How to Combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass

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Can I combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass? Yes, you can combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass. Let’s dig into the logistics below.

combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass
Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass

Combining Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass is an advanced Disneyland skill. Did you even know there was such a thing? But don’t worry, even if you’ve never been to Disneyland Resort, you can learn and use advanced Disneyland skills.

This article will teach you how to combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass, and then show you how to combine both options for an even better Disneyland Resort experience. First, read all about Rider Switch in this article

Combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass: What’s Rider Switch

Using Rider Switch at Disneyland
Using Rider Switch at Disneyland to ride the big rides even when there’s little ones in your group.

Disneyland Rider Switch, also known as “child swap”, is a free system where parents can take turn riding attractions when younger and/or shorter children can’t or won’t ride. It allows parents to essentially wait in line once rather than twice. Here’s how to get started when you combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass.

Rider Switch attractions currently include:

  • Autopia- 32 inches or taller
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- 40 inches or taller
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster- 35 inches or taller
  • Goofy’s Sky School (California Adventure)- 42 inches or taller
  • Grizzly River Run- 42 inches or taller
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! (California Adventure)- 40 inches or taller
  • Incredicoaster (California Adventure)- 48 inches or taller
  • Indiana Jones Adventure- 46 inches or taller
  • Jumpin Jellyfish (California Adventure)- 40 inches or taller
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (California Adventure)- 32 inches or taller
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (California Adventure)- 32 inches or taller
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds- 42 inches or taller
  • Radiator Springs Racers (California Adventure)- 40 inches or taller
  • Silly Symphony Swings (California Adventure)- 40 inches or taller
  • Soarin’ Around the World (California Adventure)- 40 inches or taller
  • Space Mountain- 40 inches or taller
  • Splash Mountain- 40 inches or taller
  • Star Tours – The Adventure Continues- 40 inches or taller

Steps to use Rider Switch:

  1. Arrive as an entire group at your desired attraction.
  2. Talk to the first Cast Member you see at the line and tell them you’d like to use Rider Switch.
  3. 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.
  4. Members of Party 2 will have their park tickets or Annual Passes scanned to load the Rider Switch onto their ticket.
  5. 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. More on that below.

Rider Switch Examples

Mom and Dad with One Little Dude

  • All 3 arrive at Indiana Jones Adventure and explain they’d like to use Rider Switch.
  • The Cast Member scans tickets to load Rider Switch on Dad’s ticket.
  • Mom rides Indiana Jones Adventure while Dad hangs with little dude. Read tips on what to do while you wait.
  • When Mom is done, they switch places and Dad rides Indiana Jones Adventure.
  • Dad scans his ticket at the FASTPASS queue for less of a wait.
  • He does not need a FASTPASS to use this line, his Rider Switch now acts as a FASTPASS for line purposes at this attraction.

Mom and Dad with One Little Dude and up to Two Big Kids

  • All 5 arrive at Indiana Jones Adventure and explain they’d like to use Rider Switch.
  • The Cast Member scans tickets to load Rider Switch on Dad’s ticket and two big kids’ tickets.
  • Mom rides Indiana Jones Adventure with two big kids while Dad hangs with little dude. Read tips on what to do while you wait.
  • When Mom and big kids are done, they switch places.
  • Dad and two big kids ride Indiana Jones Adventure. Yes, the big kids get to ride again!
  • Dad and big kids scan their tickets at the FASTPASS queue for less of a wait.
  • They do not need a FASTPASS to use this line, their Rider Switch now acts as a FASTPASS for line purposes at this attraction.

Five People (or more) and One (or more) Little Ones

  • Everyone arrive at Indiana Jones Adventure and explain they’d like to use Rider Switch.
  • The Cast Member scans tickets to load Rider Switch on up to three tickets. At least one of these adults needs to stay behind with the littles.
  • First group rides Indiana Jones Adventure with anyone who wants to ride while one adult hangs with little ones. Read tips on what to do while you wait.
  • When the first group is done, they switch places.
  • The adult that didn’t ride first and two others can ride Indiana Jones Adventure. Yes, two people can ride again!
  • Scan tickets at the FASTPASS queue for less of a wait.
  • They do not need a FASTPASS to use this line, their Rider Switch now acts as a FASTPASS for line purposes at this attraction.

