The Rapid Fill Mug program debuts at Walt Disney World

| August 19, 2013 | 22 Replies

Walt Disney World is rolling out a new refillable mug program starting at the All Star Resorts. The mugs were tested at the All Star Resorts in 2011, but will eventually be at all of the resorts. No longer will you be able to bring back your old mugs for free soda.

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The new mugs have an RFID chip (radio frequency identification)  in them.  If you are a Disney resort guest with an eligible dining plan, you will get the mug as part of your package.

We first stopped at All Star Sports.  The food court at this resort is currently under rehab.  They have turned the former game arcade into a quick service food location.

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Since this is a temporary location there are cast members that will refill your mug for you. If you decide to purchase a mug be aware that a day of mug use starts at 12 AM.  If you purchase it at 5 PM it is still only good until midnight.  You can purchase the mug for the length of your stay. We also visited All Star Movies and All Star Music. The mugs are near the cash registers.

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You can purchase the mugs in several colors.  They are orange, purple, and lime. They do not sell any mugs without the chip.  We did see folks using their old mugs to get water but that is all the machine would dispense.

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When you go to use the mug the display on the beverage station will show you how long  your mug is good for.

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 I did feel a little like a stalker watching the guests fill up their mugs.  If you notice in the photo above, you can see how long your mug is good for.  If you purchase the mug you can always change the number of days on the mug.  At this time there is no water park mug that offers this option.

Here is the all important disclaimer on the side of the mug.

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If you are staying at All Star Sports during the rehab they are offering a shuttle bus to All Star Movies or All Star Music. Don’t be looking for a Disney bus. There is a sign in front of the main entrance at the resorts directing you to the bus stop.

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So what do you think of the new refillable mug?  Is it a good idea or the end of Disney as we know it? Hopefully they will eventually add an option to bring your mug back.  The Walt Disney Company is all about recycling and this system seems wasteful to me.


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Category: Disney World

About the Author ()

Kathy Werling discovered Walt Disney World later than most people but has made up for it. Living close to the theme parks hasn't gotten old yet for her. Kathy is an accomplished photographer and is always out finding new and different things to photograph in the Orlando theme parks. Kathy is also part of the Orlando DIS Unplugged Podcast team.
  • Paul Gibson

    I think its a shame they had to do this because of the lack of honesty of people.

    I am ok with the change, just its a shame it had to come to this.

  • Lauren Barnett

    Not being a soda or coffee drinker, what I like about this is that I can pay a semi reasonable price for just one day’s use and get the mug as a souvenir if I like the design. Much better than shelling out what they wanted for these mugs considering all I was filling it with was water.

  • DisneyWishesMom

    I like the change, makes people get drinks honestly. I just wished we culd purchase mugs then bring them back on future trips and pay a fee to reuse them. I have countless number of mugs in my cabinet. I use them every day at home but with my now family of 5 the mugs are overtaking my cabinets. And I refuse to throw them away or donate them.

    • Mary Juncker

      I agree. Disney promotes reduce, REUSE, recycle at the Animal Kingdom. Why not let guests reuse a Disney mug from a previous trip by charging a small fee? There must be some way to apply an RFID chip to an existing mug, perhaps with a sticker. It would certainly go a long way towards preventing mugs from winding up in our landfills.

      • Mary

        Maybe a usb like plug in that you could buy? You know you buy the cup once then when you come back you buy a new card/chip for it? It wouldn’t work for the old mugs but should be easy enough to ad to the new ones. Or even a sticker with a new microchip.

  • Gill

    How does the ‘length of stay’ work? If you split your stay between two Disney hotels do you need to pay at each separately?

  • griffonsclaw

    All of the RFID chips are the same, then are programmed for the number of days they are good for. The article even says you can add days, so it should be simple for Disney to allow you to bring your old mug back, as long as the chip is still functional. (Don’t microwave the mug, and admittedly not being an expert on RFID, I believe some chips do have small batteries that will die eventually.) They would have to offer a discount for this option for me though, if I have to pay the same price I’ll opt to get a new mug strictly on principle.

    • griffonsclaw

      Oh yeah…and they still need more than 3 colors to choose from so we could tell who’s mug was who’s.

    • yankeesusa

      Rfid comes in 2 formats, passive and active. Hopefully they used passive, if they did then no need to worry about battery dying. They just need to program your chip info into their system and your set. If it does have a battery I think it makes it easier for hackers to manipulate the system in the future.

