Disney’s Best Move Might Also Be Its Most Divisive

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Two Guests checking Disneyland App in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Enforcing a divisive practice might be Disneyland’s best move to lure more guests into Walt Disney’s original theme park.

Although millions of families already travel to the Happiest Place on Earth yearly, The Walt Disney Company continues to make efforts to improve guest experience and provide new offerings like rides, attractions, and more to invite fans of all ages into Walt Disney’s original Disney Resort.

Sadly, some of these upgrades haven’t received the best reactions, causing some to boldly state that “Disneyland is really going to hell.”

A picture of Sleeping Beauty Castle with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse's Partners statue in the foreground at Disneyland Park in Disneyland Resort
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

Regardless, one of the best moves Disneyland officials could make to draw more guests, particularly Disney adults, might be its most divisive, especially considering how opinionated guests can be online.

You might be wondering what this move is. As Philoctetes would say in the Disney animated classic Hercules (1997), “Two words,” Single Rider.

What is Single Rider at Disneyland?

Single Rider is a free service provided at select attractions across Disneyland Resort. It allows guests visiting the parks by themselves and parties willing to split up to save time by filling the remaining seats after guests using the stand-by lines have boarded the rides.

Guests using this service will use the Single Rider entrance at the attraction, often located near the ride’s exit. You can always ask a cast member if you can’t find the designated Single Rider entrance.

It is essential to mention that this service is subject to availability, immediate boarding or choice of seat is not guaranteed, and special seating requests may not be accommodated when using this service.

A woman smiles wearing Princess Leia buns, taking a selfie with a black iPhone.
Credit: Disney

Who can use Single Rider lines?

The official Disneyland Resort website does not list a minimum age requirement for using the Single Rider service at the parks. Nonetheless, it’s hard to believe that small children would benefit from this offering.

However, the website states that guests must meet all boarding requirements to use the service, most importantly, the height requirements for attractions.

While younger guests may use Disneyland’s Single Rider service, parents should always accompany their children to ensure their safety, especially when riding Disney attractions.

Which Disneyland attractions offer a Single Rider line?

If you’re planning to visit Disneyland Resort by yourself soon or are willing to split up and use the Single Rider lines, the attractions that offer the service at Disneyland Park are:

  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds in Fantasyland
  • Space Mountain in Tomorrowland
A little girl in a red dress grins on the Matterhorn.
Credit: Disney

And at Disney California Adventure, guests can find Single Rider lines at the following attractions:

  • Goofy’s Sky School in Paradise Gardens Park
  • Incredicoaster in Pixar Pier
  • Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land
  • Grizzly River Run in Grizzly Peak
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure in Avengers Campus
  • Soarin’ Around the World in Grizzly Peak

You might have also heard about Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! offering an alternative to the service called Buddy Pass.

The Buddy Pass works similarly to using a Single Rider entrance to the ride. However, the attraction is not officially listed in the resort’s Single Rider attractions, likely due to its limited availability.

While many attractions currently offer this practical service at both Disneyland Resort theme parks, expanding this practice at other popular rides could help Disneyland massively.

How could adding more Single Rider lines help Disneyland?

The most notorious benefit of adding Single Rider lines at more attractions would be optimizing their operation and reducing wait times, which would greatly benefit all guests.

When Inside the Magic has visited Disneyland Park, cast members working at attractions like Indiana Jones Adventure often ask for single riders to fill all the available seats in the themed vehicles before sending them off to explore the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, saving single guests a few minutes in the line.

Temple of Mara (exterior) from Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland in Adventureland
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Given this constant demand, it is surprising that theme park officials have not decided to introduce a Single Rider line at the popular Adventureland attraction.

Similarly, cast members working at Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT! in Disney California Adventure’s Avengers Campus frequently ask for single riders to fill all the available seats before sending guests on tour in the Collectors gallery.

Other popular attractions that could optimize their operations and reduce wait times are Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Toy Story Midway Mania!

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Concept Art
Credit: Disney

Before its permanent closure, Splash Mountain offered a Single Rider line.

While Disneyland officials have not revealed plans to continue providing the service when the attraction reopens as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, doing so would undoubtedly optimize wait times, especially considering the massive crowds the upcoming attraction will draw.

Incidents involving single riders at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure

Unfortunately, guests don’t hold back in voicing their experiences while using the Single Rider Service at the Southern California Disney Resort.

