The parks are packed. All you want to do is get on Radiator Springs Racers, but the wait is two hours long. Do you pack up your expectations and take another whirl on the Golden Zephyr, or do you wait to see your anthropomorphic automobile friends?
Depending on your situation, you might be able to skip a chunk of the line without paying for Genie+ or Lightning Lane!
Some rides around the Disney parks have a single rider option. If you are for some reason visiting the parks alone like I am as I write this, you have nothing holding you back. If you’re with your family or friends, single rider still might be an option.
Why does Disney do this?
Most ride vehicles are designed to have a few people ride at a time. When parties board, Disney Cast Members show off their skills, packing every vehicle to the brim with people. A well-packed ride vehicle means faster lines for everybody! Problem is, not all groups match the amount of seats on a ride vehicle.
Radiator Springs Racers is a prime example. Each row accommodates three guests. Not every group comes in multiples of three. A single rider line exists so that Cast Members can fill every space, ensuring that one of the resort’s most popular attractions is always operating at peak efficiency.
How does this work?
Single rider lines are pretty simple. If a ride has one, the entrance is usually pretty well marked. Just hop into that queue and you are all set.
The line usually moves a little differently than the regular one. Not every vehicle will need a single rider, so you may move in fits and starts. Be patient! You are almost guaranteed to come out on top.
Some lines will require you carry a ticket to differentiate you from the other guests, but most will not. When you get to the front, a Cast Member will fit you in whenever another spot opens up.
When is this a good idea?
If you have been on a ride before and do not care about getting your friends, family, or significant other in the ride photo, go for it! Keep in mind that at the end of the queue experience, you will almost definitely have to split up your group. If you want to ride together, you will have to wait in the regular line.
Radiator Springs Racers remains the gold standard in my mind. The odd number of seats makes it a perfect choice for single riders. Single riders sometimes even win the ride race over guests using paid Lightning Lane reservations!
Another big win is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. The downside here is, you miss out on the fun preshow with Hondo Ohnaka and Chewie. The single rider entrance is on the left side of the queue on both coasts. Slightly themed corridors lead to stairwells that let out at the point where riders get their positions assigned within the Falcon. If wait times are 45 minutes or more, you can usually get onto the Falcon in ten minutes or less!
When is this not a great idea?
In my experience, the only single rider line that doesn’t work is the Incredicoaster. That ride has a very high capacity and its cars hold a large amount of people, even if they are two per row. Most trains fill up.
The high capacity means that line is rarely longer than half an hour. Single rider waits are usually about the same, but are never posted. Don’t be fooled! You will wait in a line and then get admitted to the exit portion of the ride. Then you will board an elevator to head into the central loading area with all of the standard line guests.
It’s a lot longer process than it looks. If the regular queue time is less than 30 minutes, just choose the regular line. You’ll be fine.
Below is a handy list of rides with single rider lines. If you want to experience an amazing Disney attraction with your family or friends, this method is probably not for you. But if you are alone or in a small group, give single rider lines a try the next time you are in the parks!
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
- Splash Mountain
Disney California Adventure
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Radiator Springs Racers
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Walt Disney World
- Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – Hollywood Studios
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run – Hollywood Studios
- Test Track – EPCOT