Rapid Fill Mugs At WDW Resorts FAQ

| August 24, 2013 | 67 Replies

Resorts all around Walt Disney World are in the process of rolling out the new Rapid Fill resort mug program which eliminates the issue of guests getting soda for free at resort quick service locations. Kathy Werling visited one of the first resorts to adopt Rapid Fill last week, All Star Movies, and wrote about her experiences there.

As Rapid Fill continues to open at resorts, there seem to be a lot of unanswered questions and unknowns with the new program. Craig Williams and I went back to All Star Movies on Friday morning to speak to a few Cast Members and to see if we could get a better understanding about how Rapid Fill worked.

1. How much are the Rapid Fill mugs and how long are they good for?

Rapid Fill sign describing pricing structure and information.

Rapid Fill sign describing pricing structure and information.

The price of each mug depends on how long you want to use it. There are four time options for purchase: 1 day ($8.99), 2 days ($11.99), 3 days ($14.99), or a Length Of Stay option which is good for any amount of time from 7 days up to 14 days, which costs $17.99. As of now, there are three colors to choose from – green, orange, and purple. I have a feeling that in the future we will see some new color options.

Because the mugs contain an RFID chip, similar to what is found in a MagicBand or the new Key To The World cards, they can be reprogrammed to add more time to them. This means that technically speaking, guests can re-use mugs for multiple stays. They would just need to bring back the mug to a Cast Member at the quick service location to add more time to it.

2. How do the Rapid Fill mugs work at the soda machines?

Small screens in the machine give information about your usage.

Small screens in the machine give information about your usage.

The mugs must be placed flat on the stand below the soda dispenser. This allows the machine to read the RFID chip inside the mug. Once connected, the soda machine will allow you to fill up one ‘full pour,’ which is about 16oz. we discovered.

There is also a time limit in between pours, which we found ranged anywhere from 2 – 3 minutes. The Cast Members told us that the time limit could be up to 15 minutes, so I expect that as testing continues, they will adjust this number.

3. Are the coffee/tea machines affected? What about water?

As of now, the coffee, tea, and hot water machines are not affected by Rapid Fill and continue to work as normal. This might change in the future, but Cast Members had no information about it when we asked.

The water dispenser on the soda machine was the only dispenser that worked whenever the button was pressed, even if nothing was placed underneath. This means that guests can fill up any cup, bottle, or container with water without having to deal with the Rapid Fill system.

4. Where do the Rapid Fill mugs work?

Rapid Fill mugs are available in orange, green, and purple.

Rapid Fill mugs are available in orange, green, and purple.

The Rapid Fill mugs will work at the resort of purchase, as well as any resort that has Rapid Fill enabled. This means that you can take your mug with you as you resort-hop and fill it up at other quick service locations, as long as you are still within your time limit.

I do not believe there are any plans as of yet to bring the Rapid Fill program outside of the resorts at Walt Disney World. It would be interesting to see though if they decide to bring the machines to the water parks, or other non-resort locations.

5. How do the new machines affect ‘paper cup’ soda purchases?

In my opinion, this is where the biggest impact of the Rapid Fill program is seen. Every paper cup that is purchased at a Rapid Fill-participating quick service location now contains an RFID sticker on the bottom. When purchasing, guests are informed that they have a 2 hour window (starting from first pour) to use the cup, and will receive 3 refills. The screens on the soda machines keep track of what you’ve already poured and will tell you how many you have left. Paper cups are also confined to the time limit between refills, which was about 2 – 3 minutes.

Walt Disney World increased the prices of their fountain beverages this week – $2.69 for a small and $3.19 for a large, both plus tax. I can’t help but wonder if this is due to the fact that each cup, at the resorts at least, must now have an RFID chip stuck to it.

6. Can I use an old Disney mug I have purchased?

No. In fact, the soda machine will not physically work without a cup or mug that contains an active chip. This means that any mug purchased before August 2013 when the Rapid Fill program began, will not work at any participating quick service’s soda fountain.

7. What if I bought one of the ‘forever’ mugs Disney offered years ago?

This is one of the most-asked questions regarding the new Rapid Fill system. Because I have no experience with the ‘forever’ mugs that were reportedly sold before 2000 or so, I took to Facebook and Twitter to see if I could get any insight. It turns out that none of the mugs had any language on them about being good ‘forever,’ yet several people report that both Cast Members and signs posted near the mugs stated that the mugs would be good for unlimited future visits.

