Single Rider lines are one of the best inventions in theme parks in recent years. We all hate queueing and a single rider line can get you onto rides with long queue lines in a fraction of the original queue length. The almost feel like cheating! Like you are skipping the queue. But they are completely legit and totally awesome.
This article takes a look at which rides at Disneyland Resort have Single Rider Lines, what they are and how best to use them. Using Single Rider Lines at Disneyland California and Dinsey California Adventure could save you hours of queuing time every day, meaning you can fit in more fun and more rides!
What Are Sigle Rider Lines?
Single Rider Lines are separate queue lines designed for single riders to fill in odd seats on rides in order to increase throughput on the ride. Naturally, people want to ride together in groups so when a group of say three gets on a ride with 4 seats per car, there is a spare set. The couple behind does not want to get split up and the chance of there being a single rider anywhere close in the queue is unlikely. So that seat is wasted.
The single rider line is a special queue, where you queue up in the knowledge you will be filling one of those seats. The pay-off? These queues are usually MUCH shorter than the general standby line.
What’s the Catch?
It can all feel too good to be true. You simply bypass the 1-hour+ queue line and ger nearly straight onto the ride? There must be a catch? Well sort of. You have absolutely no say in where you sit or who with. That is about the only downside.
Some rides are best enjoyed with friends and family. So sitting alone with a group of strangers is no fun at all. But other rides are so intense you really don’t care who is next to you and simply get all the thrills from the ride itself. Most of the rides that use Single Rider fall into that category so you should definitely consider it to save precious queueing time.
The other downside is the Singel rider line time is not calculated or displayed so really you have no idea how long you will wait. It can be longer than the actual Standby line and there is NO way of knowing. So it is a bit of a gamble. We have seen it take hours and be very frustrating. Other times we have experienced walk-ons. We have got to the front of the queue and there literally be no one n front, other times 5-10 Mins on rides with 90 min queues!
On the whole, it is normally the latter a short wait that is significantly less than standby. If it’s going to be awful, there is normally a clue, if the queue is a few hundred long it’s going to take a while to find spare seats, so consider backing out and trying later.
Should We Use Single Rider Lines?
Remember it is only the ride you will be alone for, and even then you are not alone, it’s a chance to make new, very shortlived friendships! You can still queue with your partner, family or group, it is just when you get to the front of the queue the Cast member will assign you a free seat.
You will not be together, but often in the same car, train at worst one or two trains apart. So there are really very few downsides. Some rides suit this better than others, so we give our thoughts on the individual rides below. But on the whole, we definitely think almost everyone should give the single rider lines a shot.
They serve their purpose perfectly and throughput on the ride is greatly increased as single seats are no longer wasted. It is very frustrating queueing for hours and seeing many cars with no riders in them!
Of Course, if you really want to ride as a group or you kid needs you to be with them, or you just want to experience something together then avoid like the plague, you will be split up, Disney makes a real point of it, otherwise, it’s just authorized queue skipping!
What are Buddy Pass Lines?
Buddy Pass Lines are similar but slightly different. It is still a system that is designed to fill empty seats but with the Buddy Pass, you can still take a friend! This is great as it is used on more family orientated rides that would really suck if you had to ride alone and obviously young kids cannot be separated from parents. The system is used on rides where there are often 2 spare seats in the ride vehicle so buddies can easily fill the empty spaces. It works a little different from Singer Rider as you need to get a physical pass from the cast member operating the ride.
Once at the Standby line entrance simply ask the Cast Member if you can get a buddy pass and they will either provide you with one or tell you the Buddy Pass is not operating at this time. The System does not always run and there is no set pattern, but normally on busy days when the queue is getting long, they will open up the Buddy Pass Line so make sure you check.
The only two rides currently operating Buddy Pass are Toy Story Midway Mania and Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue, Both in Disney California Adventure.
FastPass/MaxPass and Single Rider
If you can get a FastPass or MaxPass return time for ta ride then you do not really need to use the single rider line at all. However, if the parks are busy there may come a time where you need to choose between two popular rides to book your Fast/MaxPass time.
Say for instance you want to ride both Soarin’ and Radiator Springs Racers, and time is running out and you may only be able to bag a single FastPass? Which do you choose? Well, it’s simple, go for Soarin and jump in the Single Rider Line for Radiator Springs!
Basically always Prioritise rides that DO NOT offer single Rider with your Fast/Max Pass selections! Some rides, such as Peter Pan and Dumbo do not offer FastPass or Single Rider. For these, you will HAVE to queue, and the queues are LONG. So it makes sense to ensure you have the minimum queueing time for all other rides!
Which Rides have Single Rider
Let’s take a look at which rides in which park use the Single Rider Lines and if you should make use of them or not? Always check this against the Official List at Disney site incase they have snuck some changes in without us noticing!
Disneyland California Singer Rider Lines
Should we use the single rider line? – The ride is a good choice for single riders. The ride is dark and quite intense, there is little time to interact with others as the ride bucks and throws you around the track. We “tend” to hit this part of the park early, when queues are low and as such do not need to use the single rider line, but if your plan is different it makes a good choice. You will miss some of the great theming but you get enough of it to get the just of the theme!
The Ride Vehicle has rows of 4 so any odd number group will allow a single rider on. So the Single rider line moves pretty fast. This also means you will get a side seat meaning the best view!
Should we use the single rider line? – In most instances, this is not a good choice. Splash Mountain is a slow well-themed boat ride for most of the ride. It is great to enjoy together. However, It splits opinion and some people just don’t want to get wet. So if your party is splitting up anyway, it makes perfect sense.
