Did Disney retract their Rider Switch/Fastpass+ rule?

In May, we had one cast member at Big Thunder refuse to put a rider swap on an adult band. He said that the adult needed to use their own FPP. He would only put the swap on our 5 yo’s band. We said we might return outside the FPP window. He checked the time and said we had 40 minutes and that was plenty of time for a swap. We let it go, but it seemed pretty harsh. (We did have a FPP for both adults, but he still wouldn’t put a RS on the adult band.)

Isn’t that just because you had the FP though? If you didn’t, then he wouldn’t have been able to tell you to use it.

It played out this way: We told him that we needed a RS for these two people. He said only the kid gets a RS. The adult needs to use their own FPP.

I don’t know what he would have done if the adult didn’t have a FPP. Maybe he would have given one, maybe not.

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At FOP, this year, witnessed a CM ask about whether the other person had a fastpass (no) and then give the RS for a return time 2+ hours in the future BECAUSE the other person didn’t have a fastpass, which really ruined one family’s day. They were very vocal about it and the CM said “sorry that’s how it works now”.

According to you that CM would be “wrong” but there were multiple CMs there and this one was obviously in charge and training the other CMs. So it does happen.


This was exactly our experience at multiple rides. And yes, we walked up confidently and knew what we were doing. But that is the exact reason that we all got fastpasses for the rides we wanted to go on – because we heard that this happens. Even though all over the internet people say that its wrong and that’s not how it works - I’ll trust my firsthand experience.

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I’m actually more bothered by this. Not getting on a ride in the timeframe one wants shouldn’t ruin anyone’s day. I mean, sure, it is a disappointment. Annoying. But to let it RUIN their day?

Now, back to the issue at hand…I think that, ultimately, it is the discretion of the CM to make the decision based on circumstances they are aware of. I think if someone tries to skirt the system by getting a RS when only part of the family as a FP for the ride is setting yourself up for potential rejection.

Personally, I wish Disney would make this rule explicit and universal. That is, if you want to use RS with a FP, then everyone in the party who is going to ride must have a FP. Then, as folks have mentioned, the only REAL benefit for the RS is to ensure that the swapping rider gets to return to the FP line without worrying about the FP window. But Disney should NEVER allow a RS for a case where only part of the party has a FP.

Honestly, I don’t even care that, generally speaking, parents taking advantage of RS are at a disadvantage. That is the lot of parenthood. With 5 kids, I’m accepting of it. It is my choice. As long as the policies are consistent and fair, I can be understanding of their requirement as a parent, even if it means I get on fewer rides during the day as folks not needing to use RS.

Now, having said that, I think that Disney is fooling itself to consider a FP line having waits of 15+ minutes is okay. It isn’t. And it just goes to show how the FP system is broken. A working FP system would mean the FP line has virtually no wait. (Wait only for the next available chance to board.) Otherwise, if the FP system is backed up that much, they are giving out too many FPs, and the SB line suffers all the more.


To clarify…they can allow RS in this case, but only if a FP rider waits in the SB line.

Rider swap is supposed to be given for immediately after the first party has ridden - when it swapped to a digital RS instead of paper, that was made clear and they also said it would be a specific 1 hour window. It actually isn’t a 1 hour window, but I have never heard of what you describe happening before. I’ve seen hundreds of threads about RS on both chat and the forum, and while some CMs do ask if both parties have a FP, the actual window is supposed to start at the time the first party are expected to get off the ride.

It was painful to watch. The family in front of us had an epic meltdown. Mom and teenager crying, cursing at and begging the CM. But this was all AFTER they were incredibly rude to him, telling him how to do his job, while he was very obviously training newer CMs.

That’s just awful. You gotta give props to any CM that can take that without blowing up them him/herself!

I think they, as a family, needed a timeout by sitting down and eating Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches. That has a way of fixing everything! :wink:


exactly this. So if the standby line is 180 minutes long for FOP, and you are going to RS but don’t have ANY fastpasses, the CM gives “group B” a RS “fastpass” that starts in 180 minutes and “group A” goes in the standby line.

This is what some CMs are doing for RS when both parties don’t have a fastpass. “Group A” can use their fastpass but “group B” gets a return time the length of the standby line.


With six kids and dozen or more trips DH and I have never used RS. If a kid was too small to go on a ride the other parent just rode solo - or more likely - just didn’t ride and instead had some time with small child doing small child fun.

I do get that people who go every few years (or more) vs once-in-a-lifetime trips don’t have the same drive to ride everything. I am all about my favorite rides, I don’t understand why adults don’t just ride alone.

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As I said, I’ve never heard of that happening, and I think it is more likely to be one CM throwing his weight around. But the point is, they got the rider swap - they weren’t denied it. So they didn’t actually need FPs for the second party to ride did they? Which is what I have been saying.

You will find lots more CMs who won’t give a rider swap when a child who is tall enough is too scared to ride - and that’s in their published policy.

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Should we include DAS also? If those families with a disabled child want to ride all together they can get a FPP just like me. One parent only on the DAS. Everyone else goes standby.

No, they just had to come back way later to ride.

And you were saying that it starts immediately after the first party rides and that’s just not true. Seems you just want to argue with me on everything I say, which comes only from my own personal experience and things I have witnessed firsthand, so I’m done here.

The ambiguity in written policy and actual practice is what makes this a difficult subject. I’m with you on this.

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I don’t know. But I thought Disney had made the DAS rules to prevent abuse. However, I can see having the disabled child (only) not needing a FP but still utilizing RS for everyone else without needing to wait SB. But ONLY if the disabled child CANNOT ride. But even then, if the policy is written out clearly enough, I have no qualms with requiring even the disabled child needing a FP assigned to them. What point would there be in not having a FP assigned to them, but everyone else has a FP for that ride? So that they can get a FP on a different ride? And what? Ride it alone?

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This is the problem, i can’t imagine being so hung up on a problem that it would ruin my vacation if i didn’t get to go on a ride.

It is true, generally speaking. They set the RS opening window time to be the expected length of time that the first party rides. So, if the FP line is 5 minutes, and the ride itself is 10, then they would set the RS return time to be 15 minutes, which is immediately after the first party rides. This is to avoid the risk of their RS window (effectively in the system like another FP) closing before the first party gets off the ride.


And that’s why they shouldn’t require a FPP for everyone using RS. You end up with kids with fpp they can’t use.

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