Disneyland Fast Passes & Rider Swap 101

This topic for me is now the Holy Grail of information that I would LOVE to share with parents who are taking their child(ren) to Disneyland. We just recently went with extended family and had an absolute blast because EVERYONE got to ride on the rides they wanted.. how you ask? Simple…FAST PASSES & PARENT SWAP.

If you have never heard of these two wonderful things than you are in luck.. because my post today is going to be all about these.

What in the world is a fast pass?

A fast pass is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!! No really though.. this will save you so much time when you are wanting to ride some of the more popular rides. It is 100% FREE and easy to do. You take your park ticket, (the one you have scanned going into Disneyland and California Adventure), you find the fast pass kiosk for the ride you are wanting and you insert your ticket into the machine. It will pop out a fast pass ticket which will show you the name of the ride, the time frame you have to come back and when you are able to get another fast pass.  Than you go ride other rides, eat or shop and come back to that ride bewteen the time frame you are given. There will be a Fast Pass sign entrance where you will show your pass to the park employee and you will skip a huge portion of the standby line. Literally AMAZING!

Below is an example of how a fast pass looks!


Sweeet. So which Disneyland rides have fast passes?

  1. HyperSpace Mountain
  2. Star Tours
  3. Buzz lightyear astro blasters
  4. Matterhorn
  5. Roger rabbits toon spin
  6. Thunder mountain railroad
  7. Splash mountain
  8. Indian Jones

Which California Adventure rides have fast passes?

  1. California Screaming
  2. Goofy’s Sky School
  3. Grizzly River Run
  4. Toy Story- Midway Mania
  5. Radiator Springs Racers
  6. World of color (Get these ASAP when the park opens because they run out super quick).
  7. Soaring Around the World


If you find yourself in the park, wanting to try fast passes but still confused as to what to do.. just ask a cast member. They are typically extremely helpful when explaining this and will even walk you through it sometimes.


So what is Parent Swap/Rider Switch??

If you have ever been to an amusement park with children than you know things don’t always go according to plan. From personal experience, sometimes my son is too tired or scared of a ride that I will not get to ride on it because I have no one to watch him or lines are too long. BUT NOT ANYMORE!!! My cousin and his wife taught us about parent swap this last trip and it was incredibly helpful. All you do is go up to the ride that you are wanting to use the parent swap on (usually you have to bring the child up to show that you really are a parent) and they will hand the one parent a ticket that shows it is parent swap. That person will go ride the ride and than when they are done, they will come back with the pass and hand it to you. Than you get to skip a huge chunk of the line (like fast pass) and be able to ride quicker than waiting in the long regular line.

An example of what it might look like is below..

rider switch pass.jpg

For example….

Say I wanted to ride Thunder Mountain Railroad but my son doesn’t reach the height requirements. I would ask my mom, cousin, brother, whoever to get me a parent swap pass. They would get one, ride the ride and than come back to watch my son so I could go ride it.

The cool thing too is the parent swap pass allows up to 3 people on that pass, so technically if I had someone to watch my son and 2 more people who wanted to go again.. than they could. Another cool thing is that there is no time frame so you could actually go back later and use it if you wanted to.

It definitely helps alleviate stress for parents who usually don’t get to ride on things because they have small children, sleeping kids, or kids that don’t want to ride that ride.



Woohoo! So there you go. Next time you are at the parks.. make sure to check it out.. try fast pass and parent swap’s until your heart is content!!



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I am a SAHM and single mother to my handsome little devil of a son. We live in Phoenix,Arizona and are surrounded by tons of family and friends. I currently am going to school to receive my associates in Administration of Justice studies. In our spare time we love to travel, read books, swim, visit kid friendly places and watch Disney movies.

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