Why Rider Switch Is Easier Than Ever at Disney Theme Parks

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

rider switch girl measuring

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Available at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, Rider Switch Service is making it easier than ever for Disney fans to enjoy attractions! If a Guest doesn’t meet the boarding requirements or doesn’t wish to experience a particular attraction, it’s not a problem for family and friends who do! Here’s what you need to know about making your vacation easier…

Kids riding Big Thunder Mountain
Credit: Disney

What is Disney’s Rider Switch Service at the theme parks?

With Rider Switch, one adult or supervising Guest (14 years or older) can 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.

The free service is available to any party of Disney Guests wishing to use it! Of course, those not meeting height requirement are a big reason for families to use the service, but those that don’t wish to get wet (Splash Mountain) or go upside down on a roller coaster (the thrill ride Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster) are also main users of the program.

The Disney Parks Blog, in partnership with planDisney (formerly the Disney Parks Moms Panel), created this short film to help you navigate the Rider Switch program as well as making travel easy with your little ones:

How to use Rider Switch at Disney theme parks

Using the upgraded digital Disney’s Rider Switch Service is now easier than ever. The new electronic system integrates Rider Switch options within a Disney World Guest’s MagicBand, hard ticket, and My Disney Experience to make for a more convenient and seamless experience. Guests may use Rider Switch any time the Park is open, even during after-hours events or ticketed parties.

Of course, combining Rider Switch and FastPass+ (when available) means that you and your party can enjoy more attractions in one day. The waiting adult can grab a buddy or two from their party to ride with them (please note that how many buddies the waiting adult can bring with them may be limited.) Here are the steps to using Rider Switch at Walt Disney World Resort:

  1. Everyone in your party will need to approach the Cast Member at the ride entrance for an eligible attraction.
  2. Request to use Disney’s Rider Switch!
  3. The adult waiting with the non-rider will be issued a Rider Switch entitlement on their MagicBand permitting them to enter the FastPass line with up to two Guests (these Guests will need to scan, as well).
  4. If the members of the first group to ride have a FastPass+ for that particular attraction, they may then go ahead and enter the FastPass+ line. Otherwise, they can use the standby lane.
  5. The waiting adult and non-rider can enjoy shopping, snacks, or walking around the park while waiting for their return time while the first party is riding.
  6. Once the first party is done riding, they will exit the ride and assume responsibility for the non-rider, allowing the waiting adult to grab a buddy (anyone from the party that meets height requirements can ride) and head on in. The Rider Switch entitlement must be validated by a Cast Member at this time.
family riding seven dwarfs mine train in Shanghai Disney
Credit: Shanghai Disney

Rider Switch versus Child Switch or Child Swap at theme parks

Universal Orlando Resort offers the “Child Swap” program, which differs from Disney’s Rider Switch Service. At Universal Studios Florida, an entire party can experience the queue together, and the waiting adult and non-rider will separate into a waiting room just outside the loading area. After riding, the party can join those in the waiting room and allow the waiting adult to take their turn (also with a buddy).

Disney’s Rider Switch system requires non-riders and waiting parties to stay outside the attraction, allowing them to shop, use the facilities or eat.

rock n rollercoaster
Credit: Disney

Best attractions for the Rider Switch service at Disney theme parks

When visiting one coast or another, you’ll love that Disney’s Rider Switch Service is available at select attractions. Note the attractions below to see if this swapping service is right for you and your family! There are some attractions that do not offer Rider Switch Service because there is no foreseen need. However, if you have a sleeping baby (that would otherwise be able to ride Journey Into Imagination with Figment), you can always request a Rider Switch option. Be prepared to be denied by attractions that don’t formally offer the child swap service.

Disneyland Resort Rider Switch Eligible Attractions

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout
  • Incredicoaster
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Lugi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
grizzly river run
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort Rider Switch Eligible Attractions

  • The Barnstormer
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Primeval Whirl
slinky dog dash
Credit: Disney

Have you ever used Rider Switch Services at a Disney theme park? What do you love about the system? Leave us a comment below!


in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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