“…there was a sign that said they were good for life. When I asked the CM about it, she said ‘Well, good for the life of mug.’”
- Lisa Merritt on Facebook

“…I recall quite vividly buying the mug with the WL logo on it and being told it was a lifetime mug. The CM’s said it was good for coffee, tea, fountain drinks, etc.”
- Matthew J. Stacey on Facebook

While we were at the All Star Movies on Friday morning, I asked a manager that was on duty about this. While extremely nice and helpful, she said that all Disney mugs sold in the past twenty years had a statement printed on them that the mug was only good for the length of stay. Now, this isn’t entirely correct. Several of us have mugs that are resort-specific that have no such notice on them. Because I didn’t have one with me, I didn’t press the issue during our visit, but I expect that it’s something Disney is really going to have to address in the future.

Rapid Fill logo printed on the side of the new mug design.

Rapid Fill logo printed on the side of the new mug design.

To be honest, I’m not sure there is much that Disney can do in terms of guest recovery in this situation, aside from offering a new Rapid Fill mug that is programmed for the ‘Length Of Stay’ which would cap out at 14 days.

If you have any experience with the ‘forever’ mugs and the new Rapid Fill program, or if you have any photos or written information about the ‘forever’ mugs sold in the past, please let us know in the comments below or email me at shaun@wdwinfo.com. We’d love to hear your experiences!

As Rapid Fill is brought to every Walt Disney World resort in the coming weeks, we’ll be sure to bring you all the latest so be sure to follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheDIS, Facebook at facebook.com/The.DIS, and YouTube at youtube.com/WDWINFO.


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Category: Dining, Disney World, Disney World Dining, Merchandise, News, Photos, Photos / Video

About the Author ()

I'm the Assistant Webmaster and Designer for The DIS and the Associate Producer for The DIS Unplugged podcast. I've lived in Florida for almost three years after graduating from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania in 2010. I am a former Walt Disney World Cast Member and spent almost four years on Main Street U.S.A.
  • poohbearwithme

    All of this just to save a few pennies and to get a drink of soda? What a croc!!! Leave it to Disney to turn getting a soda into an Act of Congress. Drinks out of a dispenser are pennies per oz. and a huge money maker for restaurants.

    • goofgal31

      I understand everyone’s frustration with this, and it is true that a glass of soda is very inexpensive, but when you consider the amount of people that go through each resort restaurant every day those pennies add up to an amazing amount of money. As much as we all love Disney and the magic it brings to our lives, it is a business and must do things that continue to make profits.

      • Debra Ruffing

        This is nuts.

      • Guest

        Yeah and the billions they make on movies, park admission, other apparel, etc also adds up. They could give every guest unlimited soda for free and still be huge.

    • Debra Ruffing

      I totally agree. Can I get some ice for free?

    • D.P. Roberts

      They are only a money maker for Disney if you actually pay Disney for it. People who brought mugs from one trip to another, or bought one mug and got refills for their whole family, etc. cost Disney a lot of money. Sure, it only costs Disney a few cents to give you the refill, but that’s where their profit for the meal comes from. They probably make more on the drink than they do on the food.

    • me

      I love Disney but really, its a business that is trying to make profits for its stock holders. If you don’t like it see what you get for your money at Busch Gardens. They charge for fastpass!
      They never claim to be cheap.
      Just enjoy.

  • Mom

    My only question is what if you are doing a split stay? If you buy the dining plan and get the mug, will it still work once you change to your new resort? I know the dining plan will be over, but we planned at staying at the pool in the newer resort all day which is when the mug will get the most use….

    • Craig Williams

      The mugs aren’t programmed to your Key to the World card or MyMagic+. The Dining Plan will give you the 7 to 14 day length of stay plan for your Rapid Fill Mug so it wouldn’t matter if you switch resorts. The key to remember in all this is that the mugs will work at all resorts and it is more about the days you choose to put on your mug. Dining Plan has always been okay with you choosing the more expensive options to make the most out of your money.

    • brian

      We just returned from a 8 day stay at Disney, 5 at port Orleans and 3 at animal kingdom, Cups worked both locations no problems. Most of the time you did not need to set your cup down to make it work. we even took our cups into the parks and used them at quick dining places where we used our meal plan. Some of them would fill the mug others said they were only good in resorts. We would just fill up a cup and transfer it to the mug after leaving.

