There are several different ways that guests to Walt Disney World can save time when waiting in lines at the theme parks. The new paid system, Genie+, with its separate individual lightning lanes, is one option. It replaced the previous FastPass system and can be worthwhile if you want to limit your wait time for the most popular attractions.
If you are going to consider using the Disney Genie+, you’ll need to budget for the extra expense. But, if you purchase Genie+, you may also want to add on individual Lightning Lanes for the most popular rides, like Rise of the Resistance. Even if you do add all of these things, you’ll still have to wait to get times for each ride.
For four very popular rides at Walt Disney World and eight at Disneyland single-rider lines are also available. The single rider option is available at no additional cost and can be a great way to save some time on your vacation.
These separate lines are a way for Walt Disney World and Disneyland to fill in empty seats in the ride vehicle. For instance, if the ride vehicle fits two across, but there are three in a party, a cast member will call someone from the single rider line to fill in the open seat. That way, the ride capacity is maximized and there are no single seats.
There is no limit to how many times you can use a single rider line, however, there are some caveats to consider before skipping the standby line to go into a single rider line. There is no guarantee that the single rider line will be shorter than the regular line. It all depends on how many people are needed from the single rider line. You’ll want to check the posted wait time before skipping the standby queue.
In addition, parties going into the single rider line together will most likely be split up. You can’t ask the ride operators to be kept together, because that defeats the purpose of the single rider line. You won’t want to go through the line with younger kids who won’t feel comfortable being seated by a stranger. Height and age requirements and other restrictions do apply. It is, however, an especially great alternative for solo travelers to Walt Disney World.
To find the single rider line for these four attractions at WDW and eight at DLR, look for a separate sign by the main entrance.
Disclosure: I’ve been on complimentary/discounted trips to Walt Disney World, but all opinions are my own. I’ve also paid my own way many times. This post contains affiliate links, and a click-through/purchase through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us.
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Single Rider Lines at Disney World and Disneyland Resort
There are currently four attractions offering single rider lines at Walt Disney World. There are two at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, one at Epcot, and one at Animal Kingdom. Currently, there are no attractions at the Magic Kingdom offering single rider lines.
At Disneyland Resort, there are eight rides – five at Disney’s California Adventure and three at Disneyland.
Rock N Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Rock N Roller Coaster is definitely my favorite ride at Walt Disney World. It is a thrill ride, with steep drops and upside-down loops. It’s the only ride at Walt Disney World that goes upside down.
The Rock N Roller Coaster does offer lightning lane, included as part of Genie+. But if you don’t purchase Genie+, or want to ride multiple times, the single rider line is a good option. The ride fits two side by side, so if you are called from the single rider line you’ll be seated by one stranger.
Test Track at Epcot
Test Track is one of several popular rides at Epcot. In this ride, you’ll build a SIM car, and then “test” it out through a variety of situations. It offers a lightning lane, like the other rides with single rider lines.
The Test Track vehicle fits six people, with three across each of two rows. Keep in mind that if you do go through the single rider line, you won’t be able to design your car – you’ll have to use whatever the other party has built. I don’t find the car designing process to be too compelling, so it never is a big deal for me to miss it.
Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest is another thrilling Walt Disney World roller coaster. While it doesn’t go upside down, it does go both backward and very fast.
Expedition Everest offers both a lightning lane and a single rider line. The ride accommodates two riders side by side, like the Rock N Roller Coaster. So, you’ll always be seated with a stranger.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort
The newest attraction to offer a single rider line is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The ride vehicle accommodates six, with two in each row.
When you ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, you’ll be given a different “role” which gives you your “assignment” for the ride. There are three options – pilot, gunner, and engineer. Pilot is the best, but you will likely be given the engineer role if you go through the single rider line. I don’t think this is reason enough to wait in a long standby line, but it is important to know.
Goofy’s Sky School, Disney’s California Adventure
This fun, family-friendly ride is an excellent alternative to scarier coasters. However, it can be tricky because younger kids won’t want to be alone on the ride. So the single rider line is best for families with older kids.
Incredicoaster, Disney’s California Adventure
My favorite ride at Disneyland is the Incredicoaster, a fast, outdoor coaster that goes outside down. If you want to save time on riding it, the single-rider line is a great option. It has two seats side by side, so you’ll be called to fill in when there’s already a single person in the row.
Web Slingers, Disney’s California Adventure
This brand-new attraction, located in Disney’s California Adventure, also offers an individual Lightning Lane. You can save time and money by choosing the single rider line.
The vehicle fits four people, but keep in mind that you’ll be playing against whoever you are with. So if you want to play against your family/friends, it’s best to choose the individual Lighting Lane or the standby line.
Grizzly River Run, Disney’s California Adventure
Cool off on a hot day on Grizzly River Run. On especially hot days, the line can be long and the single rider line is a great option. It can be fun to ride with your own group, but if you just want to cool off, it’s a great way to save time.
Matterhorn Bobsleds, Disneyland
This classic Disney ride isn’t the most popular coaster, but it is iconic. Save time in line by choosing the single rider line. This ride is a single row, so you won’t be seated directly next to a stranger.
Radiator Springs Racers, Disney’s California Adventure
This single-rider line, in my option, is the best single-rider line in both resorts. Radiator Springs Racers is extremely popular, and also has a paid individual Lightning Lane. We used the single rider line first thing in the morning to have only a five-minute wait time, rather than 60. The cars fit three across, so single riders are often needed to fill in the row.
Splash Mountain, Disneyland Resort
Surprisingly, only Splash Mountain at Disneyland (not Walt Disney World), offers a single-rider line. This is still a very popular ride, so it’s a good option for single rider if you want to save time.
Have you used a single rider line?
Thursday 28th of July 2022
I must correct the article's statement that single riders on Epcot's Test Track don't get to design their cars. There are design consoles in the single rider line. My best friend and I almost always use the single-rider line for this attraction. (Curiously, we almost always end up being put in the same car, just not seated side by side.) We design our cars in line, tap our Magic Bands or annual pass cards as we board our cars, and our vehicles show up on the results screens all through the ride, and at the end. The article seems to suggest that each ride vehicle can have only one design, when, in fact, all six riders in one vehicle can have individual designs.
Thursday 28th of July 2022
Thank you for the information and for your comment!