Disney World Refillable Mug FAQ

The Epic Disney Refillable Mug Argument (Ethics, RapidFill, FAQ, etc.)

Walt Disney World uses refillable mugs in its resort hotels (with Rapid Fill) and in the theme parks. This Disney refillable mug guide takes a look at some commonly asked questions about refillable mugs, as well as some of the oddly-prevalent controversy surrounding the mugs. As of 2014, these mugs cost $8.99 for 1 day, $11.99 for 2 days, $14.99 for 3 days, $17.99 for length of stay (4 or more days), or are included with the Disney Dining Plan. The system is pretty simple: you buy the mug (or have it provided to you via the Disney Dining Plan) and then are entitled to unlimited refills at the Disney hotels for the duration of your stay. With some caveats.

Despite it being a seemingly straightforward topic, there are few topics that elicit as much discussion and impassioned debate as the refillable mugs. This article will take a examine the ethical and economical quandaries of the refillable mugs, look at the RapidFill system, and answer some frequently asked questions about the mugs.

Basically, this will be “More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Refillable Mugs.” (Our next article will be an in-depth piece titled, “Using the Handwashing Apparatuses in Restrooms: An Essay.”) We’ll start with the FAQ and finish with the lesson in ethics…


What is a refillable mug? 

Beyond the obvious, this is a mug (see photos throughout this article) that can be purchased for a flat fee and refilled at designated counter service locations at Walt Disney World resort hotels (not theme parks, water parks, Downtown Disney, table service restaurants, etc). Current policy states that the mug is valid for unlimited refills for the duration of the trip during which the mug was purchased.

What can you put in the mug? 

Bottomless margaritas! Just kidding…a cup like that would probably cost $2,754.99 at Walt Disney World. Coke products are available, as are hot chocolate, coffee, and tea. Milk is not available, nor are real juices.

What’s the cost?

Didn’t you read the first paragraph?! The mug is currently cost $8.99 for 1 day, $11.99 for 2 days, $14.99 for 3 days, $17.99 for length of stay (4 or more days), or are included with the Disney Dining Plan. Note that it’s not “free” with the Dining Plan. It’s built into the cost of the Plan…there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or soda), especially at Walt Disney World.

How much do they hold?

Our mugs have “16” stamped on the bottom, which I believe indicates how many ounces the cups can hold. In actuality, they can hold about one can of soda. Pretty low capacity.

Can I take them with me to the parks and refill them there?

The answer to the first part of the question is yes, you can take them to the parks. The second part of the question has already been answered above–no, you can’t refill them there. Despite this, we see people on a daily basis leaving the hotel with their refillable mugs. This is probably partly because they don’t know the rules and partly because the refill stations at many hotels are “on the way” to the bus stop, making it easy to grab a drink for the ride.

This doesn’t make much sense to me. Don’t sacrifice the short term joy of having a Coke to start out your day for the long term pain of having to lug the thing around all day. There’s nothing fun about that, and the mug literally serves no benefit in the park. You’re much better off bringing a collapsible water bottle or asking for free cups of water from counter service restaurants if you are looking for a “convenient” way to store water while in the parks.

When I bought my mug, I was told it was good forever…is that not true?

Depends upon who told you. If it was a Cast Member (or it was printed on a sign near the mugs) and you relied on this information when making your purchase, forever is forever. If it was some random creeper standing next to the pile of mugs at Dixie Landings, your argument holds less water than one of these mugs. The current policy on the mugs being valid only for the length of stay is irrelevant, as one party to a contract cannot unilaterally alter its terms after the fact without new consideration. As Disney transitions to the new RapidFill system, these older “forever” mugs are something Walt Disney World management will have to address. Chances are, they won’t, though.

If no such policy was in place when you purchased your mug and you just feel like using the mug forever because no one can stop you and you think Disney is overpriced as it is…see the “Ethics” section below.

What if I’m staying at multiple resort hotels during my trip? 

As of right now, in the days before RapidFill, the mugs have identical designs for all resort hotels and there is no means of Cast Members knowing where and when you bought your mug. The exact language of the policy varies from sign to sign, but a common one states: “Unlimited Free Refills during your length of stay at [insert hotel name].” Depending upon the part of that sentence you emphasize, the policy could allow or forbid it. That’s your judgment call to make. I wouldn’t read it too literally–after all, if you want to be literal about it, the refills technically aren’t “free,” they are included in the cost of the mug. When asked, most Cast Members will tell you to use the same mug if transferring from one hotel to another during the course of one trip.

