Are you planning a trip to Disney World but you’re confused about how to use the Disney rider switch?Are you going to visit Disney World with kids who don’t yet reach the height requirement for your favorite rides? But you don’t want to miss out either? The Disney Rider Switch is the perfect solution to ensure you get the most out of your visit – without even having to leave them at home!
Do you want to know more? Look no further, since this article gives you the exact low down on how to use the Disney rider switch in the event you want to try out some of the thrill rides or roller coasters at Disney!
Here is how to make the most of your time in the parks by using the Disney rider switch and save time by not having to queue twice for the same ride. And the best part is that it is totally free and really easy to use once you know how it works!
What is Rider Switch at Disney?
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The Disney rider switch, sometimes known as the rider swap or Disney child swap, allows a member of your party to wait with a child who doesn’t meet the height requirement or a guest who doesn’t want to go on, or is unable to ride a particular attraction.
The rider swap at Disney world saves time for your party – since the guest who waits can use the lighting lane side and not wait in standby; maximizing the time you spend in the parks on rides! It also means that up to 2 members of your party get to ride the same attraction twice; a win for everyone!
By utilizing the child swap at Disney, you don’t have to miss out on any of your favorite rides because of height requirements, or guests who don’t want to or are unable to ride the attraction.
Who Can Use Rider Switch?
Anyone can use Rider Switch at Disney when they are in a situation where not everyone in the party wants to ride a particular attraction, or they aren’t able to ride it.
Disney Rider Switch is great for parents who want to ride more thrilling attractions that either they children can’t or don’t want to ride. It’s also great for allowing parents to ride those more exciting rides with older children, while smaller children can relax, nap, or have a snack.
How to Use Rider Swap at Disney World
When you get to the entrance of the ride queue, let the cast member know that you want to use the rider switch. You have to be there with your whole party in order for the cast member to scan all the magic bands/park tickets of those not riding, as well as those who will be riding a second time (more on that later). When this happens all the non-riders/returning riders will be given a return time for the ride.
This is called the Rider Switch Entitlement, and party 2 – the returning party – can either stay close to the ride or go take a break, grab a snack, or even ride some less thrilling rides.
Once party 1 has gone on the ride, they rejoin party 2 and essentially “child swap.” Party 1 takes over supervision of the non-riders, and party 2 goes into the ride. Instead of them rejoining the standby queue, they can use the side for lightning lane, and get straight onto the ride.
You are allowed to bring up to two people with you while using the Disney rider switch if you have waited alone with a non-riding guest; so some members of your party can ride the same attraction twice – just remember to let the cast member know before you ride the first time.
Using Rider Swap with Genie+ and Lightning Lane
Genie+ allows guests to book their rides for certain times, and try to guarantee that they get on all of their favorites during their visit. It is a paid system that replaced the previous fastpass system. Genie+ and Lighting Lane help you plan your day in advance, and helps time out your rides.
When it comes to using rider swap at Disney World with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, everyone in your group that wants to ride must have a Lightning Lane booked for the ride – whether it is a regular Lightning Lane that is included with Genie+, or a separate paid Individual Lightning Lane.
Cast Members will check this for both party 1 and party 2, and guests won’t be allowed to ride without having a Lightning Lane or Individual Lightning Lane booked for that attraction.
Here’s an example, say you’re a party of 5: Mom, Dad and 3 kids (one of whom doesn’t make the height restriction). Party 1: Mom and 1 of the kids have lightning lanes for the ride. Party 2: Dad, and the other two kids wait in the designated area nearby. Group 1 rides the ride first. After they locate Group 2, Mom and Dad switch.
Dad must also have a lightning lane booked for this ride in order to ride, but the child that is over the height requirement can go again with dad – basically Disney parent swap.
This is also true for rides that have Virtual Queues. In order to use rider swap at Disney World for a ride that uses a Virtual Queue system, everyone who wishes to ride must have a Virtual Queue booked for that ride. You cannot use Disney parent swap when just one parent has a Virtual Queue.
Does Rider Switch Cost Anything?
The rider switch is totally, 100%, completely free with your park tickets! If it is available at an attraction, it is simply added on to your magic band/park ticket by the cast member who welcomes you to the ride. Easy! This is a great free service offered by Disney to make your experience better and more enjoyable!
Rides and Attractions with Rider Switch
If you’re using the Disney rider swap, more often than not it’s because you have a child in your party who doesn’t yet reach the height requirement. Disney is very strict on height requirements, for reasons of safety.
Just a note: these are the rides that Disney officially lists that you can use Rider Switch on BUT you can actually get a Disney Rider Switch entitlement for any ride. If your kid freaks out in the Haunted Mansion stretching room, or decides that Pirates of the Caribbean is just too dark, a cast member can offer you a return time so that you don’t miss out.
Popular Child Swap Rides at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom has the best selection of rides for little ones, and a lot of rides that you may not need to use Disney World baby swap for, but there are definitely still a few you can use it on! So here are the Best rides at Magic Kingdom to use the child swap on:
- Barnstormer Height Requirement: 35 in. or taller
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Height requirement: 40 in. or taller
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Height Requirement: 38 in. or taller
- Space Mountain Height Requirement: 44 in. or taller
- Tomorrowland Speedway 32 in. or taller to ride, 54 in. or taller to drive or accompany someone under 54 in. who wishes to drive
Popular Child Swap Rides At Epcot
Although Epcot doesn’t have too many rides with a height requirement, there are still a few where we recommend using the Disney rider switch. Some of these rides your little ones might be slightly too small for, or find too overwhelming (Orange Mission Space we’re looking at you) and decide they don’t want to ride – the child swap at Disney world is ideal for situations such as this. We suggest using the Disney rider swap on:
- Mission Space Height Requirement: 40 in. or taller for Green Mission, 44 in. or taller for Orange Mission
- Soarin’ Around the World Height Requirement: 40 in. or taller
- Test Track Height Requirement: 40 in. or taller
- Frozen Ever After Height Requirement: any height
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Height Requirement: 42 in. or taller
Popular Child Swap Rides At Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios is known for its huge coasters and thrilling rides, and although there are many rides in the park which your little ones can enjoy, there are also a few with a height requirement, or which are too frightening for some children. Therefore we suggest that if you’re a thrill-seeker, you make the most out of your lightning lanes, and combine them with the Disney child swap on rides at Hollywood Studios such as:
- Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run Height Requirement: 38 in. or taller
- Rise of the Resistance Height Requirement: 40 in. or taller
- Alien Swirling Saucers Height Requirement: 32 in. or taller
- Slinky Dog Dash Height Requirement: 38 in. or taller
- Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster Height Requirement: 48 in. or taller (highest height requirement Disney imposes)
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue Height Requirement: 40 in. or taller
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Height Requirement: 40 in. or taller
Popular Child Swap Rides At Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom is made up of rides for everyone; including lots of attractions designed for daredevils and those seeking an adrenaline rush. By using the Disney child swap for the rides with a height requirement in Animal Kingdom, you ensure that everyone in the family gets to have loads of fun on the rides they love! We recommend using the Disney rider swap on these rides in Animal Kingdom:
- Avatar Flight of Passage Height Requirement: 44 in. or taller
- DINOSAUR Height Requirement: 40 in. or taller
- Expedition Everest – The Legend of the Forbidden Mountain Height Requirement: 44 in. or taller
- Kali River Rapids Height Requirement: 38 in. or taller
And there you have it! Using the Disney rider swap is literally as easy as that – just remember to ask the cast member at the ride entrance to add it to your second riding group’s magic bands/ park tickets. If you use these tips above, the Disney rider swap will definitely ensure you have a magical time!