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News and Review!: Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs for Walt Disney World Resorts Now in Use

Welcome back DFB author Wendy with an informative report on the new Rapid Fill Resort Mugs in Walt Disney Word.

Rapid Fill intro photoAt the time of this writing, the mugs are in use at Disney’s All-Star Music Intermission Food Court and All-Star Movies World Premiere Food Court. (Disney’s All-Star Sports End Zone Food Court is currently closed for refurbishment). They will be rolled out at the rest of the Disney World resorts shortly.

As you may recall from a previous post on Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs, Rapid Fill allows Disney Resort guests to buy (or receive as part of the Disney Dining Plan) a Resort mug which can be refilled for a certain period of time as designated at time of purchase. These mugs are enhanced by an RFID bar code which enables the mug to deactivate when the designated time is complete.

Perhaps you have some questions… I know I did! So, let’s get started!

Rapid Fill Refillable Mug Frequently Asked Questions

I’m not on a Disney Dining Plan, so I’ll be purchasing my mug separately. How much do they cost?

$8.99 for 1 Day
$11.99 for 2 Days
$14.99 for 3 Days
$17.99 for Length of Stay (If you’re staying longer, “Add-1-Day” or “Add-2-Day” options can be added.)

Rapid Fill Prices

Rapid Fill Prices

What do the new mugs look like?

For now, just like the previous mugs. You’ll still see Mickey and a few of his pals enjoying some poolside fun. You’ll notice a few differences, however…

Guests can now choose from orange, purple, and green lids for the mugs (previous choices included blue, black, and bright pink).

Green, purple, and orange mugs

Green, purple, and orange mugs

The Rapid Fill logo has been added to the mugs.

Rapid Fill Logo

Rapid Fill Logo

You may notice a tiny bit of text to the right of the handle. It reads: “Refills available at no additional charge atResort Beverage Island located in the resort that this mug was purchased through the end of your resort stay.” Plus, there is some added text beneath it: “DO NOT MICROWAVE.”

Do not microwave!

Do not microwave!

Where can I fill my Rapid Fill Mug?

The text would seem to have answered that question. However, both the price signs and one of the Cast Members I spoke with indicated that Rapid Fill mugs can be used at “any resort self-service beverage location,” as long as they are used within the designated time frame.

Rapid Fill Info

Rapid Fill Info

So how does it work?

First, you’ll purchase your mug and indicate to the Cast Member how long you wish to use it. I chose a “One Day”, green mug. I like the new bright colors!

Green Rapid Fill Mug

Green Rapid Fill Mug

Next, you’ll go to the Beverage Island where you will see the Rapid Fill machines. You’ll know they are “Rapid Fill” by the little screens above the beverages. Pay attention to these – you’ll learn why momentarily :).

Beverage Station with Rapid Fill Screens

Beverage Station with Rapid Fill Screens

Rapid Fill Screen

Rapid Fill Screen

Then, place your mug on the tray beneath your beverage of choice. It MUST be on the tray. Otherwise the machine will not recognize your mug.

Rapid Fill Mug on tray

Rapid Fill Mug on tray

This is where those little screens start their big job. If your mug isn’t properly placed on the tray, the screen will indicate this to you.

Place cup on tray message

Place cup on tray message

Once your mug is in place, press the button for your beverage of choice!

Filling the mug

Filling the mug

While your mug is being filled, the screen will display the date that your mug may be refilled through.

Refill date notice

Refill date notice

You’ll know when your mug has reached its capacity because the screen will say “Fill Complete.” (You’ll also know this because your mug will start to overflow ;) ).

Fill complete

Fill complete

Wow… I’m so thirsty that I downed an entire soda in 1 minute and 43 seconds! Can I refill again RIGHT AWAY?

Not so fast! The mugs are programmed so that you cannot refill them for two minutes after reaching the mugs “Fill Complete” capacity. (At least, this is how it timed out for me. I ran a test where I filled my mug at 12:28 pm. I was not able to refill until 12:30 pm, once the allotted seconds were up.)

How much longer until my next refill?

How much longer until my next refill?

