The Disneyland Rider Switch option is a little talked about feature for guests with children to experience rides.
However, it really is worth learning how it works. It makes things so much easier for families with kids to enjoy the attractions with height requirements.
If you are visiting the Disneyland parks with a baby or young child it can be restricted as there are some attractions that the little ones just can’t experience.
However, Disney has thought of the answer of course. Well, it has if there are at least two of you with the child. You can take advantage of Rider Swap so that the whole family can experience the rides that they want to enjoy.
Although Lightning Lanes and Single Rider lanes get all the attention, the Disneyland Rider Swap or Rider Switch system may be the best advantage you have if you are traveling as adults with small children.
Sometimes called Disneyland Child Swap, Baby Swap, or Rider Swap, the reality is not really a swap in the traditional sense.
Rider Switch is the option you can exercise if everyone in your group can’t ride an attraction at once because of a child who does not meet the height requirement or otherwise won’t ride.
Just because your child is tall enough to go on Space Mountain doesn’t necessarily mean that she wants to.
So to prevent you from missing out on the attractions, Rider Switch was created.
Here is everything you need to know about how to use the Disneyland Rider Switch option and which rides at Disneyland support this service.
Attractions at Disneyland Park that Support Rider Switch
There are currently 9 attractions at Disneyland that offer the Rider Switch service.
Here is a list of the Disneyland Child Swap rides showing the height requirements for each attraction.
- Autopia- 32 inches or taller
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- 40 inches or taller
- Gadget’s Go Coaster- 35 inches or taller
- Grizzly River Run- 42 inches or taller
- Indiana Jones Adventure- 46 inches or taller
- Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run– 38 inches or taller
- Matterhorn Bobsleds- 42 inches or taller
- Rise of the Resistance – 40 inches or taller
- Space Mountain- 40 inches or taller
- Splash Mountain- 40 inches or taller
- Star Tours – The Adventure Continues- 40 inches or taller
The Indiana Jones Adventure, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain all offer Rider Switch as an option on the west side of the park.
This is the same side of Disneyland where Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge sits, nestled between Frontierland and Fantasyland.
At Galaxy’s Edge, there are two attractions: Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance. Both of these offer Rider Switch as well.
There is an additional Star Wars attraction, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (opened before the new era of Disney attractions).
This is one of two rides that flank the entrance to Tomorrowland but it’s the only one of the two that offers Rider Switch.
The other is Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, which has no height requirement and therefore is not a participating Rider Switch attraction.
Other Tomorrowland attractions offering Rider switch include Space Mountain and Autopia.
As the only Fantasyland attraction with a height requirement, the Matterhorn Bobsleds also offers Rider Switch.
Keep in mind that all other attractions are open to anybody. There are no restrictions preventing younger guests from riding.
For that reason, Rider Switch is not available there even if a child decides not to ride for other reasons.
Attractions at California Adventure That Offer Rider Switch
Disney’s California Adventure is the more adult park of the two that make up the Disneyland Resort.
So it’s not much of a surprise that this park has 10 Rider Switch eligible locations instead of just 9.
- Goofy’s Sky School – 42 inches or taller
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! – 40 inches or taller
- Incredicoaster – 48 inches or taller
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters – 32 inches or taller
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree – 32 inches or taller
- Radiator Springs Racers – 40 inches or taller
- Silly Symphony Swings – 40 inches or taller
- Soarin’ Around the World – 40 inches or taller
Like the rides that offer Disneyland Rider Switch, California Adventure’s Rider Switch rides all have height requirements that prevent some younger riders from experiencing them.
These include Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout at Avengers Campus.
All three Cars Land attractions: Radiator Springs Racers; Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree offer Rider Switch as well.
In the Grizzly Peak area of the park, Soarin’ Around the World and Grizzly River Run offer Rider Switch service.
As you reach Paradise Gardens and the Pixar Pier areas there are four attractions with Rider Switch. Jumpin’ Jellyfish near The Little Mermaid is one and the Silly Symphony Swings is two.