Toy Story Midway Mania glasses

Combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass: What’s Disney MaxPass?

Disney MaxPass was introduced in 2017 as an upgrade to the free FASTPASS system. Another reason why combining Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass is considered an advanced Disneyland technique is because you must have a good understanding of FASTPASS and Disney MaxPass.

Are you ready to begin? Let’s start with FASTPASS basics here. If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section of that article and then we can move onto Disney MaxPass. Get familiar with Disney MaxPass here.

Now that you understand how these two systems work, let’s talk about Disney MaxPass and who needs to purchase Disney MaxPass. This information all leads up to helping us combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass.

Who needs to buy Disney MaxPass? Anyone who wants to use the digital version of FASTPASS, including little ones over the age of 3 (under 3 can ride with a parent without MaxPass) if you want to have them use it on the five attractions available that utilize FASTPASS but have no height requirement including:

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Toy Story Midway Mania (California Adventure)

How Many People Buy MaxPass When Using Rider Switch?

Everyone can always buy Disney MaxPass if budget is not an issue. In that case, you don’t even have to worry about combining it with Rider Switch, just use your FASTPASS as two parties. But since you’re here reading up on strategies to combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass, I think maybe you’d like to save a bit . . .

NOTE: all below advice is subject to change and subject to Cast Member discretion. This has worked for the past year, but we are getting comments that Cast Members are requiring everyone to have MaxPass to use Rider Switch as outlined below. And if that’s the case, then why use Rider Switch at all? Well, it can still help in the case of older siblings who now can ride twice. Keep reading for more details. 

One reader said, “They seem to be cracking down on this. We were there last week. On space mountain and radiator springs, the cast member verified that everyone in our group had a fast pass for the ride before issuing the rider swap. At radiator springs we did not have a fast pass for the person staying back and the CM gave us a big lecture. He said we are not supposed to do that and that’s not what maxpass is intended for. He basically said he would let it slide this time, but don’t do it again.” -Kayla

Mom and Dad with One Little 

  • Buy one Disney MaxPass and use Rider Switch and MaxPass together.
  • Or buy two Disney MaxPass for Mom and Dad. Mom gets a FASTPASS for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, Dad gets a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers. You’ll combine Disney MaxPass and Rider Switch on each, allowing you more FASTPASS options throughout the day.

Mom and Dad with One Little and up to Two Big Kids

  • Buy two Disney MaxPass, but the big kids will take turns. 
  • They will be assigned to two tickets, but anyone in your party can redeem the associated FASTPASS.
  • Eliminate taking turns by purchasing MaxPass for all big kids and adults instead.
  • If your little one wants to ride things like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Toy Story Midway Mania (California Adventure), you will need to have Disney MaxPass for your entire group.

Five People (or more) and One (or more) Little Ones

  • The more people in your group, the less options you have for saving money and hacking Disney MaxPass to combine with Rider Switch.
  • Buy all big kids and adults Disney MaxPass.
  • Buy everyone Disney MaxPass so even your little ones can ride things like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Toy Story Midway Mania (California Adventure).
  • Save money by purchasing MaxPass for everyone on one day only, ride all the FASTPASS attractions in one day. Ride non-FASTPASS attractions on your other days at Disneyland Resort. 
  • Disneyland Summer of Heroes

Combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass: I have MaxPass, now what?

Mom and Dad with One Little 

  • Buy one Disney MaxPass and use Rider Switch and MaxPass together.
  • Or buy two Disney MaxPass for Mom and Dad. Mom gets a FASTPASS for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, Dad gets a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers. You’ll combine Disney MaxPass and Rider Switch on each, allowing you more FASTPASS options throughout the day.