Okay. I’ve waited my allotted time. What now?

Refill and enjoy! Cheers!

I like to mix different beverages to make one drink. Can I still switch it up?

Me, too! I like to fill my cup with three quarters Pomegranate Lemonade and one quarter Sprite. This is my own personal recipe for my Disney Mocktail (you’re welcome ;) ). Yes, you can still do that, right up until the “Fill Complete” message appears.

What if I’m just a kid and not tall enough to read all those screens?

Then you, my tiny friend, will assume your mug is broken and yell for your parent. At least, that’s what I witnessed. Several times. ;)

Choose your mug!

Choose your mug!

I don’t drink very much soda, but I enjoy one every now and then. What are my options if I choose not to purchase a Rapid Fill mug?

You can still purchase a regular paper cup. I spoke with a couple of guests who chose them, and their cups were read by the machines as well. However, the screens displayed different messages. Upon the first fill, the message read, “3 refills within 1 hour” (then “2 refills,” and so on). The cups deactivate and can’t be refilled after one hour, or after 3 refills – whichever comes first.

What about water and ice?

I brought along a water bottle that was not connected to this program. As of this writing, water and ice remains free for all cups.

Whew! So, there you have it! We’ll be keeping an eye out to see if Rapid Fill Beverage Stations become operational in more Disney World Resorts over the coming weeks.

Share your thoughts on the new Rapid Fill program — let us know what you think in the comments below!

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135 Comments

  1. Elaine says:

    Have the mug colors changed at all the resorts? We are staying at the AK Lodge and will purchase so I am hoping that I can at least get something other than pink, blue and black.

  2. Charlette says:

    Disney never said that the old mugs in the 90′s were lifetime mugs. If you were told by a CM just remember that CM’s are not executives. They are there to punch in, make magic, and punch out. Unless someone has photo proof that the mugs said they were for a LIFETIME, then they can’t prove that those mugs were ADVERTISED as a LIFETIME mug.

    Also, I stayed at Port Orleans last week and I didn’t have any problems. If anything it was the other people around me that were causing problems and having fits over nothing. If you simply read the screen above you it will tell you to place the cup on the tray, it tells you how much time you have in between refills, and for the record, the reason why there’s a 2 1/2 minute wait time in between refills is to PREVENT people from getting a refill and filling up other people’s drinks. That mug is for you and you only to be used at the resorts during the length of your stay.

    So the people that are getting mad at this being put into place just remember that you probably took part in the scams that were going on and you are to blame, not Disney, not Coca-Cola.

  3. Elaine says:

    We are staying 5 days, 4 nights. If we would just purchase 3 days does it have to be the 1st three days? I wouldn’t need it for the day we are leaving as we will have to leave the hotel by 8:30 am. If they don’t have to be consecutive days then I could choose the days to use it. I guess since we aren’t staying at the all stars it really doesn’t matter unless the AKL has started to use them. Just curious though.

  4. lisa says:

    I also purchased mugs many years ago and was told they would be good forever! Any info on that would be appreciated!

  5. Wendy says:

    Hi, Elaine! The days of use do have to be consecutive — the mug will be activated upon purchase and will deactivate at the end of the third day. I haven’t been to AKL to verify that the mugs have changed there, but if by any chance they haven’t, it will definitely be soon, as I have noticed the mugs have switched at several other resorts over the last couple of weeks. Hope you have a great trip!

  6. Ollie says:

    Well said Charlette! Were you at Riverside or French Quarter?

  7. Carol says:

    This is just one more thing that Disney has taken to a lower value. Every year we go we see more and more of the quality of Disney getting worse. They charge more each year and take more away each year. They are treating their quests not in a magical way that’s for sure. Last year we experienced this in the All Star Resort. When my daughter stopped filling her cup because of the foam and fizz, it wouldn’t allow her to then fill it to the top until she waited the time allowance. Two managers stood and watched my daughter struggle and did not help her. This was definitely not Disney quality. Maybe we should start bringing our own.