  • Doncharles715

    Once again Disney will get as much money as they can. Time for people to realize that WDW id not the WDW we knew. It is now a money maker and they will do all they can to take our money. Look at the prices of tickets and rooms on site, DISGUSTING!

    • Steven

      I have a sneaking suspicion you were one of those that brought their mug back for multiple trips :)

      • Catztradamus

        I think that gets severely overblown. We’ve got about 16 of the mugs at home, local florida residents who visit 4-5 times a year. we end up doing a passholder mealplan virtually everytime we stay on site, and the mugs were included. In 2011, between passes for four, and 5 trips onsite at deluxe hotels I spent close to $10,000 at disney with my family. did I bring refillable mugs back on the one trip we decided not to get the meal plan? Absolutely. We used them once, the day we spent at the pool. so one time in 4 days. thats the equivalent of about $1.00 maybe $1.50 in soda. I spent $2000 that trip. trust me. disney isn’t losing money here, they’re being extremely smart about getting MORE MONEY out of people. Where I have a real issue here TBH is that they INCREASED the price of Soda, not decreased or kept it the same. Anyone who knows anything about business here should realize that they just figured out how to increase their soda profits by about 500%. If the real reason for this is “it will curb people using older mugs” then lower the prices.

        • Corey Neyland

          So you spent $2,000. That money covered the employees at the parks, restaurants, the use of the equipment, gas for busses, etc….. If you take drinks without paying you are stealing. If you like coke so much buy a 2 liter and leave it in the room, it’s like $1

    • goofgal31

      Again, Disney is a business. The purpose of a business is to make money.

  • Sabrina

    Hey guys. I thought I saw someone on the boards post of picture on the new mug and on the side it said something about only being refillable at the resort of purchase. Did your mugs say that? Did you try using your mugs at another resort for this test?

  • Ruben Camacho

    I guess it’s hard to understand this move when you’re not a big soda drinker but I have seen people…addicted to soda, down serious amounts of the stuff. I can imagine people filling jugs of the stuff. it’s disgusting. Me personally, this doesn’t affect me one bit and I kinda like the futuristic aspect of it. As long as they don’t mess with the water we’re cool.

  • dbnyr

    I guess this had to be done. The honor system just doesn’t work. It’s hard for people that are following the rules to see people blatantly violating them. Especially when they are using a gallon jug or something like that. The one thing that bothers me about rapid refill is the wait between fill ups, even if it is a few minutes. What is so Rapid about this prosess? If I am paying for unlimited refills, there should not be a waiting period. There are many times that I come in from the park or the pool and want to down a quick cup of Powerade, refill, and be on my way. If they are going to do this, it would be nice if they put more refill stations around the resort or at every pool.

    • Debra Ruffing

      I can understand this…my husband does this as well!

    • farfromreality

      Pretty sure this is so you don’t fill up, pour into another cup, fill up, pour into another cup etc

  • Nicole L. Mancini

    Great job on the mug video and blog! Did you guys find out what happens if someone puts ice, fills until the carbonation hits the top, and hits stop? Once the carbonation goes down, usually about half of the cup is filled so you normally have to hit fill again. Will they count it as a second refill?

    • Craig Williams

      It dispenses by ounce the same way as if you were pouring into a can. No matter how much foam you get or if you left time pass in between you are still going to get your 16 oz.

  • Kelley

    The thing I am most disappointed with: they didn’t change the design of the mug…

  • lazza

    like Jacob implied I’m startled that any one able to profit $8187 in a few weeks on the internet. did you read this site linkdub40.ℂoℳ

  • Sharon Ortiz

    For me it makes me nervous about how long the lines will be to get a refill. There will be alot of people trying to figure it out, if it malfunctions etc. I understand it bu think ultimately it will make travelers frustrated. As much as I hate to say it, if cost is the issue, than Disney should eliminate the refill mugs all together. Too much work.

    • dbnyr

      Yeah. Another line to wait in at Disney. That’s all we need. Maybe they will institute a Rapid Refill Fast Pass.

  • D.P. Roberts

    Not all mugs from the past 20 years have the disclaimer on them. I’m looking at my mug from the Wilderness Lodge from 1996, and it has no such disclaimer on it.

  • Debra Ruffing

    Where are these stations as of August 2013. I will never use these…sick way to make even more off people who can barely afford to come!!!!!!! I will be bringing my own soda to consume.

