Tips to Radiator Springs Racers: FastPass Tips, Rider Switch Pass, Etc.

Learn about Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass Tips, Rider Switch Pass, Single Rider Switch Pass and other tips so you can experience Radiator Springs Racers in Carsland at Disney California Adventure and other Disneyland rides without the long lines? We were able to ride Radiator Springs Racers in just 30 minutes instead of waiting over 2 hours during our previous trip to Disney.

I’d like to share with you my tips on How to Avoid the Long Lines at Radiators Springs Racers Ride in Carsland so you can maximize your trip to Disney California Adventure or even other Disney rides.

  • Book a Disney Resort Hotel to take Advantage of the Extra Magic Hour:

You can enjoy Disney California Adventure one full hour before the theme park open to the general public on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays if you book a Disney Resort Hotel. No Disney Resort Hotel for you? No worries, read the next tip.

  • Get to Disney California Adventure 35 minutes before the gates open and be the first ones at Radiators Springs Racers ride. But follow this tip with caution.

Disney California Adventure open their gates 30 minutes before their actual operating hours. We arrived at DCA at 7:20AM(opening was 8AM for that day). There were about 8 gates with 5 rows of families/groups in each gate already. Everyone was there for Radiator Springs Racers obviously.

By 7:30AM we were let in. But wait.. you cannot ride Radiators Springs Racers just yet. They will make you wait at Carthay Circle which is at the end of Buena Vista st. From the turnstiles to Carthay Circle, everyone was running.. young kids; young at heart; couples; parents with strollers.. it was a race. What is going on?!! Even if we were the third family or group to get inside DCA, by the end of our semi-short run to Carthay Circle where there’s a rope stopping you. We were already at about the 10th row. There’s no single file line by the way. They just bunch you up there.

By 8AM, you’ll hear a dramatic welcome over the speakers and an announcement not to run. So then the Disney staff will guide you to Carsland with a rope in front of the whole crowd. It’s like a parade. A chaotic parade. People were not running anymore, but then they were walking fast trying to get ahead of each other since there’s no single file line. I wish if they’d open 30 minutes early, they’d just let you line up on a first come first serve basis at Radiator Springs Racers instead. Coz’ by stopping people at Carthay Circle, the crowd now became so big(imagine how many people came in from 7:30-8AM. This setup can literally cause a stampede. I have yet to write to Disneyland about this.


Those on our left went to get their FastPass while the rest went straight to RCR. Everyone eventually had to merge to a single file line once we were at Carsland proper.

We went straight to the ride and we were given a Rider Switch Pass(explained in the next tips below) since our other child is too small for the ride.

The Radiator Springs Racers height requirement is 40″. And they are strict about this. Checking every small kid if they can ride Radiator Springs. While the hubby and our eldest rode, I waited on the side where there are benches and watched with amazement the unending stream of people wanting to ride RCR.

You’re probably wondering, if they will only let you walk straight to Radiator Springs Racers at 8(check your visit’s opening hours). Why not just get to DCA at 8. Well that’s because not a lot people know about the 30minutes early. So you can just imagine how many people you’re trying to get ahead of by 8AM, everyone will be at the gates by then already. You’ll think you’re already early, but you’re already looking at an hour wait by that time.

At 820AM, the waiting time to ride Radiator Springs Racers was already 70 minutes long. Then the hubby came exiting from the ride and said they literally walked to the car and our strategy worked! Yey! This tip works, but proceed with caution especially if you have small kids, put them on their strollers so they are safe during the walk from the turnstiles to Radiator Springs Riders.

  • Get a Radiator Springs Riders FastPass in the Morning

What is a FastPass? And where is the Radiator Springs Riders FastPass located?

Disney offers FastPass service to some of their more famous rides by providing guests the option to come back at a scheduled time to avoid the long lines. The Radiator Springs Riders FastPass distribution is not located at Carsland but actually near It’s Tough to be a Bug. But note that the Radiator Springs Racers FastPass runs out before noon. And you’d have to go back to the ride at the time alloted in your FastPass.

If you’re early at Disney California Adventure, do you grab a FastPass or head straight to ride Radiator Springs Racers?

The waiting time at Radiator Spring Racers is indicated at the entrance of the ride. Or you can download the Disney apps like mousewait to find out. But like I said on my tip above. At 820AM, just 20 minutes after the actual published opening hours of DCA that day(twas a Tuesday). The line was already 70 minutes long. That doesn’t sound bad compared to the usual 2 hour wait time at Radiator Springs Racers. But I would suggest getting the FASTPASS at this point so you can be the first at other rides while the rest are in line at Radiator Springs Racers, then just come back at the time printed on your FastPass.

Some people who wanted to ride Radiator Springs Racers twice went ahead and grab a FastPass then lined up to the normal line for their first ride. Then rode again for a second time using the FastPass at a later time as indicated/printed on their FastPass. And if you want to ride for the third time(Are you serious?!? Haha) You can add the next tip.Check other Disney Rides that offer FastPass HERE.


  • Take Advantage of the Shorter lines at Radiator Springs Racers at Night

Yes! People are already staking their spot to watch World of Color. While some who have small children or those that started out early and have exhausted their feet have already gone home. So take advantage of riding Radiator Springs Racers at night when the lines are shorter.

  • Take advantage of Single Rider Pass

The ride at Radiator Springs Racers seats a total of 6 people. 3 in the front, 3 in the back. With people in usual groups of twos and fours, there’s always a space for Single Riders. Take advantage of this pass to cut your wait time in the lines. Whether you are a group or you’re really a single rider, I would recommend this since the ride is really fast anyhow. It’s not like you’re gonna be holding hands with your partner at this ride. Unless you’re scared of fast cars and those small dips and wanted to hang on to someone. Haha. Or unless you’re a group who wanted to buy the group photo souvenir at the end of the ride.

Check other Disney Rides that offer Single Rider Pass HERE.

  • Have infants/toddlers in tow, ask for a Rider Switch Pass
  • If you can’t ride together as a family because one of your kid is below 40″. Don’t fret. You don’t have to line up twice. Just go altogether at the line and once you get to the entrance they will issue a Rider Switch Pass(an ID tag). Your partner can then go on the ride with your kid/s that are eligible to ride. He/she will then be issued a Rider Switch Pass(paper ticket) after he’s done with the ride and it can be use by 3 people. You can use the Rider Switch Pass to return at any time that day.

    Check other Disney rides that has Rider Switch Pass HERE.

    There are 3 lines at Radiator Springs Racers, the regular line; the Single Riders line; and the FastPass line. If you have a Rider Switch Pass, they’ll instruct you to head to the FastPass line. When I went back at 3PM, my wait time was just 5 minutes with the Riders Switch Pass while people at the regular line had to wait for over two hours.

    Use one or a combination of my tips to Radiator Springs Riders depending on your scenario. Knowing our different options enabled us to not only skip the long lines but our strategy enabled us to hit the other rides ahead of everybody else too. I hope you’ll find my tips useful. If you have questions or more to add, just leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you. 


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