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_ID Ride Mom Dad 8-year-old 3-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_ID Ride Height req. What to do while waiting
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 ‘N’ 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


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.


Hi Shannon, I have been told that they are not allowing this scheme anymore as it wouldn´t be fair that families qith young children would double their fastpasses. Do you know anything about it? I am scared of doing it and missing my chance at the ride 🙁


Hi Shannon! Love your site/podcast – really helping me plan our first family WDW trip coming up. I am reading reports of Rider Swap not quite working like this for SDMT any longer. Sounds like they make everyone in the group have a FP and then make the non-riders wait off to the side (instead of going to do something else cool with the little kids, then backtracking later for the swap). I was thinking of pairing SDMT up with Thunder Mountain and then doing Space Mountain at Rope Drop, so if SDMT won’t allow this, I need to rethink what to book for my FP selection in 9 days!! Thanks for any tips. We are a family of 5 with 3 kids, two are 48″+ and a shorty 2 yr old who *might* make 38″ but probably be 37″. Thanks!


Hi Shannon, can we save more of our FP if we just get one FP and do rider switch for my husband or me, and my three year old son rides once instead of twice? For example, my husband will be Group A by himself but when we return during our window, I would take my son. We will be traveling with my infant daughter, too. Thank you!

Lisa Marie

We are 2 adults and a 2 yo. Can we use the rider switch pass from the single rider line so that we’d both have a shorter wait time since we’ll be riding alone anyway.

LB b

If I have a 5 YO and 2 YO without a ticket I wouldn’t be able to double the fast passes, correct? Since the 2 YO will not have fastpass to switch with I will have to book the FastPass for the 5 YO for every ride?


I’m wondering the same thing, I’m confused!


Is there anything stopping the same adult/child from riding again using the rider switch pass? We are traveling with infant twins who won’t be able to ride, but there are some rides I won’t ride either. Could we still get the rider switch pass and use it to get my husband and 9yo on the same ride a second time?


What if the only one person rode the first time. Can he/she return with more riders not exceeding three people? Thank you!

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


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??


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.


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?


Is there rider swap for TS Mania?


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!


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?


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!!


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?


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!!!


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?


Hi Shannon! I love all of your posts and your podcast! Super helpful 🙂 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?


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


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


I just called WDW and they told me that you cannot get a child swap ticket if you are already using the fast pass line. Therefore, you can’t just use a fast pass for one person, then use child swap tickets for the rest of the group. You have to be waiting in the regular line. Did they change their rules? That’s not what I’m gathering from this article.

Melissa Smith

I am going to Disney World next month. We are 2 adults and 3 children (age 3, 5, and 8). Am I able to just book 2 Fast passes (1 adult and 1 for my 8 year old) and get a Rider Switch for the other adult and my 5 year old or does everyone need a Fast pass? Also, could I book a Fast pass for my 3 year old and have my 8 year old use it to go on the ride again? Thank you!

Jon T

Thanks for this very useful information, Shannon. My family of 5 (me, wife, 9 YO, 6 YO, and 3 YO)will be traveling to Disney in October. I’m trying to maximize my Tier 1 Fastpasses in Epcot.

If one parent gets a Fastpass for a Tier 1 attraction, can 3 members of the rest of the family use rider swap if the parent with Fastpass rides alone? What I’m asking is it possible for 4 people to ride on an attraction with only one Fastpass as long as the person with the Fastpass rides alone?

Also, if the above works, does the person that has the Fastpass reservation have to be the one to ride? Can I use my 3 YO’s FP on myself and then have my wife and older kids ride using rider swap?



I just read some of the older comments (I think it was April 20th or 21st). Shannon said that would work- as far as using 1 fp+ for 4 ppl.
You might want to stick with just booking 3 fp+ for yourself and 3 for your spouse. Not sure about the 3 yo’s fp+ unless you switch your band for theirs. But then, I’m not sure if the finger/thumb print scan matters if you switch?


Following- would be great if that does work

Boomer Bates



Does Rider Switch apply for an adult that is unable to ride due to health or large size? I would want to be able to take each of my small children (2 and 4) while my husband sat with the other.

Kim Harris

I read all these comments but I still am confused if I am “missing out” on maximizing this system. I have a tall 5yo (who wants to ride everything!) and a baby (8mo). Right now I have both adults and riding child with FPs for all rides, but I know in almost all those cases we will have to utilize ride swap, so I realize that adult #2 doesn’t “NEED” the FP reservation but I am unsure what to do with that? Is there some value in having JUST an adult FP to say characters or shows or even rides if riding child and adult #2 don’t have a FP? If i just show up at a ride with one adult FP can I get a rider switch?? I am going in a week and nervous about over-engineering this.


