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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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129 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    We are staying at AKL for 6 nights and then will transfer to the Beach Club for 4 additional nights, making our total length of stay 10 nights. If we purchase the length of stay option, will we get the full 10 nights? Or would we only get 6 nights and be forced to purchase another mug for our last 4 nights?

  2. Brandis says:

    Once the purchased duration of refills is over, can another refill period be bought for the same mug, perhaps even at a different resort? So basically, can an expired RFID chip be overwritten so a mug can be re-used?

    Royal Caribbean has a similiar program on some of their cruise ships where you receive a Coca Cola mug that can be used for free refills at Coca Cola Freestyle Machines (love those, wished Disney would have used those as well for they Rapid Refill Program) around the ship. However, when we did Back2Back cruises, I wanted to buy the program for the second week as well and they said I needed a new mug for it as they could not reprogram it to be reused. I didn’t want another one as I had no use for 2 mugs (luggage space) so I didn’t buy the program for the second week. (And I didn’t ask for a discount, I was prepared to pay the regular price again)

  3. Frank Stefanec says:

    Are Swan and Dolphin included in this???
    Thx.
    Frank

  4. Jill D says:

    I was so looking forward to some new artwork on the mugs. It says “for now” in the report, but any chance we could get some new looking mugs? I have so many of these mugs. I miss the old ones that were themesd to the resort you were staying at! Maybe they will surprise me. Lets hope for the best. Great report.

    By the way, how does the new mugs system work with coffee/tea/hot chocolate?

  5. Maureen says:

    We went on a Royal Caribbean cruise in the spring and they had a similar program. However, they made you wait 10 minutes for a refill. I hope Disney keeps their refill time at 2 minutes. The cruise was annoying because if you chose a drink you did not like, you were stuck with it for ten minutes. And they only had one machine on the entire ship, not conveniently located either.

  6. Dana says:

    Along with what Jill asked, can we still fill our mugs with ice water? I usually only use my mug for hot chocolate or ice water – if I don’t pretend the soda isn’t there, then I will drink WAY too much of it!

  7. Tricia says:

    Looking forward to trying this out in 27 days. I for one have no issue buying a new mug for every trip, as I usually go once every year or other year. I would really like a change of design soon but… I think that we will end up with 4 mugs this year as we have two different reservations therefore two different dining plans.

  8. Chrissy O says:

    Super informative article! Thanks, Wendy!

    I’m not happy with Disney on this one, but at least the refillable mug program is still intact. I can’t imagine if I had to pay $2+ every time I wanted a pop. That certainly gets old in the parks. How about Disney do something awesome and install the Rapid Fill in the theme parks! Think about how much less waste would be generated from those paper cups!

  9. Liz says:

    I’ll be bringing my own soda and drinks (which I’ve been doing anyways). I don’t think the refills are a good value and am not wild about the mug designs (especially the new lid colors). That’s just my opinion though.

  10. Michelle says:

    Hi! I have a general question about the refill mugs. Can you also purchase these as a non-resort guest? That would be perfect for a night of fireworks viewing at Polynesian! Thanks so much for your help.

  11. Katie says:

    What about coffee, hot chocolate and the gold peak iced tea?? Last time they did this stupid thing, those were free. I don’t really care what disney does to squeeze another penny out of their dedicated guests, I will just bring my own sodas.

  12. Valerie says:

    I agree with Katie. I think it is a dumb idea and will cost more in the long run for Disney in repairs and hassle. They in turn will pass this cost on to us. I too will just bring my own soda.

  13. Robert says:

    Having used the old mugs a few times I always found I never used it a enough for it to be worth it. How often am at that station and happen to hauling my mug around to get a drink and when I am in my room resting the last thing I want to do is get up and go down to get a drink. Now with the new pricing it would even less worth it. I started buying a case of soda before arriving on property and just tossing it in the fridge. Cheaper and easier.

  14. melissa says:

    Question, I like a lot of ice in my drinks, does it count ice when you are filling up? Like, with the ice does it adjust the amount of soda for fill or does it count as not filled at that time because the ice took up space? Im not sure I made that clear but anyway……

  15. Dale says:

    Does the refillable mug work on the hot cocoa? My wife doesn’t drink soda but loves a mug of hot cocoa to end a busy park day.

