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.
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.
Attractions that Offer Child Swap Disney
- Thunder Mountain
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Goofy’s Barnstormer
- Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
- Frozen Ever After
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Mission Space
- 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
- Expedition Everest
- Kali River Rapids
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.
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:
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 Value, Moderate, 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.
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