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Disney’s Millenium Falcon attraction just had its millionth rider

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is moving close to 24,000 people per day through Smugglers Run

Eight-year-old Jonathan Ridgeway of Ocean Springs, Mississippi (center, back) becomes the one millionth guest to take to take the controls of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Ju
Eight-year-old Jonathan Ridgeway of Ocean Springs, Mississippi (third from left), was the millionth rider on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. He took off from Batuu on July 16, 2019.
Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The Millennium Falcon attraction at Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge just had its millionth rider. That’s a pace of nearly 24,000 riders per day. It’s a lot of foot traffic, even for the ship that made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs.

The number counters some online critics who have mistaken crowd control for poor attendance. It’s a major milestone for the ambitious Star Wars-themed land, and testament to Disney Parks’ near mastery of line management.

Galaxy’s Edge opened in Anaheim, California, with only one of its two main attractions. You’d think that would have created lines that stretched all the way back to the Disneyland entrance, but on opening day things felt pretty calm. Waits ranged from 30 to 90 minutes for Smugglers Run during out time in the park, and people seemed to be moving through at a brisk pace.

Turns out they were moving a lot more briskly than we thought.

More than anything, it speaks to the pressures that the team at Disney Parks must be under to get the next ride, called Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, right. Some say that it’s one of the longest rides that Disney’s famed Imagineers have ever created, and also among the most complex. Early reports say it’s effectively four rides in one, and even includes simulated blaster fire and pyrotechnics. It’s telling, then, that even though Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland first, Rise of the Resistance won’t be welcoming guests in California until after the ride opens in Orlando, Florida. Disney Parks pegged the attraction’s opening day for Dec. 5 at Disney World, while fans in California will have to wait until Jan. 17.

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