  8. Ollie says:

    Many things have changed– the rapid fill system has changed from last year and you can now wait for the fuzz and foam to go down and continue filling without a wait. As for the lack of assistance from the managers, complain, don’t wait, do it while your at the resort. We received, well, a troublesome check-in this year from a, well, very , ok, dumb person. She did not listen to anything we said, and continually repeated the answer back to us incorrectly. We finally had to speak to another cast member to ‘fix’ the situation. And we received some extra bonuses for our understanding. They recorded the dumb cast members name, si that she could recieve feedback on her actions. The reality is that Disney is a large company trying to make money. They have many employees and cannot ‘watch over’ every cast member every second. They rely on feedback, both positive and negative, to hopefully reduce problems.
    And, yes, the cost of Disney is going up, but so is many ‘destination’ places.

  9. Renata says:

    HI,
    I will not stay at Disney’s resorts and will not have a dinning plan, but I will eat a breakfast at Ohana. Can I buy a mug at Polynesian Resort? If I can, where I buy it? Is the mug thermal?
    My apologize for my english. I AM not American.
    I love your blog!

  10. AJ says:

    Renata — Thanks so much for reading! And yes, you can buy the mugs at Captain Cook’s Snack Company, the counter service location at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. You’ll find it on the ground floor, below the lobby level. The mugs are thermal, so they’ll keep your beverage hot (or cold) for a little longer.

  11. Kim says:

    We are going to Disney for almost two weeks, one week at Old Key West and another at Pop Century. If we purchase at one resort for length of stay will we be able to use it the second week at the other resort?

  12. Wendy says:

    Hi, Kim! Yes, you’ll be able to use the mug that you purchase at Old Key West throughout your second week at Pop Century. No need to purchase an additional mug :). Sounds like a great trip, by the way!

  13. Janice says:

    We just spent a week at Coronado Springs, and I didn’t see anything about this “Rapid Refill.” Our mugs were free as part of our DDP, and there is no bar code on them and nothing about the number of days. Our mugs have the pink, black, and blue lids.

  14. Mike says:

    While my initial reaction was to bemoan this further erosion of the wonderful Disney magic, I recalled watching with annoyance so MANY resort guests filling older mugs and even large non-Disney thermoses from the soda fountains…for years! I figured Disney had made a corporate decision that an honor system revealed the quality of the company, and they’d absorb the costs of so many violators.

    Well…welcome to corporate reality of the 21st century. I’m an executive retiree from a large automobile manufacturer and have watched my benefits erode dramatically every year. Companies are squeezed for every dime of profit … if not for those who repeatedly violated the Disney refillable mug honor system, we’d still be enjoying a fine program.

    So, I’ve made a conscious decision (and of a Disney quality): choose to view this minor aggravation as a necessary change and keep it in perspective with all of the fabulous, wonderful magic that is still there at WDW. The best quality vacation to be had!

  15. bagsrpacked says:

    Magical morning to all!
    We just got back from 10 days at DisneyWorld. We stayed at Pop Century. August 31-Sept. 10. We used the refillable mugs. Pop Century was using the old soda machines. You just put your mug under what you wanted a fill it up as often as you wanted to. The new system wasn’t in place. Prices are going up everywhere so expect Disney to follow. We also got picked to use the MagicBands. They are super cool. Be able to do fastpasses on your phone how great is that! From getting into your room to getting into the parks. Makes it simple. Plus Disney has charms that you buy to add to your band. Made mine look like a watch. Was really new cause some of the cast member hadn’t seen them yet.
    We were able to get the free meal plan which makes it easy to buget at disney. We got the quick service and table service plan. That saved us way over $100.00 dollars a day. Of course we ordered food we wouldn’t have ordered if paying. ( 2 of us.)
    As for travel in the parks. Pop Century buses are the best. We eat at some of the higher end resorts and they share the rides with other resorts. Really took longer to get where you need to go.

  16. Lynne says:

    hi there!
    I was wondering if the mugs are reusable? I go to Disney twice a year and instead of purchasing a mug each time, can you use the one you have with the chip in it? I get why they did it, but it seems like a lot of work to change the system. Maybe just discounted refills on mugs would have been easier?

