The controversy rages on over whether filling up previously purchased refillable mugs (and other containers) at Disney World self-serve beverage locations is advisable, but should Disney move forward with its new experimental system, that question will be invalid.
Mousesteps.com, Micechat.com, and StitchKingdom.com have reported that the new system, which uses an RFID chip to recognize whether guests are using an appropriate mug or cup to obtain beverages, will begin a trial period on July 18th at Disney’s All Star Sports Resort.
At this time, the RFID chip will be embedded into regular drink cups — allowing the guest to use the cup for only the length of a meal (around 1 hour) — as well as the refillable mugs that Disney has been selling at its resorts for years. These, I’m guessing, will be coded to work for the guests’ length of stay.
Cheating the system and using the mug to transfer large quantities of beverages to a bigger container won’t really work after this change. The system requires 5 minutes between refills.
You can see a video of the new system here:
This technology is being brought to Disney by ValidFill, who already maintain systems like this one at Sea World and on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. They’ve just signed a 5-year deal with Coca-Cola, and say that the system will be available for use on Coke Freestyle machines as well.
And here’s an actual demo of the refillable mug system at work: