One of the hottest pieces of Disney news I’ve heard recently is about FASTPASS return times being enforced at Walt Disney World starting in March. Certainly this is going to put a dent into our tried and true touring methods and it’s going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out. But, outside of FASTPASS, there is another option that might help some of you, so I thought I would share it with you today.
A few years ago, Colorado Dad and I were on a solo trip to Disneyland and we were standing at the entrance trying to decide if we wanted to wait in line or get a FASTPASS for a much later return. As we were discussing it, I looked over and saw this sign
“Single Riders?” We went over to investigate and at that point learned about one of our favorite tips for busy park touring.
On a few busy attractions (the list is below), there are “Single Rider lines” which basically allow people who are riding “solo” to go through a separate entrance for a typically quicker wait time. Why does Disney do this? Well, have you ever heard an attraction CM call out to people waiting in line to see if there are any singles or couples waiting? When they do that, they’re trying to be as efficient in loading a ride vehicle as possible, which means they want to fill every seat if they can. Providing a single rider line makes that whole process easier because the CMs can just pick individual people out of that line to fill in space as necessary.
So, this is pretty cool, but before you run out to your nearest Disney park and start searching for those single rider lines, there are a few things you should know:
- “Single” means one – While it’s perfectly fine for a group touring together to use the single rider line, just know that you WILL be split up. And, please, don’t get upset with the CM when this happens
- The Single Rider Line doesn’t guarantee faster access – While it’s true that riding solo will typically get you onto the attraction faster, it is not guaranteed. Sometimes it just works out that there are correct guest numbers in the regular line and singles aren’t needed. Be patient.
- Check-in with the CMs before entering the Single Rider Line – Single Rider Lines are handled slightly differently for each attraction, so make sure you check in with the Cast Member at the entrance to the attraction to find out what to do. Many times you’ll be handed a “Single Rider” card that you will need to give a Cast Member further along – don’t lose it.
- Don’t confuse “Baby Swap” with “Single Rider” – If you travel to Disney with kids, you may have heard of the “baby swap” option, allowing you all to stand in line and then “swap” adults so that everyone gets to ride without having to stand in line twice. “Single Rider” is completely different and should not be used as a “baby swap” option unless you’re comfortable with your “baby” riding by themselves
Ok, so with those tips out of the way, here’s the list of attractions that currently have single rider lines. While I haven’t seen changes to these in a while, you never know when something’s going to change, so it’s best to check when you’re at the park.
Disneyland - Indiana Jones Adventure and Splash Mountain
Disney California Adventure - California Screamin’, Goofy’s Sky School, Grizzly River Run and Soarin’
Disney’s Animal Kingdom - Expedition Everest
Disney’s Hollywood Studios - Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
EPCOT - Test Track (at least until April/May when it closes for a re-imagining, which you can learn about on the Disney Parks Blog)
Colorado Dad and I have used this technique quite a bit in the years since we first learned about it. Sometimes we use it when we’re traveling solo and have limited time to tour the parks, but we’ve also used it quite a bit when we’re traveling with the kids and neither one of them has any desire to ride (like in the case of Splash Mountain, which Colorado Boy has declared he won’t go on until he’s 21 )