Where are the mugs available? 

They’re available at the food court and/or gift shop at every Disney-owned hotel at Walt Disney World. They aren’t available at Shades of Green, the Swan, the Dolphin, non-Disney Downtown Disney area hotels, or that random crack den you found for $35/night up I-Drive.

Are the mugs microwavable? 

I have no idea why this is such a common question (Americans love to microwave stuff?), but it is. According to Google, they are BOTH microwave and dishwasher safe. So party down! Woo hoo!!!

Disney Refillable Mug FAQ (Ethics, RapidFill, FAQ, etc.)

What is Rapid Fill?

Rapid Fill is the new RFID-based refillable mug program at Walt Disney World that is part of the NextGen initiative and ensures that guests have “valid” refillable mugs before allowing the refill. If you’ve been to Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach in the last few years, you’ve probably seen something similar to this system in action. Per Disney, this allows guests greater flexibility, as they can purchase 1-day, 2-days, 3-days, or 4+ days to use their refillable mug, and pay accordingly. In actuality, since most people do not vacation for a day or two, it was just a slick way to raise the price of refillable mugs and add technology to the equation. How much technology is too much technology for a soda machine? Well, “Rapid Fill” might be the answer to that question…

How does Rapid Fill work?

Magic. If that’s not a good enough answer, when you set your cup down on the stand below the soda dispenser, some sort of RFID-science senses that it’s there, and is valid. At that time, you can begin dispensing your soda. If you do something wrong, it won’t dispense, and maybe (or maybe not) the Rapid Fill LCD screen will tell you what’s wrong.

As we said in the last answer, a bit too much tech for a soda fountain…

How much filling is too rapid under Rapid Fill?

That might seem like nonsense, but if you’re trying to fill your cup too rapidly, Rapid Fill won’t allow you to fill your cup. You have to wait 2 minutes between each full refill. This is to prevent groups from sharing a single Rapid Fill mug: getting one drink for one person, pouring it into another cup, then quickly getting another, and so on.

When does each ‘day’ end under Rapid Fill? 

A Rapid Fill day is not 24-hours, it ends at 11:59 p.m. no matter when you purchase your mug. So, if you purchase a mug at 11:50 p.m. for 1-day, assuming it’ll last until the next day at 11:50, you’re out of luck. Hope you enjoy your 9 minutes of soda! Since most people are in the length of stay category by default, this should seldom be an issue (your Rapid Fill mug will work the entire day on your day of checkout).

Is Walt Disney World still using Rapid Fill? 

Rumors have started to surface in 2014 of hotel managers turning off the Rapid Fill system at various hotels. At present this is neither widespread at all hotels or even a majority of them. If Rapid Fill is turned off when you visit, the mugs still work–the RFID chip just isn’t being read. Apparently, Rapid Fill was viewed as too much of a hassle (having used this system ourselves on a few occasions, we wholeheartedly agree) and theft was still occurring, it was just more expensive drinks like hot chocolate being stolen instead of soda, as the Rapid Fill system didn’t monitor those dispensers. (Gotta love the resourcefulness of soda thieves!) Time will tell if this is/was a temporary thing or not. It seems unlikely that individual hotel managers could opt out of the program, and equally unlikely that Disney would revert to the old system less than a year after rolling out the new one, but who knows.

Is the RFID chip in the Rapid Fill mug microwavable? 

That’s a good question. We haven’t gotten around to doing comprehensive testing on the consequences of microwaving RFID chips, but we’re betting they don’t work after being microwaved. So that’s a bummer for all you microwave aficionados out there. Honestly, though, who wants to live in a world where you can’t microwave your Disney cup? It’ll only fry the RFID chip, and you won’t need that chip once you get home from your vacation (when I assume you’ll be doing the bulk of your microwaving activities…unless you really need to get your microwaving fix on vacation) so I say MICROWAVE AWAY!

The Epic Disney Refillable Mug Argument (Ethics, RapidFill, FAQ, etc.)


