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Imagine being all over the moon for visiting Walt Disney World Resort and not being able to enjoy the rides and attractions to the fullest because your one kid does not meet the standard height requirements. Or maybe the child meets the height requirement but doesn't have the heart to go for any specific attraction. That's where the rider swap at Disney World comes in.
So, why should it stop the entire party who meets the requirements from not having fun? They might end up being disappointed for coming this far and missing out on all the fun, especially thrill rides.
In addition, knowing which attractions your child will be able to enjoy and which ones they won't helps a lot. But don't let this thought weigh you down already. We'll go through the specifics of how Disney World's Rider Switch method works in detail. Let's get started!
Overview Of A Rider Swap At Walt Disney World
At this point, you must be wondering what rider swap or rider switch is at Disney World and if availing of this service would be beneficial for you or not. Well, everything Disney introduces is for the benefit of its guests. So, this service is sure to help you out with your rides.
Well, the Walt Disney World Rider Switch service, sometimes called child swap or rider swap, enables parents of young kids to alternately enjoy larger rides while the other parent waits with the kid at a designated area. This gives the entire party a chance to enjoy the Disney World vacation.
Rider Switch is primarily accessible on attractions with Lightning Lanes and height restrictions. If you utilize rider switch pass, it will be good until the end of the day, which is nice in case you don't have time to get both rides in before a lunch reservation or a planned break. However, you can only have one Rider Switch pass at a time.
As soon as you reach the attraction, the cast member will give a digital rider switch entitlement to at least one adult member of your group and any visitors who are not traveling. Currently, cast members assign a ride entitlement via the guests' MagicBands or possibly MagicMobile. They will ask the waiting adult and another non-riding guest to wait at a designated area near the ride entrance or exit. However, the rest of your team will enjoy the ride.
Once the first team is back, the others who waited can access the attraction without waiting on standby. And that is how every adult can enjoy the attractions in Disney World to the fullest without worrying about the kids.
Who Can Access Rider Switch Entitlement
Disney World rider switch entitlement can be accessed by anyone having kids with them at Disney World. But there can be two conditions:
If they have a kid who doesn't meet height requirements
Or if they have a kid, but he/she is scared of the ride and prefers not to go for it
The child not riding the attraction must be present when requesting the Rider Swap ticket to take advantage of Rider Swap.
How To Utilize Rider Swap At Disney World
It's easier than it sounds to operate a rider swap. Additionally, it might not be what you expect rider swap to be. You must always check with a Cast member to see if Rider Switch is offered at the attraction in question. Disney's rider switch service can be incredibly useful if you know how to use it appropriately. Here is a step-by-step guide to utilizing rider switch:
1. Look For Cast Members
First, you have to look for the greeting cast member at the ride entrance. You would probably see a cast member holding an iPad in their hand.
2. Divide Your Group
Second, you will have to divide your group. There can be 2 groups; if one group goes for the ride, the other group awaits with non-rider.
3. Approach Cast Member
Third, you will have to approach the cast member at the entrance. It is where you will be provided with the rider switch entitlement. Also, you will know how utilizing rider switch is beneficial.
4. Turns Of Group 1 And Group 2
First, it is the turn of Group 1 to go for a ride, and the other group stays with the non-rider and waits for their turn.
Following Group 1's return, it assumes the responsibility for monitoring the non-rider while the other waiting adult experiences their favorite attractions alternately using Rider Switch passes.
5. Verify Your Rider Swap At Disney World
You must verify your Rider Switch by scanning it with your MagicBand or using MagicMobile on your cellphone to utilize Rider Swap service.
According to Disney, “if the person in Group 2 waited alone with the child or non-riding Guest, the number of Guests who may join him or her and ride again is limited.”
Disney has made it clear through the above statement that only one person from Group 1 will be given a chance to go for that ride gain with Group 2.
List Of Attractions That Offer Rider Swap At Disney World
Child Swap is a wonderful and helpful feature that allows parents or guardians in your party to take turns waiting with a child who is too small to partake in an attraction or with a person who is unable or unwilling to ride.
Similar systems at other parks also go by the names Rider Swap, Baby Swap, Child Swap, or Parent Swap. But they all mean the same!
Although there are many attractions offering rider switch at Walt Disney. The following is a complete list of existing attractions at all four Walt Disney World theme parks that are Rider Switch compatible:
1. Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom at Disney World offers Rider Switch, a service that allows guests with young children to take turns riding attractions without waiting in line twice. At least one adult can wait with the child while the other parent rides the attraction, and then they can switch places without any person waiting in line again for that particular attraction.
