When you are an adult doing Disney with your spouse, you can go on whatever ride you want, easy peasy. When you are an adult doing Disney with your teen child who is several inches taller than you, you can still go on whatever ride you want, easy peasy. Unfortunately, when you are an adult couple doing Disney with a baby or younger child, you have to work it a bit to go on every ride you might want. Don’t despair though! Rider Switch is here to save the day!
What is Rider Switch? Rider Switch is awesome, that’s what it is! This is a program Disney offers that allows one adult to wait with a child who does not meet the height requirement while the rest of the party rides. Then… they switch! Okay, so you’re probably thinking, “Uh, duh Katie, that’s what we do anyway…” but if you’re doing this swap on your own, with one hanging out in the shops outside or something… then you’re doing double the wait time in line! Let me explain…
Step 1: Double check with a Cast Member at the ride of choice that Rider Switch is an option. If so, great!
Step 2: Make sure your entire party is together, including those who aren’t going to be riding, and let the Cast Member know that you would like to do a Rider Switch. The adult who is staying with the child(ren) not riding will be given a Ride Switch pass and asked to wait in the designated area. This is ‘Party 2.’
Step 3: Everyone else (‘Party 1’) rides the ride.
Step 4: After riding the ride, Party 1 meets back up with Party 2 so Party 1 can take over staying with the child(ren) not riding.
Step 5: Party 2 gets to go board the ride without standing in that crazy long queue outside. How do I know it would be a crazy long queue? Disney. There is always a crazy long queue. All Party 2 has to do is present the Ride Switch pass to the Cast Member at the head of the line.
If the adult in Party 2 was waiting with the child(ren) alone, then (s)he can bring one other guest onto the ride, but only 2 guests total are allowed on a single Ride Switch pass. For a practical example: If Michael & Big J (Party 1) go on Primeval Whirl while I wait with Little J (Party 2), when they come back out I get to go on the ride, and I could take Big J with me while Michael waits with Little J.
Personally, I’ve always been lucky enough to do Disney with people who have varying tastes in rides. Heather isn’t a fan of Tower of Terror, so she can hang outside with Little J while the rest of us ride. I refuse to go on Space Mountain so I hang with Little J while everyone else rides. It all works out for us… but that isn’t always the case for everyone else.