How to Use Rider Switch at Walt Disney World

by Shannon

Rider Switch is such a great tool for parents with kids of varying ages (or even kiddos who aren’t as thrill-seeking at their siblings or parents). Let’s take a look at what Rider Switch is and how you can use it on your next Walt Disney World vacation.

What is Rider Switch at Walt Disney World?

If there are guests in your party who don’t meet the height requirement to ride (or just are choosing not to), you can use Rider Switch to ensure that all of the adults in your party get a chance to ride!

When you use Rider Switch, one adult can wait with the non-rider(s) while the rest of the party rides. Once the party has completed their ride, the adult that waited with the non-rider can then ride too — without having to wait again in the Stand-By line!

Which Rides at Walt Disney World have Rider Switch?

Magic Kingdom

  • The Barnstormer
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway

Epcot

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track

Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers 
  • Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • DINOSAUR  
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Primeval Whirl

How to Use Rider Switch?

Per the official Walt Disney World website:

1. First check with a Cast member to see if Rider Switch is offered at the attraction in question.

2. Once at the attraction, approach the greeting Cast Member with your entire party. At least one adult member of your party and the Guests who are not riding will be issued a Rider Switch entitlement by the Cast Member and asked to wait in a designated area (usually outside of the attraction). This group is “Party 2.”

3. The other party members (“Party 1”) ride the attraction.

4. After riding the attraction, Party 1 locates Party 2. Then, Party 1 takes over supervision of the non-riding children or Guests.

5. Party 2 enters and boards the attraction without having to wait in the regular queue a second time. The Rider Switch entitlement must be validated by a Cast Member at this time.

If the person in Party 2 waited alone with the child, he or she may bring up to 2 other Guests back to ride the attraction with him or her. Please note that only 3 Guests are allowed per Rider Switch Pass.

Using Rider Switch with FastPass at Walt Disney World

One of the most frequent questions I receive regarding Rider Switch is if the guests in Party 1 have a FastPass, can the guests in Party 2 use Rider Switch even without a FastPass?

I guarantee you will see conflicting information about this all over the internet. I’ve actually asked the cast members working at some of the more popular rides, like Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog Dash, and they have all told me that everyone in the party must have a FastPass to utilize the FastPass line initially + Rider Switch. Otherwise, the guests in Party 1 will need to wait in the Stand-by queue if the guests in Party 2 would like to utilize Rider Switch. The cast member will actually scan your bands via their iPads to check for FastPasses as you’re requesting Rider Switch.

Will some cast members check more closely than others? Sure. Will people still try to double dip on FastPasses by combining that with Rider Switch? Yep.

I personally don’t want to recommend that approach to you. Because I would hate for you to be told “No” by a cast member when you attempt to use Rider Switch when only half of your party actually has a FastPass. Do yourself a favor and book a FastPass for everyone in your party that actually wants to ride that attraction.

The real perk here is that EVERYONE gets to ride even if you have kiddos in your party that can’t. And that adult who waited with the little one gets to ride with up to two additional people. So some of the guests in your party can ride twice!

Using Rider Switch Without FastPass at Walt Disney World

If your party does NOT have a FastPass for the attraction you are using Rider Switch on, Party 1 will wait in the Stand-By line. Then, once they’ve finished riding, Party 2 will use the FastPass line (and skip the wait since technically they would have already waited had they have been in Party 1).

If you’re using this approach, I recommend the adult in Party 2 take the little ones on nearby rides that are kiddo friendly and have short stand-by waits. For example, if Party 1 is waiting for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Party 2 can ride the carousel or watch the PhilharMagic show while waiting! This way the little ones are entertained during the wait!

Follow along on all of our Walt Disney World fun on Instagram @brbgoingtodisney! I share tips and tricks LIVE from the parks each week on Stories! See you there!

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1 comment

Amanda L Johnson March 2, 2021 - 10:45 pm

So helpful, thank you so much, sweet friend!! 🙂

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