by Fairy Diva
When my daughter was born three years ago, the way we experienced Walt Disney World changed a bit! My son was finally tall enough to ride some of our family favorites like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Soarin’ and Star Tours, but my infant daughter definitely couldn’t ride along with us. So how could both parents and our son ride the attractions with certain height requirements and still enjoy the parks with our young daughter? Rider Switch is the answer! This is one of the most convenient (and complimentary) services offered at Walt Disney World, allowing families the chance to experience their favorite rides when traveling with an infant or family member who is unable to ride (or simply does not want to ride) and needs to be accompanied. Here is how Rider Switch works.
As you approach most rides at Walt Disney World, you will find a line with a regular Stand By entrance as well as a Fast Pass entrance. Cast members are stationed at these entrances. Be sure you have your entire party with you and let the cast member know you want to use Rider Switch. Diva Tip: It is important that the entire group is present when asking for a Rider Switch pass. The cast member MUST see everyone and will then give you a Rider Switch ticket. The first adult and child (or guest) can enter the queue and ride the attraction, while the second adult waits with the infant or other non-riding guest. Once the first adult and child have finished the ride, the second adult can then return to the ride entrance, hand the Rider Switch pass to the cast member, and bypass the queue. The second adult may bring one child (or guest) back to ride the attraction with him/her. According to the Walt Disney World website, only 2 guests are allowed per Rider Switch pass. However, the actual pass lists that it is valid for up to 3 guests.
Using the Rider Switch allows both my husband and I the opportunity to experience the ride with our son, and my son is the fortunate guest who gets to ride twice! This system has worked very well for us the past couple of years, and I love that Disney makes this available to guests. The Rider Switch is available whether you are entering the Fast Pass queue or the Stand By queue.
We make waiting fun by taking our young daughter to browse through gift shops, grab a snack, or ride one of the less crowded attractions. For example, while my husband and son waited in the Stand By queue for Soarin’, which had a 45 minute wait posted, my daughter and I used the time to have a snack at Sunshine Seasons and meet some of our favorite Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto at the Epcot Character Spot. Then, after my husband and son had finished Soarin’, I was able to ride with my son, bypassing the long queue.
Each park has rides that offer Rider Switch, as listed on the Walt Disney World website.
Magic Kingdom Park– Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, The Barnstormer, Space Mountain, Stitch’s Great Escape and Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. Though not listed on the Walt Disney World website, we have successfully used Rider Switch on the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train on multiple visits.
Epcot– Mission: SPACE, Soarin’ and Test Track
Disney’s Hollywood Studios– Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Star Tours- The Adventure Continues and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park– DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest- Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Kali River Rapids and Primeval Whirl
Rider Switch is a great feature to use when visiting Walt Disney World. No ride has to be bypassed when using it! You may inquire about Rider Switch on any ride at Walt Disney World, so even if it isn’t listed, you can still ask a cast member if it is available. If it can work for your family or traveling group, be sure to try it on your next visit.
For an additional look at Rider Switch, check out Disney Diva’s article, or additional information on traveling with babies and toddlers while at Walt Disney World, as we did, you can read Neverland Diva’s top tips here.