Last week, I booked a family vacation to Walt Disney World for February 2013. This year we weren’t able to go because of a difficult pregnancy and premature baby boy.
My little guy is healthy and thriving, but still too little to make our yearly trip from New England to Florida.
Needless to say, this upcoming trip will be a little different for us because the family dynamic has changed. I have children at three very different stages: teenager, elementary-school-aged and infant.
So what will I do about having a baby this time around with two older boys? My husband and I will have to take turns going on rides. And the best part is that Disney offers a great perk for families traveling with babies that you may not know about. It is called a Rider Switch Pass, also known as a Baby Swap Pass.
What is a Rider Switch Pass and how does it work? It is a Fast Pass that allows a parent with a baby to go on a ride (that the baby cannot go on) after the rest of her family has gone through the line. A Disney Cast Member will not automatically give it to you, you must ask for it. Although not all rides will offer this perk and everything is subject to change, some rides will offer it to families traveling with children who do not meet the ride requirements not just families with infants.
Seven years ago, we learned about this from another Disney Park guest. We first asked for it at Test Track. The Disney Cast Member wanted to see the baby and gave my husband the pass at the beginning of the line; however, we learned that some rides like Expedition Everest will give it to you once you complete the ride. Once my husband and eldest son got off the ride, I entered the Fast Pass line with my eldest with the Rider Switch Pass.
This made a world of difference to our family because my husband and I were both able to enjoy the rides with our eldest son without having to wait in the regular lines. Fast Passes go very quickly for some rides and a Rider Switch Pass gives families an opportunity to spend less time waiting in lines and more time enjoying the parks.
Other benefits to the Rider Switch pass are that you can bring two other people with you, you don’t always have to use the pass immediately because some passes have future expiration dates and there is no particular time during the day that you must use it.
So, if you are traveling with a baby ask the Cast Members working the rides if they offer the Rider Switch Pass, A.K.A Baby Swap. If it’s available, you will be glad you did!
Liz Slater is the author of this article and has entered The Disney Moms writers contest. In her own words: I am a wife, mother, writer (although new to blogging) and a huge Disney fan. My family and I reside in southern New England. We visit Walt Disney World every year, with the exception of this year. Every trip allows us to learn something new and love to share it with others.