Rope Drop, Flight of Passage, & Child Swap (Rider Switch, whatever it's called...)

Ok so family of 6 going during thanksgiving week staying offsite. Definitely not banking on getting a FP for FoP so trying to wrap my head around what to expect if we rope drop FoP on a non-EMH day and child swap since my youngest is under the height requirement. Has anyone done this recently with the new FP system in place? At what point in line were you able to tell a CM about child swap? Is it realistic for group 2 to do navi river while group 1 rides FoP? How long did it take both groups to ride FoP?
The more detailed picture you can paint for me the better and any lessons learned or tid-bits you can provide will be greatly appreciated!

Yo will tell the CM outside the ride queue. Here’s how Rider Switch works -

To Use Rider Switch:

  1. First check with a Cast member to see if Rider Switch is offered at the attraction in question.
  2. Once at the attraction, approach the greeting Cast Member with your entire party. At least one adult member of your party and the Guests who are not riding will be issued a Ride Switch entitlement by the Cast Member and asked to wait in a designated area ***(usually outside of the attraction)***. This group is “Party 2.”
  3. The other party members (“Party 1”) ride the attraction.
  4. After riding the attraction, Party 1 locates Party 2. Then, Party 1 takes over supervision of the non-riding children or Guests.
  5. Party 2 enters and boards the attraction without having to wait in the regular queue a second time. The Rider Switch entitlement must be validated by a Cast Member at this time.

If the person in Party 2 waited alone with the child, he or she may bring up to 2 other Guests back to ride the attraction with him or her. Please note that only 3 Guests are allowed per Rider Switch Pass

Yes. While NRJ may get a queue it isn’t ever near as long as FoP. Have you checked out Touring Plans anticipated wait times? You’ll be able to compare the predicted waits for each attraction at the same time.

https://touringplans.com/animal-kingdom/attractions/navi-river-journey/wait-times/date/2019-11-28

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The total time for both groups to ride will depend on the standby wait time. Since you won’t have FPP, group 1 will wait that long. Say it’s 90 minutes. Then after they’re done, group 2 will ride using the FPP line. This will take 20-30 minutes (probably closer to 30).

If you use a Touring Plan, it will factor this in for you if you select the Rider Switch option for this attraction.

However, if you don’t want to wait around this long, group 2 can come back later and use the rider switch. They don’t have to ride immediately after. But, you can only have one rider switch at a time, so the people in group 2 won’t be able to get a rider switch for another ride while they have this one.

I did this twice this week. Rope dropped, arriving at AK around 6:45 and walking into the park with the group. Waited in line as a family (of 6) until we got to the point in line where they check for FP - which included walking with the herd and snaking left and waiting in the actual standby line for a bit but not terribly long (maybe 15 minutes once in Pandora). We got rider swap for my DS5 and he and I left the line. Rode Navi once, could have ridden twice. Visited the Pandora store and waited for the first group. Then my other three kids drew straws to see who would get to ride the second time with me. We rode Navi as a family before returning to FoP with our RS “FPP”. There was essentially no wait for Navi, though riding as a family did put us off schedule which cost us dearly for KS.

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I did earlier in my planning but figured nothing’s better than talking to others w/real-life experience. I’m waiting for my FP windows before putting together my ADR’s (if there’s anything left) & TPs.

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How long do we have until the rider switch expires? Back in 2016 (last time i was there) we had the whole month.

OMG! Exactly what i was looking for! Thank you so much!
So many followup questions!!!:

  1. What time did the park open on the day(s) you went? Were you satisfied with your arrival time?

  2. How long did it take Group 1 to get through FoP once you & your son split to ride Navi?

  3. Can you elaborate when you say “There was essentially no wait for Navi, though riding as a family did put us off schedule which cost us dearly for KS.” Does this mean that the wait for KS was longer than expected?

  4. Anything you would do different to optimize this part of your experience?

Since it went digital, it lasts until the end of the day.

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I’m pretty sure they changed this to a one hour return window, with a ten minute grace window, due to people abusing the system. I’ve seen reports of this happening from this August 2019

It’s always officially been a one hour window, but people have reported that you can use it until the end of the day, even though it officially expired.

I don’t know about Rope Drop, but at other times of the day, you can walk right up to the FP split and get an RS without any wait.

We had FP and it took about 25 minutes for each party.

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  1. We did EMH so the park opened for us at 7am. Regular time was 8am. Arriving 15 minutes before park opened on a CL3 day was fine - we were maybe 20 people back in the bag check line. There were multiple lines and we were through bag check and queued up on the bridge to Discovery Island during park opening, several hundred people back. But we basically did not stop moving until we got to the main entrance to FoP, albeit baby steps at a time.

  2. I’d guess standby for FoP took about 45 minutes after we did the rider swap. I think it was actually a bit less.

  3. My TP said rode Navi as a family, then get in line for FoP. I “planned” both and this was the better option. But I lost faith and queued for FoP first. Riding Navi second as a family would have been fine, but the additional ~20 minutes for the second FoP ride meant we didn’t queue for KS until about 15 minutes after I wanted to. Even with that, the TP app told me to expect a 20-30 minute wait. But the line was painfully slow and it was almost 90 minutes, which meant we were late for our 9:50-10:50 Dino FPP. And I had three teens who were not happy about it, and not shy about making that known. All that said, KS experience turned out to be awesome - we had done it twice our last trip 8 years ago and it was okay, but this one was amazing.

  4. I would have waited to ride FoP the second time. It would have meant a little more walking, but we could have split up during some of the other planned activities with a much lesser impact. That said, I don’t know if the wait for KS was an anomaly or should have been expected. It was by far the longest wait we had our entire trip, including standby for SDD twice and FoP twice.

Thanks so much for your patience in addressing all of my questions - VERY good info!

Definitely a good lesson for others - Trust the Plan. Got it!

Thanks again for sharing!

Actually, I don’t think swapping the order hurt me. What may have hurt was trying to sneak in an extra ride (the second group riding FoP) which put us off schedule. I did check expected wait times for KS before deciding to ride FoP and push KS back a bit. I see now that TP predicted a level 3 for KS but crowds were more like CL6 which may mean we were going to have a long wait either way… So I don’t know that being 20 minutes late was as much of a problem as interest in KS being usually high that day. Who knows.

What was helpful throughout the day (and the entire trip) was having a reasonable sense of what going “off plan” would mean and how to recover.

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