I think one of the big reasons why these mugs have so many “ethical dilemmas” associated with them is because people realize they are not a good value, and because of that, people want to “force” more bang for their buck.

Keeping in mind that these mugs cost about $20 after tax (for an average vacation) and a regular sized soda at Walt Disney World is about $3, you’d have to purchase over 6 drinks on separate occasions (since you can refill the paper cup on the same visit) at your hotel to “break even.” To reiterate, this is just drinks at your hotel. Since we don’t recommend taking the refillable mug to the park with you (something you can do with a paper cup since you can throw it away when you’re done with it), this means getting up early 6 days of your trip and filling your mug up and taking it back to your room, or using the mug at the pool, etc. Five or six days of use may not seem like much, but in practice, for a lot of people it is.

There’s also the argument that the refillable mugs have value as a souvenir, but I can’t imagine that this is the souvenir many people would buy if given the choice. The mugs aren’t that cool.

If you’re really into saving, the most economical thing to do is buy a few two liters of soda and call it a day. Even at a high price of $2 per bottle, a two liter is a much better value than the refillable mug. There are approximately 4.2 “mugs’ worth” of soda in each two liter. You could buy ~40 “mugs’ worth” of soda via two liters for the same price as one single refillable mug. Unless you like to seriously tweak on caffeine, chances are that you won’t be drinking 40 refillable mugs of soda on your vacation. Of course, bringing or buying two liters isn’t as convenient as buying the mugs, but still…

If the mugs are included with the Disney Dining Plan, that’s another story altogether. Elsewhere, we address that in the economics of the Disney Dining Plan versus paying out of pocket.

Walt Disney World 477


Ethics is the area of philosophy concerning the moral concepts of right and wrong. I took a number of classes on ethics in college, and I can’t really say I view refillable mugs as an interesting area of ethics. The “ethical” debate surrounding refillable mugs is essentially whether it’s morally okay to bring back your refillable mugs from past trips to reuse on subsequent trips despite Disney’s stated policy that the mugs are valid for the length of your stay.

Someone with a serious interest in ethics might look at the refillable mugs debate as an interesting case study in the field, but I am not that person (true ethical concepts are nuanced, subjective, and not nearly as cut and dry as either side of this little online spat would like to think them). Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t really care what people do with their refillable mugs. There are a lot of problems in the world, and I don’t see Disney’s insignificant lost revenue on soda via this loophole (that Disney could have easily closed years ago if it so chose) as something that is in any way worth my attention as a third party who has no vested interest in the situation. It’s not even a blip on my radar. It’s more interesting to me that people get so worked up over something in which they have no vested interest (besides the Disney stockholders out there who might be losing $.000001 per year as a result of the aggregate of the theft).

Feel free to argue amongst yourselves about this incredibly significant moral issue in the comments if you feel so inclined. Remember to stand firm in your convictions: either re-using refillable mugs makes someone on par with a bank robber or it makes them the Robin Hood of soda. There is no place for cool heads in this discussion. Use outlandish analogies! Personally attack your opponents! Make ridiculous assumptions! Disregard logic! Condescend as much as possible! 😉

If you’re planning your dining, make sure to check out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews for analysis and plenty of food photos.

For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.

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Your Thoughts…

What do you think about Disney’s current refillable mug system? What about RapidFill? Share your thoughts in the comments…but if you do go down the ethical road, please keep it civil.

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121 Responses to “Disney World Refillable Mug FAQ”

  1. Grace says:

    Just used my refill cup for a second year last week! In fact we had two we shared with 3 people

    • Mindy says:

      I have used the current mug for about 8 or 9 trips since I got it in August 2011. Its about time we had some new mug designs. I personally would love to have resort specific mugs. Haven’t had one of those since 2005. I think the new system is more about selling more mugs than getting money out of soda and coffee. I’m a stockholder and DVC member, so what’s good for Disney is good for me!

