Child Swap at Disney World
Several years ago, we used Child Swap at Universal Studios with much success. We were able to go on the various thrill rides while someone stayed behind with a then 2.5 year old Lily. The beauty of child swap is that your entire party only has to wait in a ride line once. After the first person rides the ride, he or she swaps with person in the group who stayed behind with the small child or baby. That person then gets right on the ride, no waiting.
We have heard for years that Child Swap at Disney was easy and especially great when you have at least one kid old enough (tall enough) for some rides but others in your party who are too young. On previous trips to Disney, we never used Child Swap. We were kept plenty busy going on the rides that we could all go on, or (last year) someone would take Lily on a ride while the other person stayed behind with baby (then 5 months old) Landon. We never bothered to try Child Swap.
This year was a bit different. Lily has reached the exciting milestone of being tall enough for rides that she has never been able to ride. Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Soarin’ and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train were all on the list this year. Bob wanted to ride them all, I wanted to go on the latter three.
Landon was 16 months old during our Disney Trip this year. While he could join us on many family favorites (Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, etc) he was definitely too small to go on all of the rides that Lily wanted to try. It was time to try Child Swap!
Here’s how simple it is to do a child swap at Disney. Whoever is riding the ride first heads to the line (standby or FastPass, does not matter, Child Swap can be done in either line). When you get to the cast member at the ride entrance tell them that you would like to do a child swap. (So for our scenario, Bob or I would take Lily on the ride while the other person wait back with Landon. At one of the rides (Mine Train) the Cast Member would not give us the Rider Swap pass until they confirmed that we did, indeed, have a smaller child who could not ride. On other rides, they just handed us the pass when we asked. You carry the pass with you through the line and when you get to the attendant that actually lets you on the ride, you trade the pass for a paper ticket. This ticket is what the other adult uses to enter the FastPass entrance, not having to wait in the standby line.)
The fun bonus of Child Swap is that your kid gets to ride the ride TWICE, once with each parent/adult!
It’s also worth noting – I know of some families that use Child Swap to get their kid two rides, each parent taking a turn (not having a baby or other reason to ride separately). This would not have worked for us on Mine Train because the Cast Members said they needed a visual (ie Landon) in order for us to get the pass. Not sure if that is the norm. We swapped on at least 3 other rides in Magic Kingdom and Epcot and were never asked for proof of a baby. LOL
The Child Swap worked so well and we found ourselves enjoying more rides than on any previous trip. And as for Landon? No worries – he had a blast too. He rode plenty of rides, got kissed by a Princess, and ate more treats than he cares to remember. :)
Have you used Rider Swap before at Disney World? What was your experience?