How many people in the group must have a FastPass+ reservation for the ride to utilize rider swap? In other words, if our group of 4 (2 adults, 2 young kids) wants to try to get on multiple Tier 1 rides (Soarin, Test Track, Frozen Ever After), could we have 1 person reserve a FastPass+ for each ride and then utilize rider swap? Would the following scenario work?:

-Dad reserves FP+ for Soarin. Gets in line with family. Gets rider swap ticket. Dad & son ride, while mom & daughter wait and ride later.

-Mom reserves FP+ for Test Track. Gets in line with family. Gets rider swap ticket. Mom & daughter ride, while dad & son wait and ride later.

-Son reserves FP+ for Frozen Ever After. Gets in line with family. Gets rider swap ticket. Son & dad ride, while mom & daughter wait and ride later.

-Daughter reserves FP+ for one of the above mentioned Tier I rides for a little later in the day. Gets in line with family. Gets rider swap. Two ride, two wait, and ride later.

A couple additional questions:
1. If the above scenario plays out, would both kids be allowed to ride the second (or even first) time around? You state that up to 3 can hop on a rider swap, so I’m inclined to think they could both ride it the second time, but probably not the first.

2. When you want to redeem the rider swap ticket, do you just get in the Fast Pass line? I know they are dated, but does it matter when you use them? Can you use them right away or later that day?

Thanks, as always, for all your help!!!! Love, love, LOVE your site and podcast! I get so happy when I see a new podcast from WDW Prep waiting for me for my morning commute!

Disney Dad

This scenario would not work because every person entering the ride the first time would need to have a fast pass so with scenario 1 dad and son would need a fastpass reserved to go soarin so his tier 1 fastpass choice would be used on that

same with test track….mom and whoever is going on would need a fast pass for that first intial ride.

You would be unable to book 1 fastpass and then try to utilize child swap and bring kids in with you

Though it would be amazing if you could!!! Just would end up causing long wait lines in fast pass when everyone caught on to it


So on the things for the little kid to do while the big kid rides you mention several options that are at the exit of the ride. Can the parent/kid not riding just walk into the exit area without riding and standing in the lines?


Hi Shannon! This is great info and really looking forward to following your suggestions. One question I had is for a family of four. Mom, Dad. 7 year old, and 1 year old.

If Mom (and Mom only) had a Fast Pass for say the Barnstormer, could we get a rider swap pass so that Dad and 7 year old can go right after? Would we just show up as a family and say we have 1 Fast Pass???


Hi, I’m visiting with hubby, 8yo, 5yo and 1yo. When using rider switch can I just FP 1 adult and 1 child, and then use rider switch to swap the waiting child as well as the waiting adult? (So each child would only ride once?) This would mean we could book 6 FPs each day (1 adult and 1 child each time, and using rider switch for the other waiting adult and child). Have I understood this correctly please?

H. Prince

Disney is now requiring every member of the group to have a fast pass because this loop hole is allowing some to have 6 fast passes and access to rides on the same tier such as Soarin and Test Track. This doubling up is in fact cheating the system.


hi there, we are headed to animal kingdom next week – 5 of us – 3 adults and a 4 year and 6 year old – i have fast passes for all of us for everest but I know my 4 year old can’t go – i was going to swap it out for another fast pass for my 4 year old an me (maybe lion king if we can save seats for the others?)and then do the rider switch – i called disney and was told i can’t do that – the person i spoke with said i must have a fast pass to ride everest with my 6 year old daughter – she said i can’t go in the fast pass to get the rider switch unless i have a fast pass – this contradicts how you explain – please advise what we should do? can we even save seats via fast pass for lion king for the other 3 in our party who won’t have a fast pass for it or is the seating in a separate area? THANK YOU!!!

Derek B.

Hey Shannon,

I have done disney a few times with my wife and recently with our 2 year old. Child swap was awesome because it gave us both the ability to ride…..Heres my dilemma. This year we are traveling with the whole family…..15 people total. 4 of the 15 are all going to be to small to ride the big rides so my question is….. Can a group of 15 with 4 babies get multiple child swap passes to account for half group going in and the second half going in together later or do I need to coordinate having groups of 2 going in separately and getting child swap passes per group. I am trying to maximize the Fast Pass bonus with the child swap and am getting caught up on this question.


Does Rider Switch have to be done as soon as the 1st group finishes their ride or can you come back later? Just wondering in case the 2nd group haven’t completed a ride they went to while waiting for the completion of the 1st group.

Kelly Garcia

My husband and I are going to WDW with our 7 year old twins and 5 year old. Everyone is tall enough to ride the rides but we’ve always had grandparents with us in years past to ride with them. This is the first year that it will be just my husband and I with the 3 kids. So my question is: are the 7 year olds old enough to ride alone (with us being on the ride with them) or will we need rider swap passes to be able to ride with them individually? If they are tall and old enough to ride alone, our concern is if they’re going to want to alone. Could we get rider swap if they’re scared to ride alone?


Hi Shannon, I’m trying my best understand how this works but I’m not sure how, or if, this can work for us. My wife, myself and our 10 year old son will attending Disney in a couple weeks. How can we use this ‘Rider Switch’ to our advantage?

