As many folks know, Disney World offers “refillable mugs” at their resorts for guests to purchase and use for free refills during the length of their stay! There are plenty of FAQs about the mugs floating around the web and message boards, so let’s see if we can hit them all. PLEASE — if you’re old hat at refillable mugs, chime in with your comments!
We’ve updated this post regularly since we wrote it waaaay back in 2009, so all info should be accurate at this time!
“Refillable mugs” are 16 oz. insulated coffee mugs sold at Disney hotels for $15.49 + tax. Throughout your stay at the Disney resort hotel where you purchased the mug, you are entitled to unlimited free refills on “select” beverages from “select” locations.
Mugs used to be considered collectibles, as each Disney resort hotel mug had a design themed to the resort in which it could be purchased; but starting with the Year of a Million Dreams, the mugs have been one standard design and shape no matter where you purchase them.
What beverages are available for refills?
You can refill your mug with coffee, iced or hot tea, soda-pop (these will be ALL Coca-Cola products — Disney does not sell Pepsi products due to Coke’s long-time sponsorship agreement), and hot chocolate.
*COOL INFO:* It’s interesting to note that most refillable mug stations have some sort of Hi-C lemonade/fruit punch option OR red/blue Powerade. And, thanks to DisneyNorth, I’m finding out that they’ve now replaced most Cherry Coke options with Coke Zero. However, if you go to Beaches & Cream’s to-go window when you’re staying at the Yacht or Beach Club, you can get free authentic cherry coke refills…and chocolate coke, and vanilla coke, and lemon coke refills…in your refillable mug.
What beverages aren’t available for refills?
Most notably, milk and “real” fruit juice (e.g. no OJ or Apple Juice).
Will they refill my frozen margarita at the pool bar?
No. But you get points for creativity.
Where can I buy the mugs and get refills?
Purchase/Refill stations are located in food courts, quick service locations, and pool bars at all Value/Moderate/Deluxe resorts. You can also get refills at Beaches & Cream at the Beach Club and at the Boardwalk Bakery and Coffee Cart at the Boardwalk.
Do I get a mug if I’m using the Disney Dining Plan?
Yes! As of 2012, all Disney Dining Plans now offer refillable mugs for everyone on the plan.
May I only use the mug at my resort?
Yep. But if you’re staying at a resort that has a “partner” resort (like Yacht & Beach Club Resorts), you can get refills at the “partner” locations.
While you can’t use your resort mug in the parks (unless you’re getting water), you CAN purchase refillable mugs in the water parks. Disney’s also been rumored to be testing refillable mug programs in the parks.
Can I save my mug when I get home and bring it back to use on all my subsequent Disney trips?
You CAN do that, but you would be dis-obeying Disney’s signs that the mugs are only to be used during the length of your stay at that resort…that vacation…and that’s all.
This has been a bone of contention among Disney trippers for a while now. Some folks have no problem bringing their 2001 Coronado Springs mug to the Beach Club Marketplace in 2009 and getting a free refill, or even using their resort mug many trips in a row at the same resort. Others will buy new refillable mugs every time they visit a Disney resort — even if they go every month.
What YOU do is up to you and your conscience. But Disney’s been testing the idea of using bar codes that are activated only for length-of-stay. FYI.
(Note: Disney there are instances where guests have been told that the mugs are good for return visits, but our interpretation of the signs is that they’re not. Again, it’s up to you…and the cast member you ask.)
If I’m paying an exorbitant amount for my room and there are mugs already in there, does that mean they’re free?
Whether or not you’re paying too much for your room, the mugs are never free. If you use them, they’ll be placed on your bill as a charge.
Any other cool stuff you should tell us about the refillable mug program?
YES! Each self-service refillable mug location has a MUG WASH! That’s right — there’s a little sink right next to the soda-pop dispensers that you can use to wash out your mug. Comes in very handy when switching between your drinks of choice…say between Coffee and Powerade?
Do YOU buy the mugs, DisneyFoodBlog?
You know, I used to buy the mugs at every resort as collectibles, but I always ended up in rooms far away from the refillable mug stations and never really used the mugs enough to justify the purchase (I wish Disney would put in more mug stations, but I know that would probably be taken advantage of by non-mug-buyers). That said, when I’ve taken trips to Disney World where my primary activity has been reading by the pool, having the mug for free refills has been a real blessing!
If you can’t live without your coffee, or if you need a travel mug for your morning commute at home, buy the mug. It’s fun to see that little Mickey face every morning!
If you have other questions, or if you have comments about your OWN refillable mug experiences, let us know by leaving a comment on the blog!
NOTE: As of July 2011, Disney is testing an RFID micro-chip system to ensure mugs are not used outside of the dates they were paid for. Check out refillable mug experiment details here.