  17. Crystal says:

    Last year I only used my mug for coffee and water. I saw that water is still free, but are you able to get coffee with this rapid refill system? Was really looking forward to my unlimited iced coffee… Thanks!

  18. Mike says:

    We just returned from a 23-night stay at WDW, 9/24 to 10/17. (Food and Wine Festival is always fantastic in EPCOT). Our experience with the refillable mugs was fine. Crystal: coffee and hot-water for teas do NOT have readers on them, only the soda machines.

    We checked into Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House on 9/24 and purchased 2 mugs for “Length of Stay.” I mentioned that we were there for 23 nights, 4 at Jambo, 9 at Boardwalk and 10 at Wilderness Lodge. The lady at the register said that “Length of Stay” would put a maximum of 14 days on the chip and we could refill at any resort hotel (and I verified this when filling my mug at different locales, the screen on the soda machines indicated I had free refills until 14 days later). She told me to “keep your receipt and wherever you’re staying, they’ll be able to extend it for your full length of stay in 14-day increments.” Our 14 days ran out in Wilderness Lodge, but a cast member, after looking at my receipt, was able to place another 14 days on our mugs (even though we were leaving after 10). The process was simple and straightforward and didn’t cost us any extra.

    I didn’t ask about reusability of the new mugs on return trips.

  19. Disney Mom says:

    Personally I don’t care, but I would like to point out that Disney is literally pinching pennies and this new program just adds insult to injury. Unless you’ve worked in the food industry you wouldn’t know that fountain pop has something like a 1000% profit. I large glass of pop costs maybe a penny. And for them to go and invest that kind of money for a pop machine to ensure people aren’t taking an extra refill for a friend, well that is being penny smart and dollar stupid.

    It’s pop it doesn’t cost them that much, to me this just shows their corporate greed. It’s sickening. And for those that abuse it, well shame on them, but everywhere you go there are those that ruin it for others. I’m tired of the greater good being punished for the few bad apples. Look at the new disabled access rules, those changed because rich entitled feeling idiots ruined it for families that really needed it. Did Disney punish them? No Disney punished the people who were using the system honestly.

  20. Julie says:

    It was only a matter of time before Disney did this. I’m not surprised at all; in fact, I was curious how they would ever stop the free drinks, and I’m impressed that they actually found a way to do it. Just buy the mug and follow the instructions – and the rules.

    By the way, if you have the Disney Dining Plan, you automatically get a drink with your meal – I got the mug with the DDP and actually, I never used it.

  21. Ed says:

    I realize that Disney is a business and its shareholders expect it to be profitable. I am not sure that the drink delivery system is a necessary part of the profit structure. With Disney’s volume you are like looking at less than $.20 for the drink and $.50 for the cup with the chip.

    Regardless of the amount of people using previously purchased mugs or other containers to get $.20 cents of free soda to go with their $9.19 hamburger seems like overkill to me.

    Right now Disney is riding high on Walt’s theory of ” keep people happy and business will grow
    and be profitable”. If you don’t keep the crowd happy eventually there will be a pushback.

    Who ever thought that you would see Kmart and Sears on the brink of complete failure.
    People will only be taken advantage of for a period od time before they go

  22. Diane says:

    Lisa, if you purchased a life time mug years ago at any of the port Orleans resorts they are good for life. I will send you the link.

  23. Andre Willey says:

    I fully agree that the old pre-2000 mugs SHOULD be good for life (as that’s how Disney sold them) but I’m not sure how Disney are handling this when guests bring them back to resorts. I was told by one manager that it would be “handled on a case-by-case basis”. If anyone has any first-hand info, I’d love to hear it.

    Andre

  24. Monica says:

    We will be staying at Port Orleans French Quarter in April. I’m not a big pop drinker but would like juice and coffee in the morning. Do the refillable cups work for juice and coffee too?

  25. Marie-Eve says:

    Coffee is included but as far as I know there are no juices available besides lemonade in the choices offered.

  26. Sally States says:

    When we come to Disney World, first thing in the morning my husband will take all 5 of our cup up to fill with coffee or coke and bring back to our room while we are getting ready for the day. Are you saying that now each one of us has to do our own cup.

