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Major Change Coming to Child Swap at Disney World

Major Change Coming to Child Swap at Disney World

The rider switch (child swap) benefit at Disney World is about to undergo some major changes, and it’s not good. Here are the details.

Rider Switch

Child swap/rider switch is a free service Disney offers to Guests while visiting the theme parks. It ensures you won’t have to wait in the same line twice if someone in your party cannot or does not want to ride an attraction with the rest of the group.

Most commonly, rider swap is used for families with young children who do no meet the height requirement for various attractions. It gives the parents and the older children the opportunity to still ride it.

Credit: Disney

It can also be used for families where a child, who is tall enough but not old enough to sit out alone, chooses not to board. There are other circumstances that may require a group to use rider swap, but the two instances I just mentioned are the main reasons.

One adult will sit out with the child while everyone else rides the attraction. Then, once everyone gets off the ride, that adult who sat out gets the chance to experience the attraction without waiting in line.

Read more about rider switch HERE.

Rider Switch Changes

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Currently, the person that sat out the first time can bring two extra Guests on the attraction. This makes for a total of three guests. This is a great opportunity for Guests to ride again.

Now, here is where the big change comes in. Beginning July 16, Disney World will only allow one other Guest on the attraction with the person who sat out. That means now only TWO Guests can ride, not three. This change applies to ALL Disney World attractions.

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Instead of the 3 total Guests that can ride using the Rider Swap benefit, only 2 will be able to ride beginning July 16.

I think this is major news for two reasons. First, it requires a bit more planning/headache for families with multiple children. In a family of 5 (one child being too little to ride), it’s easy to allow the two older kids to ride again. Now, families will have to choose who rides the second time.

Second, this change is likely making way for FastPass changes that are coming. We know things are brewing behind the scenes at Disney despite any official announcements.

Read our most recent news regrading FastPass HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Do you utilize child swap at Disney World? What do you think of this news? Will it make park touring easier or harder for you? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

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B Fam

Sunday 20th of March 2022

Same thing happened to me. Had no idea the policy was different than Universal or that we couldn’t just wait in line with all of the kids to reach a child swap room next to the boarding area like at Universal. My husband had a minor medical emergency and had to leave, so my very mature *just* under 14 (apparently Disney’s “magic” age) son wound up waiting outside with his 1-year-old brother in a stroller so that his other brother and sister could get on the ride with me. The 1-year-old started crying while we were in there and apparently some busy-bodies nearly called the cops even though kids my son’s age legally baby-sit ALL of the time, and as he told said busy-bodies, “News flash! Babies cry sometimes! He has food and water right here and a clean diaper. I’m in direct contact with our mom, who’s right over there...” Security showed up and — much to the disappointment of the busy-bodies who were obviously hoping to see me carried away in handcuffs — didn’t seem overly concerned. Still very nerve-wrecking and completely avoidable if only they operated like Universal.


Saturday 10th of July 2021

Or, one child can go with the first parent, and the second child go with the second parent. Let's not overcomplicate things here people.

Scott C.

Saturday 10th of July 2021

Remember that WALT DISNEY started the amusement parks so that general public could afford getting in! He remembered not having $$ to get into Park while growing up. I noticed that Disney changed when Eisner took over the reins and moved away from the family--friendly atmosphere to how much they could get out of those in the parks.


Saturday 10th of July 2021

Walt started the modern theme park. Amusement parks already existed. He began Disneyland to have something fun that parents and kids could do together. I'm the 1950's it required a middle class income to afford to actually do the rides one time. Admission was one fee and rides were tiered and cost more for the best experiences. Overall WDW has been a decent value for a week long vacation.

Sheryl Donnell (@Schorsch727)

Saturday 10th of July 2021

Amen. They are making changes that are destroying the experience. They will be closing parks soon because they are losing all the magic. It will become just another place where whoever spends the most money gets the Disney experience, the rest of us will get a crappy Six Flagg version. Why bother going at all then? Disney in Japan is now charging $40 per Fast Pass Ride per person. Adding hundreds of dollars a day to get on rides will just fill the parks with spoiled people who think they can buy whatever they want, screw everyone else. Who sees the Magic there?

Sheryl Donnell (@Schorsch727)

Friday 9th of July 2021

Exactly right! Whenever we used baby swap we never considered asking for anyone who already rode to ride again. We just split up, even if it meant adults rode alone and passed the child through. It is ridiculous expect to ride twice while waiting in line onve.

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