FastPass+ and Rider Switch are free services from Walt Disney World that allow visitors to reserve their spot in line in advance and switch places with another adult so that both can ride the ride without going to the back of the line. Read on to find out why you should take advantage of FastPass+ and Rider Switch if visiting the Disney Parks with your family.

How to Use Fastpasses and Rider Switch at Walt Disney World

How to Use Fastpasses and Rider Switch at Walt Disney World. Photo credit: Teresa Shaw / Working TravelingMom

Did you know there’s a way to beat the crowds and reserve experiences in advance – like character encounters, popular rides and shows – at Walt Disney World? Then, if you’re visiting with little ones, you can take turns with another adult to ride a ride – without having to go to the back of the line. FastPass+ and Rider Switch are both free services offered with park admission. Read on to find out how they work and why you should use DestinationReviewthem.

How to Use FastPasses at Walt Disney World

To use FastPass+ feature, first you need to register online at MyDIsneyExperience and link your park admission. Then you can choose three FastPass+ experiences per day from the website or via the MyDisneyExperience mobile app. You choose the experience and time, and then check in at that attraction’s FastPass+ entrance at the indicated time. When you arrive, go to the FastPass+ line entrance and scan your MagicBand or card. Each person you’re with will need to scan their MagicBand.Try to schedule these as early as possible, as some of the more popular rides and experiences might have limited availability. It’s also helpful to schedule early to ensure you get on the rides you really want to ride, especially if you have limited time in the parks, such as when you’re combining a business trip with a family vacation or other travel.

Fastpass and rider switch

If you’re not the type to plan ahead or you change your plans once you’ve arrived, you can cancel or change your selections via the mobile app on the MyDisneyExperience website, or at your hotel lobby’s concierge if you are staying at a Disney property. In addition, there are FastPass+ kiosks in the Disney parks; however, you can only use the kiosks to make changes or reservations in the park in which the kiosk is located.

After you’ve used up your three FastPasses, you can go to a kiosk at the park and make another selection, again and again, until the park closes.

MagicBands at Disney World.

Using MagicBands at Disney. Photo credit: Angela Walker

It’s worth noting that, while most rides give a one-hour arrival window, some shows and other events might require a more narrow time frame for you to arrive.

TIP: The MyDisneyExperience app is free and allows you to make or change FastPass+ reservations. In addition, it has handy interactive maps of the Disney parks – helpful for those of us with directional challenges or if you want to see how far a walk it is from Dinoland to the Kilamanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom – and if there are restrooms along the way.

How to Use Rider Switch at Walt Disney World

When you first arrive at the ride, ask a Cast Member if Rider Switch is an option. If it is, get in line with your group and obtain a Rider Switch pass. For most rides, the non-rider will be sent to a designated area to wait. The rider then rides the ride. After the ride ends, the two adults meet up and switch places so that the adult who waited then hands over the Rider Switch pass and is able to board the ride without having to go to the end of the line.

Rider Switch also works if you’re traveling with a child too small for the ride. “We’ve used it many times at Disneyland,” says Julie Bigboy, SoCal TravelingMom. “We used the Rider Switch program for Space Mountain. My two-year old son was too small to ride but my family and I waited in line together. Once at the front, my husband and son stepped aside and waited while I rode with my two older children. When I returned, he handed the two-year old to me and my husband was able to jump onto the ride with the older kids. The Rider Switch worked quite well for our family.”

Rider Switch is available on certain attractions at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.

While you’re in the parks, consider capturing the experience with a wearable camera. During my visit to Disney World for the TravelingMom writers’ retreat we were given Panasonic A500 wearable cameras to try out. Below is Orange County TravelingMom Amy Barseghian’s firsthand experience on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

Use the Free Fastpass and Rider Switch Services at Walt Disney World

Have you ever used Rider Switch? Share your experience in the comments section below!

Note: This post was sponsored by Mazda.