BREAKING: Walt Disney World Switching to Digital Rider Switch Pass (or Baby Swap) at Attractions to Combat Fraud

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

In continuation of Disney’s effort to enter the digital age in all aspects of their theme park operations, the “Rider Switch Pass”, sometimes referred to as “baby” or “child swap” by some, will be going digital later this month at Walt Disney World.

The Rider Switch Pass is currently available at select Walt Disney World theme park attractions that feature a height requirement. This process is in place to allow families with children under the height requirements a chance to ride while a family member waits with the child outside. One person gets a rider switch pass, joins and waits in the standby queue, and when they get off of the ride, they then take over child duties while the other family member uses the pass to join the FastPass+ return line and avoid waiting basically twice for the ride. It’s a simple system that’s worked (debatably) well for years.

By the end of June, this process will switch to a digital rider switch pass, basically scanning a guest’s MagicBand or media card to add it to their entitlements. All of the guests who will be riding in the party of three that will use the FastPass+ queue will have to have the entitlement on their account to enter. The major changes here are that the entitlement is going digital, removing the Cast Member physically checking a printed ticket, as well as the Rider Switch Pass now only being valid for a certain length of time on the day issued (previously valid for up to an entire month). Guests will also now be unable to hold more than one rider switch pass at a time.

These old rider switch passes are easily sold on eBay or Craigslist (in fact, the picture above is from a recent eBay listing), even though the paper says not for sale on the bottom.

Cast Members are currently being trained for this upcoming digital conversion and should be fully trained within the upcoming weeks for a full rollout by the end of June 2018 should all go according to plan.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jason Diffendal
Admin
Jason Diffendal

It seems like Disney brought this on themselves by making the paper passes valid for a month. A day or two would be sufficient.

Standard Staples
Guest
Standard Staples

The odd part is they already issue date specific swaps for 7 Dwarfs and FoP, presumable due to demand.

Must have been a cheap and easy upgrade within their system.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Test Track, too, as I so surprisingly found out too late…

Mark
Guest
Mark

Interesting ramifications.

I don’t see why they are not allowing more than one rider swap pass at a time. Having to juggle schedules with little children means that you don’t always get time as a family for a mother and father to go back to back before another fast pass is scheduled.

Also, any word if you can have a fast pass for a ride and a child swap for the same ride at the same time?

I feel sorry for those who learn of this between scheduling fastpasses and arriving at the parks.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Assuming it works the same as Disneyland’s version, which has been up pretty much since MaxPass was introduced, here are the basics: You can have a FP and a Rider Swap for the same attraction. You can also have FPs for other attractions as well. If you return within the FP return window, the FP will be used before the Rider Swap pass. (occasionally the system will mess up and use the wrong one, just talk with the cast member at the attraction if this happens and they can fix it) If the remainder of your party is entering the… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

At Disneyland, assuming the entire party has FP, can a child riding with parent 1 get to ride again with parent 2?

Treyt3
Guest
Treyt3

What if one of the guests that are being “swapped” is 2 and can’t get a fast pass because they do not have a valid ticket media?

Marissa
Guest
Marissa

This is us. We have a 2-year-old who clearly can’t ride a bunch of rides. I booked my FPs on Memorial Day 60 days out. I got a FP for only me for FOP and planned on doing rider swap with my husband since that is was what Touring Plans and other sites recommended doing. All our other FPs have the both of us in the party and are rides our daughter can ride, but I am getting worried about our FOP now. I don’t mind the switch, but it would be better to do before people have made their… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

That’s a bummer.

Since you only need 1 FP, you might be able to snag one one for FOP, especially on your park day.

Marissa
Guest
Marissa

We are trying every day (and multiple times haha)! I am hoping we can RD and go straight there and swap that way if anything.

Matt
Guest
Matt

The “one FP for a swap” doesn’t always work anymore anyways. We tried that for Seven Dwarfs and they said the waiting party had to have FPs and be scanned right then. Most of the time that didn’t happen (one other time on Everest), but it was always a little risky to bank on that working. We knew it could fail at anytime, so we were okay with it. Hope you’re able to get one. I never tried day of for FoP, but I was generally surprised by how much you could get on the day of if you kept… Read more »

Beth
Guest
Beth

People ruin everything by taking advantage of a nice perk. They always try to beat the system and it’s wrong. Selling them on EBay? Really? I’m glad Disney has stepped up and out a stop to it.

