Please welcome to the blog Melissa Hoyt! She will be posting on Wednesdays. Learn more about her and all of the writers on the Our Writers page.
Disney Theme Parks are supposed to be the most magical places on Earth for your family to visit, but sometimes with little ones in tow you just have to say “no” to some of the rides that you might find a bit more thrilling than taking a spin on Dumbo. During my time in Disney I have heard numerous families complaining about having to forgo a ride because a member is too small, or even debating about who would get the pleasure of riding on Splash Mountain while the other parent waits at the exit. Waiting in an hour line on two separate occasions just isn’t realistic or practical if you want to experience all of the magic that Disney has to offer. So what can you do to ensure that everyone has the best vacation experience while at the parks? The solution is simple – Baby Swap.
Baby Swap is a service that is offered by Disney that was created in order to accommodate the situations in which a family of thrill seekers has an adventurer who isn’t able to ride. This service is offered at every major thrill ride or ride with a height requirement (excluding Autopia due to the fact that there are only height restrictions for riding alone). Essentially, Baby Swap eliminates the need for your party to wait in line twice just so everyone can ride. By using this, everyone will get the chance to ride without having to worry about what to do with your little ones. Thrill seeking parents – this one’s for you!
So, how does this whole Baby Swap thing work? Basically, the Baby Swap pass makes it so your party only has to wait in line once for a ride, even while some of the family stays with the child(ren) who cannot ride. Whoever wants to ride first in your party waits in line for the ride while the others find a comfortable spot to sit. When the first round of riders exit the ride, those who were waiting can take their Baby Swap pass and walk up the exit to hop right onto the ride. No waiting in line for the second group, just a quick and easy entrance onto the ride. The coolest part? – If you have a party of 5 people and 3 people ride the first time, 3 will be able to ride the second time, even if that means they can ride again. This is awesome for the families with multiple children as both parents can experience the ride with them.
Fortunately, the Baby Swap service is relatively simple for you to use. When you come to the entrance of a ride that has a height requirement that cannot be fulfilled or that is deemed too scary for a member of your party, look for the nearest Disney Cast Member who is working on the ride. Usually, there will be one or two Cast Members posted by the entrance, so they shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Explain to them your situation and tell them that you are interested in using their Baby Swap service for this ride. It is important that you make sure all members of your party, even those who will not be able to ride, are present so that they can know you aren’t trying to cheat the system. The Cast Member will issue you a pass and explain how the system works. One half of your party waits by the exit, the other half waits in line for the ride. Then, when they come off, those who had to wait (or those who choose to ride again) can walk up the EXIT with their pass and get a chance to ride without wasting time waiting in line for a second time.
I hope that this little tip can make the Disney experience a little more magical for every type of rider in your family. Good luck and happy riding!
– Melissa Hoyt