This service is available for certain attractions and can be requested at the ride's entrance. Rider Switch is a great option for families with young children who want to experience the Magic Kingdom thrills without sacrificing their child's experience. Below mentioned are the attractions in the Magic Kingdom that allow a Rider Switch pass:
a) The Barnstormer
The height requirement at the barnstormer is 35″. It allows Genie+ but not individual lightning lanes.
b) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The height requirement at the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is 40″. It also allows Genie+ but not individual lightning lanes.
c) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The height requirement at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is 38″. Mine Train at Magic Kingdom also allows Genie+ but not ILL.
d) Space Mountain
The height requirement at Space Mountain is 44″. Space Mountain sometimes allows both Genie+ and the ILL selection.
f) Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
The Tomorrowland Indy Speedway's height requirement is a minimum of 32″ for riding and 54″ for driving. It also allows Genie+ but not ILL.
EPCOT also offers Rider Switch, a convenient service that allows families with young children to take turns riding attractions without waiting in line twice. Rider Switch is a fantastic option for families with young children who want to experience all EPCOT's excitement without worrying about their child's experience. The Epcot theme park allows the Rider Switch passes for particular attractions, which can be requested at the entrance of the ride:
a) Frozen Ever After
This one ride has no height requirement. However, it allows both Genie+ and ILL.
b) Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
The Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind height requirement is 42″. If the rider falls below this requirement, only then can your rider switch work.
c) Mission: SPACE
The Mission: Space's height requirement is between 40″and 44″, depending upon the intensity. However, it allows Genie+ but not ILL.
d) Soarin’ Around the World
The height requirement at Soarin’ Around the World is 40″. It allows Genie+ but not ILL.
e) Test Track
The height requirement at Test Track is 40″. It allows Genie+ but not ILL.
3. Hollywood Studios
At Disney's Hollywood Studios, families with young children can take advantage of the Rider Switch service, which enables them to take turns riding select attractions, such as Slinky Dog, without waiting twice. With Rider Switch, one adult can wait with the child while the other rides, and then they can swap places without queuing up again.
This service is available for certain rides at Hollywood Studios and can be requested at the ride entrance. Rider Switch is an excellent option for families with young children who want to make the most of their time at Hollywood Studios without sacrificing their child's enjoyment. Disney's Hollywood Studios attractions that are compatible with rider switch are:
a) Alien Swirling Saucers
The Alien Swirling Saucer's height requirement is 32″. It also allows Genie+ but not ILL.
b) Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run's height requirement is a minimum of 38″. It allows Genie+ but not ILL.
c) Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
The Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith's height requirement is a minimum of 48″. It also allows Genie+ but not ILL.
d) Slinky Dog Dash
The Slinky Dog Dash's height requirement is 38″. Slinky Dog also allows Genie+ but not ILL.
e) Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
The Star Tours – The Adventures Continue's height requirement is a minimum of 40″. It also allows Genie+ but not ILL.
f) Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
The height requirement of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is 40″. It doesn't allow Genie+ but allows ILL.
g) Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
The height requirement of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is 40″. It allows Genie+ but not ILL.
4. Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom is known to have all sorts of natural beauty stored inside it. From amazing meadows to nature's wildest creatures, all can be found at Animal Kingdom. There are various attractions that guests can enjoy at the theme park.
The iconic attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom is the Tree Of Life which has over 325 animals carved on its trunk and surrounding roots. Animal Kingdom has the following rider-switch-compatible attractions:
a) Avatar Flight of Passage
The height requirement of Avatar Flight of Passage is 44″. It doesn't allow Genie+ but allows ILL.
The height requirement of DINOSAUR is 40″. It allows both Genie+ and ILL sometimes.
c) Expedition Everest
The height requirement of Expedition Everest is 44″. It doesn't allow Genie+ but allows ILL.
d) Kali River Rapids
The height requirement of Kali River Rapids is 38″. It allows Genie+ but not ILL.
e) Na’vi River Journey
The Na’vi River Journey doesn't have any height requirements. It allows Genie+ but not ILL.
How Do Genie+, Lightning Lane, and Individual Lightning Lane Interact With Rider Switch?
If you are new to this “Genie+” terminology, let's first walk you through the basic concepts to understand how this all works.
Disney Genie Vs. Disney Genie+
Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ are two new features that have been introduced at Walt Disney and Disneyland. These services have been designed to enhance the overall guest experience by helping visitors plan their days and maximize their time at the parks.
Disney Genie is a complimentary service that offers personalized recommendations based on the guest's preferences. This feature includes features such as itinerary planning, wait-for-time updates, and even personalized recommendations on food and beverage options.
Disney Genie+, on the other hand, is a paid feature that allows guests to access the lightning lane entrance for select attractions, enabling them to bypass the regular line. With Disney Genie+, visitors can reserve their spot in line for multiple attractions throughout the day, ensuring that they spend less time waiting and more time enjoying the parks.
Both Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ offer unique benefits that cater to the individual needs of guests, making them valuable additions to the Disney experience.
What is Lightning lane?
Lightning lane is another name for the Fastpass line. A Lightning Lane entry is a wait time offered at specific attractions as an alternative for guests to save time in line.