  2. Daffystardust says:

    I’m guessing that some people just want the mug and think of it as an in-part documentation of their trip to Disney World. If such a memento is truly microwave and dishwasher safe (these claims are pretty often blatantly false in retail dish wear) and they can get some “free” soda during their stay, all the better.
    I’m also guessing that Disney is fully aware that people are using their mugs past the time when they’re supposed to, and just doesn’t care that much. There’s a reason fast food places moved to unlimited refills.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Personally, I microwave everything I buy as soon as I get it. It’s sort of a litmus test for whether something is worth owning. I mean, if you can’t microwave a possession, what’s the point?! 😉

      And yes, Disney is aware of the practice. It’s amusing that people in the fan community care a lot more about the topic than the Company itself.

  3. Steve Boutet says:

    Personally, I’ve never brought a mug back to Disney to refill. If I wanted the refill option, I’d buy another. After a few trips buying mugs, I decided that, as you’ve pointed out, it’s far better to purchase two-liter bottles offsite than a refillable mug. When it comes to those that bring them back, my opinion on whether the practice is right or wrong is really a moot point. I’ve let it go over time. It’s now harder to detect whether people are bringing back their mugs year after year, as Disney has streamlined their design so you really don’t see blatant “cheating” at the hotels as much. The thing that does bother me are those “stealing” soda in the parks where soda stations are available. The last time I was at the Electric Umbrella at Epcot, I’d purchased a soda with my meal, yet when I got to the soda station, all I saw were people coming in from the outside, filling up water bottles, empty soda bottles, styro coffee cups, Club Cool cups, etc…..with soda. This really irked the heck out of me, as I’d just paid at the counter and here were “guests” just helping themselves for free. I’m really hoping that the RapidFill system hits these stations. Back at the hotels, at least the guests “helping themselves” are paying for a hotel room. At the theme parks, well those soda stealers could be staying at…..dare I say it…..a Universal hotel. There’s my position….and I’m sticking too it!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I’m a bit shocked by this. I’ve never seen anyone using unauthorized cups at Electric Umbrella. That’s wild.

      I always feel a little awkward when I go to refill my drink at Sunshine Seasons. Do I stop to show a cashier my receipt…do I just keep walking in a “sure of myself” manner? What’s the protocol?!

      • Steve Boutet says:

        An older woman (and I’m 52), with an empty diet Coke bottle, actually pushed me (with real physical contact) out of the way to get to her brand first. I was really taken aback and wasn’t sure what to do…..call me stunned.

      • Steve Boutet says:

        I feel the same about Sunshine Seasons…..it makes for an awkward refill.

      • Jacky says:

        I have also seen people refilling mugs not only at the Electric Umbrella, but all over the WDW parks. My husband is always asking me why I don’t bring the mug to the parks and I’m like because you can’t refill here! He looks at me like, “Hello and what are those people doing then.” I would rather pay for my drink at the park than be so embarrassed if I was told something by a CM while refilling my mug. With my luck I would get caught. Like I said, I see it all the time!

    • Jon says:

      I currently have about 8 mugs. They just seemed to give them to us on every trip for free for whatever the reason was. I am a vacation club owner/member as well. I personally do not drink soda (only on occasion or in a mixed drink). Being a vacation club member, I will say that I do bring my mug back all the time and for two main things:

      1 – Coffee every morning
      2 – To use for cocktails by the pool

      Now you may say that I am “stealing” coffee every morning I get a cup, but, as a vacation club member, we actually get a coffee pot and coffee for free in the room. I am not one to brew coffee (mainly because I usually do not have time in the morning). So I find that getting a free mug of coffee as opposed to brewing the free coffee myself is the same thing.

      Therefore, I personally do not see it as stealing coffee every morning when I use my old mug to get it.

      You can make the arguement on the rare occasion I get a cup of soda, but I always stock up on groceries every visit, so its very rare if it happens. I usually just get one from the vending machine.


  4. Scott says:

    *I* heard that you can use your refillable mug to get refills anywhere you want! McDonald’s, the gas station down the street from your house, Universal Studios – now that’s giving guests greater flexibility!

  5. Stephanie says:

    We always get the dining plan (I know, I know…) and I just consider the mugs a “free” souvenir. My kids love them and use them all the time. It’s a nice reminder of our trip.

  6. Steve says:

    Tom, 1. I’d like to know why fan board people get so worked up over a topic Disney is well aware of. 2. No signs stating no refills anywhere around soda machines or cash register at Seasons. Drink up guilt free.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Free refills are definitely allowed at Sunshine Seasons. It’s just sometimes awkward because of the placement.

