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Disney's Single Rider Lines: How to Make the Most of Them

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Touring
by Karen Chen, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 11/16/2008

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Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Touring  

The first time I discovered the Single Rider Line, I was with my dad at Epcot. We had a late start on the morning, which is typical for my sleep addicted family, but my dad was anxious to try to ride Test Track. My mom and husband volunteered to entertain the children while we rode, so we were in a hurry. We hustled over to Future World, out of breath but excited. Once we got to the FASTPASS machines we were disappointed to see the FASTPASSes were long gone, and the Standby line was already over an hour.

Then my dad noticed the Single Rider Line, and we decided to give it a shot. The Single Rider Line takes people who agree to ride alone and fills the empty seats that are left over from groups who are coming in from the FASTPASS and Standby lines. My dad and I waited together in the specially marked line and in about 15 minutes we got to board our car. We didn't get to sit together, but we lucked out and were put in the same vehicle, laughing and screaming as we zoomed around. I could not believe that we were already done with the ride and back with the rest of the family before the Standby riders were even beginning their adventure around the track!

A couple of years later, my children were old enough to go on the big rides. Sadly, I am the only early bird in my family, so we are most often faced with long lines at Disney. The single rider line has saved us from huge waits many times. However, the kids were a little nervous to try it the first time. My youngest was eight the first time we tried to go as a family. After I showed the kids how long we would have to wait if we rode together, they were convinced.

We have worked out a simple routine. First, we scope out the ride and make sure we know where the exit is. Then we pick out a very specific meeting spot that is a little bit away from the exit. Sometimes it takes a few cycles of the ride before we all get through. It is no fun to wait too close to the exit where people flood out the door. Luckily, Disney has very thoughtfully placed gift shops near the exits, so it is easy to pick an air conditioned spot where you can watch the door and browse the souvenirs at the same time.

Historical photomerges of Disney's Hollywood Studios photo
Historical photomerges of Disney's Hollywood Studios

Historical photomerges of Disney's Hollywood Studios facades and architectural influences in Hollywood / Los Angeles. Images submitted by FinePhotoGraphics.com for the PassPorter newsletter. - photo by Jennifer Marx

When everyone is clear on where to meet up, we all go into the Single Rider Line. We get to stay together in the line until we get close to the boarding area. Once it is time to ride, one adult goes first, followed by the children, then the second adult brings up the rear. As soon as we get off the ride we all meet up at our special spot.

I would only recommend sending children through the Single Rider Line if they are comfortable with the idea. They should be familiar with the ride, or have an adventurous personality. We also instruct our kids to be very polite to the person they are sitting with. We tell them to give a nice smile and hello to greet their neighbor.

There is an unexpected benefit to riding single. We all come back with a story about the people we sat next to. The last time we rode Expedition Everest, I sat next to a petite, blonde, German woman who began repeatedly shouting, "Mein Gott!" as soon as we began our ascent. The faster we went the louder she shouted, "MEIN GOTT, MEIN GOTT!" When the ride came to a stop, the lady smiled sheepishly at me, smoothed down her hair, and joined the rest of her family who were clueless about her two minutes of pure terror.

My daughter was entertained by a flamboyant gentleman who knew everything about Everest, and screamed shrilly the entire ride. My son was a little intimidated by the Goth-looking teen sprouting multiple piercings, who didn't say a word, but also screamed shrilly the entire ride.

Once we met up we had a great time telling each other about our unique experiences, and that is something that just doesn't happen we all ride together. Riding separately actually enriched our time together!

Single Rider Lines are available on many (not all) major attractions although this varies due to crowd levels.

Peevys Polar Pipeline Photomerge photo
Peevys Polar Pipeline Photomerge

Peevys Polar Pipeline: Historical photomerges of Disney's Hollywood Studios facades and architectural influences in Hollywood / Los Angeles. Images submitted by FinePhotoGraphics.com for the PassPorter newsletter. Peevy’s Polar Pipeline refreshments at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and its architectural influence; Fire Station No. 1, 2230 Pasadena Avenue, Lincoln Heights, CA. The archival portion of this image is courtesy of the Los Angeles Fire Department, LAFire.com - photo by Jennifer Marx

About the Author:
Karen Chen is a Stay At Home Mother and admitted Disneyphile.

Related Links:
Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot - A World Showcase Favorite last updated 2/24/2011
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom - A Plethora of Processions last updated 01/22/2009
Epcot's World Showcase - Pavilions vs. The "Real" World last updated 01/29/2009
Recent Changes to Disneyland - Part 1 last updated 02/12/2009
The Seas With Nemo And Friends - In Love With The Living Seas last updated 4/23/2009

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Updated 11/16/2008 - Article #110 

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