  16. Wendy says:

    Michael — I’m not sure how split stays at different resorts are affected. When I find an answer, I’ll let you know here!

    Brandis – to my knowledge, the mugs can’t be re-programmed for a new trip.

    Frank – I will have to check at Swan and Dolphin, but I do not believe that they will be participating in the program. I will confirm to be sure!

    Dana – Yes, I brought along a water bottle with me, because I like to fill up with water, too. It still worked, along with the ice :)!

    Chrissy – I agree :). It would be really neat to see something in the Parks that differs from paper cups! Maybe something similar to the Water Parks… that would be great!

    Michelle — Yes, I purchased my 1-Day mug as a non-Resort guest :). Non-resort guests may also buy a 2 or 3 Day mug, BUT the days must be used consecutively (for instance, if I had purchased a 2-Day mug on August 16, the reader would have said “Refills available through 8/17.” Hope that helps!

    Melissa – I think I know what you mean :). Ice does seem to affect the fill (I like a lot of ice, too). It seems that the beverages are dispensed by the ounce, so once you reach the allotted-ounce amount, you receive the “Fill Complete” message. When I put extra ice in my cup, I didn’t reach the “Fill Complete” message as quickly. I will say, the amount to reach “Fill Complete” seems generous to me – there were a few times my mug overflowed!

    I don’t believe I’ve answered all the questions here yet, but will continue looking into things and we’ll be sure to update accordingly :)!

  17. Jennifer says:

    I just wanted to say that I did the pom-lemonade/sprite mix as well because that lemonade was so good but I just have to have a little sparkle to my drink. :) It was the best and I keep wishing I had some!!!

  18. Kathy Blanchard says:

    Just a note to tell everyone to please wash your mug when you first get it, they are put together at a workshop that hires mr/mh workers, wonderfull people, but they tend to play with the cups, I used to work there so I saw this firsthand…Disney has “mug wash” stations beside the drink station.

  19. ann says:

    What does the name Rapid Fill mean? It doesn’t make any sense to me unless it is a reference to Disney’s wallet.

  20. Kate says:

    I don’t understand why people are upset-didn’t the mugs cost $20 or so anyway? I think this is a neat idea, and hope it comes to the parks! And that it extends to coffee and tea-I’m not much of a soda person but it’s nice to have free coffee refills (even if it’s Nescafé :).

  21. Joy says:

    I would opt for buying my own cans of soda but didn’t I read that they are taking the fridges out of the rooms? Sheesh.

  22. Marie-Eve L. says:

    Question: If we arrive on the 27th and we leave on the 31st (spending 4 nights and 5 days there) and we’re on the dining plan, does that mean that we’ll have only 4 “days” of free refill (that would mean that if we start using it on the 27th, we’ll have to pay our drinks on the last day … or that the cup will work from the moment we activate it –27th– until we leave on the 31st?

    Thank you!

  23. Dawn H says:

    I am a fan of the mugs, I think the value is head on. I believe the system is a good idea I was always aware of people bringing in their old mugs…dishonesty doesnt sit well with me.
    I do wish they would come out with FOUR colors though, my family of four is always mixing up our mugs!!..maybe I could bring a lid from a previous trip??? would that be do-able?

  24. Michael says:

    Very happy with this. I was tired of people abusing the old mug policy and this makes sure it gets enforced. Now if only we can stop people from treating the toppings bars at Pecos Bills as a salad bar.

  25. Candace says:

    I think it’s a little ridiculous that there is now a limit on how many times you can refill your mug. This will be my 5th time visiting Disney world. When I first stayed at Disney world. Pop Century . There was no limit on what you filled the mug with or how many times. The price was around I think $13 for one mug. At the time this is when Disney offered red and blue slushys. It was nice for a hot day by the pool. 3 refills in an hour seems reasonable. $17 for the mug is not. Maybe it would be if they didn’t change the amount of times to refill It just seem Disney is turning more and more into only caring about the money than anything else.

  26. Jill D says:

    wait… that isnt a salad bar????

  27. Barb says:

    This is not the first time this has been tried at the resorts. It didn’t last that time so I guess we’ll see how long this lasts.

  28. Jessica says:

    Marie-Eve: If the timeframe on the mug works the same way that the timeframe on the dining plan does, you should be able to use it starting on the 27th until the end of the day on the 31st.

