When you go to Walt Disney World it's difficult to not spend most of your time standing in lines. Especially now, with the lack of FastPass+, you just have no other choice but to wait in the standby line for every attraction. While every attraction at Disney World has a line for FastPass+, that space is basically only used now for disabled people who can't stand in long lines or for the Rider Switch-- which is designed to allow people in the same party to go on a ride when there is somebody in their party who can't or chooses not to go without having to wait in line twice. Previously, it was possible for some members of a party to use this system to go on a ride twice in a row, but a rule change has seemingly closed that loophole.
Rider Switch is a simple system available on most rides at Disney World and Disneyland that are either thrill rides that some guests may not want to go on, or have significant height requirements. They're frequently used by families with small children who aren't tall enough to ride. The way it's designed to work, one parent gets in line for the ride while the other waits outside with the child. Then, after the first guest is finished on the ride, they take over watching the kid while the other parent goes on the ride. Guest two gets to jump in the FastPass+ line, so as not to have to go through the entire line twice.
But in order to make it so that the two parties that are split up don't have to go on a ride alone, previous Rider Switch rules stated that a total of three people could be part of the second party that gets to skip the line. If only one person actually waited for party number one, that meant that two people could get in line with the first group and also join the person in the second group, effectively going on the same ride twice while only waiting in line once.
Disneyland's Rider Switch rules still specify that three people can be part of group number two. However, Walt Disney World recently changed its rules, which now state...
I reached out to Walt Disney World for comment on exactly what the word "limited" means here, but they have not responded. But the fact that the rule no longer specifies that other people can join party two if they didn't actually wait, it seems clear that the plan is to reduce if not completely eliminate the number of people who can go on the ride twice.
More than likely the plan here is simply to give Disney World some flexibility in what they allow and what they don't. Cast Members at the ride may have some freedom to determine the number of people they will allow in group two. If a group of three total adults is trying to ride, it would make sense to let one person be part of both groups, that way neither group has to ride alone. But in larger groups there's no reason that at least two people can't wait and just ride together after the first group.
As somebody who has been to Disney World with a toddler and a very large group of friends, I absolutely used this service and we absolutely used it to its full capabilities, meaning that many people ended up riding different rides twice in a row. For the most part we were encouraged by Cast Members to do so, it wasn't really "cheating" it was the way the system worked. But apparently not anymore.
Disneyland Resort may change its rule as well in the future, we'll have to wait and see. Either way, it's good to know what the rules are before you make your next trip, because they do change.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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