Disney World Rider Switch Guide

When traveling with little ones at Disney World, it can be difficult to coordinate which rides will make the must-do list and which will be missed. Usually due to their heights or just preference on rides. You may have a child that wants to ride Space Mountain but another doesn’t or neither kid wants to ride Test Track. Finding a suitable compromise can be difficult and even stressful at times. However, Disney has created a system to navigate this issue and make your life a little easier. Disney World Rider switch is the answer to this type of situation. The one thing to note is that you have at least 2 adults.

The article updated to reflect accuracy as there has been policy changes since the original publish date in 2019.

What is the Rider Switch at Disney World?

The rider swap is exactly as it sounds. The Disney World Rider Switch is a system that allows you to have an adult stay with a child while the other one adult enjoys the ride, then they can switch roles. For instance, when in line for Flight of Passage but the child doesn’t meet the height requirement or doesn’t want to ride the attraction as it may be too intense. One adult can go on the ride and the other adult will wait with the child or non-rider. Then the other adult can watch the non-rider/child while the other adult rides. This prevents the second adult from having to wait the entire time in the line a second time. There are a few rides at each park that allow you to use the rider swap. The best part of this is that the second rider doesn’t have to wait in the regular line a second time.

Important change for Rider Switch

Before you could have multiple people stay with the non-Rider guest, however now it is up to the discretion of the Castmember for non-Lightning Lane rides. For lightning lane options, discussed later on, there is only 1 adult to wait with a non-riding guest/child. If there is an older child that wants to ride with both groups, in most cases, this is still allowed.

Which rides allow swaps?

Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®  
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Na’vi River Journey


  • Frozen Ever After
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Test Track

Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Magic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
  • TRON Lightcycle Run

How does this work?

-When your party (at least 2 adults and 1 child) gets to the ride, you will meet with the greeting cast member. The cast member will provide a digital Ride Swap entitlement to the party members that are staying behind. The party not riding the attraction can wait at the designated area by the entrance or exit of the ride. We will break this up to groups 1 and 2. After talking to the cast member:

– Group 1 will enter the standby line and enjoy the ride as normal, and Group 2 will wait with the non-riding child(ren).

– After the ride, Group 1 will then meet back up with the Group 2.

– Group 2 will then have their turn on the ride (without having to wait in line a second time). This will have to be validated by the cast member.

  • If there is only 1 adult waiting with the non-riding child in group 2, they may choose up to 2 guests to ride along with them.

If there is a Lightning Lane option

For rides that have Lightning Lane or the new Lightning Lane Single, this is slightly different. You will need to join the virtual Queue and then follow the typical procedure as above. This will take place when in line for the virtual queue.

Rider switch at Disney Parks is a perfect option if traveling with children that are either not tall enough for some rides or they don’t want to go on. If you are able to, utilize this option to get the most out of your trip. This will save some of the hassle of deciding which rides you can ride and which ones to avoid for the kids.

Which rides do you use the Rider swap on most? Leave us a comment below!


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