  29. Michael says:

    Jill D-It’s meant for the Taco Salad’s, but I’ve seen people with just a plate taking things and making their own makeshift salad. I will also say I’ve heard a certain podcaster and multple forums endorsing this as a way to save money.

  30. Debbie T says:

    Salad bar? There’s not much there I would consider “salad worthy”. I will say, however, that sometimes one in our group will go to the fixings bar and get lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, pickles, etc for the whole table so it might “look” like the person is making a salad but actually getting fixing for several at our table.

  31. Essie says:

    I’m glad that they still allow guests to get water and ice for free; I always fill up a water thermos before going to the parks. As for the new cups, I only will get one if I get the Free Dining Plan. I don’t need anymore cups and I don’t need to buy the dining plan either. It’s too much food for me and costs a lot more than I would otherwise spend for food. Although they’re very good, I just don’t need a big sit down meal everyday, as well as a quick service with dessert.

  32. Essie says:

    I’m really starting to get homesick for the older, less complicated Disney World….

  33. CanadiansloveWDW says:

    the new colours are nice hope they have this at POP before we get there.. it is really annoying to see so much abuse… and a program that offers drinks in the park would be nice too… especially in the summer its crazy hot …

  34. Kathy says:

    What about those of us who have Lifetime Mugs at resorts? My family and I purchased them years ago on our first trip to the Polynesian and bring them back every time we stay there. How are they going to deal with those of us with those mugs?

  35. Marla says:

    If we’re going for a 4 day stay and decide not to purchase the mugs (we have a set of 12 at home!) does anyone know how much one coffee in the hotel or one soda at the pool costs? I’m trying to figure out how cost effective the mug will be for us.

  36. Michelle says:

    How about iced tea?

  37. Ann says:

    I love Disney World. I think the cups are a great idea, we have quite a collection from great vacations there. However, I do not like the idea of the screen displaying the end date. When you are having such a great time, who wants to think about your time there ending? Just my thoughts.

  38. TL says:

    Great investigative reporting Wendy!! Looking forward to my upcoming trip. Do you know if the old cup lids fit on these new cups?? Since we always have more then 3 people going we like to bring many different colored lids to tell the cups apart.

  39. Cari says:

    Coffee, what about coffee?

  40. Joan 43 says:

    We have been going to Disney since it opened at least 3 times a year. With them raising the price of tickets every year and the cost of the resorts and now with the new mug system I guess we won’t be going as much. Most people don’t just sit and drink sodas etc. all day. They go into the parks and buy drinks there and maybe when you get back you might have 1 soda or coffee. Really think this is a bad idea for Disney. I just bring my own drinks.

  41. Chris says:

    When we were looking into buying DVC, one of the sales pitches was that you will have these great savings by purchasing a refillable mug at your resort since they are good forever. Then fast forward, CM’s tell you, you can’t use your old mugs here! Now people are blogging how cheap people are being when Disney themselves told us not only it was ok, but they pushed it as a sales gimmick back several years ago. It’s embarrassing and wrong of them to change or even deny that they ever said that and many of our DVC friends agree.

  42. Wendy says:

    Jennifer – we have to name this Mocktail :)!

    Marie-Eve – that’s a really great question. I want to confirm this, but I believe Length of Stay is programmed to tie to an ending date (as opposed to “number of nights,” which is the typical language of the Dining Plan). If I’m correct, that means you would be able to use the mug on your last day. I will ask about this to confirm, and will verify as soon as I can.

    Dawn – I feel the same. I was a bit bummed about seeing a selection of only three colors, when so many groups larger than three travel. I think your idea of reusing a different color lid is a good one! The mug is still the same size, so they fit.

    Kathy – I’m not familiar with those particular mugs. I’ll see if I can find an answer for you!

    Marla – at the Parks, it’s $2.59 for a regular, and $2.99 for a large, and I believe the Resorts follow suit. But I’ll check to confirm, because you’re right – it would be important to know as you try to figure out which choice is best for you.

    Ann – Good point!! :)

    TL – Yes, they do! I thought you and Dawn brought up a great point for groups larger than 3, so I just tried my old blue lid on my new green cup – it fits! Good idea!

    The drinks that are dispensed from Rapid Fill machines are all sodas, lemonade, and Powerade.

  43. Denise says:

    I’m confused, is this the mug I get as part of my Deluxe Dining Plan? Or, how will they tell those apart?