Tucked away in a pocket of Paradise Gardens is Goofy’s Sky School, a crazy mouse-style roller coaster themed to Goofy and based on his history of instructional shorts.
Finally, at Pixar Pier, there is the Incredicoaster, the Incredibles-themed rollercoaster formerly known as California Screamin’.
All of these attractions have height requirements and therefore also offer Rider Switch as an option.
How to Use the Rider Swap Service
To use the Rider Switch option at Disneyland, just approach the queue for the attraction as you normally would.
Let the Cast Member greeter at the front of the attraction know that you want to do a Rider Switch.
The cast member will then split your group into two.
The first party will ride while the second party of supervising guests will stay behind outside the attraction with the non-riding guest(s).
The second party will have their tickets scanned before they go to a designated waiting area. Not all the attractions have a waiting area.
You can go and explore other areas of the park while you are waiting if you want to.
The first party waits to ride the attraction in the stand-by lane. Unless you have Genie + and can use the Lightning Lane.
The number of supervising guests is not limited to one. There can be up to three people in the party that are riding the attraction.
I know, this is where it gets a bit confusing. Let’s use an example.
The group visiting Disneyland is Mom, Dad, Child 1 aged 14, Child 2 aged 10, and their toddler sibling.
The toddler can’t go on the ride. So Dad stays behind at first to look after her. Child 1 and 2 rides with Mom.
Mom and Dad change places so now Mom is looking after the toddler. Child 1 and 2 can ride again, this time with Dad.
Disneyland Child Switch and Single Rider
The process works best when you are merely switching one for one.
This is because you can make use of Single Rider where available.
Single Rider is a separate queue that is sometimes used at popular attractions to fill in available spaces and increase efficiency, thereby reducing the wait times.
Single Riders can get through the line more quickly because Disney Cast members use them to fill spots rather than split up a group that wants to ride together.
Once the first riders are through with the ride, they can take over as the supervising party for the non-rider.
The waiting party will return to the attraction entrance, get their tickets scanned again, and then go through the appropriate entrance to bypass the regular line.
Disneyland Single Rider Attractions
Three attractions at Disneyland offer Single Rider in addition to Rider Switch. These are Matterhorn Bobsleds, Splash Mountain, and Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
At Disney’s California Adventure, there are more Single Rider attractions available. The Incredicoaster, Goofy’s Sky School, Grizzly River Run, and Radiator Springs Racers all allow Single Rider Service.
Single Rider is also available at WEBSLINGERS: A Spider-man Adventure at The Avenger’s Campus. It does not offer Rider Switch, however, since there is no minimum height requirement.
Remember, you are getting priority in order to fill an empty space. So immediate boarding and choice of seat are not guaranteed.
List of all the Disneyland and California Rides That Have a Single Rider Line
Which Disneyland and California Adventure Rides Have A Single Rider Line?
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Splash Mountain
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Space Mountain
- California Screamin’
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
Remember that you will not be seated with your party when you use Single Rider – so there is no point using it if you are two or more guests trying to use it to get on the rides more quickly. You will be seated separately.
It can be a good option though when you combine it with Disneyland Child Swap as the line may be considerably shorter than the standby line.
Child Swap and Lightning Lanes
You can use Child Swap with a Lightning Lane if you all have Genie+.
It is essential that you have all purchased this feature or it won’t work to get you in the Lightning Lane twice.
Disneyland Rider Swap and Rise of the Resistance
Rise of the Resistance is not an attraction available on Genie+.
To access the Lightning Lane for this ride you will have to make a separate purchase.
You can still use the Disneyland Rider Switch system whether you use the Standby entrance or the Lightning Lane reservation.
The method is the same, just arrive at the attraction entrance on the south side of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and tell the cast member there that you want to do a Rider Switch.
Want to Know More About Disneyland?
The more you know before your Disneyland visit, the better your experience will be. That is why we have written lots of guides to help you make the most of your visit to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.
Here are some that you may like:
Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.