disney world rider swapThe Disney World rider swap program is officially called the Rider Switch Service, sometimes referred to as “baby swap.” This allows adult visitors to take turns waiting with a young child or other guest unable to ride, without having to wait in line again.  For example, suppose a family of 4 with a toddler and a teenager wants to ride Splash Mountain, but toddlers can’t go on the ride.  Mom and her teenager can wait in line and ride, while Dad hangs out with his toddler. When Mom comes out, Dad can hand off the toddler and head directly onto the ride, without waiting in line.  Dad can also bring the teenager back on with him, so the teenager gets to ride twice!

We will explain how it works, where it is available, and answer some common questions.

How do I use Disney World rider swap (Rider Switch Service)?

First, ask a cast member at the entrance to the ride (before you get in line) whether rider swap is available.  If it is, the members of the party riding first will be given a ride switch pass.  They will enter the ride and wait in the line (standby or FastPass, if you have FastPasses).  When they exit the ride, they will give their ride switch pass to the waiting party.  Up to 3 members of the waiting party can then entire the ride with the ride switch pass. (Note: Disney’s site says only 2 riders may enter, but they will actually let 3 on.)  The waiting party will present the rider switch pass to the cast member at the ride entrance, and will be allowed to skip the line.

Where is Rider Switch available?

It’s not available everywhere.  Basically, the service is designed to accommodate guests that are too young, too small, or otherwise unable to ride, but that still require supervision.  It is more likely to be available at rides with higher height requirements which toddlers and preschoolers may be unable to ride.  Below is Disney’s official list, but it’s worth checking at the ride entrance as unlisted rides may also offer the service.

Magic Kingdom Parkdisney world rider swap pass

The Barnstormer
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Stitch’s Great Escape
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway

Epcot

Frozen Ever After
Mission: SPACE
Soarin’
Test Track

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

DINOSAUR
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
Kali River Rapids
Primeval Whirl

Don’t want to leave your toddler behind on rides?  We have guides to the best rides and attractions at Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios for toddlers.

 How much does it cost?

The service is completely free.

Does it work with FastPass?

Yes, it does.  The first riding party can use FastPass to shorten their wait time. We have a guide to making FastPasses here.

How to get the most out of it

Each rider switch pass can be used by 3 people (the adult waiting, and two guests of their choice). Suppose mom takes 1 rider switch pass on the ride after waiting, and then swaps with dad after exiting the ride.  Dad can use that pass to get himself and two other riders on the ride without waiting.  This allows some members of the party (i.e. the older children, one per pass) to ride twice without waiting the second time.  You can effectively double your FastPasses this way.

How to get the most out of it

Each rider switch pass can be used by 2 people (the adult waiting, and one guest of their choice). Suppose mom takes 1 rider switch pass on the ride after waiting, and gives it to dad after exiting the ride.  Dad can use that pass to get himself and one other rider on the ride without waiting.  This allows some members of the party (i.e. the older children, one per pass) to ride twice without waiting the second time.  This essentially allows you to double your FastPasses.

Disney used to allow 3 people per pass (the adult waiting and two guests), but they now clearly state in their policy that only 2 people are allowed per pass.

Have more tips for Rider Switch or Swap?  Let us know in the comments.

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