What is Rider Switch and How Do I Use it? If you are traveling with your family to Walt Disney World and you have young children, you may be asking yourself this question. All of the theme parks have attractions with height requirements. This is for everyone’s safety but if you have a child that is not tall enough for certain rides, that doesn’t mean that everyone has to miss out! That is what Rider Swap is for!
Rider Switch, also known as Rider Swap, is a system that allows those who are tall enough to ride attractions with height requirements to do so, despite having other members of their party who are not able to do so. For example, a family with children of various ages, some who are tall enough to ride attractions with height requirements and some who are not, would greatly benefit from this system. It allows everyone who wants to ride, the chance to do so and an adult is still able to stay with anyone who is not tall enough to ride.
How does it work? Many of the attractions with a height requirement are eligible for Rider Switch. The Rider Switch System has been updated fairly recently so that everything appears on your MagicBand or ticket. When you arrive at a certain attraction, such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you will find cast members standing near the entrance to the ride. You will want to take your WHOLE party, including those not tall enough to ride, to speak with this cast member and tell him or her that you want to utilize Rider Swap. At that point, you will be asked who is riding now and who is staying behind. The cast member will then use devices to scan the bands or tickets of those staying behind, up to three people. Doing so will add a Rider Switch Pass for those guests. In the My Disney Experience App, it looks as though an additional FastPass has been added. The first group of riders is then able to proceed to the attraction.
If you are planning to use Rider Swap for Slinky Dog Dash or Soarin’ Around the World, you will notice that there is a designated check-in area where a cast member is able to add the Rider Switch Pass to your ticket or Magic Band.
While it is definitely beneficial to have a FastPass when riding many of the attractions participating in the Rider Switch system, it is not a must. If you arrive at an attraction and do not have a FastPass, the first group will enter the attraction using the standby line. The second group will enter through the FastPass queue. Also, when utilizing this system, everyone in the party does not need to have a FastPass. If the first group has a FastPass, they will enter the FastPass queue and when it is time for the second group to go, they will also enter the FastPass queue using the Rider Switch pass that was added by the cast member.
Some of the attractions included in Rider Switch include:
Magic Kingdom Park
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Frozen Ever After
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Alien Swirling Saucers
Rock’n’Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith
Slinky Dog Dash
Star Tours© – The Adventures Continue
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
Kali River Rapids
To review, the Rider Switch system can be used by any guests with members of their party that cannot ride or do not want to ride specific attractions throughout Walt Disney World.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Come to the attraction that you want to ride with your WHOLE party and tell the cast member that you would like to utilize Rider Swap
- Choose up to three members of your party who will be the second party to ride
- The cast member will scan the Magic Bands or tickets of those riding second
- If you have a FastPass and are riding first, you will enter the FastPass queue. If you do not have a FastPass, you will enter the standby queue.
- The second group will enter the FastPass line, using the Rider Swap pass that was added by the cast member
Personally, I have been able to utilize this system many times with my kids. I have four kids – ranging in age from 8 to 1 year old. Two of them will ride anything and the other two, one isn’t tall enough and one is more reserved and not interested. Rider Switch is a great way for everyone to enjoy the full variety of attractions at Walt Disney World. While I am waiting with my younger children or those who don’t want to ride, I will often grab a snack or ride another ride that is nearby. Then, I am able to take my turn as well!
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