You head to that attraction you’ve been waiting forever to ride… but wait a minute, who’s going to watch the baby? Disney thought of us parents and guardians and came up with a great solution – the Rider Switch Service. Here are 5 things to know about Rider Switch and how it may just be an excellent solution for your family!
1 – What Exactly is Rider Switch?
Rider Switch is a service Disney offers for parents or guardians to take advantage of when an adult is needed to stay behind with either a child or disabled guest that is unable to go on an attraction. For example, in our family of four, we have used it on attractions such a Space Mountain. The two of us adults can ride, as well as our 7-year-old daughter, but our 1-year-old… not so much! By obtaining a Rider Switch, my husband and daughter can ride Space Mountain while I stay back with the baby. When they get off the ride, it’s my turn! The Rider Switch pass will allow 3 people to ride the attraction again via the FastPass line at any time of the day, as well as any day in the date window noted on the ticket. This is great because not only do I not have to ride Space Mountain alone, but my daughter can come on it for her second time with me!
2 – How Does It Work?
The Rider Switch pass is offered at each eligible attraction. As a family, simply head to the attraction you are interested in riding. Once at the attraction, those who are riding the first time around head to the Standby Line (or FastPass line if you have a FastPass). Ask the Cast Member present at the entrance for a Rider Switch pass. The adult that needs to stay back with the child needs to be present as well, so the family asking for the pass can point you out to the Cast Member. Once the Cast Member sees the need is legitimate, they will scan the Magic Band of the person waiting so they can return later to ride the attraction. Despite what we’ve read, we’ve experienced that the parent/guardian waiting can either wait for the family to get off the ride or go about the park as needed. Disney notes you may be requested to stand in a specific area as directed by the Cast Member. We personally have never experienced this but of course, would oblige if requested! When the family exits the ride, the family member waiting is now free to ride the attraction via the FastPass line with two other people. Simply go to the FastPass entrance as a solo rider or with two other members of your party for a total of 3.
3 – Who Can Use It?
Anyone with children or a family member in your party that is disabled can use Rider Switch. Keep in mind children that are older but just really don’t want to meet the Yeti by riding Mount Everest (who can blame them!) are also in the Rider Switch category. No need to force your kiddo on the attractions! Cast Members go on honesty that your family member is genuinely unable to ride due to various reasons. It is obviously easier for Cast Members to decipher the need when you have a little one notable too young or small to ride an attraction, but again they really go on honestly.
4 – When Doesn’t Rider Switch Work?
Rider Switch does not work on an attraction you can take your child on with you or on any attraction that is handicap accessible for a disabled guest. For example, Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios does not offer a Rider Switch pass. Everyone in your party can physically ride this attraction (even infants in your lap), so you cannot obtain a pass from this attraction. Another attraction with no rider switch would be It’s a Small World at Magic Kingdom. Since everyone can physically ride this attraction, no Rider Switch is available. You can view the attractions that offer Rider Switch for your planning at Disney’s Website. Requesting a Rider Switch also won’t work if you don’t have your family/party present. The Cast Member needs to see the family that is awaiting their chance to ride. Otherwise, everyone and anyone could tell Cast Members they have family in the bathroom and misuse the system. Not that there are any villains out there that would do this!
5 – Tips!
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, FastPass+ is temporarily unavailable.
Plan accordingly to be able to use the Rider Switch pass. Be sure to check out which attractions allow all ages and disabilities and review the link above. We also suggest you double-check your FastPasses for each family member in your family. With a Rider Switch, you are allowed 3 guests in via the FastPass line already, so it may be worth adjusting your FastPass selections accordingly. Be at ease regarding time, as well. Since the Rider Switch is suitable for any time of the day, and typically for several days, don’t feel like you must jump on the ride the moment your family comes off. Plan around your family’s needs and come back to ride the attraction when it works best for everyone.
Once again meeting the needs of their guests, we are tremendously thankful Disney offers such a fantastic service as Rider Switch. We suggest you take advantage of the Rider Switch opportunity if it applies to your family’s needs and have a magical time doing so!
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