      • HoustonSooner

        Yea it would be just a like a chip in an immobilizer key on a car.

  • skier_pete

    I am glad they are doing this. I don’t think eople that “cheat” the system to be evil, since Disney clearly had decided to just let people do it. I never did it myself, but I never actually BOUGHT the mugs. (We don’t drink coffee and are usually on the DDP – of course now we’ll have our own mugs from the DDP as they added that to the standard plan last year.) In 2011, I saw someone with about 6 pre-2005 POFQ mugs at the CBR station filling their mugs. Again, blame the person doing it or blame Disney for letting them. But now it won’t be easy to “game” the system.
    As far as re-using the chips – these close contact RFID chips do not need their own battery and therefore should be re-usable. I am not sure how easy they are to reprogram, but I agree with what others are saying: Disney should give an option where you can bring back your mug. Perhaps give a $1 discount for it. Perhaps they would sell less mugs, but I would think they would sell more soda. On the other hand, I bet 99% of the populace would not bother to bring their mugs back.
    One question: Any clue when this is coming out across WDW?

  • Sabrina

    What does it say on the side about refills? I thought these mugs could be refilled at any Disney resort?

    • Jenny Hollenbeck

      I had read they were good at all hotels. I guess that was just a rumor!

  • Robert A. Perry

    I don’t mind the change, I just think the price is a little too exorbitant.

  • PieLambert

    I find it hard to believe that people would comment on the ‘honesty of people’ regarding fountain drinks.
    How about the fact that it its a shame that Disney (and all other restaurants and theme parks everywhere) charges close to $3 for a drink that costs them pennies to mix…. then fill the cup with mostly ice.

    I have no issue with people who bring cups back to reuse – good for them for thinking of it. Its not like they are using them for free throughout the theme parks, this is just at the resort. Everyone is still paying $3 for those same fountain drinks – filled with mostly ice remember – everywhere else in WDW.

    Disney vacations are expensive, even on a package, and some families save their whole lives for one trip. I wonder what Walt would think, he wanted to create something that families could enjoy together, not just for those that can afford it.

    • Melinda Piette

      Nope, it’s gaming the system (stealing)—and there have been, for at least 13 years, signs indicating that the mug was for that stay only. Don’t like the clearly posted prices? Don’t buy it, Not to mention, WDW prices aren’t really that high for a “captive audience” venue. My local zoo charges more. Why? Because they can—-basic free market economics
      Additionally, people don’t just bring back mugs to reuse, they fill soda bottles, camelbacks, coffee carafes, etc—-and guess what? Disney isn’t going to absorb that cost, we as consumers are. Because that’s how shrink works and we all pay for it in higher prices.
      BTW Walt loooooooooved $$$. He’d have no issue with charging a perfectly competitive market price. As for cost in general, most vacations (except camping) generally aren’t that much cheaper—-vacations are optional, expensive and not a constitutional right (likewise, neither is free soda). It isn’t as if we’re discussing a family’s ability to pay for food or heat for example.

      • Caprice Washington III

        Wow someone cares just a little too much about Disney soda and their profits. Are you off your meds again?

        • Melinda Piette

          Yes, because insulting someone instead of refuting their points is such an effective debating strategy. Will you next employ “so’s your old man” or “I’m rubber, you’re glue”? Because I’m breathlessly anticipating your deeply sophisticated next move!

      • Mitch

        Wow, you knew Walt Disney!? That’s awesome.
        Odd though about the $$ thing, since he said the following:
        “A man should never neglect his family for business.” W.D.
        “Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.” W.D.
        “You reach a point where you don’t work for money.” W.D.
        “I have never been interested in personal gain or profit. This business and this studio have been my entire life.” W.D.

        • Melinda Piette

          No, based your comment above, apparently YOU knew him!!!
          That said, all those quotes were clearly perfectly sanitized for the press—Walt was also all about PR. In fact, his own signature was fake, created by the graphics department, he taught himself to sign in the script for effect.
          Just like his quotes were entirely for effect. Mind you, nothing wrong with knowing how to handle the press or marketing (he was a master and pioneer at it), just know it for what it is.

        • Caprice Washington III

          Mitch,
          Some people are never wrong. Melinda is one of those people. We’ll just have to accept it.

  • Mary Wortz

    I won’t be getting one. It just seems expensive….