  44. Ed K says:

    I will use the new mugs if hey are part of my package but I won’t by them separately. I bring my own drinks because I’m just too lazy to walk a quarter mile to the food courts for a sip of soda. It has nothing to do with he price.

  45. Joe says:

    As a shareholder, it is good to know that the Company has a plan to recoup the loss on The Lone Ranger. Controlling soda abuse.

  46. Sandra says:

    Candace, the three refills in an hour refers to buying a paper drink cup, not the plastic refillable cups. You can still refill them as many times as you wish; there will just be a space between refills of a couple of minutes. So if you were quick, you could refill it THIRTY times in an hour! Even my husband can’t drink that much soda. ;) They are just trying to cut down on people who use any old container to take soda, or who buy a single mug and pass it around to the whole family by refilling it repeatedly and dumping the refills into cups brought from home.

    Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and iced tea do not seem to be tied to this program, so you can still get those. Ice and water are still free.

    We do buy the mugs and will continue to do so, in part because we often eat two meals a day at our resort, and like to have something to drink by the pool or in the evenings. We also bring canned soda for the room, since my husband gets thirsty at 3:00 am, but as we refill the mugs at least 3-4 times per day of our stay, we feel we are getting full value. We’re also happy to see Disney finally doing something about the blatant theft of soda by people using non-Disney mugs (and I am not talking about those who purchased forever mugs years ago). We are also hoping that the info on being able to use it at other resorts is correct, as we mainly do CS meals, and like to try other food courts.

  47. Andre Willey says:

    Just to let you know, Port Orleans goes live on Monday 19 August with the Rapid Fill system, although the mugs themselves have been sold and activated from last Sunday. This is so most guests at the resort will already have the new mugs when they turn the RFID sensors on. Oddly, there were no Rapid Fill logos printed on the ones I saw (same colours though, green, orange and purple).

    Lengths of Stay beyond 14 days need to be manually added by a CM, but this is free. The same goes for multi-resort stays, as long as they are CONSECUTIVE days at Disney. I believe ‘end of use’ occurs at midnight on the last day of use, which may create some problems if you buy a one-day mug in the evening expecting it to work for a full 24 hours into the next day, as it won’t.

    The flow rate on the ice machines has been deliberately doctored so the ice comes out much more slowly now, apparently to avoid guests filling their mugs with ice and then overflowing the mug with soda. I saw a lot of guests prodding and pushing at the ice levers (me included!) on the assumption that the unit was faulty. It’s rather annoying.

    The two-minute delay will also be annoying if you (like me, and many others) tend to gulp down an initial thirst-quenching drink, and then refill your mug back to the top to take it back to your table. You won’t be able to do that (well, not without waiting 2 minutes and annoying everyone else waiting behind you). They need to change the signs to read “Rapid* Fill”, with the disclaimer “* but not quite as rapid as it used to be”.

    Oh, and while talking about Port Orleans, you may want to know that they just switched over to Joffrey’s coffee in the food courts last week too.

  48. Andre Willey says:

    Oh, and regarding those very old (and now somewhat faded) pre-2000 mugs which were sold by Disney as perpetually refillable? They obviously won’t work any more with the new dispensers, and guests trying to claim that they should still be able to use them will be dealt with on a “case by case” basis according to one F&B Manager that I spoke to. I suspect that this might mean Disney could offer something as a one-off gesture, but not for any future visits.

    Incidentally, when this possible issue was raised to the central F&B operations team, they informed the Manager that I spoke to that it was a myth and that Disney had NEVER sold resort mugs as permanently re-fillable. I politely beg to differ (in fact I still own some) and if anyone happens to have a photo of the old signage from the 1990s, I (and she) would love to have a copy as I don’t have anything in my own files.

  49. Kathy says:

    Yeah I still have the lifetime mugs, and have even had workers AT the particular resort they are for tell us that “we need to keep an eye on those because they might disappear if we aren’t watching them” because the workers themselves know they are lifetime refills. I know my dad will be VERY upset if they try to tell us they’ll give us the new mugs for this 1 trip but any other trips we will need to purchase new mugs.

  50. AJ says:

    Andre — Thank you for all of the Port Orleans updates!! I don’t have signage from the “perpetual mug use” days, but I’ll check my archives!

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