi ever", there are more Star Wars fan "camps" than there are ships in the Imperial Fleet. When you're dealing with such a fickle and fractured fanbase, what are you supposed to do? Galaxy's Edge gives Disney the greatest flexibility to adjust the land to where the Star Wars story is TODAY, while still paying homage to the past.

July 19, 2019 at 8:55 AM

Corporate massive fake news ???
(See general attendance drops in Disneyland ! )
You cannot filter out 20000 visitors "average" per day, with all those total park near-empty morning/noon attendance figures ...
You can't blow HOT & COLD at the same time.

July 19, 2019 at 1:43 PM

That's a hot take, Andrew! lol

July 19, 2019 at 1:44 PM

Herwig - I know attendance is down, but where are you hearing news the park is "near-empty"? Nothing I've seen indicates it's anything more than a noticeable drop.

July 19, 2019 at 2:50 PM

Clayton: It's the same thinking of how "Captain Marvel is a huge flop, Disney paid hundred of millions to buy up empty theaters" that went around a bit back. It's really the serious "Disney ruined Star Wars" crowd trying to make it sound like somehow Galaxy's Edge is a disaster that's going to bring down the entire company.

July 19, 2019 at 5:55 PM

Clayton Lott, many observers notice a never seen emptiness of the park , during week days, from morning opening until well after noon.
This summer, and only this summer. But, not just in Disneyland. It has been reported in many places all over SOCAL. I see and notice exactly the same "fatal drop" here in Western Europe... Efteling is struggling with 1/2 attendance compared to all summers before. (I'm registering it ON the spot, weekly, in the park) But not just theme parks. Newspapers just reported "fatal attendance drop" at the historical city of Brugge : midweek hotel bookings 25% capacity, versus 80% in most other summers (75% vs. 90% in weekends)
SOMETHING is hapening. We do not know what. It's happening since end May/ early June. In Western tourist places.
As far as I can see now, it's NOT bound to a specific park or company.

...

It WILL be a hot topic on the next IAAPA seminar days in september (Paris). I'm attending the professional days there. I'm not expecting to hear a conclusion. I'dd rather check the university of Leuven, where the tourism-barometer is monitored constantly.

July 19, 2019 at 4:30 PM

I agree with Russell....Star Wars "fans" run the spectrum so there is no concept (for a singular) land that would've made everyone happy. If Galaxy's Edge was an entire theme park, you could utilize various locations and time periods.

In terms of the movies, as its been mentioned....when the prequels were released they were NOT critical & fan favorites....Plenty of folks were angry with Lucas & hated the prequels. Even Empire Strikes Back, upon it's original release was met with backlash from fans AND critics.

This is nothing new & the nature of a franchise that has such a broad fanbase & audience. You can't please everyone all of the time (Just look at the reaction to the enhancements Lucas made & the response to the special editions...)

Galaxy's Edge might be disappointing to some, but I wager it has less to do with it strictly lacking OG elements than it only having ONE attraction open & the cost of the other experiences. If ROTR was up & running & there was perhaps a third attraction & a larger show, etc. people would have more to focus on.

July 20, 2019 at 5:47 AM

They blow COLD : the independent observers :

https://www.slashfilm.com/why-is-galaxys-edge-so-empty/
https://winteriscoming.net/2019/07/08/crowds-star-wars-galaxys-edge-smaller-expected/
https://www.disneytouristblog.com/star-wars-land-crowd-predictions/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubdfw6O5vFQ
https://nypost.com/2019/07/16/disneyland-has-become-a-ghost-town/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGRgwcx5RJM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rG3-baJlPg
(... etc etc etc)

They blow HOT : the corporate PR guys :
Actually https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA6U5ZzGz1I <<<<< Is a corporate produced PR video. They "play" (Mis-en-scene, clearly...) the 1 million-th visitor, while incorporating the spacial emptiness of the area... in the very same video (hilarious).
https://www.polygon.com/2019/7/19/20700601/star-wars-land-millennium-falcon-1-million-riders-disney
"24000 daily in the FALCON alone" !!?? , according to Disney ...
HELLO, people, who is believing this ?


July 20, 2019 at 10:41 AM

I can find guys on You Tube doing videos "proving" everything from Apollo 11 being a hoax to the Marvel movies being a massive money laundering operation (and don't get me started on the political stuff) so not sure using those is a good baromater.

July 20, 2019 at 4:02 PM

Not very convincing, MikeW :-)
Here, simple naked facts are reported by literally everybody. (Since early june) Showing the emptyness, life...

July 20, 2019 at 7:41 PM

Which, as you pointed out above, seems to be happening to several theme parks around the world, not just Disneyland. Still, claiming they're openly lying about numbers that can be easily checked is a bit much.

July 21, 2019 at 1:35 AM

Can it be easily checked, Mike ? What's the 'official' method ?
The corporation claims the 1 million-th visitor, in a promo-video. There is, however, no legal count for this.

July 21, 2019 at 10:29 AM

Well, Disney calls their bus transportation Magical Express, they are neither magical nor express.
This smell like damage control and it's a poor attempt while hours for cast members are cut as is entertainment and monorail service to name a few. The waiting times and reports from many people that the park is empty doesn't make it more believable. But Disney is know for telling fairy-tales. ;-)

July 22, 2019 at 9:01 AM

@Herwig - Why are you accusing this of being a fake corporate PR stunt? It seems quite probable that MFSR did achieve it's 1-millionth ride, and Disney could use plenty of other marketing tactics to publicize Galaxy's Edge. Additionally, why would Disney even want to debunk claims of empty parks? If they were truly ghost towns, advertising a ride hitting 1 million guests after less than 2 months of operation would not encourage guests to visit.

July 22, 2019 at 1:44 PM

One would think news of less crowds would actually encourage some folks to come and be able to walk onto attractions they'd have to wait hours for.

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