Mark this one under developing (since I don’t know if it’s a temporary or permanent change), but a friend of mine just tipped me off that Walt Disney World might possibly have made rider switch a little easier again. Rider switch, or child swap, is a system meant to ensure parents don’t need to wait twice in a line if a child is too young to ride. This used to really help out with Fastpass+ planning strategies. However, last year Disney made a change – they made it so rider switch was only available for an hour or two after the first parent rode. You can check out those changes here (the post was for Disneyland but the same system applied at Disney World).
I had no reason to think rider switch was operating differently until I exchanged some texts with a friend who I helped out with a trip this week. I knew he had a 10:25 AM Flight of Passage Fastpass+ reservation and he planned to get a rider switch. What surprised me was when he texted me at 3:30 PM saying he was just then using his rider switch – way longer than an hour or two after he asked for the rider switch!
So, for the time being at least, when you ask for a rider switch you’re given a “Multiple Experiences” Fastpass+ reservation good until the end of the day. It’s what Backside of Magic likes to call an “anytime fastpass” – the dream. I asked my buddy to grab a screenshot of his rider switch for Soarin’. It indeed was a Multiple Experiences Fastpass+. Although he actually used it on Soarin’, maybe he could have used it on any ride?
He later did the same for Test Track. In fact, they grabbed the rider switch as his wife went into the standby line and she left the line five minutes later. Interestingly, although he received the rider switch in My Disney Experience immediately, it didn’t become active until an hour later. Perhaps it’s because she went through standby not Fastpass. Regardless, it again said “Multiple Experiences” on his app. The description at the bottom of his “Multiple Experiences” reservation was for Test Track, however.
So to summarize:
- At the very least, it seems that they are no longer giving out timed rider switches presently
- It seems like your rider switch is “timed” in the sense that it doesn’t appear on your My Disney Experience app until an hour after the other party rode
- It’s possible the rider switch might be able to be used on other rides?
Anyway, obviously this is just three datapoints from one family, so it’s tough to speculate that this is a permanent change. But my guess is it’s possible the timed rider switch was a little bit too complicated and Disney World has switched to this system. At the very least, this has happened twice on two rides in two different parks. If you have any other datapoints, I’d love to hear them!
Never miss a post! Subscribe below and receive an e-mail once a day for new posts from asthejoeflies. Also, follow our family adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Or, if you’re looking for a miles, points, and travel podcast, check out my podcast the Saverocity Observation Deck on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or this Patreon page!
Enjoying asthejoeflies and want to support the work? Check out our support page!