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News! Update on Disney’s New Rapid Fill Refillable Mug

According to sources, Disney World will soon be bringing the new Disney Rapid Fill Refillable Mug program to Disney resort hotels.

Tested at All-Star Sports Resort a while back, and much like the process currently in use at Disney’s Water Parks, the new system would use an RFID bar code on each mug to give Disney guests access to refills for a pre-purchased period of time. The mug will then deactivate itself at the end of the purchased time frame.

But as of today, it’s looking more and more like the rumors may be true. Although at this time the Rapid Fill Refillable Program has not been confirmed by Disney, we have news today that the fountain machines at some beverage refilling stations at Walt Disney World resorts have been replaced with new machines that resemble those in a demo video by the company ValidFill.

The first set of photos are from the Beach Club Marketplace, where the machines were installed earlier this week.

Newly Installed Beverage Refill Station at Beach Club Marketplace

Newly Installed Beverage Refill Station at Beach Club Marketplace

In this photo, you can see the small screen that provides the customer detailed information about their refill as it dispenses, as well as the trays below the fountain taps that reads the cup’s sensor.

New Beach Club Marketplace Refill Station -- Up Close

New Beach Club Marketplace Refill Station — Up Close

The same set up is in place at All-Star Music Resort’s beverage refill station. The screens here are blank.

New Beverage Station Installed at All-Star Music Resort This Week

New Beverage Station Installed at All-Star Music Resort This Week

New All-Star Music Beverage Refill Station -- Up Close

New All-Star Music Beverage Refill Station — Up Close

We received word that the machines have also been installed at the Contempo Cafe as well:

Contempo Cafe RFID Soda Machine

At this time, they are still functioning like the old machines. Reports are that it is “business as usual” and that guests can still use their purchased mugs currently. But we know that you have lots of questions, so let’s go over how the new Rapid Fill program will reportedly work.

How Will The Disney Rapid Refill Refillable Mug Program Work?

Refillable mugs will each have an RFID bar code that guests will scan at the soda fountains each time they refill their mugs.

Guests will be able to purchase mugs for a particular time frame, anywhere from one day to the length of their Disney stay. (Note that a “day” is considered one calendar day, not a 24-hour period. So if you arrive at 11:00pm and activate your mug, the first day will end at midnight that night.) Here is the current pricing:

$8.99 for 1 day
$11.99 for 2 days
$14.99 for 3 days
$17.99 for length of stay (currently set at 14 consecutive days, but may be able to be manually extended by a Cast Member)

Disney World Refillable Mugs

According to sources, the mugs will be valid for use at ANY Disney-owned resort hotel in Disney World. However, guests cannot bring their mug back on return visits to use it again. A new mug must be purchased for each stay.

One piece of information that isn’t quite clear: if you have a split stay between two Disney resort hotels and have paid for the 14-day refill option, will you be able to use the mug at both hotels assuming the two stays fall within the 14 consecutive days? Sources say yes, but it remains to be seen.

Will the Disney Rapid Fill Refillable Mug Program Be Part of the Disney Dining Plan?

Should the Rapid Fill Program come to pass, it will be included on the Disney Dining Plan as refillable mugs currently are. Guests purchasing any Disney Dining Plan will get a Rapid Fill Refillable Mug.

When Will The Disney Rapid Refill Refillable Mug Program Begin?

The rumor is that the mug program will begin this month at Disney’s All Star Resorts and will quickly roll out to other Disney World resort hotels.

What if I DON’T Want a Refillable Mug?!

Guests who choose not to purchase a refillable mug will still use Disney’s standard paper cups. According to sources, these cups will be authorized for four refills at the soda fountains.

This information has NOT been confirmed or even mentioned by Disney, so we are classifying it as a rumor right now. If you have any other confirmed information on the new Rapid Refill Program, please let us know! :-)

For more information about Disney’s current Refillable Mug Program, see our Disney Refillable Mug FAQ.

Also, here is the demo video that we mention above, so that you can compare ValidFill’s machine used in the demo with the machines that have been installed in a select number of Walt Disney World Resorts.

What are your thoughts on the potential Rapid Refill Disney Refillable Mug program? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Orlando Parks News, WDW Magic

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116 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    I don’t think I will bother with Disney anymore. The cost for a family of 4 is horrendous. I haven’t enjoyed it as much in recent years anyway. They are out to get as much money as possible. The magic has run out.

    Being turned away after staying in traffic for 3 hours on Friday 13th in September STRIKE 1

    My wife has a disability and they’ve changed the rules STRIKE 2

    Now this STRIKE 3

    No thanks

  2. Fred says:

    It was always good to see people bringing back cups from years gone by and they would buy a new one too. It promoted loyalty to the resort. This is sad.

