How to use Rider Switch at Disney World

(Article last updated: April 17, 2017)

Rider Switch (sometimes called "Child Swap") is Disney's system that allows people with small children to take turns riding the bigger rides while the other person/people wait with the child.

Here's how it works...

As you encounter a ride that has a height requirement, your whole group should be present and you can tell the Cast Member that you'd like to use Rider Switch. The Cast Member will give the waiting portion of your group a pass (which works like a FastPass) and the riding portion of your group will proceed through the line.

Recommendation: Use Rider Switch with FastPass+

I highly recommend that you use FastPass+ for the first group. This means that you'd get FastPasses for just the number of people riding in the first group.

Once your group shows up during the FastPass window (the whole group should show up, including the non-riding child), the Cast Member will issue the rest of the group the pass which works like a FastPass and can be used for up to 3 people.

Rider Switch and Child Swap at Disney World

This method effectively doubles the number of FastPass+ reservations you can get since the Rider Switch passes work like FastPasses. Here's an example of how this could work for a family.

wdt_IDRideMomDad8-year-old3-year-old
1 Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Get FP+ for this Ride using Rider Switch Get FP+ for this (and can also ride using Rider Switch)
2 Space Mountain Ride using Rider Switch Get FP+ for this Ride using Rider Switch and use 3-year-old's FP+ to ride Get FP+ using 3-year-old's ticket although 3-year-old won't be riding
3 Big Thunder Mountain Get FP+ for this Ride using Rider Switch Get FP+ for this (and can also ride using Rider Switch)
4 Splash Mountain Ride using Rider Switch Get FP+ for this Ride using Rider Switch and use 3-year-old's FP+ to ride Get FP+ using 3-year-old's ticket although 3-year-old won't be riding
5 Barnstormer Get FP+ for this Ride using Rider Switch Get FP+ for this (and can also ride using Rider Switch)
6 Stitch's Great Escape Ride using Rider Switch Get FP+ for this Ride using Rider Switch and use 3-year-old's FP+ to ride Get FP+ using 3-year-old's ticket although 3-year-old won't be riding
7 Total # of times on these rides: 6 6 12 0



The pass that you are issued does not have a time specified on it like a FastPass does, so it can be used before the pass expiration date (often times the pass has an expiration date that's a few days later).

Chance to ride twice

Each time that the too-young-to-ride child waits on the rest of the group to ride, they only need 1 adult to stay with them. That means there is an opportunity to allow the rest of the group (if you have more than 2 adults) to ride twice.

Let's say you have a family with 2 adults and 3 kids and only the youngest child isn't riding. The first group can have 1 adult and 2 older kids while the other adult and youngest child waits. The second group can have the other adult and the 2 older kids (Rider Switch allows up to 3 people). This means the 2 older kids get to ride twice.

What to do while waiting

One of my biggest pet peeves in all of Disney World is when people make their small children sit and wait while older people ride. You're at Disney World - there's lots of things to do!

Here are some things to do if you are in the waiting group.

wdt_IDRideHeight req.What to do while waiting
1 MAGIC KINGDOM:
2 Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 38" Ride the Carousel or Mad Tea Party
3 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 40" Ride the Walt Disney World Railroad around, starting at the Frontierland station and/or play in the play area located just under the train station
4 Splash Mountain 40" Ride the Walt Disney World Railroad around, starting at the Frontierland station and/or play in the play area located just under the train station
5 Barnstormer 35" Casey Jr. Splash ā€˜Nā€™ Soak Station, Dumbo
6 Space Mountain 44" Tomorrowland Transit Authority
7 Stitch's Great Escape 40" Tomorrowland Transit Authority
8 Tomorrowland Indy Speedway 32" to ride Tomorrowland Transit Authority
9
10 EPCOT:


**********************

The speed at which you tour depends on how busy the parks are, when you arrive, what you're riding, how fast you move and if you are using Rider Switch. As you can probably guess, riding the same ride twice will slow you down quite a bit. Keep this in mind as you create your touring plans.

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Rosie D

Hi Shannon,

This system seems great for people wanting to utilise their time better in the parks. Can you help with a group of 9? I see you haven’t answered the ‘big group’ questions people have asked.

We are 4 adults and 5 children (15,12,11,7 & 7). The older three have no problems riding all of the rides. But the two 7-year-olds, although tall enough, are scared of Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror etc. How should I split up the Fastpasses & Rider Switch option? I know Disney states on their website that the RS option is for people who aren’t tall enough or for Guests who do not want to ride.

Jen A.

I am having a similar issue with my 7 year old and 10 year old. My 7 yearold is 50 in. tall but doesn’t want to go on Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Expedition Everest, or Rockin Roller Coaster, and the 10 year old wants to ride all of the above.

Rosie D

Ideally, I would like to effectively double my FPs for the rides my son doesn’t want to do. But I don’t want to risk not booking FPs for myself if we get to the CM and he/she tells us I also need a FP. I have rang Disney and they say Rider Switch is for any guest who doesn’t wish to ride (including a scared child). But I’m worried the CM will disappoint us as many people say it’s down to their discretion.

