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California Adventure rider switch tips for families at Disneyland Resort. Don’t miss out on all the fun! How you can ride the “big rides” even with little kids in your group.
Disneyland Resort makes it easy to enjoy the big rides, even if you have a little one who doesn’t meet the height requirement (or is a little nervous about the new experience).
What’s California Adventure Rider Switch?
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How does California Adventure Rider Switch Work?
- Everyone in your party (including the child not riding) approaches the Cast Member at the entrance to the queue.
- Your group will be divided into two parties: Party 1 waits in line and rides the attraction first. Party 2 supervises the non-rider and will switch roles after Party 1 returns without waiting in the regular queue.
- Members of Party 2 will have their park tickets or Annual Passes scanned to load the rider switch onto their pass. This has changed from the old paper method and rider switch is now loaded to your ticket. You can only hold 1 rider switch at a time, no saving them up for later.
- When Party 2 returns to the attraction, sometime within the hour, simply scan your ticket at the FASTPASS entrance and rider switch will allow you to bypass the regular queue. Note: Party 2 can include up to 3 people, including people from Party 1. Yes, super confusing! But this allows an older sibling to ride once with mom and once with dad while one parent takes turn tending the younger child.
Can you use California Adventure Rider Switch with MaxPass?
- Everyone who wants to ride gets a FASTPASS and simply takes turns riding during their FASTPASS return time.
- Those in Party 1 get a FASTPASS and Party 2 uses the Rider Switch program.
California Adventure Rider Switch & MaxPass Hack
Party 1 gets a FASTPASS and Party 2 uses the Rider Switch program. Party 2 gets a FASTPASS for a different attraction, thus becoming Party 1 at the new attraction, and the group can now use the rider switch option at 2 attractions.
This works because your party is split into 2 groups, one group holding a FASTPASS to one attraction, another group holding a FASTPASS to another attraction at the same time. Still with me? Hopefully that makes sense, comment below if you need more clarification.
Can I use California Adventure Rider Switch without MaxPass?
Absolutely. You can use rider switch without MaxPass or FASTPASS. Party 1 will simply wait in the regular stand by line which is generally subject to longer wait times. However, Party 2 will not wait in the general queue and typically enters via MaxPass/FASTPASS entrance.
It’s important to remember that Rider Switch now has a time limit for returns. So if you do use Rider Switch without MaxPass or FASTPASS make sure the line is no longer than 40 minute wait.
What to Do While You Wait for Rider Switch
What should you do with the little ones at California Adventure while you’re waiting for your turn on the big rides? There are plenty of attractions and things to do right around the corner from headlining attractions.
When they ride Incredicoaster, you ride King Triton’s Carousel.
When they ride Goofy’s Sky School, grab a snack at nearby Corn Dog Castle.
When they ride Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters or Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, you can grab an ice cream cone from the Cozy Cone Motel while taking in all the Car’s Land scenery.
When they ride Guardians of the Galaxy, you venture off to Sorcerers Workshop or join Animation Academy inside the Animation Building which is right around the corner.
When they ride Soarin’ Around the World, you take a stroll down Buena Vista Street and see what kind of characters you run into.
Disneyland expert who also loves the beach, flip flops and pink nail polish.