  3. jimmy p says:

    I just got back from Pop century walt disney world this afternoon- went to not so scary halloween. And I am done with Disney!!!! Ive stayed at Pop about 25 times. I will be cancelling my Pop Century reservation for december and forever.

    Bought a paper cup soda $2.95?. went to pool and two hours later tried to get refill. it would not dispense. Realllly!!!!!

    we pay lots of extra money to stay on site. with gaylord palms and unlimited amount of exclusive hotels in the area (not counting Nickleodeon Rat’s Nest) for the same money– i got this pettyness to deal with.
    what does the refill cost them especially with the exclusive contract with Coca Cola? 5-10 cents? Even if I drank 10 refills they would still be ahead. We spend an extra $50/night and they get me for another nickle. I returned all the merchandise i bought in their store and am cancelling december.
    HEY DISNEY, FOCUS ON KEEPING THE LINES DOWN IN THE FOOD COURT WITH YOUR SPARE TIME AND LET US HAVE OUR 10 CENTS WORTH OF SODA. BRILLIANT!!!!

    This is the catalyst to check out other places nearby– which i am sure will be better.

  4. GrumpyFan says:

    Jimmy P, you should send your comments to Disney’s guest relations and let them know your displeasure. I don’t disagree with you, it has become quite expensive, but as long as their numbers keep growing, they will continue to bump the prices up.

  5. melissa says:

    Wow, overdramatic much? Canceling Disney because of soda? Bring your own if 3.00 is going to break you. Even though we get the refilable mugs with the dining plan, we always bring our own as well so we don’t have to go to the food court every time we get thursty. Disney is a business and does not owe anyone anything. People think the minute they step on property that Disney owes them, they ought to shower them with free stuff because they gave Disney the privelage of going to their park. I don’t know any other business where people think they are owed something just for showing up. If a 3.00 soda makes you that angry, that is really sad. As said before, bring your own if it bothers you that much.

  6. Dina says:

    Seriuosly Jimmy P ?? You’ve stayed on Disney Property 25 times ?? Some people have to save for 5 – 10 years to be able to afford one trip to Disney !!! You should consider yourself very fortunate. Let us know how all of those “other” properties treat you. I’m sure you might get a free soda, but you will also pay for parking each night, phone calls, internet and/or wif-fi, extra towels, and anything else they can add on . . .

  7. Deb C says:

    Jimmy P: You only get up to three more fills on a paper cup for one hour after you buy it. Check the screen when you fill it the first time. You should have probably purchased the one day refillable mug instead of the paper cup.

    What I hate about Gaylord hotels is the excessive parking fee you have to pay everytime you enter their property. No in and out privileges like at Disney.

  8. jimmy p says:

    Melissa, Dina, and Deb C

    Ladies are truly appreciate your comments and perspective. Allow me to share mine:

    Melissa,
    Perhaps a little overdramatic but honest. I did cancel December. I believe that Disney does owe me as soon as I step on to the property. Good business practice dictates that you don’t nickel and dime your guests, make them feel special and they will return.

    Dina,
    Yes, 25 times.. And I am blessed and fortunate. I live three hours away by car in Ft Lauderdale and go to Orlando frequently. I also frequent Universal Studios nearby and stay at outside hotels. The difference is quite stark now (Didn’t used to be). They “kiss your rear”, you stay in a much nicer hotel than Pop Century for less money. Disney WAS very accommodating before..

    Deb C,
    Thank You for your insight, I will be cognizant of parking fees when making future reservations.

    Ladies, in closing, when any company starts to nickel and dime you, you should be outraged. They cannot exist without us (the consumer). Disney built its empire on focusing on the customer with an exclusive, exceptional, and personal experience. And since I have been there about 25 times in the past 6 years. I have seen this nickel and dime trend insidiously creep in to every aspect of Disney. When you accept substandard service, that will be the norm. And as GrumpyFan accurately pointed out, that as long as people keep coming- prices will continue to go up.

    Just my two cents.

  9. Dina says:

    Jimmy P – In closing, millions and millions of people will disagree with you 110%. I have been going to Disneyland and Walt Disney World since 1980 and yes, many things have changed and that is a good thing. Look at the world around you (outside of Disney) . . . things change, it’s a way of life. Disney is a company and at the end of the day, they have bills to pay just like the rest of us. My experience with 99% of Disney is wonderful and amazing and forever exceeding my expectations. There are people that complain that Disney doesn’t change enough. If you no longer appreciate what Disney is offering, you have the right to forever remove Disney from your life. There are plenty of people that have never stepped inside a Disney Park and you can now join their lovely company.

