What if a kid "chickens out" after waiting in line

We’ve always used rider swap in previous visits because of the ages and sizes of our kiddos, but youngest will be 8 on our upcoming trip and tall enough for everything finally! Yay!

However, he is a bit apprehensive about certain rides (ToT, Rockin’ Rollercoaster mainly) - I am excited to be able to stay together as a family for the first time in all the lines, but if he chickens out when we go to get on the ride what happens? Will one parent have to miss the ride? Or will they allow us to do a rider swap at that point? I havent been since the days of the paper rider swap passes so I am catching up on all the changes!


Yay and Congratulations of meeting such a fun milestone for the family!

My family never utilized rider swap as DH was more than happy to sit out some attractions, and I the ones he didn’t want to miss.

So we were just as anxious for then DS8 to be in the world for the first time that he could remember, and be tall enough to ride anything he wanted. In fact, his very first “upside down” coaster was RnRC. Which he then insisted on riding 3 more times in a row! After that, we were able to show that everything else was “tame” compared to his now favorite attraction. Other than Hulk at Universal, he willingly went on everything else with no issues. In fact, our trip next month will be his first on Hulk (now DS13) and he’s SUPER excited.

As a previous CM I had quite a few kids (and some adults) bail at loading. Back then we just did the last minute rider swap. Honestly, it depends on the discretion of the CMs. If it’s an attraction like Teacups or Carousel they may let the youngest sit out at the Exit gate and wait for the family to ride. If it’s one of the Mountains, they may force someone older off to wait with them.

I will say ToT…he hated. But I think that was more to do with the drops and his motion sickness more than anything else. And BTW I hate it too, I only do it for the theming.

I don’t personally recommend what we did with RnRC. I think we lucked out because he couldn’t see the track even after we rode so there wasn’t any long term “I’m putting you both in an old person’s home the minute you turn 65” going on.


I should also add that both as a CM and as a regular guest, I personally have never seen anyone have to miss out completely because of a last second back out. At the very, very worst a swap should be provided.


Thank you for the insight! I’m hoping it won’t happen, but want to be prepared if it does.

My 12.5 yo is a thrill seeker and rode everything at age 6. He’s bummed to not get to ride everything twice this trip though for sure, rider swap was his best friend for years :rofl:


I’ve had to exit a few attractions with kids just as we were about to board. It happens. My 10 yo freaked out for TOT just as the family boarded. I just left with her and actually praised her for knowing when something was “too much.”

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Oh I would absolutely not make him ride it, but I don’t want to miss out on them, so I was wondering if rider swap was possibly an option at that point :upside_down_face:

Couldn’t an adult wait in the ride loading area while the rest of the family got on, and then the scared child exit with the rest of the family while the waiting adult rode? Wouldn’t that work everywhere?

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That would be ideal! I just didn’t know if Disney did this :slight_smile:

In late 2019, many family members waited at Splash. My DD7 freaked out almost at the start of the line (we had FPP). As we got towards the middle of the line my DH started getting angry at her b/c he wanted the photo of all of us. But, I could tell he’d get over it. I pulled her and myself out of the line at the last minute. It just wasn’t worth a fussy kid that age, and I’d ridden Splash before. For that matter DD7 had ridden splash before, but somehow she was more fearless as a really little kid than as a 7 yr old. It was the right choice. She enjoyed hanging out in the store and some nearby things as we waited for the others. It turned out that there was some sort of delay on the ride and she would have had to sit there, being nice, for about 30 min longer than normal. Thank goodness I read her correctly and took action. Same child was fine on things like TOT on the same trip.

@Randall1028 unlocks a “Hei Hei for the Day” achievement badge.


A lot of rides you exit the ride vehicle in a different location from where you board. HM, SpaM, ToT, MFSR, ROTR, RnRC, etc.

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My son chickened out at RotR and neither me or DH was willing to sit that out after all the BG shenanigans! But the CM was VERY kind to my poor, scared son and gave me a RS no problem.


We did RS for many years as the older child (dd now 20) was a ride or die kid and the younger child (ds now 15) didn’t like Dumbo at 2yo (he was fine at 4yo…but coasters were never in his future). Dd loved being able to ride everything twice!

In 2018, the kids and I went to WDW w/o dh (he stayed home for a bike ride trip. He rode a rail trail from Maryland to Pittsburgh over two days.). The kids were 12yo and 17yo at the time.

At 12yo I was okay w/ him staying by himself for short periods of time so we did the following:

  1. Scoped out where he could wait for us at the ride exit (usually in the shop or bench nearby).
  2. We all waited in line together.
  3. Ds “chickened out” right before we got on and waited for us in the agreed upon spot.
  4. Dd and I rode.
  5. We met ds who was playing on his phone (preferred activity) while waiting.

This took far less time than RS and it helps that ds is an extreme rule follower and had his phone actively in use while we were separated, …which was only for about 10-15 minutes at the longest.

I clearly remember doing all of the above at both TOT and RNRC. Not sure where else.

At ToT, my cousins niece had a tantrum - she was around 7/8 - CM kindly took her to the exit while we went on the ride.

Recent experience at Ratatouille - kid started having a meltdown - literally trying to exit the ride - finally 5 minutes in and delaying the ride :grimacing: the mother got off and another mother with her son offered to go on the ride with the women’s older kids so they did not have to miss out. They met at the exit of the ride. I don’t know if she had another adult to swap with.

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