Disneyland Rider Switch Tips

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Disneyland Rider Switch, also known as “child swap” is the key to enjoying Disneyland as a parent. Here’s the information you need to enjoy your day at Disneyland when you have a little one but don’t want to miss out on grown up fun.

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How to ride the big rides while using rider switch at Disneyland.
How to ride the big rides while using rider switch at Disneyland.

Disneyland Rider Switch Info

Disneyland Rider Switch has changed since the addition of Disney MaxPass in 2017. What one was  easy for parents to enjoy the big rides, even with a little one who doesn’t meet the height requirement (or is a little nervous about the new experience), has now changed due to the flexibility offered with MaxPass instead.

What’s Disneyland Rider Switch?

What to ride with little ones while waiting for your "rider switch" pass.
What to ride with little ones while waiting for your “rider switch” pass.
If your group plans to ride, for example, Indiana Jones Adventure, but you have a child who doesn’t meet the height requirements or doesn’t wish to ride, rider switch is for you!
When you approach the queue for a “rider switch” option ride, just talk to the first Cast Member you see and tell them you’d like to get a rider switch pass. They will supply you with instructions and a special pass so your group only needs to wait in line once.

How does Disneyland Rider Switch Work?

Now the in-depth details on new guidelines for rider switch, updated since the implementation of Disney MaxPass (new FASTPASS option).
  1. Everyone in your party (including the child not riding) approaches the Cast Member at the entrance to the queue.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Disneyland Rider Switch with MaxPass?

Using Rider Switch at Disneyland to ride the big rides even when there's little ones in your group.
Using Rider Switch at Disneyland to ride the big rides even when there’s little ones in your group.
Now that Disneyland Resort has upgraded to a digital FASTPASS system, MaxPass, rider switch works a bit different.
You have two options to combine rider switch and 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.

Read about combining Rider Switch & MaxPass here.

Disneyland 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 Disneyland 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.

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What to Do While You Wait for Rider Switch

Remember, when you’re asking for a rider switch pass, the child needs to be there in order for the cast member to scan the correct tickets. After that, you’re free to have some fun while you wait for Party 1 to return.
What to Ride First at Disneyland's Critter Country. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Disneyland Rider Switch Tips. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Here’s what to ride or do while you wait:
1. When they ride Indiana Jones Adventure, you check out Tarzan’s Treehouse or take a stroll to get a Dole Whip near the Enchanted Tiki Room.
2. When they ride Splash Mountain, you ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
3. When they ride Matterhorn Bobsleds, you visit with the Princesses or choose from one of many rides in Fantasyland.
4. When they ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you enjoy the views of Rivers of America or stroll through the shops nearby.
5. When they ride Gadget’s Go Coaster, you can let your little ones explore Toontown including Goofy’s Playhouse and the Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse.
6. When they ride Space Mountain, you go for a ride on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
Besides rides, there are tons of shops to browse and lots of snacks to indulge in while you patiently wait your turn. Will you be using Disneyland rider switch now that MaxPass has changed the system?

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