Mom and Dad with One Little and up to Two Big Kids with 2 MaxPass’s

  • Buy two Disney MaxPass if you’re on a budget.
  • Mom and one big kid get a FASTPASS for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Everyone arrive at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and explain you’d like to use Rider Switch.
  • The Cast Member scans tickets to load Rider Switch on Dad’s ticket and both big kid’s tickets.
  • Mom and one big kid rides Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! while Dad and other big kid hangs with little one. Read tips on what to do while you wait.
  • When the first group is done, they switch places.
  • Dad now takes both big kids on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Scan tickets at the FASTPASS queue for less of a wait.
  • They do not need a FASTPASS to use this line, their Rider Switch now acts as a FASTPASS for line purposes at this attraction.
  • For the next ride, switch big kid roles . . . but yes, this is getting messy because one big kid gets to ride twice. You decide if this will work for you. If not, buy MaxPass for all.
  • Remember your little one will need MaxPass too if you want to ride things like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Toy Story Midway Mania (California Adventure) as a family.

Five People (or more) and One (or more) Little Ones

I don’t recommend trying to hack the system with a large group. However, you can still save when you buy all big kids and adults Disney MaxPass, but not the littles. If your little ones want to  ride things like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Toy Story Midway Mania (California Adventure), you can use the free FASTPASS for theirs and pick them up at a kiosk. Everyone else can use Disney MaxPass as normal.

Disney MaxPass money saver in any situation– try using Disney MaxPass for only one day in each park.

Disneyland Discount tickets

For example, if you’re spending 5 days at Disneyland Resort try using Disney MaxPass only 1 day at Disneyland Park and 1 day at California Adventure Park to ride all those e-ticket attractions with a lower wait.

What can I make more clear? What questions do you have about how to combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass?

10 thoughts on “How to Combine Rider Switch and Disney MaxPass

  • Ashley Corinne Shaw Bai

    Have you recently tried the first group have fast pass and second group doesn’t have fast pass and just get a rider switch pass? Does that still work?

    • Hi Ashley, I haven’t tried it personally and use my Facebook group, Disneyland with Kids, as a way to monitor what’s new with Rider Switch. This mostly only works when you have one nuclear family doing it–so two adults and a baby with one child who’s tall enough to ride with the parents. A group bigger than that usually won’t have success.

      • Ashley

        It would just be 2 parents and a 12 month old son. So it would just be me and my husband switching off…we don’t have another child.

        • That certainly makes this simpler. You could get 2 MaxPasses and each get 1 for two different rides then use with Rider Switch. My official Disney policy contacts are still working behind the scenes to get you consistent results with Cast Members when utilizing this method.

  • Kelly Perry

    We currently have one little one and one big kid. Do you know if Disneyland still allows a family to only purchase one MaxPass (for mom) to not purchase one for the bigger kid and allow the rider switch (for dad and bigger kid to ride later)? I have read some blogs that have mentioned the Cast Members mentioning “this is not what the MaxPass was made for”

    Thank you!

    • Hi Kelly, I recommend buying 2 MaxPasses in your case. First Mom and big kid ride while a Rider Switch allows Dad and big kid to ride a second time through the FASTPASS line. Rider Switch is intended to shorten the wait for the second party, it should be irrelevant how the first party waits for the attraction. That’s my interpretation, but again it is always open to Cast Members’ final decision. Most of the time people “gaming” the system ruin it for others. Buying 2 MaxPasses is certainly fair for the first 2 people to use initially.

  • Max

    Do the waiting party have to wait by the ride until the other party comes out or can they go do something else and come back to use the rider switch? Thank you!

    • Hi Landon, yes it should work. The FASTPASS will be used by the first group and Rider Switch by the second group. Please let me know how it goes. Certain attractions and CM’s might not be as “user friendly” but Rider Switch can be used regardless of FASTPASS status. It really only matter for the first party because that determines which line they go in. The 2nd group goes in the FP line with their Rider Switch either way, so in my opinion there’s no need for that 2nd group to have a FP. Best of luck!

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