Did Disney retract their Rider Switch/Fastpass+ rule?

True in the case of Rider Swap, but here is my perspective (joining the trip down the rabbit hole).

Couple with a child to small to ride and no FPs:
Parents A & B want to ride SM, but their kid is too small to ride. In a park without RS, the kid would have to stand in line with the parents and then stagger the parent rides. Instead, with RS, Parent A gets in the SB line while Parent B (who gets a RS pass) goes and does something else with the kid. Parent A basically stands in line for the normal amount of time - let’s say 40 minutes (clearly not a liner). Parent A is waiting on behalf of both of them. Then, Parent B goes back to ride, using the FP line. So the wait time for Parents A and B is effectively the same (Parent B just waited with the kid instead of in line) with just a small amount of time taken to actually do the swap and walk through the FPP line added on.

Couple with a small child with a FPP for both parents
Parent A rides SM using a FPP and gets a RS for Parent B who also has a FPP. I think the RS is still useful because then you don’t have to worry about making sure that both parents make it on in within the FPP window. In this scenario, Parent A waits 10 minutes or so while Parent B entertains the kid. Parent A is waiting the same 10 minutes that Parent B would have waited if the kid was not there. Then, after riding, Parent B goes through the FPP line and rides.

Couple with a small child with a FPP for only one of them:
This is where things get fishy. In this scenario Parent A has a FPP. Parent B does not. It Disney does not require both parents to have a FPP, they are essentially giving away a free FPP. Parent A will use their FPP and wait the much smaller 10 minute time period. If riding together, Parent B would not have been able to use to the FPP line. Parent B will entertain the child and then also get to take advantage of the very short wait time that Parent A’s FPP got them. In this scenario, Parent B did not have to wait very long for Parent A to return, nor did Parent B need to wait for the ride itself - despite not having a FPP. So what should have been a 40 minute wait for Parent B without the FPP is now negligible.

Now all that being said, the place where I see issues with the system in general is in how they use FPP line. At other parks, I’ve seen RS handled through the exit so that the second rider essentially rides immediately. FPP lines aren’t always really short waits - depends on the SB time.

I can only assume that Disney originally planned and set it up so that everyone would need a FPP if using RS, as that is what they have enforced on headliners. My guess is that CM discretion (since they are aware of current wait times and capacity), particularly on rides where SDFPs are commonly available, is what allows for the frequently used alternative.

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We did this once during a 5 day trip. We wouldn’t make a habit of it but my wife missed out on 7DMT when she was pregnant on our last trip and really wanted to try it. Our 1 y/o and 3 y/o were fine waiting 20 mins while my wife used a FP.

I would disagree with it being fishy but my family employs this exact method. Yes, you can look at it as us “doubling our fast passes” but in actuality everyone still gets 3. Just spread out over 6 rides instead of 3. And, arguably, leaves more primo FPs for other people (we only book 1 FP for FOP instead of 2! You’re welcome!! :wink:).

I will also say this. I love RS and the flexibility it gives to families of small children but when your touring and utilizing RS it feels like a TIME SUCK. Even though we have a nice perk in say, splitting FPs between Splash and BTR and not having to do either in standby I’m very much looking forward to the day when my family can ride one in stand by and one with a FP all together and not have to spend an hour++ riding/swapping/riding/swapping while trying to keep the little ones who are potentially sad about not getting to ride and BORED entertained the whole time.

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I would much prefer this. FOP + RS takes us an hour on average.

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Yeah so it’s the splitting FPPs part that rubs me the wrong way. My DH and I get three FPPs. If we want to ride via the FPP line we have to book that. We don’t get to book one for him and a separate for me and then go tradesies (effectively getting to Single Rider line everything). That being said, I will for sure take part in the loophole in a couple years when we take my new niece and nephew. I just don’t think that is how WDW likely intended for it to work.