The Ride Vehicle is a six-person “log” with individual seats. Odd number groups trigger a single rider. However, you are often placed upfront for the best view, best ride experience, but most drenched!
Should we use the single rider line? – We are not the biggest fans of the Bobsled, and as such quite happy to not queue for the ride at all so single rider is a great way to skip the queue and not waste a precious FastPass/MaxPass slot. As the ride is so violent anyone with back pain or susceptibility to harsh jerky rides can sit it out and their companion jump on still with the single rider.
The 3×3 ride vehicles mean the single rider line moves FAST!
Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run
Should we use the single rider line? – For the time being there is NO FastPass feature on the Smugglers run! So Single Rider is your only option to avoid the long queues. It is not ideal as the ride is very riding as a group as you perform your “Jobs” and the highly themed queue line is something to experience. The Single Rider is best reserved for repeat rides!
The 6 berth cockpits mean single riders are regularly called but there will be no choice on position meaning you will probably be “engineer” and no one wants to be an engineer.
Should we use the single rider line? – On the whole no. This is one of the best rides in the park and is well worthy of a FastPass/MaxPass use. The whole experience works well as a group as you climb in the dark towards the first drop. The Single rider works best for repeat rides. When you want another go straight away! Also if you miss the FastPass and the queues are silly, single Rider may be your only option other than a 90min wait!
Should we use the single rider line? – We really enjoy Star Tours but with Galaxies Edge opening the ride feels a little superfluous to requirements. We don’t recommend spending a long time queueing for the ride when there are much better things going on in Galaxy’s edge. The single rider line is a great way to get your Star Tours fix, without wasting a fast pass slot or spending a long time in the queue. That said the queue for star tours is not too long and it one of the best queue lines in Disneyland.
The Ride is not particularly suited to single riders as only one or two get into each “show” and will usually have the worst seats.
Disney California Adventure Single Rider Lines
Should we use the single rider line? – We think this is the best ride in the park, Maybe even the resort (Rise Of The Resistance Review Pending!). One of it’s best elements is the Fun Family Friendly competitive nature. As the cars race each other along the tracks, cheers, jeers, and interaction with the other cars really make this ride. These sorts of things are always best enjoyed with friends and family. Riding alone doesn’t cut it. Although you will make new friends.
For this reason, we tend to say no to the single rider, The best plan is FastPass/MaxPass. Get there early, secure your return time and enjoy the ride for what it is. However, if you miss the FastPass return slots, and the queue is getting up to 90Min+ suddenly that Single Rider Queue is looking mighty tempting!
The fact the Cars are 3×3 mean there are loads of single riders allowed on. A single rider gets on nearly every car and the queue moves fast. It is one of the longest single-rider queues however as people try to bypass one of DCA’s longest queues.
Should we use the single rider line? – River Rapids are a real family affair and we don’t like the idea of riding alone. Like Splash Mountain, these work great if your companion refuses to get wet but otherwise, you really want to ride the rapids in a group for maximum fun. It is always hilarious when a family member gets fully drenched and you avoid it completely!
The Single Rider takeup is fairly random but on the whole, it is a really fast queue.
Should we use the single rider line? – We are not sure the logic of having single rider on what is essentially a Fmailit ride? Goofy’s Sky School is one ride the target audience will want to ride together.
However a small demographic, namely Rollercoaster Nerds, will definitely want to jump on a historic Wild Mouse Design Coaster. If you understand why, then you are the coaster Nerd, if not I wouldn’t worry. The Single Rider lets us geeks et on without having to queue for 30-40 mins with the kids.
Should we use the single rider line? – Big Thrill Rides are the Perfect Choice for Single Riders. The Fast and thrilling nature of the ride means it doesn’t really matter who is next to you. Save your MaxPass, Jump in the single rider queue and enjoy this fantastic coaster in much less time.
Ride vehicles are 2 seats across so any odd number group triggers a Single rider and the Queue moves pretty quick.
Toy Story Midway Mania – Buddy Pass
Should we use the Buddy Pass line? – Single Rider would not work here as the whole point of the ride is working as a team, and competing with friends and family. There is just no point of going alone. That’s why the Buddy system is so perfect.
With the Buddy pass, you still get to ride with your companion and have all the fun of competing and working together but without the queue. Definitely ask if you can get a buddy pass, even if there are more than two (you will need two or more Passes) of you as you can still compare scores.
Monster Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue – Buddy Pass
Should we use the Buddy Pass line? – Again Just like Midway Mania, the ride is not worth riding alone. Yes, it’s a fun and charming look around Monstropolis but the fun comes from spotting things from the Movie, pointing out your favorite parts and generally laughing along together. On your own, it would be weird.
The Buddy pass means you still have a companion, but far less queue.
That’s all folks, Any other Ride in the Resort you either need to bag a Fastpass/MaxPass or otherwise just join the line.
Check the Disneyland Site Before You Go!
Unfortunately, Disney keeps changing things. They can add Single Rider or take it away with very little warning and fanfare. As such things can change without us noticing so always take a look at the Official Disneyland sites list. And remember Single rider lines can open and close during the day based on cast availability and queue lines. So even if it’s listed on the Disneyland site does not mean it will definitely be open. The good news is if it is not, it is usually because the regular queue is so short it does not matter.
Have Your Say
Have you tried the Single Rider Lines? Did they help save you time? Did they ruin or help the experience? Let us know your thoughts and experience in the comments below. Got any questions about the Single Rider Lines then again just fire away in the comments.