Does anyone here use parent swap while visiting parks? I'm not sure exactly how many parks use it, but the general idea is this:
Parent A waits in line for a ride. When at the platform Parent A presents the crew with some sort of certificate from the park. Then after riding, Parent A goes to wait with their small child, while Parent B who has been waiting outside of the line with the child, goes in the ride exit to ride.
It sounds like a good idea, but do people use it? Secondly, it seems there are some weird differences in implementation as well. At KI for example, there is often an area on the ride platform where the crew will "lock up" your small children while you go for a ride (e.g. no "swapping" involved). This sort of thing just seems wrong to me, like a pet check for kids. I'm thinking specifically about Son of Beast, but I think other rides must do the same type thing.
Finally, what about homosexual couples? Think the park would allow them to use parent swap as well? I would think so, although it is probably not a common request.
At Holiday World, "parent" swapping is common and applies to any adult that is with the child. You do not need any form of certification from the park. You just show up at the ride with the child in tow.
I doubt anyone cares about the gender or even if the adults are the actual parents. The point is that there's a kid in the party and someone has to watch it while the others ride.
My wife and I have used it at CP, Kings Island, and Dollywood...we've never had any problems at all, and typically get on pretty quick (ever notice the lack of people in the single-rider line at CP?).
Every park has its own little rules...just make sure to check when you arrive. It works great!
I just know that "Rider Switches" get abused more often than not by guests visiting Disney parks. All anyone needs to do is ask the host at the entrance to the attraction for a Rider Switch and they are given what is essentially a Fastpass valid for any time during the day for up to three people.
Summer/Fall 2004: Escape From Pompeii @ BGE
Summer 2006, 2007 and 2008: Wicked Twister, Millennium Force, Skyride, maXair, Disaster Transport and Magnum XL-200 @ CP
Fall/Winter 2007: Rock 'n' Rollercoaster @ DHS
When the kiddos were small, we used them, but pretty infrequently. The way we visit amusement parks, we don't much wait in lines even without them, so they don't really end up saving a whole ton of time.
Other parks where we've used "Parent Swap" works exactly how Pagodadescribed it. (And no, there's is no discrimination) However, HolidayWorld seems to be the only park that I've encountered that uses the "BabyToss" policy, which I think is the worst I've ever encountered. Great park, but an awful policy. Here's my experience on Legend and Voyage and why we won't ever try the policy again...
Holiday World's Queues aren't very wide. Everyone must wait in line, including the child. Try to tow an 18-month-old through the line and asking him to behave and not whack anyone else in line sometime. When it comes time to ride. Parent #1 rides while Parent #2 waits in the same row with child. Now when the train returns to the station, before Parent #1 departs, Parent #2 must toss the kid over the train to Parent #1. Parent #2 then rides. Now if there are multiple trains running on a ride, then you need to ask for two rides to queue in front of you, otherwise Parent #2 doesn't have Parent #1 to toss the child to. This was the case in the middle of July.
It's a simple policy. It ensures fairness in that everyone must wait in line and there is no chance of abuse. I've heard all the explanations already, but it doesn't take away that it's still an awful policy.
My friends have used it at Cedar Point, and as the single adult third wheel in the group, I actually benefit too. The pass allows the second parent to bring another person back in with them, so I get to ride twice (or I can stay with the kid after the swap and my friends can ride together). Both parents need not be present to obtain the pass, so it could just be a mother and aunt, or a father and his male life partner, using the pass.
Sounds like most parks have decent policies in place. Has anyone seen the situation I described at KI? On Son of Beast the little "kiddie prison" is a gated section of chainlink fence on the exit side of the platform. I just wondered if that was part of 'parent swap' or something else entirely.
I think that Hulk at IOA has a "kiddy prison".
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