Rider Switch (and FP/MP)

Can someone help me figure out how rider switch works, especially in relation to WDW’s? Reading the website it seems like you can’t get RS for someone in party 1?
How does it work with FastPass/MaxPass?
Does the kiddo have to be too short or can they be scared to ride?

And are there rides where it’s not even worth it? I know on Soarin’ at WDW it takes 20 minutes or so execute a rider switch. At that point, we might as well just go do something else.

We have never used rider switch, so I cannot answer for you. I can say that I created my own for my sensory sensitive child. I didn’t want to mess with trying to convince CMs or CMs turning me down, so I just pulled 4 fps for Splash and then DH rode with DS10, while I waited with DS11, then we switched and I used DS11’s fp for DS10. Worked like a charm.

RS at DLR works like this:

  • Full party approaches CM at attraction entrance
  • CM scans MaxPass if applicable for all members riding (sometimes they will ask for all riders, sometimes just for the first group, and you may be able to fudge this if you are lucky)
  • CM scans ticket for riders who will be riding in Party 2 - up to three riders per transaction (i.e., if you have multiple adults and children you can split into 4 parties and have 6 riders return by checking in separately). Your ticket is now loaded with a RS which is essentially a MaxPass and may have an expiration of one hour after issuance; you can’t hold two RS passes at once.
  • Party 1 enters the Standby or FP line as applicable; Party 2 waits outside the attraction with any non-riders
  • When Party 1 emerges, Party 2 enters FP line by scanning their tickets, same as if they had a FP
    (ETA: Some riders in Party 1 can also go back and ride in Party 2 - you really only need one adult to wait with the non-riders.)

At most attractions, this process takes 20-30 minutes. At Soarin’ and other popular and/or long attractions, it can take up to an hour for both parties to ride.

The CM usually doesn’t verify that the children are too short to ride, but if the child is clearly tall enough in theory they could refuse to grant you a RS pass.

If there is an adult in your party that doesn’t want to ride the particular attraction, leaving the kids with them will be more efficient than using RS. However, the rides where the RS takes the longest are the ones that most people will want to ride! (e.g., Soarin’, Radiator Springs)


How do you use someone else’s FP? I was under the impression that they’re not physical paper tickets anymore. Can you just trade tickets?

How strict are they about FP and RS return times? Is there any grace period?

5 minutes before and I believe 10 minutes after, may even be 15.

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The fast passes are attached to your ticket, I have my entire family’s tickets on my phone and I usually the one carrying them, so I usually either scan the other’s ticket or more often just scan the unused fp on their ticket from my phone.


Jeff’s outlined it very well above for you, but a few points to add to his excellent ones.

  • The CM has full control/it is at their discretion to issue rider switch or not, and mostly seem to care that they see at least one adult staying back with one child (in our case it has always been a too small child so not 100% about the scared rider, but it could definitely be awarded again dependent on the CM). And as of late they seem to ask “Who is riding first?” to determine the groupings.
  • For scanning the tickets for Party 2- they ask for “Up to any 3 tickets” to load the rider switch onto, so they don’t at all monitor that Party 2 is separate from Party 1 in that regard, just any 3 will do & they leave it up to you on how to use them.
  • As for the time-frame they load on for Party 2- it will be good for 1 hr but they will set the 1 hr to start after their current estimations have Party 1 coming off the ride. They will disappear immediately at the end of the hour, but they will still show up for the CM as I learned last trip when we had let a RS expire at 8:30-9:30am and we just couldn’t get back fast enough to it but then that afternoon when we were RS other things it popped up 2 times & each time the CM assigning us a new RS verified I wanted to override that earlier RS.
  • Lastly, I’ve never had too much trouble asking a CM if we could please arrange for a little bit different of a RS time if we have something that we’re set to do right after Party 1 gets off and want Party 2’s time to start at a later time. But again, this is completely up to the CM & not very common practice so use this ask wisely when you really do need something accommodated.

Hope this helps with all your planning!


FP return time is coded into the system as 5 min before & 15 min later grace period & scanning in during those times will be all sunshine & daisies.

With a RS the scan will disappear immediately at the end of the time period, but ask a CM to help you out if you are running late/need more time because they can adjust it & depending on the circumstances will do it.


Related question (for my first post here)…

My wife and I are taking our 3 year old next month (9/24-9/27). He’s under 40 inches, so we’ll be doing a lot of RS. At DCA, there’s only one FP ride he’s tall enough for. There are 4 at DL, but most (or all) don’t look like they get very long lines.

So this makes me think MP for him will be a waste. And if I’m understanding how MP works with RS, I don’t think my wife’s ticket will need MP either. Right?

  1. Make the MP reservation on my ticket.
  2. Go to the CM at the entrance to get RS added to wife’s ticket.
  3. Ride FP.
  4. Wife rides with RS.

I know this is how it worked with FPP at WDW last fall. We had a group of five and booked FP for all. But whoever rode only in the second group would always have an extra unused pass.

Am I missing anything? Does DL handle it differently? Will I regret not being able to FP WOC and Fantasmic?


With the paper system, we used to do something very similar to what you’re asking about & as long as they saw the too small child, CMs were always happy to grant the RS without question.

Since they’ve switched to digital RS with the 1 hr time window restriction, I’ve had mixed results getting the RS even though you are correct, theoretically only one of you needs a FP. Rides like Space in DL and RSR in DCA are usually the ones that are the strictest & may not award the RS if not everyone has a FP.

Once nice thing I’ve noticed is that they never check that the name of the pass being scanned remotely matches the name of the person actually entering the queue so you & your wife can switch off using the FP first & riding RS and it doesn’t always have to be you riding first on your FP with your wife getting RS 2nd. If you link your tickets to the Disneyland App in both of your Disney accounts (or just have one of your Disney accounts logged into both phones) then you’ll be able to view all the FPs/RS and use them to scan & the CM won’t bat an eye there.

If you do run into having a hard time obtaining the RS with just 1 FP, note that many rides in DLR that have FP and may give you this issue, also have a single rider line so I would go through with your plan of only purchasing MaxPass for one of you and carry on as you suggest above &go for the Single Rider lines if you need to.

One caveat on Single Rider lines, usually it’s better to use those earlier in the day as afternoon/evenings they can tend to get inundated. Incredicoaster for example will sometimes get a Single Rider line after 4-5pm that is longer than the standby. RSR at night is often longer than the FP line (but not usually longer than standby still).

And as for WOC and F! (and any other FPs you may want to get with your wife & sons tickets to ride rides that he can ride) you can and absolutely should use the free FP kiosks for those. Just note that for WOC and F! both you’ll need to grab them early on in the day but they won’t interfere with you getting any rides since they are disconnected. For the shows, since you would need to get 2 with the physical kiosks anyway, I would grab all 3 at the kiosks so you’re assured the same section/showtime.


And welcome! Great question for a first post!!

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Thank you! I somehow completely forgot kiosks were still an option. :laughing:

I think that settles it. One MP should work for us. Worst case we can add more while in the park.

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