Walt Disney World’s Rider Switch
Walt Disney World’s Rider Switch program is in place to help parties enjoy attractions even if some members of the group don’t wish to or can not ride. Rider Switch is most commonly used for families with children who do not meet height requirements on certain rides, but Rider Switch can be used in any situation where a guest of any age wishes not to ride that uses Rider Switch but is visiting with other members who wish to do so.
Rider Switch allows one (or more) adult guest to wait with a non-riding guest while other members of the party experience the ride. When the first person or group completes the ride, they reunite outside the ride, and the adult(s) and others who waited are allowed to enter the ride without waiting in standby.
Note: Rider Switch is often referred to by guests as Rider Swap or Child Swap.
Rider Switch Procedure
Walt Disney World’s Rider Switch program can be incredibly helpful for guests, so familiarizing yourself with the procedure for participating can help you to make the most of your visits to the Parks.
Your first step is to speak with a Cast Member at the attraction’s entrance to inquire about Rider Switch. (A full list of attractions that utilize Rider Switch is below.) You’ll need to have your entire party with you when you speak to the Cast Member.
At least one adult plus up to two other guests (known by Disney as “Party 2”) are given a ride entitlement. In the past, this was essentially a paper FastPass. Nowadays, Cast Members assign a ride entitlement via the guests’ MagicBands or possibly MagicMobile.
Party 2 will wait in a designated area with the non-rider(s) to wait for the rest of their group (“Party 1”) to experience the ride.
Party 1 exits the ride and reunites with Party 2. Party 1 will now wait with the non-rider(s) while Party 2 returns to the ride entrance and speaks to a Cast Member to validate their Rider Switch entitlement.
Note: In the past, Party 2 was limited specifically to three guests. In August 2021, Disney changed the language to say “the number of Guests who may join [the waiting adult of Party 2] to ride again is limited.” In theory this could mean the Party 2 adult may have to ride alone or that any number of Party 2 waiting guests could ride (i.e. more than three if they’d all waited).
Party 2 will be directed through the FastPass line to experience the ride. Though FastPass does not guarantee no wait, it should reduce the amount of time that Party 2 has to wait.
Note: If Party 1 has a FastPass for the ride, they will use the FastPass line as well for their wait. Otherwise, Party 1 will need to wait in Standby.
Attractions Utilizing Rider Switch at Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom Park
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
Frozen Ever After
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Alien Swirling Saucers
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Slinky Dog Dash
Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
Avatar Flight of Passage
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
Kali River Rapids