Danielle
Guest
Danielle

Will you be able to ride the ride with your children or will you have to ride alone?

Mark
Guest
Mark

Tom,

Will someone be able to get and use a rider swap pass if they have a fastpass for the same attraction later that day?

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

I agree with the previous comment of not being able to hold more than one being a problem – also, the potential time limit is difficult as well. Having to immediately re-ride the ride with the other parent swapping in can be really difficult, both because of schedules with other Fastpass+’s or because of dining reservations, etc. One big reason though is that it’s very difficult to make the child who can’t ride have to wait through 2 rides. We already have difficulties with waiting once, and have to find something else to do while the other parent and child… Read more »

marc
Guest
marc

Also, you have to be in the line to get scanned to use rider switch which means the other parent will have to lug small child/baby into the line to get scanned then walk back to waiting area. this is a terrible idea and will results in countless meltdowns.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Exactly – we actually very much avoided bringing her up to the entrance with us when doing the swap. We’d have her way back with the other parent and just kind of quickly wave at the Cast Member asking where we were, then quickly move on to something else. We were strongly avoiding bringing her up to a ride entrance to only tell her, “Nope, you’re not riding this one.” She’s tiny for a 4-year-old (hasn’t even been on the growth charts since she was a few months old), but she certainly acts her age – meltdowns and all. We… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

I totally agree with all this. It would be nice if they could take advantage of this opportunity to make things better by going digital. Using the old rider swap system could also be a strategic pain, since you might have to lug your kids near the ride entrance so that the CM can see their screaming faces before giving you the lanyard. On the other hand, some CM’s will just hand you one without seeing any party, which is convenient if you aren’t lying, but opens things up to the potential for abuse. (This also doesn’t really help much,… Read more »

JS
Guest
JS

They could easily do this and not have the pass expire the same day. There have been MANY times where we were unable to use the rider swap pass immediately, or even that day, often because the Fast Pass or SB waits were too long to ride it back to back.

I am totally ok with this, but since its going digital there is no real reason to make the return window any more narrow than it is already.

Kat
Guest
Kat

We used this system happily last year, since my husband and I have a nearly two year old. Planned to use it again in Sept. The ones I remember having only said it was valid for a day? Or maybe it was good for the next day? I don’t recall it being for multiple days, I just thought that was how it worked that it needed to be used the same day. The loophole that I noticed though is that they will give you a rider swap even if you are going through fastpass. So say I could get three… Read more »

Swap User
Guest
Swap User

The expiration date on the swap depends on the ride. Our Mine Train swap expired the same day. The Speedway was good through the end of the month.

This is disappointing, as I like to give them to people if we’re not able to use them. For instance, due to time limitations we weren’t able to use a swap for Flight of Passage. It was really nice being able to share with a family heading to the standby line.

Jason Hocker
Guest
Jason Hocker

I didn’t know how the passes worked before. Could I have asked for a child swap, got in standby, then left, and walked right into the fastpass line?

Matt
Guest
Matt

They give you a lanyard at the entrance when you ask for child swap and then you trade that for the actual pass once you’re almost to getting on the ride.

Jason Hocker
Guest
Jason Hocker

Why are people worried about holding more than one at a time? I am understanding the scenario is that I am getting in line. My wife is watching our kids while I go do this awesome ride. Then when I am done, I will watch the small ones while my wife gets through the ride as quick as possible. Seems like if we try that with multiple rides at a time, that isn’t fair. Its nice that Disney allows the waiting to go on outside the compact queues.

Paisley
Guest
Paisley

Spot on, was wondering the same!

Paisleyk
Guest
Paisleyk

Thank you, was wondering this myself.