    • Corey Neyland

      As you should. But don’t blame Disney for keeping people from stealing. You wouldn’t let people take food out of your pantry and not pay

  • Justine Caiazzo

    Let me first state for the record that I do not re use old mugs on other stay at WDW. I always buy a new mug. However, this leaves a bad taste in my mouth about Disney. Although, Disney is a business, the illusion has always been that the guest experience was what mattered. This definitely breaks that illusion. It’s the nickel and diming aspect of it that turns me off. All of these small things they’ve been doing lately, mid year price increases, these mugs, Magic Kingdom costing more than the other parks…it’s making my magical place not so magical anymore. Thanks Shaun and Craig for getting the info for everyone!

  • Jean

    My cup from Dixie Landings in 1994 does not have a disclaimer on it and was supposed to be lifetime.

  • ErinD

    This is insane! Especially the delay between refills.
    My only question…if I reuse my mug for a future visit and pay to add time, do I pay full price? I suspect the answer is ‘yes’. Anyway, I rarely drink soft drinks. We will continue to bring our own drinks. I love Disney, but they continue to disappoint me with the nickel and diming and price increases. They’re becoming hard to defend to those who don’t understand my WDW obsession. Many cant even afford to go. It’s sad really.

    • http://shaunthompson.net/ Shaun Thompson

      Yes, Disney is not offering a discount for reusing your mug like Starbucks or other retail chains. As of now, the same pricing structure applies.

  • Abraham Sussman

    I have a mug from years ago that simply has the All Stars Music logo on it. I brought it with me to fill it with coffee. I had no problem doing so the length of my stay at Art of Animation. I hope this does not change but will not a fuss if it has by the time I return to Disney.

  • disney2014

    Disney has ALWAYS been about money. These idealistic posts about what would Walt do really overlook the fact everything he built was sponsored and paid for. Walt would have reacted the same way the current management is doing if large number of guests were stealing sodas….find a way to stop it. Don’t blame Disney, blame the people who were standing at the machines filling up liter bottles

  • Trisha

    I am not happy about this at all. Yes, I am one of those who bought a forever mug in 1999 and yes we still use it. We have never tried to use our resort mug anywhere but the resort we bought it. we spend huge amounts of money each year on Disney property. i don’t think it is asking too much to be able to get 2 or 3 glasses of soda per day in exchange. Disney nickle and diming us is rapidly driving us off property. Lets see, off-site means a free breakfast, bigger rooms and half the price… seems like a no brainer to me.

  • ingeborg

    what abouth the lengt of your stay? it says 7-14 days, but we will be there for 18 days so i hope i can use it for 18 days because that is my length of stay!

    • http://shaunthompson.net/ Shaun Thompson

      In this case, you will have to purchase extra 4 days and reactivate your mug. Disney might make you purchase two “Length of Stay” packages.

  • Guest

    For security, this is a good move for Disney but I can definitely agree that this is not going to be a popular move for Disney… I honestly love the way the mugs are now where you buy one for $15 and get unlimited refills for your trip. I think this new system will be complicated and very troublesome for many guests.

  • scott

    much the same as raising time share yearly maint dues every year

  • Marilyn

    What happens if your stay is longer than 14 days?.

  • Marilyn

    What happens if your stay is longer than 14 days?

    • http://shaunthompson.net/ Shaun Thompson

      You will have to purchase extra days and reactivate your mug depending on the number of days past the original 14.

  • EEPETEZ

    I was wondering if this will increase lines at the drink machine. Can only one person at a time refill their mug? For example, I have many times been able to fill both mine and my son’s at the same time. So now I will “activate” my mug, fill it, set it down, then “activate” his mug, fill it, set it down, then “activate” my other son’s……….. This seems like a very long process.

    • http://shaunthompson.net/ Shaun Thompson

      We found that two people could fill up their drinks at a time – one per display screen attached to the machine.

  • Sheila Ferreri

    Hi
    Thanks for the presentation! Just wondering…you said that Disney will allow you to use your rfid mug the next visit and have it upgraded to pay for your next stay…will there be a discounted rate since you are not getting a new mug?

    • http://shaunthompson.net/ Shaun Thompson

      No, there will be no discounted rate. The same pricing structure applies.

  • MIckey is boss

    Makes sense to me. It is stealing plain and simple. Everyone knows their mugs are only for the stay purchased. Good for Disney. Hard to believe
    people are complaining about Disney enforcing a rule that has always been there.

  • MIckey is boss

    And if you don’t like it then DON’T BUY IT!