Before starting an experience, a Guest must pick an entry time via the My Disney Experience app to use Lightning Lane access. You can easily purchase lightning lane with Genie plus.
You can reserve the service for your entire family or keep it to yourself by purchasing an individual lightning lane reservation that you can use on the same ride and others.
All Rider Swap participants are required to be in a Virtual Queue boarding group or have an individually purchased Lightning Lane entrance for the attraction prior to boarding.
Is Genie+ Required To Use A Rider Swap At Disney World?
Purchasing Genie+ or Lightning Lane to use the rider switch is not a hard and fast rule. You can use Genie and Rider Switch together if you buy Genie+ or individual attraction choices. So, if you're not using Genie+, your first party would have to go in the standby line, but the second part of your party would go through faster.
Please remember that everyone traveling must have purchased and chosen an arrival window for your whole group to use Lightning Lane. To enjoy the complete perks of these services!
Additionally, it may appear that each parent would have a brief delay anyway and that Rider Switch is unnecessary. But using rider switch with Genie+ has its own perks. Keep in mind that Rider Switch allows one child to travel with both adults.
However, you can't attempt to fool the system by paying for only the first group and then expecting to use Rider Switch to let those who haven't paid through the Lightning Lane. Cast Members will verify your group and send those who have not paid to the waiting line.
How Rider Swap Functions With DAS At Disney World
The Disability Access Service (DAS) at Walt Disney World helps visitors and families with disabilities travel and appreciate the parks with less difficulty.
Rider Switch and Disability Access Service (DAS) can be used concurrently. When the DAS return time is acquired, all riders in the group must be present. The DAS holder must be in the first group when you ride. Otherwise, the procedure remains unchanged. The DAS holder qualifies as a returning guest in the second category if that circumstance exists.
Can You Use DAS To Experience The Same Attraction Twice?
There have been some misunderstandings because the Genie+ package can only be used once per trip daily. With the DAS, it's not the same, though. Any trip can be taken as often as possible using the DAS. Let me give you a tiny Disney hint: Rider Switch and DAS Services can also be used at Space Mountain.
Is It Possible To Use Rider Switch In Star Wars?
Yes, it is possible to use the rider switch service in Star Wars: Rise of the resistance.
However, if you want everyone in your group to use the Lightning Lane rather than the Standby Line, you must buy an Individual Lighting Lane option for each rider. And you should try to know everything about rider switch before visiting Disney.
The only perk of using a rider switch at attractions that allows purchasing individual lightning lanes is that 1 person can ride twice.
How Long Does Rider Swap Take At Disney World?
The pace of your journey is determined by several factors, including when you arrive, which attractions you are choosing, how fast your team moves, how crowded the parks are, and whether or not you use Rider Switch.
Nevertheless, there are a few other things that you must consider while planning your tour at Walt Disney World i.e.,
First, if you choose to repeat the same attraction, it might slow you down significantly.
Even if only 1 group decides to use the lightning lane, it will still require more than 20 minutes for many attractions.
When using a rider switch pass, some attractions might require 45 minutes or longer for both groups to experience the rides.
Can I Get A Chance To Ride Twice?
Yes, you can get a chance to ride twice if you use rider switch. But it is down to a few circumstances.
For example, if the adult in Group 2 waited alone, then they will be permitted to bring one person with them when it is their time to travel using their Rider Switch. And if that person is from Group 1, then one member of that group may travel twice.
It is quite simple, isn't it? Let's have another complex example to understand how the Disney world Rider Switch work.
For example, your group consists of 4 persons; 2 adults with 1 older child and 1 younger child who is a non-rider. Your group 1 will include 1st adult and 1 older child, while group 2 will include 2nd adult and older child again.
Over the years, Disney has made changes to handling the guests on the second ride. Before August 2021, Disney World had limited group 2 rider swap participant with only 3 visitors. However, ever since Walt Disney World revised its policy it has been stated that the number of visitors who may want to join the ride again is limited.
This could possibly mean that group 2 adults have to ride alone, or if more waiting adults have rider switch, they could take the ride.
Also Read: Is Goofy A Cow Or A Dog?
At Walt Disney World, the Rider Switch program is a valuable asset for guests seeking to make the most of their time at the parks. Familiarizing oneself with the intricacies of the participation protocol can be incredibly advantageous. This feature is particularly useful for those traveling with young children or those who do not wish to ride certain attractions.
The program allows guests to switch off riding responsibilities without having to wait in line twice. The first rider takes charge of the waiting child while the other guests enjoy the ride. After the first rider completes the attraction, they can then swap with the second rider without needing to wait in line again.
To ensure a smooth experience, it is essential to comprehend the precise workings of the Rider Switch program. By doing so, visitors can optimize their time at the parks and enjoy a more comfortable and convenient visit.
In a nutshell, 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.