FASTPASS rider swap

I saw this suggestion on disneyland daily. She’s vacationing right now, so I don’t know if I’ll hear back before I leave.

I had a quick question about rider swap and fastpass/maxpass.
She recommend the following:

To maximize your day with young children, use FASTPASSES along with Rider Switch. Have each adult grab a different FASTPASS and then use Rider Switch on each. You’ll be holding two FASTPASSES at once, essentially, doubling your ability to enjoy attractions.

Will this still work with maxpass? If the first two to ride the ride have a FP, will the next two to ride need to have a FP as well? (we have 4 people tall enough to ride most of the rides. Sometimes all 4 will ride but sometimes only 3 will ride (on the “scary” rides))
Last time we were there it was paper fastpass, and I honestly can’t remember if this worked with that set up.

Paper fastpass worked beautifully on this setup & we used this many a time. With everything being digital now, even if you don’t purchase MaxPass and just use the FastPass, it varies widely on how they manage the rider switch if not everyone has a FP. Rather than issue a paper rider switch for any 3 people they now, ask for the 3 passes to load the rider switch on & will give them a 1 hour window. They give you at least 15-20 min. before that window will start to allow the first group riding enough time to get on & complete the ride. However, sometimes instead of that 15-20 min. gap to start the window, they will program that gap to equal that of the standby wait. It really varies from day to day, CM to CM, but in my experience, if you have FPs for everyone, they will give you just the 15-20 min window. If you don’t, then they will add the length of the standby queue before the rider switch 1 hr window opens.

We were there the day that rider switches got switched to digital (it happened a couple of months after FastPasses were made digital due to glitches in the system) & it was a mess that first week with CMs not ever having been trained to do it & unknowingly being expected one day how to navigate this relatively new system to program on a rider switch. It has come a long way, but I have still heard of inconsistencies on how & when the rider switch is being issued.

That being said, after a few very difficult & trying attempts (for both me & the CMs) I abandoned using that tip with the new digital FastPass & just get FPs for all of us together. It is how the system is designed to be used, & while it was a nice loophole of the paper system (because you didn’t really NEED 4 papers when only 3 people were going through the line & 1 was staying back with a non-rider), they’ve now closed the loophole with the digital conversion. Not to mention the extremely shortened window to use the swap, but that’s a whole other story!

Thanks, I was planning on getting FP for everyone, but thought it would be nice when we are trying to squeeze in a couple big rides in the morning.

Yeah, I miss being able to squeeze in some big rides & mostly miss the flexibility to go back at our leisure to have the other parent “catch-up”. Disneyland Daily also used to recommend that you move through one of her plans collecting your rider switches & just have one parent riding with any kids that were tall enough & then have that parent take the kids somewhere they could blow off steam like Tom Sawyer’s island or ToonTown play areas & the other parent could catch up & use all the rider switches to ride away (again taking any kids tall enough with them- although knowing my kids they might choose Tom Sawyer Island over more rides, they love that place).

Now you really have to use it or lose it. You can maybe stop for a QS meal or do one ride close by before the hour window is up, but even this last trip I thought my plan would still allow the 2nd parent to ride Soarin before the window was up with the following plan: Get in Soarin line pre-RD, DH to take kids on Soarin, grab a RS. While they were on Soarin, I was to pick-up GotG FPs for me & my son & RSR FPs for DH & daughter & WOC FPs for us all. Meet-up at Soarin exit or WOC FP machines & then head to TSMM to ride altogether. Then I would use the RS with the kids to ride Soarin again. By the time we got done with TSMM (with a bathroom break before getting in line for TSMM), the rider switch window was minutes away from closing and b) our other FPs were starting and the kids were more excited to do those FPs than re-ride Soarin. So we had to let it fall by the wayside, even though we should have been able to squeeze in one ride & a bathroom break in between the switches.

When you moved on to the FP, did you do rider swap there?

We did not since we had just pulled 2 of each. My DD hates GotG & loves RSR. My son loves GotG & just started getting old enough for using the SR line so he gets really, really excited to use it. So our plan went like this: DS & I went on GotG while DH took DD & the baby to it’s tough to be a bug (one that DD loves that DS hates) so it works out. DH & 2 younger kids had time to also get in line for Flik’s fliers before we got off GotG but the baby had fallen asleep in DH’s arms. I swapped DH the baby for DS & he rode with the kids while I settled the baby in the stroller. By the time they were done we had to rush to DH & DD’s RSR FP. It was getting to be lunchtime so I grabbed us cozy cones with DS’s help & brought them over to the back patio at Flo’s. DS & I started eating our cones & DD & DH ate when they joined us. Since DS & I were done, we went to RSR & walked right on using SR line. After that we grabbed FPs for all 4 of us for a nighttime RSR ride (we LOVE it at night). It was a pretty great morning by my kids cuz they got to do most everything that they love.

We were meant to hit Monsters before midday break, but got distracted shopping instead & watched the Newsboys Trolley show right before leaving for midday break as a trade-off. When we got back that night we hit the pier first & grabbed FPs for GSS, rode Ariel’s & then it was time for our PM RSR FP. We didn’t have time to RS it before needing to get to WOC spots while they were good for the getting, so we chose to camp out for WOC & got corn dogs for dinner as per our usual WOC watching tradition. After WOC we had 10 min left on our GSS FP window so we hurried out after the show & did RS on GSS. Ended the night getting ice cream at Ghiradelli’s. We could have fit in Mater’s or Luigi’s before the park closed (it was a late 11pm close), but the kids couldn’t agree on one and weren’t too fussed to get up & go so we just stayed & sat & talked longer over the ice cream. All in all, the only thing I felt I missed out were the Soarin & RSR RS’s which we could have come back to at the end of the night if the old paper system was in place, but oh well. Ideally we also would’ve made it back from midday break in time to see the Sha-boom song in Carsland, but in winter with an early sunset it’s always hard for us to get back. Much easier in spring & summer when you can also plan for WOC or even FWs after you see the Sha-boom song in Carsland.