  10. karen says:

    jimmy p i agree with what you have to say except the soda first you should not drink so much we stayed for two weeks brought with us a 2 and a half gallon water dispenser for 2 dollars and a 12 pack can soda for 2 dollars filled the ice bucket and we did not spend all the time going all the way to the food court for refills [we stayed at the computer pool] brought our cup from the year before and we were fine. you are right they are just nickel and dime us to death but you have the advantage of driving there so you can stock up on snacks cold cuts and the like instead of spending 10 dollars for a sandwich at their food court make your lunch and eat at the pool we actually have a small microwave that we bring but then again we go for 2 weeks look for deals and when there is not one replace with your own ideas we go the movie at nite by the pool and bring our own pop corn we do not give them a cent more than we have to. still go and enjoy

  11. Sarah says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, nickel and dime-ing the consumer to death is un-called for, unnecessary, and truthfully, should not be Disney’s practice. They have shown, time and time again, that they do not really care about their consumers as much as they do their dollars. It’s gotten to be so expensive to go, that we ALWAYS bring our own food, or eat off-property, and honestly…we can’t go as much because of the expense. I remember going in 2005, and was able to add on park hopper for I think 50 or so dollars for 10 days, and a 10 day pass worked out to 9 dollars a day….9 dollars a DAY! I just priced out a vacation, and the doggone park hopper was an extra 500 dollars for a 7 day stay. The whole vacation for 9 of us was 7000 dollars, not including airfare, but including the menu plan (I was playing, though I did choose the cheapest resort on property) Sigh. That’s less than 10 years ago. I am looking, and I just don’t even know if I can afford to go to WDW when we go to Florida next. It makes me sad. I went to McDonald’s a couple of Saturdays ago, and they wanted 30 cents for a package of mayo. I told my kids, over and over, as my 11 year old was outraged at the fact that she couldn’t even get extra pickles, that we DON’T have to give our business to them. If only everyone would take that tack, places like Disney and McDonald’s would realize…. they need their customers, their customers DON’T need them! Sure, we like to go to McDonalds, and I am missing Disney like crazy! And I do agree, every business has the right to make money. We are small business owners, so I REALLY get that…but my husband gives all sorts of “freebies” to customers when they are paying full price for their service, and often even to the ones who aren’t, who’ve bought the groupon or living social…one because it might mean a repeat customer, and two, because it might mean a little more money in our pockets, and both are worth giving a little to get a little. If he’s already there, he takes the attitude of he may as well give them a discount to earn their business, then he does the best job he can do. Disney’s no longer doing that, and I think in the end, it’s going to cost them. Maybe it won’t, with the economy seemingly improving. And I am sure Disney is looking at the bleed from penny losses, but honestly, they should be looking at the gains from the dollars customers like Jimmy bring in, rather than the pennies they might lose over a cup of soda. 8.99 is a ridiculous price for a day’s worth of soda. You could spend a dollar more at Sam’s club, and get a 36 pack that would last you nearly a week.

  12. Deb C says:

    Sarah, I just checked the Disney website and hopping is only $59 more per ticket. The day price has increased and is now about $34 a day for a ten day ticket. And increases as you decrease the number of days. But I did think there was a big price increase for non-expiring tickets (and it isn’t even on the Disney website, you have to ask for it at the ticket box).

    But with increasing costs of health care and wages, the price has to be passed off to the consumer one way or another. And when customers gripe at Disney World, they often get stuff and money thrown at them.

  13. Firemedic08 says:

    If you are staying More than a week, it only makes sense to buy the 17.99 cup. This is a good deal. If you do the Math, You looking at 1.30/ per drink, twice a day for a week, OR if there for 2 weeks (As we always are) 65 cents/ drink, twice a day for 14 days…….. Sounds like a deal to me….

  14. Firemedic08 says:

    Lisa, They do NOT fingerprint you. That system you are referring to Uses the Size and shape of your Finger only. If you were to wear a Rubber (Medical) Glove, it would still allow you in. If you have a family all together and try using one of their tickets, it will work. It compares sizes and shape of your party to allow you in.

  15. Lilypad says:

    I think the $17.99 price for your entire stay is a good deal compared to buying each drink separately. Plus, you go home with a nice souvenir mug. My family has seen many people bringing back old mugs from the previous year and using them over and over. We have always been told in advance that the mugs were good for our current visit only and we would never bring them back to get free drinks the next visit. I think the new monitoring system keeps Disney from losing money on the mugs plus all the drinks. When we first started buying them the mugs were $12.99, but over the years everything goes up in price. For the last several years, we have gotten the Disney Dining Plan that includes the mug with unlimited refills for our whole stay. It’s not cheap, but we get reservations and make payments for about 7-8 months to have our vacation paid for before we get there. Yes, Disney makes money, they couldn’t stay open if they didn’t, but they also give you a quality vacation for the price and they keep adding to the parks, which costs them a lot.

  16. The Dude says:

    In general, soda is bad for you. We just bring our old mugs and drink coffee/tea for free. Problem solved.

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