Knowing as many planning details as possible when visiting Walt Disney World with smaller children is essential. One of those details is how to take advantage of Disney’s Rider Switch Service.
Rider Switch allows everyone who wants to ride an attraction the opportunity to do so while still accommodating guests who might not want to ride. For example, you might have a party of four guests where one doesn’t meet the height requirement and cannot ride a specific attraction.
If this attraction offers Rider Switch, two members of your party can join the line and experience the attraction. Meanwhile, one person waits with the party member that cannot ride.
After the initial guest’s ride, one can join the party waiting and ride again. However, those guests do not have to wait through the entire line again on this go around.
They’ll get to bypass the line since the rest of your party has already waited for you. Meanwhile, a different person in your group stays with the person that cannot ride.
In this article, we’ll look at the details of using Rider Switch and what attractions offer the service. Additionally, we’ll discuss a few other scenarios where Rider Switch might work for your group.
This article was updated on February 4, 2023.
What exactly is Disney Rider Switch?
Rider Switch is Walt Disney World’s program that allows guests with children to experience select attractions when the child isn’t eligible to ride. Sometimes, a child might not be eligible to ride because they don’t meet height requirements.
In other cases, a child might not want to ride the attraction due to fear or various reasons.
When these instances happen, this leaves one person in your party with a minor who can’t be left behind while your party joins the line to experience an attraction. Situations like these could be frustrating, especially if you aren’t aware of Disney’s solution to the problem.
How To Do Disney World Rider Switch
- First, visit the attraction with your group and ask the cast member at the entrance for a rider switch entitlement. Then, they’ll typically scan the returning guest’s magic band or ticket. (Let the cast member know how many guests will return with you.)
- When the cast member scans the band or ticket of the person waiting outside (not riding first), it will issue them a return time and the number of guests returning to ride with you.
- Next, the member of your group riding first with eligible children will enter the standby queue to ride the attraction.
- At this point, the returning guest waiting outside might elect to do something else nearby with the uneligible party until you finish the ride.
- When the initial party exits the attraction, locate the rest of your group.
- The member of your party waiting on the rider switch can then go and validate their entitlement with the cast member at the ride’s entrance.
- This second person experiencing the attraction will be allowed to enter through the Rider Swap queue and forgo the standby portion. Here you will scan your magic band or ticket.
- Remember, if this second member of your party waited alone initially, they could bring up to two guests back to the attraction with them. Make sure to get those entitlements scanned to your band initially.
Example of using Rider Switch at Disney
- You have a family of five with children ages 3, 6, and 11 years old.
- Everyone except the three-year-old qualifies to experience Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
- The entire family approaches the entrance to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
- Dad receives the Rider Switch entitlement and waits with the three-year-old. They might do a little shopping or pick up a snack.
- Mom rides Big Thunder Mountain Railroad via the standby queue with the six and eleven-year-old.
- This first group then exits the attraction and meets Dad with the three-year-old.
- Dad takes the six and eleven-year-old back to the attraction entrance and redeems the Rider Switch entitlement.
- Dad and kids experience the attraction without having to wait in the standby line this time.
One of the nice things about Rider Switch is that if you have multiple members of your party, you don’t have to experience the attraction by yourself.
This also works well when a family is visiting with a single child for the first time. You might have to experience some attractions by yourself, but it alleviates both parents from having to wait in more than one long line per ride.
Attractions with Rider Switch at Walt Disney World
Here are the current attractions that offer the Rider Switch program at Walt Disney World.
- The Barnstormer
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tron Lightcycle Run (Opens April 4, 2023.)
*You will have to secure a virtual queue entrance or purchase Lightning Lane to use Rider Switch for Tron Lightcycle Run.
- Frozen Ever After
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind*
- Mission: SPACE
- Test Track
*At the time of this update, you must have a virtual queue entrance or purchased Lightning Lane to use Rider Switch for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continues
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Expedition Everest
- Kali River Rapids
- Na’vi River Journey
Additionally, Walt Disney offers several different programs for guests with disabilities. You can familiarize yourself with these programs here on Disney’s site.
Can you use Rider Switch on Rise of the Resistance?
Yes, you can use Rider Switch on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. See the cast member at the entrance.
What to do while my family is in line and I’m attending to a smaller child?
There’s no need to stand outside an attraction and wait for your party to finish while using Rider Switch. Each park has different attractions that are, in most instances, easy for anyone to experience.
Find something to do nearby, and meet up with the rest of your group when they are finished. You might browse our list of Disney World attractions that don’t have a height requirement.
Final Thoughts on Rider Switch
Rider Switch is an excellent program you don’t want to miss out on if your group is eligible. If you had to wait separately for an hour or more to experience an attraction while another member of your group sits on the sidelines, it would not be ideal.
Thankfully, Disney has taken these potential issues into account.
Are you planning a Walt Disney World vacation? If so, you might enjoy browsing our list of Walt Disney World Hotels. Some of our favorites include:
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort Review
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Review
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Review
Additionally, some of our most popular articles include:
- Best Character Dining at Walt Disney World
- Disney Backpacks List by Loungefly
- Best Disney Springs Restaurant List
- Character Meets at Walt Disney World
In the Comments
What do you think of Rider Switch? Do you have any questions? Will you be able to use this service on your vacation?