  7. Robin Marie says:

    So much Microwave humor! Thanks!

    I don’t get the mugs because that’s like… One and half adult drinks I could be having instead!

  8. Manda says:

    So essentially you could throw in the cup in the micro from a past trip and say my RFID chip
    Must be fried. I need a new cup and walk out w a cup good and also free for the next 7 days.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      It’s all hypothetical at this point, but I can’t imagine that would be the case. If it were me on the other end of that conversation, I’d ask to see a receipt.

  9. SpenceMan01 says:

    In following Tom’s suggestion of slinging mud in the comments…

    Anyone who actually BUYS these mugs at $18 is a complete and total MORON! These things are such a damn inconvenience when used properly (e.g.: not filling them at Electric Umbrella or the like). You can’t refill them in the parks, you have to hoof it all the way across your resort to fill it up, and all the way back to drop it off if you’re not gonna bring it to the parks (and what rational person would?!?).

    Disney jacked up the price of the mugs for two reasons: 1. To fleece the suckers who actually pay out of pocket for these things, and 2. To give an even greater false sense of added value to the stupid dining plan. If/when people try to run numbers to see if the dining plan would be a cheaper option, there’s more money on the refillable mug line of the spreadsheet, making the dining plan look like a better option.

    But now let me tell you how I *really* feel…

    • Ray says:

      I hope you mean people who buy the mugs with the refill option. We’ve bought the mugs before and we’ll probably buy them in the future…though they never get filled up with anything until we get home. We buy them for souvenirs. They’re certainly cheaper any shirt.

    • StephM says:

      HA HA HA HA!!! I’m with you and you worded it so well. ;P Never ever bought one, and never EVER will.

      • how do you no if there a bad deal if you have never got them before just because the one guy said anyone who buys them are morons thats just his personal opinion which he’s entitled to but you should see for yourself before you say it’s a bad deal that was the first bad comment I have herd about those mugs the whole time I researched it

    • Jeff says:

      And you’re an ass

  10. Rosalie says:

    I think you’ve made a ‘non-parent’ mistake in your article. When you said to NOT take your cup with you, I was so confused. Then I read your reasoning, and remembered, ‘oh yeah, he doesn’t have a child yet…’. We ALWAYS took two of our 4 mugs with us. It was never a burden, because when the drink was finished, it went in the diaper bag, in the stroller. When getting free ice water in the park, it was easier to pour the water into these mugs, place the cap on with a straw, and THEN let our children drink out of them. My children suffered from dramatically less spills (on their fancy princess dresses) when drinking from a covered cup with a straw. Then, when back at the resort we’d quickly fill it on the way to our room. We used ours a ton. I think that parents who can shove things in bags, which will then go in a stroller, are not as annoyed as a person traveling sans carriage.

    • Donn says:

      Ugh, Rosalie raises a great point — all those people who bring strollers, children, and all that EXTRA stuff to WDW. The way they take up space on the Disney buses… ugh. Let’s address a problem greater than refillable mugs… the children. (I hope that reads as sarcastic as it is supposed to.)

      • orangecrush says:

        My wife and I recently spent a blissful weekend at the Magic Kingdom after losing ninety pounds- our 11 year old daughter. As Florida parents whose cajoling, grounding, threatening, tutoring, and extra chore detail methods were failing to bring our bright tween student’s grades and school behavior into line once middle school hit, we resorted to the nuclear option. One trip to Disney World and a picture of her moms eating her favorite food at Epcot without her and- just like magic- she’s back on track and ready to toe the line to be included the NEXT time we head to Orlando. Sound unfair? Just like I quoted to her from my favorite Disney villain, “Life’s full of tough choices, innit?” Disney ninja parenting for the win!(And, yeah, the hitting the Parks without kids is a guilty, guilty pleasure we can live with.) FYI, it saved us a boatload more than foregoing a refillable mug.

  11. Rosalie says:

    Oh, one more point. We end up eating at our hotel quick service 2 or 3 times during a stay. So we get 4 20 ounce sodas per meal that we can bring to the parks with us, or just keep in our room fridge, while we use the mug during that meal.

