Everything you need to know about using Disney’s Rider Switch Pass
A Build A Better Mouse Trip How-To Guide
The Rider Switch Pass is important information for anyone traveling with younger children who will not be big enough – or brave enough - to ride certain attractions. The rider swap pass allows adults traveling with small children or family members with special needs to efficiently trade places on any attraction with a height or age restriction. You can always get a Rider Switch Pass when your child is too small for a height restricted attraction but some parents don’t realize that you may also use this service for the child who is physically tall enough for a particular attraction but is frightened and doesn’t want to ride.
Here’s how it works
Standby Lines: Rider Switch isn't available at every attraction, especially if it is a ride that is generally appropriate for all ages but you can always ask the Cast Member (Disney employee) if it is available for that attraction. In most cases, you will all go through the line together and, somewhere before boarding the attraction, you will receive a pass that lets one parent exit with the non-rider while the rest of the party rides now. Disney is currently moving to a digital system where the whole party goes to the entrance together and the waiting person's MagicBand or Admission Ticket is scanned so that person can enter using the FastPass+ within one hour. In the past, the waiting adult was issued a paper Rider Swap Pass that allows him or her to ride the attraction later in the day using the FASTPASS® entrance. Ask the Cast Member how many riders can ride using the Rider Switch Pass. Disney knows that nobody likes to ride alone so at least two people can ride using one Rider Switch Pass. Other attractions let up to three or four people ride using one Rider Switch Pass.
There are play areas and baby care areas throughout the parks so that you can let the little one play, or take care of their needs while waiting.
FASTPASS+ Lines: You use a similar method to get a Rider Switch Pass when using the FASTPASS+ system. When it is your FASTPASS+ time, take the who party to the FastPass Entrance and ask the Cast Member at the FASTPASS+ entrance for a Rider Switch Pass. The Cast Member will scan your MagicBand or ticket and issue a Rider Switch Pass to the waiting adult. Before riding, ask how many people can accompany the Rider Switch Pass-holder. Being able to have one or more people accompany you is why you get a Rider Switch Pass – the waiting adult would end up riding alone if you just waited and used the scheduled FASTPASS+ reservation. This also provides protection against losing a FASTPASS+ reservation if the first group of riders don’t return prior to end of the FASTPASS+ window.
Here’s how this looks with a more specific example - your little one is too small to ride Tower of Terror but your group has Tower of Terror FASTPASS+ reservations. When you go to ride Tower of Terror, take the baby to the Disney Cast Member at the FASTPASS+ entrance. The Cast Member will scan your Magic Band or ticket and confirm your FASTPASS+ reservation and then issue a Rider Switch Pass. The non-riding child and waiting adult can find something to do while the first group rides. Check to see how many people can ride using the one rider swap pass; three people can usually ride Tower of Terror using one Rider Swap Pass – the pass-holder and two extra friends/family members. Someone from the first group can now take charge of the non-riding child while the first waiting adult and a couple others of others enter and ride without having to get in the back of the line.
Why this is important
You don’t have to line up twice or one parent doesn’t have to just miss out on popular attractions because you have younger children that are too small, unsure or nervous about an attraction.
Just from a practical standpoint, you need to know the most efficient means of letting everyone ride height restricted attractions.
More importantly (at least for the older kids in your party), the baby actually gives you a tactical advantage during peak travel times. Because the Rider Switch Pass lets up to 3 people accompany the pass-holder, this is the best way to ensure that the older kids get to ride the headliners / thrill rides multiple times. This is a huge advantage and saves a lot of backtracking. Once your older kids get the hang of this, you may not see your little darling for long periods of time in the afternoons as they use their mobile super-FASTPASS. It should encourage sibling bonding :-)
Disney World Attractions offering Rider Switch Passes
Magic Kingdom Park
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Stitch’s Great Escape
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
Frozen Ever After
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Alien Swirling Saucers
Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Slinky Dog Dash
Star Tours® - The Adventures Continue
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
Avatar Flight of Passage
Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
Kali River Rapids
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