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Rider Switch Service at Disney World – 5 Things You Need to Know

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!

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. The entire party needs to be present. Here is how to use the process from the Walt Disney World website:

    • 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 Ride Switch entitlement by the Cast Member and asked to wait in a designated area (usually outside of the attraction). This group is “Party 2.”
    • The other party members (“Party 1”) ride the attraction.
    • After riding the attraction, Party 1 locates Party 2. Then, Party 1 takes over supervision of the non-riding children or Guests.
    • 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.

Do note that Party 2 will be limited to the waiting adult and one other person for a total of two people. This is a change from an older policy that would allow three additional people to join the waiting adult.


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!

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. 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!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Mike & Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire as many MagicBands as possible while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 13 years and are blessed with two children - our 8-year-old daughter and soon to be 2-year-old son. As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.
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