    I’m not sure why I’m trying to get you to better appreciate the mug…

    • carmen says:

      I think the mug is a great idea. Nice souvenir and when the drink is done it is lightweight and you just throw it into your backpack. Love getting them with our Magic Your Way pkg.

    • ran6110 says:

      There is nothing wrong with having the mugs if that’s what you want. I’m sure the people that would criticize you probably do things the rest of us would laugh at!

      Take the mugs and use them as you wish, it’s fine with 90% of us…

  12. Sara says:

    First off, I do take issue with all the folks using old mugs at the hotels. theft is theft, it doesn’t matter that it “won’t hurt disney”. You make an agreement when you buy the mug and if you use it again later you are stealing. So I have no problem with the new RFID system since it won’t affect anyone that was following the rules. Second, I absolutely brought my mug to the park every day. Each morning I brought it to breakfast and used it for tea. Then i would refill with cocoa (my last few visits have been in winter) and hop on the park bus with it. At the park i rinse it out and stash it in my backpack. It weighs basically nothing so this is no inconvenience. Then when I get back to the hotel at night, i can pop in the food court for some decaf tea, or whatever. So i used it 2-3 times per day for a week, that definitely covered the cost. I’m sure it’s not economical for everyone but for me it works out well.

    • Rachel says:

      Oh jeez relax you can’t be serious about taking issue with people bringing back their cups from past trips and using them again?? It really doesn’t make sense not to reuse them if you visit often, who would want all those cups at home?! If Disney honestly had a problem with it they’d update their cups! As someone who has no problem spending money in the parks this such a trivial thing to care about!

      • Sara says:

        If am told I am paying a certain amount for the right to use that mug for the length of my stay, that is the deal. I don’t know why anyone thinks it is OK to do otherwise. So yes, I am serious, and I’m glad Disney is changing the rules to enforce it with the new tags, because so far I’ve basically been penalized for abiding by the agreement while others steal their drinks. And for the record I don’t want “all those cups at home” – they go in the recyle bin after my trip. I buy them to use on my stay not as souveniers.

    • Bonnie says:

      I agree with you! I have always been shocked with the amount of people just casually getting drinks with their prior visit mugs. And, like you, we start out with coffee, would bring a refill of coffee back to my room, fill with soda before we grabbed the bus, rinsed it out and put in our bag and then refill when we walked through the resort to go back to our room. We also would fill for pool side. I’d say we got our moneys worth and the grandkids loved the mugs when we came home and gave them to them.

  13. Jennifer says:

    Honestly, if Disney didn’t want people to reuse the mugs, then they should change the design once in awhile, install an anti soda theft device or have the soda police standing there checking to make sure that it is in fact a newly purchased mug. I’ll be bringing the two mugs back with me that never get used (the kids’, which I highly doubt got used enough to justify the overpriced cost while we were there) and I’ll be buying 2 new ones since my husband and I use our cute souvenirs every day and they are getting worn. Sort of ethical in a buy one get one kind of way. : ) My thought is, if it looks used, buy a new one so it’s not glaringly obvious that you did not purchase it during the current trip. If it doesn’t look used, perfectly acceptable to reuse!

    • Bonnie says:

      We go every year and the design does change. That is how others know when someone if using a cup from a prior years visit. It doesn’t point out those that visit more than once during the same mug year.

    • Chris says:

      Following this same line of reasoning, If Police really wanted to put an end to prostitutes, they would obviously arrest more hookers, right? It’s amazing the tortured logic that you can derive in the attempt to justify what you already recognize as being clearly wrong.

  14. DBenson says:

    Next question: Can you use last year’s mug while hanging by the resort pool when you’re staying somewhere else?

  15. Manuela says:

    Thank goodness at least one Disney aficionado is sane about this refillable mug debacle….

  16. Mitch says:

    Maybe D-23 expo will host a town hall style meeting with disgruntled disboards members this year. I would love to see some epic ethical debates as folks battle it out over this life defining issue! As for me- well, I confess to filling up my boardwalk inn mug at the beach club once. I was later filled with overwhelming shame and guilt.

