Disneyland Rider Switch tips to make the most of your Disneyland Resort vacation. This trick will save you time and help you make more memories together.
Disneyland Rider Switch is one of the major game changers when visiting Disneyland with young children. Rider Switch is also known as child swap or baby swap, but the same idea is at play.
Disneyland Rider Switch Basics
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.
Disneyland Rider Switch has changed since the addition of Disney Genie+ so keep reading to make sure you’re up to speed with the basics like these:
- everyone who wants to can ride without waiting in the standby line twice
- the first party usually waits in the standby line to use Rider Switch
- the second party will use an alternate, expedited entrance
Rider Switch allows parents and older/taller siblings to enjoy thrill rides, even with a little one who doesn’t meet the height requirement (or is a little nervous about the new experience).
Want the nitty gritty? I’ve got it outlined below.
What is Disneyland Rider Switch?
Adults, older siblings and everyone who wants to can ride can experience an attraction without waiting in the standby line twice. Rider Switch is a special pass loaded to your Disneyland ticket allowing the second party to use an alternate, expedited entrance when they return to the attraction.
Disneyland Rider Switch Attractions
If you are waiting in the stand-by line
everyone in your party has purchased Disney Genie+ and/or Lightning Lane
you would like to take turns so both parents or adults can ride, these are attractions allow Rider Switch:
- 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
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run– 38 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
- Rise of the Resistance– 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
You may have noticed that Haunted Mansion is not on the list for Rider Switch because it does not have a minimum height requirement. However, many guests report Cast Members allowing a Rider Switch anyway. It’s worth a try to ask!
Rider Switch Step-by-Step
- If you are first waiting in the stand-by line and have someone who doesn’t wish to ride, you qualify for Rider Switch. Keep reading if you’re using Lightning Lane or Disney Genie+, I cover that soon. 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 and Cast Members will assist you by loading applicable passes to your tickets. Party 1 waits in the stand-by line and rides the attraction first. Party 2 supervises the non-rider and will switch roles later. You can even ride an attraction nearby while you wait.
3. When Party 1 is done riding, Party 2 will enter the attraction via an expedited entrance, which is often the Lightning Lane queue. Simply scan your ticket via the Disneyland App or MagicBand+ and you’ll be admitted.
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.
Rider Switch with Genie+ and Lightning Lane
Can you use Rider Switch with Genie+ and/or Lightning Lane?
Yes, if everyone who wishes to ride has purchased Genie+ or Lightning Lane. Rider Switch is meant eliminate using the standby line twice. It is not meant to squeeze 2 or 3 Lightning Lane accesses for one paid Lightning Lane.
This was one of the most confusing aspects of the previous FASTPASS and Disney MaxPass. Plenty of people found the hacks and loop holes to purchase one upgrade and stretch it out for 2 or 3 people. It ends up being frustrating for everyone, Cast Members included.
And while this “money saver” hack did work at times, the true intention of Rider Switch is so families do not have to wait in the standby line twice. It helps families enjoy all the attractions, even when not everyone is tall enough,
In addition to the above explanation, I’ll repeat myself below with various scenarios to drive the point home. “Can I use Rider Switch with Lightning Lane or Genie+?”
- YES if everyone who wants to ride purchases Genie+ and/or Individual Lightning Lane AND you have a child who does not meet the height requirement or does not wish to ride. If you have an older child riding, they will essentially get “one ride free” since they can ride twice with the parents taking turns (see Party 1 and Party 2 above).
- NO if only some in your party purchases Genie+ and/or Individual Lightning Lane AND you have a child who does not meet the height requirement or does not wish to ride. Party 1 must wait in the standby line to activate Rider Switch, unless everyone riding has purchased the upgrade.
Rider Switch withOUT Genie+/Lightning Lane
Can you use Rider Switch withOUT Genie+ and/or Lightning Lane?
Absolutely. You can use Rider Switch without Genie+ and/or Lightning Lane. Party 1 will simply wait in the regular standby line which is generally subject to longer wait times.
However, Party 2 will not wait in the standby queue and typically enters via Lightning Lane entrance.
It’s important to remember that Rider Switch also has a time limit for returns. So if you do use Rider Switch and the standby line is longer than about a 40 minute wait, or ask the Cast Member to add adequate time to your return. You will not be able to use them whenever you’d like later that day.
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What to Do While You Wait
Remember, when you’re asking for a Rider Switch pass, the child needs to be there in order for the Cast Member to verify and scan the correct tickets. After that, you’re free to have some fun while you wait for Party 1 to return.
- 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.
- When they ride Splash Mountain, you ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
- When they ride Matterhorn Bobsleds, you visit with the Princesses or choose from one of many rides in Fantasyland.
- When they ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you enjoy the views of Rivers of America or stroll through the shops nearby.
- When they ride Gadget’s Go Coaster, you can let your little ones explore Mickey’s Toontown including Goofy’s Playhouse and the Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse.
- When they ride Space Mountain, you go for a ride on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
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