I am going to MK on a standard open 9am day at the end of January. I have 2 adults and 3 kids, including a baby, in my crew. I was not able to secure a FP for the ride. I was planning to Rope Drop it but wanted to know if anyone else in this forum had successfully rope dropped when needing a rider swap? I am fearful that I will wait all that time to be toward the front of the pack just to have to leave the line to get the rider swap pass while lots of people get ahead of my family - goodbye 15 minutes, hello 90+ minute wait and therefore a waste of my time. Or do they give you the rider pass while you are in the line and your second party exits?
Also, I was hoping to do the same thing for Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom but that would be Rope Dropping at an EMH. Anyone out there successfully Rope Drop at AK for FOP with a rider swap?
When responding it would be helpful to know if your experience was recent b/c my understanding is that the rider swap protocols have changed to scanning the bands.
At 7dmt, the rider swap happens right at the entrance to the line. They will scan magic bands to do it. You will have people walk past you while you do it, but hopefully not so many that it makes your wait too long.
So you know what to expect, there should be a CM with a scanner. You tell them you want to do rider switch, and they will ask you who is riding in the 2nd group (waiting while the first group rides). They will then scan the bands of those in the 2nd group and add the rider swap to their tickets in MDE. Once that is done, the first group gets in line.
My one time doing this at ropedrop, the CM had problems and just had the kids who would be riding in the 2nd group leave their bands with my wife so the CM could get the rider switch done without making us wait too long. This was September 2018, but I don’t think anything had changed since then.
Edit: and welcome to the forum!
We did this a number of times in October including a last minute decision to rope drop Test Track. It will most likely be hard to conceptualize the very first time, but you’ll get it down once you do it once. They now have a separate cast member that is off to the side of the line that is holding an iPad issuing the Rider Swaps. Go STRAIGHT to this person. Be ready with JUST the people who are riding second and hand him/her their bands. (You will need to have the whole party there, including the baby, but the CM only scans the returning riders.) If you have two separate groups riding, then the first group can pretty much immediately go get in line. If someone is riding in both the first group and the return group, give the CM their band FIRST and then once they are scanned jump right in line. You don’t need to wait until they are done.
You may lose like 3-4 minutes worth of people getting in front of you during this time, but it’s unlikely to add more than 10 minutes! When we did TT, there was a line growing for some reason past the entrance while we setup the RS, but the CM waved my DS and DH to the front of it as they had obviously been there before anyone in the line.