Rider Swap - New Digital Policy Implementation

Help please! We have our FPs already booked for March 16-23, 2019. We leisurely decided to watch some Youtube videos on Rider Swap, and, now I am a little panicky. We are a family of two adults, two kids who meet height requirements and a baby. There is mixed information out there about how CMs are handling FPs with the new digital policy. There was a video where th family of potential riders had FPs–all of them–even the person waiting with small children. At Mine Train, the canceled the dads FP who was waiting with toddlers and gave him a return time for the length of the regular line even though he had a FP. They would not let him use it with his kids when his other children and wife exited the ride. They had to go kill time for 30 or more minutes. As you can imagine, over the course of a day, this REALLY messes the touring plan in an unpredictable way. Do you all have that detailed of a touring plan for Rider Swap families under the new digital system? This could be a perfect storm during Spring Break.

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I was there in December, the week before Christmas. We rider swapped everything with FastPass and never had an issue. Everything simply got added in addition to existing Fastpasses with a 5-10 minute return time. We did it at FoP, SDD, RnRC, ToT, 7DMT, Thunder, Splash, and Space. No issues at all.

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I should also mention that they never cared or asked about the reason for the rider swap. We did it with kids who were too short, kids who were tall but too scared, kids who were just tired, and kids who would rather look at shiny objects and CM’s never even checked.

This doesn’t add up. I’m guessing that he was given a return time for the length of the FP line, not the standby line. I can’t imagine there being a SB line of only 30 minutes for 7DMT.


I talked a Disney CM last night and today. Today’s wad from Internal Help Desk. He said rider swap policy confusion and inconsistent implementation has caused lots of problems for guests. The clarification of the new policy is being communicated to all CMs and will be posted on WDW website soon as well. He said all people wanting to use Rider Swap with the FP+ will have to have a FP+ – even the person in Party 2 who is waiting. Then that person should be able to go directly in FP+ line when Party 1 exists. UPDATED PART: If not all waiting parties have a FP+, then they will not be able to use Rider Switch with FP+ to ride. If not ALL parties have it, then Party 1 will have to go in standby line. In that case when Party 1 exists, Party 2 (waiting parent/guardian +2) should be able to go in FP+ line. If everyone is using FP+, then it all is done on your Magic Bands. According to the 2nd CM, for SB, you will get some kind of physical object to be your marker not necessary a paper ticket. (This post was updated 1/24).

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This is disappointing. The child still has to wait for the length of 2 lines and rides and can’t do anything else or use their own FP because they will not have an adult with a FP to ride with!

Im so confused. I hope I never have to use rider swap because I dont get it.


We were there last October and also rider swapped everything with no issues. We all had FP for the ride, so parent 1 and older kids were able to ride while parent 2 and baby waited. Then parent 2 and older kids got to ride. It makes sense to me that everyone in the party wanting to use Rider Swap through FP needs to have a FP for the ride. Other than Soarin’ it went very well - Soarin’ take forever with Rider Swap, even through FP since it can take 30 min to go through the FP lane, the pre-ride show, and then come out. It took 70 min for both adults to be able to ride, but older kids were very excited to ride twice, once with each parent.

If you have FPP for the ride, this is the only advantage to using rider swap…otherwise there is no need.

With rider swap, however, you can bring an extra person or two (forget the actual number) with you, even if they already rode. So the kids usually benefit.

But if the kids don’t want/need to ride again, then you don’t need to get a rider swap. First person goes through FP line, and then when they get off the ride, you swap and the second person goes through with their FP.

Having said that, I suppose there might be a benefit to still getting the rider swap if you are nearing the end of your FP window when the first person goes through.


Under the old paper system there was much more of a benefit… For example, on our last trip, we did rider swap for Splash. While my wife waited with our infant son, he had a diaper emergency. Since the paper FPs were good for the whole day (or longer), she took care of the diaper, and by the time she was done, we were starving - so we had lunch and then she went back with our older son to ride Splash on the rider swap… So that did have an advantage, even for FP.

Now, with the return window digitally, that advantage is gone…

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The benefit that a lot of people tend to ignore (sometimes because SB lines are really long) is that you can use RS with SB. In the example with 2 parents, 2 older kids who meet height requirements and one little who doesn’t, you can send parent 1 with 2 kids through the SB line and do rider swap. Other parent has some time to go to another ride, eat a snack, whatever during the long SB wait. Then, after that first ride, Parent 2 takes the older kids (who now get a second ride) through the FP line while Parent 1 waits a short amount of time with little kid. Rinse and repeat. If you’re willing to split up (which RS requires no matter how you do it), the kids get a bunch of extra rides. You still have FPP that you can use for rides the little kid will enjoy (PP, WtP, JC, etc).

Lots of options. Nothing will cancel out the complications of touring with a little kid who can’t go on some rides, but every little bit helps.

Lucky for me I have tall kids and will not have limitations for much longer (I’m 6’3" and wife is just shy of 6’. DD8.5 is fast approaching 5’. DS2 will hopefully hit 44" for FOP and others by the time we go again when he is 4).

So enjoy the time while your kids are still little, it won’t last long! And if you don’t like it, do what I did and be taller.

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I fully expect the RS to be much less loosey goosey as the new attractions come onboard. The amount of abuse and misuse is rampant and the CMs are getting hollered at frequently “because that ride let us do this” . Way too many people are claiming even preteens are “too chicken” and demanding a RS. We are past the days where one adult sat out with a baby while the rest rode and they were grateful they got to ride or you brought Grammy to watch the baby. Now, you use the RS when you couldn’t get a FPP and anyone wants to ride twice.
Having the RS on digital has allowed them to track usage.

Except people are still demanding RS for kids that are 11, 12, 13 yrs old…

Have RS tickets put up on Ebay or given to strangers through social media hastened the move to digital…

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Sure, and I’m glad they are stopping the abuse. It’s a good thing to have for those who need it. I do wish the return window were a bit more flexible - babies are unpredictable…

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I’m not really sure it was “abuse” though, before.

We’ve used Rider swap many times (due to having 5 kids). But when we first started using it, we would send me with all but one of the kids (so that my wife had someone to ride with) and then send my wife through with her partner child. Only, when we did this, the CMs would say, “You can take more than one of your kids with you through if they want to ride again.”

So, okay. We did. It was the CMs that instructed us…actually encouraged us…to do so.

Now, if people were taking the paper RS passes and selling them on ebay, I’m guessing it wasn’t a LOT. Sure, that’s abuse…but it doesn’t seem like enough people would do that thing to design a whole new digital system. I just think Disney is trying to make everything digital going forward. The more things are digital, the more they can track usage and such. What they do with that data, who knows…but I’ll be willing to bet it is to ultimately pad their pockets! :wink:

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That is on cm’ s. If the kid is tall enough they can go through the line and take the chicken exit/ do loading area rider swap.

The problem, though, is that height (or age) is not enough of an indicator of whether a child can handle something alone. Lots of kids with ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, among other syndromes/disabilities…many of which a CM would not be qualified to make a judgment on. As such, it ultimately is left up to the parents to decide.

shouldn’t they be able to get DAS? Wouldn’t that show up with a scan of the magic band? No das, tall enough, go through the line.