  • MickeymouseD23

    Here is a response from Disney in 2009, about forever mugsSo emailed Disney and thought I would let everyone know the official response incase they have the same mugs. I’m now going to take mine on future trips and benefit from my original deal… I’m not being a cheapskate just making the most of what was offered way back.

    Here’s the email below

    Thank you for contacting us at Walt Disney World Guest Services.

    My sincere apologies in misunderstanding the type of mug you were
    referencing. The larger mugs that were sold approximately 10 years and
    back, are indeed lifetime mugs. They have a red top, and handle and I
    believe have Briar Fox, Briar Rabbit and Bear on them. I confirmed with
    the Food and Beverage Team at Port Orleans Riverside Resort and they
    were very enthusiastic that yes indeed you will be able to use these in
    your future visit.
    If for any reason you encounter any challenges while at the resort
    please do not hesitate to contact my offices.

    We look forward to your future visit and hope you have a magical time.

  • Amy Cooper

    Nickel and Diming the customers again. Congrats Disney!!!!!!!! You’re the best!!!!!!! What a wonderful idea!!!!!!

  • Amy Cooper

    Just another nickel and diming program for Disney. Great.

  • Char Henry

    This is one more reason to rent a car, head to the nearest grocery store and save tons of money buying your own food and soda. I can get a gallon of ice tea for 2 dollars and fill my travel mug for the park saving tons of money. We were there 2 weeks and barely used the fountains (4 times at the most). We do not like carrying the mugs and they are only good in the resort area.

  • poetofthedragon

    This is so ridiculous. I’m sorry but if I want to drink 5 glasses of pop with my breakfast (which I’ve done before) I should be able to. They even advertise that the mug is unlimited refills. I think they should have the chip to prevent the use of old mugs but why do they need to limit the amount you drink? That’s like going to a buffet and them telling you, that you can only have 1 plate of food per 45 minuets. This is a horrible idea and the fact that it’s going to cause lines to get pop… come on we have enough in the theme parks.

  • Kathleen Vogel

    There are entire websites dedicated to telling people how to cheat Disney out of money- do people really think they will just sit back and not use technology to counter these “tips”? If you don’t like it, don’t buy the mugs.

  • Amy Cooper

    Nickel and Diming.

  • Theodore R Jordan

    Is this already implemented at Art of Animation?

    • Lee

      Just called Art of Animation and was told the mugs are for soda, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. So, yes, they have already implemented it. We have reservations for June and were told not to bother bringing the mugs from our last stay there, they won’t work.

  • brenda coleman

    how does this work if you have a dining plan that includes the mug? do you have to pay an extra fee?

  • BeBe Buckingham

    OMG ! I have a huge issue with this new system! We have the forever mugs we bought I want to say 2000ish. Guessing I should have taken a picture of the sign now but I was taking pics of my 6 yr old instead. We havent used them in awhile we either forget them or kids love the new mug when we checkin. Why oh Why are we being penny pinching ? I truly understand there are dishonest people that get sodas when they didnt pay. But why is McDonald’s selling 1.00 any size all the time and we have to buy a soda for so much ?! Truly all of us Disney Families , Disney people who would use every nickle if we could, being pinched for more for drinks, Look this just makes it clear that we will be buying more outside bringing it in our DVC resorts and spending less at the parks. Very Sad Disney, just hurting all us honest Disney Vacationers. Anyway soda is bad for us( but not on vacation). Love the update guys great job.

    • Guest

      Forget to say at least they are not messing with the coffee dispenser ! I have to have my coffee. thanks guys.

    • BeBe Buckingham

      Forgot to say at least they are not messing with my coffee. I really love having coffee all day on vacation. thanks again guys

  • Duane McHugh

    They have plans for 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, and 7-14 days, what about 4-6 days?

  • saraiva

    Can I enjoy this program, even if i’m not going to stay at any Dsiney Hotels/ Resorts??? How can I do it?

  • Cathy

    People say great job its a business. Yes it is. However, maybe better money management on the executive side and they wouldnt have to put limits..when Isner was CEO he saved this co…we didnt see him making neg impacts on the guest. Just positive ones (and i was on both sides of marketing) all i can say is. Iger, when do u leave?

  • Just Sayin

    They also don’t acknowledge the existence of “River Country”. I asked multiple CM’s about this and they acted as if they had never heard of it. So obviously they’ve been told to tell people this about River Country. Just like they’ve been told that Forever Mugs don’t exist.

  • MandyL

    Can anyone tell me how many refills you get in a 24 hour period?