Why Rider Switch Is Easier Than Ever at Walt Disney World

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It’s not always easy traveling to Walt Disney World with small, young children. A fair amount of Disney attractions have minimum height or age requirements. Some parties with children too small or too young may decide to skip certain attractions, but they don’t have to. Rider Switch is a “switching off” option available at most attractions that have a minimum height requirement. You may have heard it called the Rider Switch, Rider Swap, Baby Swap, or Child Swap.

Soarin’ Entrance
Soarin’ Waiting Area – to the right of Entrance

For the purposes of this post, I will use the word “child” quite a bit, but any guest who does not wish to ride and does not want to wait alone can take part in the Rider Switch Service.

Here’s how Rider Switch works at Walt Disney World:

  • Entire party, and the non-riding child must be present at the participating attraction
  • The Cast Member will need to see the child and confirm which adult will not ride first
  • The Cast Member will scan the MagicBand of those that will wait with the child
  • One adult, at least, must wait with the child
  • Once the first party has ridden the attraction the parties can switch
  • The party that did not ride will be directed to the FastPass+ entrance after their Rider Switch Pass has been validated

The Cast Member that issues the Rider Switch Pass will confirm that the non-riding party exits the queue right away. The non-riding party will need to remain outside the attraction while the first party rides.

There’s no need to wait at the attraction, just make sure your party knows where to find you. If there are more than two adults in the entire party, and only one adult waits with the child, the Rider Switch Pass will be issued for up to 3 guests.

Right now is an especially convenient time to utilize the Rider Switch Service since the FastPass+ line is underutilized. FastPass+ service is not in use during this time.

Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group Check-In
Rise of the Resistance Rider Switch Check-In Point

When my husband, toddler son, and I visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios earlier this month we were fortunate enough to secure a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance. It was just the three of us and when it was time for our Boarding Group we approached the entrance together.

Our MagicBands were scanned to confirm that we had a Boarding Group. Then we were directed to a different Cast Member a few feet away in the queue. We told her I would ride first and she issued a Rider Switch Pass to my husband. Then she opened up the rope to have him and my son depart the queue while I went on.

Rise of the Resistance Rider Switch Check-In Point

When I was done with my amazing experience I found my husband and son. He headed for the entrance and they directed him through the FastPass+ line after scanning his MagicBand. He said there were only four other people in the FastPass+ line. He still experienced the full story, but did bypass the bulk of the queue.

Have you ever used Rider Switch? What other tips would you add? Let us know in the comments. 

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Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

6 thoughts on “Why Rider Switch Is Easier Than Ever at Walt Disney World

  • February 11, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    For most rides, do you have to join the queue with your entire party and wait until you get to the point where the CM scans your Magic Bands? Or can you approach directly to the CM?

    • February 11, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      For most of the attractions there is Cast Member that can assist with Rider Switch near the queue entrance. Just be sure to ask the Greeter before getting in line.

  • February 12, 2021 at 8:54 am

    How long do you have to return to the attraction using rider switch? can we go ride another attraction with the child, or must we wait at the attraction?

  • February 12, 2021 at 8:58 am

    You can ride another attraction while the first adult is experiencing the attraction.

    I suggest asking a Castmember at the attraction as to whether they have a specific timeframe for the second ride. I’ve never seen Disney put this in writing, so it’s probably up to the staff at the ride.

    Good luck!

  • April 22, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    Hi! We are planning on going with our 2 kids who will be aged 1 and 5. If we do ride switch can the 5 year old ride twice once with each of us? Thanks!!

  • April 25, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Do you have to have magic bands to use rider swap?


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