Rider Switch: Beating the System
February 1, 2018
If Fastpass is your golden ticket then the Rider Switch program is Scrooge McDuck’s vault. (Well, for parents and caregivers anyway.)
In this post I will not only tell you all about the Rider Switch but also how to utilise it, along with Fastpass, to beat the system.
What is Rider Switch?
Rider Switch is a system for parents and caregivers with children who do not meet ride requirements or are not willing to go on certain attractions. It allows one parent to line up while the other waits outside of the attraction with the kids. At the end of the ride the parents swap, allowing the second to skip the line like a Fastpass. Not all attractions offer this but all the ones you’ll want to use this for, should.
How it Works
Step 1: See the ride attendant and check to make sure that Rider Switch is available. You can see the full list of Rider Switch enabled attractions here.
Step 2: Divide your party into two groups; riders and non riders. Rider Switch allows up to 3 guests for the return trip so you never have to ride alone (Unless there’s only two of you.)
Step 3: The non-riders have their park admission tickets scanned and wait outside the attraction, while group one hops into the queue and enjoys the attraction.
Step 4: Group 1 returns and Group 2 have their tickets scanned and enter the Attraction, either through the Fastpass queue or ride exit (depending if it the attraction is Fastpass enabled.)
Step 5: Group 2 Enjoys the attraction.
Important: Rider Switch expires after 1 hour, which is a shame because it never used to be like that. You could spend all day and come back later if you wanted to. Now you basically have to go on straight away.
There you have the basic Rider Switch system. Handy? Yes. But it doesn’t end there!
How to Beat the System
In my previous post, regarding Fastpasses, I mentioned that you cannot hold two at the same time. This is still true but there is a loop hole if you use Fastpass, in conjunction with Rider Switch, allowing you to get on more rides quicker. Alright!
Here’s how it’s done using 3 adults and attractions as an example.
Step One: Fastpass Gathering. Adult one heads to Space Mountain and picks up a Fastpass. Adult 2 heads to Star Tours and does the same, while Adult 3 grabs one for the Matterhorn. The Key here is to gather Fastpasses for the same areas (if you don’t have Maxpass). Now you have 3 fastpasses working for you at the same time!!
Step Two: Same Old. Meet up with your party, and do exactly what you would do waiting for a normal fastpass.
Step Three: Party time! Head to the first attraction and go through the same steps as above. Make sure that that the person with that ride’s fastpass goes first and the the other two scan their tickets and wait behind.
Step 4: Go to the other attractions and rinse and repeat.
This method is particularly helpful if you have a child 2 and under, as they don’t mind waiting, anyone older they might get restless if the adults are having all the fun!
Top Tip: If you have a party of 5 and group one has 3 people, then one of those people can also scan their ticket at the ride entrance and join group 2! This means double the riding for one lucky party member. It only works, though, if there is a maximum of two in the second group as Rider Switch can only accommodate 3 guests on the return trip.
Maxpass and Rider Switch
Apart from the obvious differences that already exist between Maxpass and Fastpass, (which you can read in my previous post) the key difference here is that you will need multiple devices to use Rider Switch in this way.
Let me explain. If you are all in one party then you can only book one Fastpass for the entire party but if you have 3 people on separate devices then you can do then individually. Each of you select a Fastpass on the app and then go through the Rider Switch motions. Simples!
It’s hard to believe but Disney doesn’t want you to have to wait in lines all day, especially when it’s families from Australia! It ruins the experience and they want you to come back again and again! (That’s why I’m broke!) So while it may feel like utilising Fastpass and Rider Switch is beating the system, they are aware of it and don’t really mind.
That’s it for now! Over the next few posts I will be giving details about my favourite topic: Rides and Attractions! Hope your Disneyland planning is going well so far!