What is Rider Switch?
Multiple attractions at Walt Disney World have height requirements to ride. However, Disney is always striving to make sure that every guest gets the opportunity to experience every attraction, even if a member of their party doesn’t meet the requirements or just doesn’t wish to ride the attraction. This is where the Rider Switch system can be used. The Rider Switch system allows one adult to wait with the child or non-rider while the other adult (or rest of the party) experiences the attraction. When the first adult is finished riding, he or she swaps places with the second adult and stays with the non-rider so the second adult can enjoy the attraction without having to wait in line again.
How Does the Rider Switch system work?
To utilize Rider Switch at Walt Disney World, the entire party including any non-riders must be present and enter the attraction together. Keep in mind there must be at least two adults within the party so that one adult is accompanying the non-riding child at all times. At the entrance of the attraction let the first Cast Member you see know that your party would like to use the Rider Switch system and make sure it is available. If you have a Fast Pass+ for the attraction you’d like to use Rider Switch for, your party may be asked to tap their magic bands at the Fast Pass+ reader at this time.
Unlike the Rider Switch system of the past, today’s is all digital and does not require a paper ticket. With the all-digital Rider Switch, a Cast Member will use a handheld reader and scan the magic bands (or cards) of each person who will be riding in the second group. The scan will give the second group of riders a digital Rider Switch entitlement, basically, the equivalent of a Fast Pass+ for the attraction as close as possible to the time the first group will be exiting the ride. The first party rides the attraction while the second party stays behind (usually in a designated Rider Switch area).
Once the first party is finished riding, the adult in group one stays with the child while adult two rides. Up to three guests are allowed entry to the attraction under the Rider Switch entitlement (so two older children or adults in the party get to experience the attraction twice with no wait!).
When also using Fast Pass+ only the first group of riders need to have Fast Passes to use the Rider Switch system. The second group only requires the digital entitlement given by the Cast Member. Up to three guests are allowed entry to the attraction under the Rider Switch entitlement. It is possible for families using Rider Switch to get more than the three allocated Fast Passes per park when using the Rider Switch system, but the other two members of the party would not be able to double up on all of the attractions.
Rider Switch is most commonly used for these Walt Disney World attractions:
Magic Kingdom Park
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
Frozen Ever After
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Alien Swirling Saucers
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster 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