Inside the Magic recently reported on a family constantly being scorned by other guests when using the practical service, sparking conversation around the seemingly divisive practice.

The desertic landscape at Radiator Springs Racers, one of Disney California Adventure's most popular rides, located in Disney California Adventure
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

Redditor u/abbyleondon recently posted about a sour experience they and their 19-year-old son frequently encounter when trying to use Single Rider lines across the Southern California-based Disney Resort, with particularly unpleasant experiences at Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land. Their post reads:

So my 19-year-old son and I go to Disneyland fairly frequently and now that he’s older, we both do single rider for cars just because we don’t wanna wait in the 2 1/2 hour line so what we have discovered is that almost all the time we are met with great hostility by the family that’s already in the car – long faces, kids literally saying but I don’t want to sit next to her/him, mothers shooting us dirty looks and trading places with their kid just before we all pile into the car, all because I believe we have ruined their group photo. Anyone else ever get this treatment? Oh and when we say a friendly hello since we know we are interlopers, we are met with stony silence.

Many users quickly joined the conversation surrounding this apparently divisive topic, sharing similar stories when using Disneyland’s Single Rider service and commenting that, sadly, families are often unhappy when having to share their ride vehicle.

radiator springs racers luigi and guido
Credit: Disneyland Resort

Redditor u/Phased5ek took the opportunity to comment on contrasting personal experiences when using the Single Rider service. Their comment reads:

Yep, I’ve had it several times. It’s awkward for all when the family puts their kid in the middle and then they see a bulky older gentleman (i.e. me) loading in to the car, so they often will swap places so the kid isn’t seated next to a stranger (which i totally get and applaud). …but I’ve gotten some dirty looks for it. Like, what? I didn’t pick that seat and want to sit next to your kid (I’m not a person who likes kids anyway and childless). …but it is what it is.

Pixar Pal-A-Round, Incredicoaster, and Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure, taken from Paradise Gardens Park
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

but that said, I’ve also had some great single rider experiences on Incredicoaster. Last year, I was sat next to a younger (10?) girl while her older sister and father were in the seats behind us. They asked my name, introduced themselves, and the girl next to me told me how to pose for the photo, which I did.

It’s a mixed bag, but hey… as a solo traveler myself, I appreciate the single rider lines. If people give me a stink face or treat me like one of the family, I roll with it in either case. I try not to let it get to me if anyone in the car has a problem with it and I take the higher ground if they become hostile (which i haven’t experienced yet; just the nasty looks and place-changing).

Fortunately, although some interactions using this Disneyland service have been less-than-magical, they have not resulted in violent altercations, which appear more common at the parks. 

Do other Disney Parks offer Single Rider?

Yes! Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris offer the practical service at select attractions.

Have other Disney Parks had incidents involving single riders?

Sadly, the answer to this question is also “yes.”

Inside the Magic recently reported on a guest being verbally abused by a woman for trying to sit next to her after using the Single Rider service at Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Fortunately, the situation did not escalate, and the woman decided to leave the attraction after being confronted by a cast member.

External view of Expedition Everest
Credit: Disney

Similarly, a guest threw a tantrum at Disneyland Paris, causing a scene at the Parisian Disney Resort after being sat next to a single rider. A cast member had to step in to resolve the situation, reportedly yelling at the entitled guest.

Are more Single Rider lines coming to Disneyland Resort?

Unfortunately, while introducing the convenient service at more attractions in Walt Disney’s original resort, Disneyland officials have not revealed plans to do so.

However, when Soarin’ Around the World was added to the list of Disneyland rides that provide the service, the Disney Resort did not provide any notice in advance.

Seeing more attractions that provide Single Rider service would be ideal for many. And while the possibility of adding Single Rider lines to more Disneyland rides is not entirely off the table, the future of the service is uncertain.

Soarin' Around the World at Disneyland Resort
Credit: Disney

At the end of the day, every guest’s experience using the Single Rider Service at Disneyland Resort is different. At Inside the Magic, we want to hear from you!

Have you ever used a Single Rider line at Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure? Did you chat with the guest sitting next to you? What was your experience like using this practical yet controversial service? Let us know in the comments below!

Share your opinion on Single Rider lines at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure with Inside the Magic in the comments below!

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