Fast Pass Selections/Rider Swap (First trip with a toddler)

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Frances Procaccio, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Frances Procaccio

    Frances Procaccio Earning My Ears

    Aug 8, 2017
    We will be going on our first trip with a 23 month old (she turns 2 while we're there), this coming February. What advice does anyone have about which attractions to fast pass and their experiences with rider swap? I was planning to pick two fast passes a day for rides that she can come on with us and then maybe one that she can't do, Space Mountain for example, and using rider swap for it but any input would be appreciated. I have never done rider swap before. I'm an avid Disney Parks person so I'm well aware of which rides she can and cannot go on but this is my first trip with a toddler and this will be my DH first trip since he was a child himself. Thank you in advance! :)
  2. FallsChurchDad

    FallsChurchDad Earning My Ears

    Aug 13, 2014
    We did something like this on our first "family" trip a few years ago, when our oldest was still below 40 inches. It was a very fun trip.

    We spent most of our time in MK and AK. If anything, we probably over-planned the trip in terms of FP strategies. Thanks to rider swap, you can basically have double FPs for the height requirement rides if you want them. My wife and I still had fun riding a few things by ourselves, but it was more fun to stick together as a family. I think we gave away about 15 rider swaps by the end of our week-long trip.

    We had one minor "disaster" when my wife was stuck in Soarin' for an hour, with no cell service inside. Meanwhile, I was having fun with our two little boys, riding Living with the Land, then running around Innoventions and meeting Chip & Dale, but she was stressed over the time it was taking with a ride malfunction.

    I would relax and not push stuff too hard - for example, even if your daughter is over 35 inches, you might still want to skip Barnstormer. There will be plenty of time for thrill rides (that are better than Barnstormer) when the kids are older. I would use FPs on the big rides for the parents that you won't be riding together for a long time (so 44" and 48" reqs, like RNRC and Everest), and then use other FPs for character meets and just a few prime rides, like Peter Pan, Safaris, TSM, etc. I might skip the experiences that take awhile, like Soarin' and Test Track - even with a FP, those take over 30 minutes from entry to exit, even without any unusual delays - since you'll be able to do them with your daughter on the next trip. Instead, just let your daughter lead the way around World Showcase.

    If we had it to do over again, the things I would "rope drop" at that stage would be the Boneyard, the Dumbo play area, any fun character meets without FP (such as Chewbacca), the Seas aquarium and Turtle Talk, and the Pangani trail. All of those are much more fun (for both little ones and their parents!) with fewer people around.
    kboo likes this.
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  4. JEng711

    JEng711 Earning My Ears

    Sep 5, 2016
    Quick clarification question - so for rides that our toddler are too short for (like Big Thunder), we only need to get 1 FP and we can do rider swap *and the other parent will be able to go into the FP line* with that rider swap? Does my question make sense?

    For example, last Feb I got my husband and I EACH FPs for 7DMT, and we did rider swap. I'm inferring from your "basically have double FPs" line that I didn't need to get us each a FP?
  5. LongLiveRafiki

    LongLiveRafiki DIS Veteran

    Feb 8, 2017
    There are two different ways you could do this.
    1) Get fastpasses for both adults for a ride. As soon as the fast pass window opens, Adult A rides with fast pass and asks for a rider swap while Adult B stays back with the toddler and uses the restroom, grabs a snack, rides something standby, etc. Then, Adult B rides with fast pass and asks for a rider swap while Adult A stays back with the toddler. Each adult gets to ride, plus you have two rider swaps good until the end of the month for 3 people each to enter the fast pass line. So each adult basically gets 2 fast passes, but is only actually using 1.

    2) Schedule fast pass for Adult A for height-restricted ride and they get a rider swap. Meanwhile, Adult B uses a fast pass for a no height ride and takes the toddler on that. Then, Adult B can ride the height-restricted ride later using the rider swap pass to get in the fast pass line while Adult A finds something else to do with the toddler. Each adult gets to ride the height-restricted ride once and Adult B also gets to go on a no-height ride with the toddler and each adult has only used one fastpass.

    We did a mixture of both on our trip. I'd recommend the same and basing it on whether 1 ride will be enough or if you might like to ride something a second time, as well as the location of the rides. For instance, the Pooh ride is right across from 7DMT so it's pretty convenient to split the fastpasses and have one adult take the toddler on Pooh while the other goes on 7DMT. With something like Splash Mtn or BTM though, there aren't any no-height rides nearby, but there is a nice play area for little ones. One of us got a fast pass for Splash and the other BTM and we took turns swapping out while kiddo played the whole time. For AK, I strongly suggest both of you getting a fast pass for FOP as it's definitely worth a second ride.

    My personal picks: (when there's 2 rides with a / between, it's one adult getting a fast pass for the first ride, 2nd adult for the 2nd ride)
    7DMT/ Pooh
    Peter Pan
    BTM or Splash (or 1 adult for each)
    4th option: Space/ Speedway or Buzz

    TT/Soarin (make sure to schedule these far enough apart as they each take a little while to go through and are a decent walk apart)
    Mission Space or Spaceship Earth
    Character meet

    Star Tours

  6. Frances Procaccio

    Frances Procaccio Earning My Ears

    Aug 8, 2017
    Thank you everyone for your input and thorough explanation of rider swap! We're planning two days at EPCOT, two days at MK, one day at AK and one day at HS. HS might even be a half day considering it is heavily under construction.
  7. Rmurphy005

    Rmurphy005 Mouseketeer

    Apr 29, 2012
    We will be in this same situation in January so this thread is very helpful!
    Frances Procaccio likes this.
  8. kboo

    kboo DIS Veteran

    Mar 10, 2014
    @LongLiveRafiki nailed it. I would add that now that our ODD is 6 and 47.5" and can ride most everything except RNRC, We all get FP so she can ride her favorite rides (Soarin, 7DMT, Star Tours and now FOP) twice.

    I'd also add that since the rider swap is good for up to 3 people, you can pixie dust 1-2 people (up to 2 if the other adult also has a FP and you're not taking a freeloading 6 year old on it) as well. For us, it's been as much fun as the ride itself. Last time we did it for Star Tours, 7DMT, and FOP.
  9. HR Mom

    HR Mom Earning My Ears

    Jul 13, 2017
    First trip in December and trying to determine how to do the rider swap, as one child will meet height and one won't. Am I understanding correctly that you check in the fast pass lane and ask for a child swap. If using a fast pass on the ride, both riders must have a fast pass. The next ride, the child of height and two adults can also go using the child swap in the fast pass lane without needing a fast pass. Just trying to get my arms around this.

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