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    Rider Switch at Walt Disney World

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Rider Switch (a.k.a. "Rider Swap," "Switching Off," "Baby Swap" or "Child Swap")

Several attractions have minimum height or age requirements. Some couples with children too small or too young forego these attractions, while others take turns riding. Missing some of Walt Disney World's best rides is an unnecessary sacrifice, and waiting in line twice for the same ride is a tremendous waste of time. Instead, take advantage of the "switching off" option, also called the Rider Swap, Baby Swap or Child Swap. To switch off, there must be at least two adults. Adults and children wait in line together.

When you approach the queue, tell the first ride attendant you see that you want to switch off. The Cast Member will allow the riding adult into the queue and give that adult a lanyard that is exchanged for a paper Rider Switch ticket later in the queue. After the first adult rides, the second can enter through the FastPass+ entrance using the Rider Switch pass.

If there are additional adults—or children who are willing and able to ride the attraction in question—they can take double advantage of this system. The Rider Switch pass allows up to three guests entry to an attraction, so one adult can take an older child on the ride, then the adult with the pass can take that child again. The passes are valid all day (and sometimes to the end of the current month), so there is no need to rush back to the attraction.

If you are switching off on an attraction where you have made a FastPass+ selection, only the initial rider(s) needs a FastPass+ reservation. The second rider(s) can use the Rider Switch pass to enter the FastPass+ queue. With some strategic planning, you can use this system to expand your FastPass+ ability by making simultaneous selections for the second adult and small child on a nearby attraction.

Attractions where switching off is practiced are oriented to more mature guests. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage for a child just to move through the queue holding Dad's hand. In the boarding area, many children suddenly fear abandonment when one parent leaves to ride. Prepare your children for switching off, or you might have an emotional crisis on your hands. A mom from Edison, New Jersey, writes:

Once my son came to understand that the switch-off would not leave him abandoned, he did not seem to mind. I would recommend to your readers that they practice the switch-off on some dry runs at home, so that their child is not concerned that he will be left behind. At the very least, the procedure could be explained in advance so that the little ones know what to expect.

An Ada, Michigan, mother discovered that the switching-off procedure varies among attractions. She says:

Parents need to tell the very first attendant they come to that they would like to switch off. Each attraction has a different procedure for this. Tell every other attendant too because they forget quickly.

Switching off is common at these attractions:

Magic Kingdom
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Disney's Hollywood Studios
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Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Last updated by Len Testa on March 16, 2018