  17. Kym says:

    Whether or not it’s worth it is simple – to each his own. What’s economical for me – my husband and I drink too much soda and refill it in the morning and on our way back to our room at night- may not be for my sister- she drinks coffee for breakfast and can’t put juice in it for my niece- so that shouldn’t be a debate. I do think people who insist on refilling old ones should stop. Get over it’s expired, suck it up and buy a new one if you really need/want it.

    • Kym says:

      Had to reply, because I have the same name and that never happens –

      Disney should allow you to purchase a second (or third, forth, fifth) “stay” – a refill period without having to purchase the mug again. Save on waste for those who don’t want the mugs as souveniers.

  18. My only issue with the mugs is that they perpetuate our culture of drinking too much soda, which is so bad for everyone’s health and waistline. And I think it is contributing to people being SO unhealthy. I wish Disney didn’t pump millions of people full of junk food constantly at their parks. My kids aren’t even allowed soda and I tell them how bad it is for them. It is painful and upsetting to watch people fill up these mugs at 8:00 in the morning with soda and give it to their children. I wish they would get rid of them altogether!

    • Disfan says:

      I totally agree. I once saw Captian Hook forcing a hot dog down some obese kids throat while his parents took pictures. Totally disgusting. All corporations that give people the option to eat whatever they choose (including fresh fruit and vegetables, which are available at many locations in all parks) should be shut down immediately.

    • Pooh says:

      Oh yes….let’s put this off on culture and Mickey! Lawd forbid we take personal responsibility for our decisions….

    • Rachael Leventhal says:

      I totally agree. My kids had mugs as part of the free dining plan, and the only thing they could get was hot chocolate, which they didn’t like.

  19. Andrew says:

    Crack den? Seriously? I keep coming to your site because your articles are very informative and fun to read but it’s your occasional insults that make me want to seriously stop clicking on your aritcles. I’m fully aware this is YOUR blog and that your opinions are nothing more than that – opinions. But sometimes you seem to forget that you have readers from all walks of life and with different tastes and resources.

    In the past, you’ve insulted the musical taste of others by referring to the performers of Food & Wine Festival as “washed up” and now you’re (in so many words) poking fun at those who can only afford to stay at a $35-a-night “crack den”. What if that’s all a family can afford to pay when coming to Orlando because they’re having to transport, feed, and buy park admissions for a family of four? Do you ever stop and think of how your words may affect someone or make them feel? Not everyone is a 29 year-old lawyer with no children who can afford to stay at DVC resorts when visiting WDW.

    You have a great blog and a huge audience. STOP AND THINK, man. Don’t ruin ten great paragraphs with one line of nonsense. I’m not sure if that’s your attempt at humor but if it is, you’re not funny in the least.

    • Andrew says:

      I’m not sure that Tom is the one who needs to stop and think… ‘Washed up’ is a better way to say old and not so talented. ‘Crack den’ is simply a joke.

      Many of the articles on this website are about saving money. If you found a place to stay for $40 a night I’m fairly sure Tom would be impressed and not judge you one bit. Ease up and enjoy the information instead of getting offended by one guy’s opinion and jokes.

    • Dave Adams says:

      Easy, easy! … It seems you’re trying to be offended. Take the good with the “bad” and appreciate his humor. I personally find it very funny that even here, there are probably more comments than for most posts. As an extra bonus, it only took about a dozen comments before someone got angry! I disagree with a ‘SpenceMan01′ but when he replied with “Moron” I laughed out loud. Good times Tom…

      • Kelli says:

        I LOVE this blog and Tom really cracks me up!! When I read the “Crack Den” comment, I seriously Laughed out Loud!! It’s just a fun blog with usefull info that I enjoy reading. I have plenty of mugs and will probably get another one…I know, I’m a moron…lol :)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Lame jokes are the name of the game on this site. It’s been the style of this blog since day 1, so it’s not as if I built up an audience with dry writing and than began subjecting that audience to my awful jokes.

      As far as the crack den thing goes…there are nice $35/night hotels and then there are ones that are incredibly sketchy. I’ve stayed at both kinds. I don’t think my comment in any way insults those who don’t have the resources to stay at more expensive hotels (or are frugal and choose not to stay at more expensive hotels), it pokes fun at the $35/night hotels that are the really sketchy ones. Anyone can do research to determine which of the $35 hotels is which. Personally, after making the mistake of choosing one of the wrongs ones and ‘surviving’ the night, I’ve always laughed it off and joked about it with others (usually with my poor judgment as the butt of the joke).