Mark
Guest
Mark

More than one rider swap pass adds convenience to allow flexibility in touring schedules that get very limited by touring with a young child. Flipping the question around – what abuse is solved by not having more than 1 rider swap pass that isn’t already solved by having everyone check in to the ride and scanning the rider swapper bands? Example Lets say parent 1 rides Splash Mountain at 10am and Big Thunder at 12pm. Does it matter to the theme park or other guests if parent 2 rides Splash or Big Thunder at 10:30am, 1pm, or 7pm? But it… Read more »

Call me naive
Guest
Call me naive

Th abuse of your partner waiting long in line for a long ride while you bounce around with your child getting him fast passes for other rides. Then you get to fast pass that long ride

Swap User
Guest
Swap User

That’s not how it works. The other parent has to take the older child on the ride to get a swap (with the smaller child also present or visible nearby). Parent 2 can’t just go up with a young child and request a swap.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Yes, someone has to wait in most of the line before they actually get the swap pass. When you have small kids, you want to try to front load the day with things for them to do, before they’re cranky and either napping or having meltdowns. That’s a good time to be using the swap passes, since nobody is going to get enjoyment at that time of going on a ride all together. You might want to, say, go on Splash Mountain earlier when the line is shorter, or for using your FPs more strategically, and you can swing the… Read more »

Carrie
Guest
Carrie

I just visited Disneyland in California last week, and they already have this system digitized. My husband and I did the parent swap many times over the 3 days we were there. When hubby and my 2 older children went through the entrance, we told the operator we were swapping and they scanned my ticket and my 2 older kids tickets and we were able to go through the fast pass line when we swapped. We also used it when we had fast passes already. My husband loaded all of our tickets onto the Disneyland app on his phone, and… Read more »

DNL1960
Guest
DNL1960

To resolve a customer support issue, Disney World granted me several Multiple Use fast passes. One for each day that I have a ticket. I was told by Disney to be careful not to show up early for a fast pass reservation, the system will use the multiple use pass and not the reserved fast pass. So I go to an attraction, acquire my rider swap pass, and upon my return to use the rider swap pass, will the new fast pass system know to grab my rider swap pass and not my Multiple Use pass? Our current fast pass… Read more »

Hilly
Guest
Hilly

OR, maybe, if you are parents bringing a 2 year old child to Disney World, you just have to realize there are some sacrifices you are going to have to make… maybe getting on an “adult” ride is going to be a little more inconvenient for you.. too bad. If you didn’t realize that before going to WDW with a 2 year old, then, for lack of a better phrase, you’re an idiot.

Katy
Guest
Katy

Well, I would think the purpose of rider swap is to make it possible for parents of small children to be able to enjoy Disney World’s rides and experiences together! Pixie dust to any parent/grandparent who is able to go on a Disney vacation and share such a magical trip with a young ones! Looking forward to our next trip with our small grandchildren in September!!

Treyt3
Guest
Treyt3

This is a ridiculous and unrealistic comment.

Bob
Guest
Bob

So would this scenario still work? Using Hollywood Studios…2 older kids with one kid under 2.

9:30am….
Adult 1(plus kid 1 and 2) – Has FP+ for TSM. Goes on ride.
Adult 2 gets rider swap, and goes on with Kid 1 and 2 right after they get back (or within the time frame)

11am
Adult 2 – goes on RnRC with FP+
Adult 1 – gets a rider swap and goes on with Kid 1 and 2 right after

This scenario worked prior for tier A rides. Will this still be possible after the change?

Nick
Guest
Nick

In your scenario it sounds like it is possible, but both adults, as well as the kids who are riding, have to have fp+ for the rides. Otherwise you are fastpassing people who didn’t originally have that entitlement.

Elizabeth Paige
Guest
Elizabeth Paige

If both parents have to have a fastpass now, then what is the point of child swap? I made our fp reservations in May for our July trip (two parents and one child) and we used our 3 fp strategically, two used on ride our child would like and the third used on a roller coaster (my husband getting a different one than me) at each park. I understand that those of you that go without children feel cheated by this system and I myself thought it was too good to be true too but touring plans and everyone else… Read more »

Elizabeth Paige
Guest
Elizabeth Paige

Ok, I looked on Disney Parks Mom’s website and they state that only the first parent needs a fastpass, the second parent does not; however, they must be present when first parent is entering fastpass queue and all bands scanned (parent one and two in my case —only have one child who doesn’t meet height requirement). However long the standby line is (if its 55 minutes for example) is how long (minus 5 minutes) the second parent must wait before riding. So, the second parent can go back to the line after 50 minutes have passed and go through fastpass… Read more »