  27. Jon says:

    @Sally States,

    He will still be able to take all the mugs and refill them. The chips that control how long the refills are valid from are in the bottom of the mug so it will identify each mug separately but doens’t matter who is holding the mug.

    Hope that helps.

  28. Dean says:

    Good Day,………Our Mug is from 1999……..We were told if was life time………Is this true?……….Thank you.

  29. Andrea says:

    We are not staying at a Disney Resort, just visiting the parks, can we buy a mug and refill at the parks?

  30. Tom says:

    Hi , I have my Old Dixie landing refillable mug plus two Port Orleans refillable mugs which I purchased in the past going back 15 years or more. I bought these on the understanding they were “for life” everytime I re visited A disney resort ,be it Dixie landings or Port Orleans . Am I going to be not able to take them with me to honor the original sale purchase agreement ?
    Tom

  31. Lisa says:

    I’m with Andrea! Can you Buy a refillable mug to use at the parks??

  32. Christy says:

    My family purchased refillable mugs when we visited Disney five years ago. We were told to hold onto them they were good forever. Are you saying we can’t use our old mugs now? We will be visiting again this year.

  33. Robert says:

    I agree with a comment Carol made above. She stated that Disney over the years keeps raising their prices and giving their guests less and less each year. This is definitely true. Our family has been going to Disney for over 25 years now. An example would be…….when we use to purchase tickets years ago in a package deal, Disney would always throw in extras which would include a day at one of the water parks, a lunch at a number of designated restaurants and miniature golf, and a free character breakfast for the kids. Over the years these all but have been eliminated. They also use to have live steel drum bands at the Caribbean Beach Resort……that’s gone to along with the free bicycle loaner program plus free game time in the Arcade. Now when you book at package you get the room and your ticket and that’s it. Disney’s profits in the mean time have gone up ten fold. Their executives make more than ever and their cast members make less than ever. You really have to step back and ask yourself where all this is going. Think about it……….It’s all about More Money,Money, Money.

  34. Oliver says:

    Christy, somebody must have given you the wrong information when you purchased your mugs 5 years ago. We have been purchasing new mugs for many, many years. (I often clean and fill with Disney candy to give as a gift when I return home). At the time of purchase we were always told for the length of our stay only. The lifetime mugs were sold more than 10 or 12 years ago… Many people continued to use the ‘length of stay’ mugs for 2nd and 3rd stays without any cast members stopping them. Now, with the new ‘chipped’ mugs, you cannot use the old mugs, and cast members do not have to feel like school hall monitors!
    I do not think I like the policy change, but when I purchase my mugs each stay, I know exactly what I am paying for. And I also do not feel cheated, because everybody has to pay for the same deal. I am not happy with the price, but I choose to purchase and follow the rules set out with my purchase.

  35. michael says:

    To those who remark that … “Disney over the years keeps raising their prices and giving their guests less and less each year,” I would like to say that my experience is totally opposite. Yes, prices do go up on almost everything in the world (if you’re going to pay employees AND provide the better-than-average benefits that Disney employees receive)… but consider just a few of the added, free extras WDW has started providing through the last several years:

    For instance: the MAGICAL EXPRESS service to/from MCO International Airport is totally FREE if you are staying on property. For our party of 4, we would pay about $120 for the Mears shuttles years ago AND we had to handle our bags upon arrival and upon return to the airport. This is now ABSOLUTELY FREE to WDW guests. Frankly, I’d much rather pay for refillable mugs than the transportation costs to/from MCO (in today’s dollars, $120 would be $200 or more)

    Kids’ activities at most resort poolsides: 10 years ago there was very little, now there are games, activities, FREE MOVIES most nights at poolside, enough to keep the little ones engaged while parents can rest

    How about the multi-millions spent on park expansions? Expedition Everest, the new Fantasyland expansion, Toy Story Midway Mania, the under-construction Avatar area in Animal Kingdom, the air-conditioning added to The Festival of the Lion King show?

    I could go on…

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