Q: What is Disneyland’s Rider Switch program and how does it work?
A: Travelling to Disneyland with small with small children doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on some of the more grown-up attractions. This is where Rider Switch comes in. The system is a fantastic way for parents or older children to enjoy the big thrill rides even if travelling with little ones that don’t meet the height requirements.
Here’s a quick rundown of how the system works:
- Before entering the queue for an attraction, you should first check with a Cast Member to find out if Rider Switch is available for that attraction (we’ll also supply you with a list below.)
- Go to the attraction with your entire group present. The Cast Members working the attraction will then divide your group into two groups. Group A will include those riding the attraction first. Group B will be those sitting out the attraction with the little ones who aren’t able to ride.
- Group B (of up to three visitors) will be assigned digital FASTPASSES and must wait in a designated area while the first party rides the attraction.
- After Group A has ridden the attraction, you’ll swap out with the members of Group B and supervise the guests too small to ride while the second group enjoys the attraction.
- Group B is able to return to the attraction entrance using the FASTPASSES (without waiting in line) to have your tickets scanned by a Cast Member for their Rider Switch entitlement.
- Group B rides the attraction and then meets up with Group A.
What attractions are included in Rider Switch? Essentially, any ride with height restrictions should offer the Rider Switch option. For other attractions, parents will be expected to hold their small children on their laps and aren’t given the option of getting a Rider Switch ticket. Here’s a list by park of attractions currently offering Rider Switch:
- Autopia -Tomorrowland
- Big Thunder Mountain -Frontierland
- Gadget’s Go Coaster -Toontown
- Indiana Jones Adventure -Adventureland
- Matterhorn Bobsleds -Fantasyland
- Space Mountain -Tomorrowland
- Splash Mountain -Critter Country
- Star Tours -Tomorrowland
- California Screamin -Paradise Pier – Closed and will re-open as Incredicoaster as part of Pixar Pier
- Goofy’s Sky Skool -Paradise Pier
- Grizzly River Run -Grizzly Peak
- Guardians of the Galaxy – MISSION: Breakout!
- Jumpin Jellyfish- Paradise Pier
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters – Cars Land
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree- Cars Land
- Radiator Springs Racers -Cars Land
- Silly Symphony Swings – Paradise Pier
- Soarin’ Around the World -Grizzly Peak
- Tuck’s and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies -a bug’s land
Does this system work with the FASTPASS and MAXPASS system? Absolutely, guests can report to the FASTPASS line with your party before you are split up into groups. GROUP B is given an electronic FASTPASS linked to their ticket to board the attraction in the FASTPASS line when the first rider is finished. This electronic FASTPASS is valid up to one hour after the Cast Member scanned their ticket.
I’ve even heard of Disneyland regulars maximizing the Rider Switch and FASTPASS systems by having the lead adult in Group A and in Group B grab two separate FASTPASSES for different attractions around the same time and then using Rider Switch on both attractions to maximize both perks!
So if you find yourself heading to the parks with little ones but you still want those big thrills be sure to take advantage of Disney’s Rider Switch program. It’s a slightly under-the-radar perk that can really help you maximize your Disney days!
Keep following along with Disney Addicts for the latest tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your time at Disneyland Resort.
Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and FastPass reservations. I also love sharing tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your time at the parks. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 via email at email@example.com or follow along on Facebook.
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