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I understand. But being a couple who just rides everything together you can tour much faster. It really slows you down when touring with RS. So much so that i tried to avoid doing it at more than 2 rides each day.

Also, if both my husband and I booked FPs for FOP but my DD3 isn’t tall enough to ride we’d be leaving her Tier I FP on the table unused (she obviously couldn’t rise NRJ by herself).

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No, they are allowing a family to utilize all of their FP. Family consisting of me, DH, DS7, and DS4. We choose to use FPs for Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, and Space Mountain. DS4 is too short for Space Mountain. So, DH and DS7 ride SM while I wait with DS4. Then I use my FP and ride. DS4 still has a FP that he cannot use because he can’t go on anything alone. So in addition to the fact that we are at Disney with a small child and dealing with all the extra fun that can bring, we also can’t utilize all of our FPs. Rider Swap just helps level the playing field for those with small children.

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I second this. Either FP or RS always seems to take ~30 min, especially for longer rides like Splash Mountain, or rides with pre-shows or long loading times, like Soarin’. I prefer the olden days when FP took you literally to the front of the line, not to a separate shorter (10-15 min) queue.

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I do think RS gets weird with long rides. Ex at a normal park where rides are just a couple minutes, it doesn’t eat up as much time, but with rides like Splash and FOP, it eats a good chunk of time.

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This is true. For such rides we usually didn’t even bother.

This. Any advantage gained from doing RS is balanced out by extra time spent touring with a small child. I would bet lots of money that on the same day a group that can all ride together will get to go on many more rides than those with littles. It all evens out in the end.

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Exactly. Plus, the family will small kids will spend 2 hours at a character meal. And they’ll take a ridiculous number of bathroom breaks. Etc etc. For those extra couple FPP they seem to get they’ll still ride a lot fewer rides than the adult couple with no kids.

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This confuses me so much!

My trip will consist of me, wife and son (4) who will be too small to ride FoP. If both riders do not need FP+ then I could get a FoP FP+ (for me only) and use RS for wife to ride, in the mean time wife and son can ride Navi with FP+ (Navi FP+ for wife and son only)?

Obviously I don’t get to ride Navi in this scenario, but both adults get to ride FoP with one adult getting to ride 2 category 1 rides from just one booked FP+??

Yes exactly that. When you go to FOP, you tell the CM that you would like a rider swap because your son is too small, they will add it to your wife’s band, and they can use their FP at Navi.

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Looks like I need to update my plans then!

No chance of wife being turned away for not having a FP+? That could end in divorce courts…

There is a tiny chance that they will ask if she has a FP. But I haven’t heard of anyone being refused a rider swap.

Here is my experience from first week of May- had large extended family consisting of 9 people (4 adults, DS11, nephew 7, DD6, niece 3 and D22months). We split some of our FP in order to take the two little ones on different rides utilizing FP. Booked FP for first group of riders only to get Rider swap. Used it for Big Thunder, Splash Mountain, Soarin, Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog and FOP. Did not have a problem for any of these rides - no questions asked by CMS. I think where it gets tricky is if you go up to the CM and ask if you can do it- that makes them question how the system works. Just walk up confidently with the little ones who can’t ride and say these people have a FP and are riding and you need a RS for these people.

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That’s what I always say - don’t ask if you can do it because it makes it sound like it might not be allowed. Just tell them.

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One reason to get a rider swap, even if you already have a FPP for the second adult, is that it extends the return window. With small kids and bathroom breaks, we often couldn’t get a ride swap done within the scheduled FP window. On several occassions, we would get a rider swap for half the party, let the first group ride, go to the show or ADR or next FP, and then come back to let the second party ride later. You can’t have two ride swaps on your band, but you do have the flexibility of using the swap later in the day.

That said, rider swaps eat up so so much time. My family, with a short 2 yo and 5 yo who loves roller coasters, barely used our three scheduled FP per day when we needed rider swaps. Three FPP was the equivalent to 6 “rides” for them and kids were done at that point.

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