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. They 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 Disney California Adventure could save you hours of queuing time every day, meaning you can fit in more fun and more rides!
Since the introduction of Genie+, the number of available rides offering the service has been restricted, but it’s still a great option and covers some of the biggest rides in the Parks.
What Are Single 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 get 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 Single 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 is no one in front, other times are 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 short-lived friendships! You can still queue with your partner, family, or group, it is just when you get to the front of the queue that 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 your 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 their 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 differently 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.
Genie+ and Single Rider
If you can get a Genie+ return time for a 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 when you need to choose between two popular rides to book your Genie+ 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 Genie+. 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 a Single Rider with your Genie+ 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 parks use the Single Rider Lines and if you should make use of them or not. Always check this against the Official List at the Disney site in case they have snuck some changes in without us noticing!
Disneyland California Singer Rider Lines
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 ourselves together. However, It splits opinions 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 up front for the best view, and 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 a single rider is a great way to skip the queue and not waste a precious Genie+ 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!
Should we use the single rider line? – The Single Rider line is a great way to beat the Queues on Smugglers Run. However, it is not an ideal choice as the ride as it is a heavily themed ride and the Actual Ride Experience involves a lot of teamwork. Working together as a group as you perform your tasks in the cockpit. The Ride Queue is also heavily themed and it’s just a great experience to enjoy as a group.
The BIG upside to the Single Rider Queue is for repeat rides. As no Ride on Smugglers Run is the same and there are multiple different “Jobs” one ride is not enough. So we advise using the Genie+ Or Standby for your main ride and then coming back for more in the Single Rider.
The 6-berth cockpits mean single riders are regularly called but there will be no choice of position meaning you will probably be an “engineer” and no one wants to be an engineer.
Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance – NO SINGLE RIDERS
There is no single ride queue for this ride. But as it’s the most popular ride at the resort right now we just wanted to mention it. There are a few other ways to get on without waiting in line for 2 hours and we detail those here.
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! One of its 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 tended to say no to the single rider,
However with the Advent of Genie+ and the Separate Inivisual Lightning Lanes, costing up to $18 each and wait times nudging 2 hours at very busy times, the Single Rider has taken on a whole new level of appeal!
The fact the Cars are 3×3 means 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 Standby Lines and avoid the Individual Fee.
Should we use the single rider line? – River Rapids is 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 about the logic of having a single rider on what is essentially a Family 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 get 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 Genie+ selection, 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 quickly most of the time, however, we do see times when the queue grinds to a halt and it’s actually quicker in the Standby Line!
Should we use the single rider line? – Thankfully Disney has relented and now includes Web-Slingers on the Genie+ line-up. It was pretty terrible that this was an individual lightning lane as it really penalized families.
Now you can bag a Genie+ Return time this is the best way to go. This ride is most fun when you are doing it together. However, Genie+ only works once a day, so if you want to get back and beat your score the Single Rider line is the way to go!
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 in 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, For Any other Ride in the Resort, you either need to bag a Genie+, lighting lane, or otherwise just join the Standby 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.