If you’re planning on heading to Disney parks with small children, there’s something you need to know about – the Rider Switch. Disney’s Rider Switch service allows “one adult or supervising Guest (14 years or older) [to] wait with non-riders while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. Then, they simply switch roles to allow the supervising Guest to experience the attraction without waiting in the regular queue again.” (source)
This service was vital for us on our most recent Disneyland trip, since Charlie was too short for several of the rides Hubby and I both wanted to ride. It means no one has to miss out on the magic of their favorite rides just because someone doesn’t meet the height requirements (or just doesn’t want to ride the ride). But even though we began our trip armed with the knowledge of the Rider Switch, what we weren’t sure about is how it actually worked. Now that I’ve used Rider Switch, I’m going to share all that info with you!
How Exactly Does It Work?
At first, I thought that maybe Rider Switch allowed the second rider to skip the line completely (wouldn’t that be nice!), but that’s not exactly the case. Instead, Rider Switch works like a Fast Pass. After claiming your Rider Switch pass, the first adult and up to 2 other children get in line for the ride while the other adult and non-riders wait or do something else. Once the first set of riders exits the ride, the second adult (plus up to 2 children) can join the Fast Pass line for that ride. So you’ll still have to wait in line a bit, but you won’t be forced to join the regular queue to wait all over again.
One thing to note – did you notice how I said that the first and second adults can both ride with up to 2 other children? That means that (in our case), Hubby could ride Big Thunder with Emma, then once they exit and I join the Fast Pass line, I can take Emma with me and she can ride the ride again. Of course, things don’t exactly work out that way if you have more than 2 children willing and able to ride the ride. But if you only have 1 or 2 kids able to ride the ride, then they get to go twice! Yay for twice the fun!
How Do I Get A Rider Switch
I guess it used to be a paper ticket, but it doesn’t work like that anymore. When you get to the ride, you need to approach one of the staff members at the entrance and let them know that you’re interested in a Rider Switch. Then they’ll scan your park ticket and that will add the Rider Switch pass to your account – just like a Fast Pass! Just keep in mind that all members of your party must be present at the entrance together in order to get the Rider Switch pass. They need to see that there is, in fact, actually 2 adults present in order to issue the pass.
Once Group 1 exits the ride, Group 2 scans their pass at the Fast Pass terminal and joins the Fast Pass queue. Easy peasy!
Do All Attractions Have Rider Switch?
No. Since there are plenty of rides without height requirements, not all rides offer the Rider Switch service. Here are the ones that do:
- Gadget’s Go Coaster
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Indiana Jones
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Jumpin’ Jellyfish
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Silly Symphony Swings
- Soarin’ Over California
We loved using the Rider Switch service and were able to ride so many more rides because of it. Not only was Emma able to ride some of the rides more than once, but Charlie and I were able to sneak in some rides and park exploring ourselves while waiting for my turn to switch. This service is a must for families of small children visiting Disney Parks. High five to Disney for making sure that everyone can have a magical time at the Happiest Place on Earth!
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Do you plan on using Rider Switch on your next Disney Parks adventure?
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