Sheena C

Hi Shannon, I am heading to Disney world with my 3 year old, and 2 parents. My question is, if my mom stays with my daughter while dad and I ride and we get a rider swap but she decides she doesn’t want to use it, can dad and I go again a second time? Thanks

Jamie

If we are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 children. Could one adult use a FP and still get a child swap option, then group 2 would be the other adult and the oldest child? Then the adults could effectively have 6 FP/day, using three each to get rider swaps? Or is this “something you could do, but frowned upon”? This would only work if one of the children couldn’t/didn’t want to go on the ride, which is legitimate…

Kathryn Bell

Hi there!

We are making our reservations in two days so I’m hoping you can help me clear my mind! So we have four adults and one 1.5 year old. The baby will not have a ticket attached to her band as she is free at the parks. So would I just get two fast passes for each ride alternating between the four adults? Ex: adult 1+3 get fastpasses all of us go to the front Rider 1+3 go in while rider 2+4 wait work the baby. Then they come back and Rider 2,4 and 3 go again? Or do I get fastpasses for 1,3+4. Then they go in and baby and 2 wait. When they fine back 2,3+4 go again? But then I would only have one person available for the second fastpass choice… Any help??

Ryanne

Can an adult use a child’s band and their fastpass? We have 4 adults and 2 children. To maximize this I booked myself and 2 adults in a roller coaster, and then also booked my husband to go on a ride with my daughter. If my daughter chicken out and decides not to go can I use her band and FP to ride with my husband so he doesn’t have to go alone?

I know kids can change bands and it make sure no difference. Just wondering if they paid attention to whether the FP was a kid or an adult.

Ryanne

Can you get multiple rider swap passes?

I am booking fast passes in the am. We are a group of 2 families. 4 adults, 2 children, and 1 infant.

As I understand my husband, daughter and I could fastpass on ride, get a rider switch which could be used for the other couple and their daughter. Then flip flop it and use their fast pass for a different ride.

I would love to maximize it so the girls could ride twice. Is it possible for me and my daughter to FP and get a rider switch, and my girlfriend and her daughter also get a FP and a rider switch. So when we were done the husbands could take the girls on again?

Also, for the ifnst I know he does not need a ticket or a fast pass. However he is still getting a magic band (we are staying on property) and it gives me the option to book a fast pass. So can I actually book under him? Basically can I get an extra FP by booking his as well?

Audra

Is there rider swap for TS Mania?

Audra

Hi Shannon,
We are making our Fast Pass reservations in the morning (July 14)! Quick question and I hope you get this… We have a 50″ tall son and a 40″ tall daughter. If both my husband and I would like to go with our son on Rock’n’Rollercoaster, would they still let us get a rider switch even though our daughter isn’t tall enough to ride? I’m worried they’ll say, “Your daughter can’t ride anyway, so we can’t give out the Rider Swap.” Thanks for your time!

Audra

Thank you Shannon! Do they offer rider switch for TS Mania?

Amanda Moody

Hi there! This is all GREAT info! My question is this: you mention the 8 year old riding by using the 3 year old’s fastpass. How does that work? I am familiar with how to book the fastpasses, but how can the 8 year old use the 3 year old’s? Just walk up to the magicband scanner and have the 3 year old scan bu the 8 year old enters the line?

Katy

Thanks for the info, Shannon!! This might be a stupid question, but does the thumb print scan not have to match the magic band if the 8 yr old and 3 yr old switch? Thanks for your help! Hope you are having fun at the Expo!!

Pam

Hi Shannon – We have a 6 (46″), 5 (42″) and 2 year old. Will 1 adult be able to accompany the 6 & 5 year old for rides that they are over the height requirement for? Or does it need to be a 1:1 ratio?

Mandy

I’m sorry if you have already answered this one, but here is my question. We have Dad, Mom, 9-yr old, 2-yr old, and two adult friends. How would we make this work so that the 9-yr old can ride multiple times as shown in your lovely chart above :o)?
thank you!!!

Ashley

Im curious about how fast passes work for Enchanted tales with belle, meet cinderella, and other character meets. Do I need a fast pass for the adult accompanying the kids or could I focus their fast passes on character meets. (My kids are 6, 4, and an infant) Also is it safe to assume that a non ticket holder (infant) cannot acquire fast passes?

Becky

Hi Shannon! I love all of your posts and your podcast! Super helpful šŸ™‚ We are going in Aug. and we can start reserving fastpasses this Thursday. I feel like I understand how it works I just want to be completely positive before I start reserving.
There are 7 of us going- 5 adults and 2 children (7yrs and 1yr) would this scenario work?
Fast pass for adults 1 and 2 and 7yr old
Rider switch for adults 3,4,5 and 7yr old?

Lynsey

Hi we are visiting in August this year 2 adults my 10 year old son and 4 year old. I’ve booked fp+ on space mountain for me and my 10 year old can we use rider swap for my husband to then go on with my 10 year? Thanks

Cathleen

Can I use rider swap even though my 10 year old is big enoughbut doesn’t wish to go on the ride? Our 12 year old will go on

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