Rider Swap Disney: How to Use Disney Child Swap

If you’re planning a trip to Disney and have kids of all ages, then the child swap Disney function will be a lifesaver. While it can be referred to as many things: child swap, rider switch, and rider swap, it is essentially the same thing. Disney rider switch allows one parent/adult to wait with a child while the other parent rides. Then, the adults switch. I will share some tricks to help you make the most out of the Disney rider swap so that you can ride even more. Here are the details on how the rider swap Disney system can work to your advantage.

Everest Disney Rider Swap

The Basics: How to Use Disney Rider Switch

If you are a Disney first timer or are new to using the Disney child swap here is how it goes. In order to use the Disney rider switch, you must have a child that is either is under the height limit for that attraction or simply does not want to ride. The whole family goes together to the entrance of the line and lets a Cast Member know that they wish to use the Disney child swap service. Then an adult (and another guest) rides while the other adult and the non-riders wait or go do something else.

This means that if you are a family with an older child and a younger one, one adult can ride with the two big kids, while the other one waits with the baby. Then, the kids can go again with the other adult. Disney used to allow 2 extra guests to participate in the rider switch, but the policy changed in 2021. You may get lucky, so if you have older kids that want to ride again with the other parent, it could work if you try and ask nicely.

The cast members no longer give you a Disney child swap pass like they used to. Now it is digital and is loaded onto your Magic Band. These are the official rules for the Disney Rider Swap Feature.

Child Swap Disney Attractions

Let’s pretend you are traveling with your little one and both adults want to ride the “bigger rides”. This Disney rider switch option lets one adult ride while the other one stays outside with the little one and then the second adult swaps and doesn’t have to wait the line (they will send you through the Lightning Lane). Here are the height restrictions for all four Disney parks and which attractions have the Disney rider swap option.

magic bands Use the Disney Rider Switch with your Fastpass+

Use the Disney Rider Switch

Attractions that Offer Child Swap Disney

Magic Kingdom 

  • Thunder Mountain 
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Goofy’s Barnstormer
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway

Epcot

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Mission Space
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster 
  • Star Tours 
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kali River Rapids
Disney-World-Rider Switch Slinky

Rider Swap Disney and Using a Lightning Lane

You can use the rider swap Disney feature with your Lightning Lane selection. If you don’t know much about the Genie+ system (which is the system to get your Lightning Lanes formerly known as fastpasses, then I suggest you book your travel with me. I am a Disney Vacation Planner, with the Vacationeer, and can help you when trying to decide which Lightning Lanes to use when you purchase Genie+. My services are complimentary to those who book a vacation package or even tickets.

You can use the Disney Rider Swap feature and a Lightning Lane; however, the loophole that once existed is gone. Anyone who wants to ride has to have a Genie+ reservation. You used to be able to book a fastpass for Mom and then another for Dad and then use the rider switch, but those days are long gone.

What to do While Waiting for the Others Riding

While you are waiting for the rest of your group, consider doing something instead of just sitting around. I mean, you are in Disney World; there’s plenty to do! Consider grabbing a snack like Dole Whip, or seek out some air conditioning at a store and do some window shopping. You could also open up the My Disney Experience App and check to see what’s going on in your vicinity, such as a character greeting, special event, or even a ride with little/no wait. 

Saving Money at Disney World

Our family loves using the Disney Child Swap

Final Thoughts on the Rider Swap Disney Feature

While this does take some planning and strategy, using the child swap at Disney is a great way to still do all of the rides even if you have a baby or non-rider. We have been able to take advantage of the Disney Rider Swap on various trips in the past and can still use it when we travel in a larger group with little ones.

Disney Restaurant Recommendations

Disney dining options continue to improve. Here are some of my recommendations when visiting Disney World:

Splash Mountain
Disney Child Swap – Splash Mountain

LAND AND SEA PACKAGE

Are you looking to combine a Disney Cruise vacation with a Disney World stay? Nothing extends the magic more than combining a Disney cruise with your WDW vacation. I can help book your stay at one of the ValueModerate, or Deluxe resorts, book your dining, and Lightning Lanes. It may make sense to stay off-site, if you are considering staying nearby, check out these options on the best family resorts in Orlando. To try and cut down on some costs, you may want to take a look at how to do Disney on a budget and what to bring on the trip using this Disney packing list.

If you are planning on doing both a visit to Disney World and a Disney Cruise, I recommend doing your trip to the parks first and then finish it off with a Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral. Here’s why – while a Disney World vacation is fantastic, it is not always relaxing. You are waking up early, running around the parks, and trying to make it to the next attraction for days. On a Disney Cruise, you will vacation at a much slower pace and be pampered by the signature Disney service. In addition, Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is probably one of the best beach vacations you’ll ever have!

If you have not booked your Disney Cruise yet and are just looking at options, I would recommend using a travel agent to help you with the planning and give you some onboard credit as a thank you for using them. I have been on 5 Disney Cruises in the past 8 years and am a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. I can share my tips and tricks about cruising with Disney, provide free onboard credit, review check-in procedures, and go over what types of things to do on/off the ship. By the way, my services are completely free! If you’re interested in a free quote or even if you have already booked and would like to transfer it over so that I can help you, email me and we can get started.

If you found this post useful, Pin It for later when you are ready to plan your Disney adventure.

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Looking for help in planning and booking your Disney trip?

As a certified Disney travel agent, I can help you navigate the planning of your trip. I can book resort stays, dining, Fastpass attractions, and help you decide on your itinerary. I can also look for discounts and help you book your Disney Cruise with onboard credit.

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16 thoughts on “Rider Swap Disney: How to Use Disney Child Swap”

  1. I haven’t heard of this before! How neat! Thanks for the great tips. We have only been to Disneyland but hope to visit Disney World soon!

  2. This is super helpful – we have taken full advantage of rider swap on our many visits to Disney!

  3. These are great tips! We have 2 older teens. No one younger. Almost makes sense to have one younger child to accompany us to take advantage of riding the rides more often! LOL jk

  4. This is so smart Our kids are now at an age and a height that we don’t need to use this feature, but I sure wish we had known to use it back when. Great tips for maximizing the rider swap and Fast Pass concurrently. You would save a ton of wait time using these tips.

  5. What makes this program is even better, the second group don’t even have to go back in the line and can do something while waiting. Disney really knows how to make their visitors have a great time!

  6. These are such great tips for using rider swap with kids! We’re heading to Disney next month with kids of different heights and I’ll definitely be putting this to use.

  7. We just found child swap and love it!!! With kids ranging from 1 to 9 years old, it’s the perfect way to keep all of our kiddos happy! Great article about such an important part of happy family travel!

  8. Hi, we are going on May, but I have a question, we are three adults, my mom, my husband and me, AND 3 kids ( 3, 7 and 7 yearold), can we still make the child swap? Because i want yo use like you AND not having fastpass for everyone in every ride… Thank you!

    1. Hi Nancy! Yes you can. You can use it for the 3 year old. What you can do is you schedule a Fastpass for what you want for 4 people (let’s pretend) and the whole group walks up to the ride and asks for a child swap. They add it to your magic band or ticket, then 4 people ride, while one stays with the 3-year-old. When those people come out, the person who stayed w the 3 year old rides and up to 3 people can go w that person on the Fastpass lane. Isn’t that great?!

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