Jenniffer Sheldon

Shannon – What if child is tall enough but too scared. Our DD (7) does not like Soarin but it’s our favorite. Can one of us get FP & do Rider Switch? I have a feeling the same will be the case for Flight of the Passage.


Please tell me if this will work: Me and my daughter will FP+ Space Mountain, and get a rider swap for my husband to ride again with my daughter. Can I send my husband and son to FP+ Tomorrowland Indy Speedway to keep them busy while we ride Space Mountain?


Quick question so we have a party of 6, my youngest child is about 44″ tall so if I stayed with him (more likely nana) while the other other 4 went on the rides which have a 48″ requirement. How many people could ride again?

Thanks for the information. This will be the first time we will use the Rider Swap option and I am hoping it will go smoothly. We didn’t even know this existed until I read your post. What kind of pass is given to the group 2 that is waiting to ride?


We tried to do Rider Switch at Soarin in January but the CM at the FP entrance had no idea what we were talking about. It was so frustrating.

Jennifer Scope

This will be our first trip using rider swap. We are taking a one year old, therefore we didn’t have to purchase her a ticket but it looks like she will get a magic band. Can we assign Fast passes to her that my older child can use?


My family and I are hoping to ride Soarin, Frozen, and Test Track. We are a family of four. 2 adults/ 1 (4 year old)/1 (2 year old). We are eating breakfast next to Frozen (8am), so we are good for that. My son (4 years old) and I were going to get a fastpass for Soarin and use the child swap so my wife could ride. Would my 4-year old son be able to ride again with her after we ride?

My wife is going to get a fastpass for Test Track. Would my son be able to ride with her or no because he does not have fastpass? Would I be able to benefit from the child swap on this ride? Thanks for your help. Hope this is not confusing.


Are we able to do this scenario….my husband and I both want to go on something but BOTH kids are too small…can we do 1 FP and get a rider swap pass for the other? Thanks!


Hi! We are visiting WDW in Nov. It will be just me, my husband and 6 yr old daughter. How can we use rider switch to our advantage so that my husband and myself can both ride with my daughter who cannot wait by herself but both parents want the chance to ride with her on a ride that will seat only two ppl.


Similar situation for us…my wife and I plus our 5 year old who meets most height requirements and my 2 year old who does not. We will only have 3 park admissions to make FastPass reservations with…wondering if I can make a single FP reservation and have my daughter come on the ride with me, then my wife and daughter go back on?

If not, if I read this correct, we can still double our FP by just me going on and getting the rider swap and then my wife and daughter go on? Daughter wouldn’t get to rise twice but that’s OK if I can get 6 FP instead of 3!


I love the suggestions on how to use the Fastpass and rider swap. My only question is..I just called Disney and they said you can’t do that. Has this been tried recently to make sure you can still do this? Would hate to plan my passes around this and it doesn’t work out. Thanks for the good advice!


Shannon, I have a question about this whole process…. So me, my 8yo daughter, and my grandmother are all going to WDW this April. Granny lives there, so she will not be on our resort reservation or FP+ reservations. My question is…. Can we use Rider Switch on Mine/My daughter’s FP+ reservations so that Granny and I each get to take turns riding with our daughter? So, Daughter and I ride first with our FP+ Reservations, but get a rider switch pass for Granny, who can ride later in the day with Daughter. Does that make sense?


Can’t Rider Swap be used for someone who is not comfortable riding the ride (scared, motion sick, etc) and not just for someone who doesn’t meet the height requirement?

Irina Martins Reis Yamashita

Did someone use this technique recently? Thanks.


Hello Shannon , I’m taking my family for our first disney holiday this year and after reading (a lot) of articles on rider switch could you clarify please ? Am I correct if I fast pass the four of us on a ride can I take one child on with me then after the ride go and get my other child and ride again ? Thanks Jamie


Does this work if there is a group of 7 (four adults, three kids,) with one non-rider:
– Group 1 is is two adults and two kids with FP+
– Group 2 is two adults and non-rider with no FP+ who both get rider swap passes.
In other words, can two adults in a larger group wait with the non-rider and each get a ride-swap so they don’t wait alone, or would only one of them get a pass?

Thank you so much this tip saved our trip last Christmas with two adults and two kids.


Hi Shannon!
Our whole family is going to Magic kingdom for one day the 22nd.. there will be 8 adults & 9 kids ages 3-18 & an infant
I am overwhelmed about planning fast passes and definitely confused about rider switch. Do u have any tips you could share for a big group? Should we just plan to split up and do our own thing? I know the crowd level is suppose to be insane so I wonder if fp will even make a difference that day.

Natalie Flowers

Hi, I love your podcast! Do you have a new recommendation for what to do while waiting on Star Tours with a young child now that Honey I shrunk the kids is gone?

Megan Hollander

I have this same question!

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