      Taking everything you read on this site literally is bound to leave you offended on a pretty regular basis. I assure you that’s neither my goal nor is it the way the tongue-in-cheek comments are intended.

    • Steve says:


    • KendraLeigh says:

      I agree with everyone defending Tom. It was a joke. He wasn’t criticizing you or anyone else. He was being sarcastic, which he is in literally every other post on this site.
      I have a cabinet full of these mugs. I just take all the freebie mugs we get from various other places out and put these in forefront if the cabinet. I did get them on the (gasp) DDP. But, in my moronic defense, the first time we took our kids we got a free dining plan, and because he have the chase Disney card our kids tickets were free. Ahh the good old days with our failing economy and Disney making incredible deals to keep the parks full. Last time we were there we also go the DDP for free and got mugs. But we had 7 people, one under two, so it worked well because she ate off of our plates. It was just much easier.even though we hardly used them. Who wants to waste time going back to your room to drop off the mugs when there are park buses to catch?! And when we go again, we will have two under two, so we will take full advantage of a free dining plan and our overpriced mugs. But I’ve never packed ours to reuse because I don’t want to sacrifice space in my suitcase. It’s just not worth it to me to take them back and haul them around.
      I just choose not to do the math in regards to the mugs. Drinks taste much better when you don’t think about how much it costs. I do agree that it’d be nice to get more than just soda and coffee.

      • KendraLeigh says:

        Oh, and for the record, you sure are being judgmental of someone who writes a blog that you voluntarily read just because your lifestyles are different. You feel like he said something wrong, but you did as well, in my opinion. Two wrongs don’t make a right!

    • ran6110 says:

      You know you don’t all ways have to be ‘offended’ by something and expect that dressing someone down is your right (see I’m doing it right now) because it’s not…

      Some times a Crack Den is just a joke and if you don’t get it or like it just let it pass you by! You don’t always have to express your moral indignation and expect profuse apologies for offending your delicate sensibilities….

  20. Donna A. says:

    We never do the Dining Plan, preferring to eat ala carte and splurge for special occaisions. However, I don’t see a real problem in re-using mugs from one trip to the next. We do that with sippers purchased at Universal Studios where an employee must do the actual refilling (for a discounted price, not free) and no one has mentioned our sippers don’t look brand new. Disney gets their Coke products and fountain syrups for free from The Coca Cola company so guests are not causing any loss of revenue by getting free fountain drinks. As long as folks are discreet, not greedy and don’t make a mess with dirty cups, I chalk it up to harmless Civil Disobedience. Victimless crime.

    • Jes says:

      Well technically, Coca Cola would then be the victim, no?
      They supply the products free to Disney, and if Disney are tearing through double the amount because of those who are thieving, then THEY are the victims.

      • Disfan says:

        I’m guessing that you vastly overstate the magnitude of the “theft” going on here. This is likely because you are not horribly bright. Separately, Coke isn’t providing anything for free (calling into question how bright the OP is as well). Even if no cash is changing hands (and I have no idea whether that is the case, but assuming that the OP is correct), I assure you that Coke has an agreement with Disney calling for its brand name to be displayed X number of times in Y locations and at Z size. It isn’t free, it is the olest form of commerce – barter.

  21. Pudge the Fish says:

    In 1996 Applebee’s told me my burger came with unlimited fries. To this day I just wander into their kitchen and help myself whenever I have the urge. Sometimes I even takes my MacDonalds fry holder with me so my hands don’t get so greasy. Potatoes are cheap right. The Idaho tourist board probably gives them the fries for free so who cares.

    • Jennifer says:


      Stealing is stealing. It states the mugs are good only for your current visit. Not every visit for the next 25 years! If your Disney Budget is so tight that you have to reuse a mug you paid $9.99 for 5 years ago, you need to reevaluate your priorities in life. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t costing the “company” anything…..it’s wrong!!

      • Rachel says:

        My boyfriend once filled up an ENTIRE coke bottle full of Fanta Kolita at Club Cool because he loves it and can’t buy it in the US… I suppose you’ll be sending the authorities any minute now!!

      • Disfan says:

        The question isn’t so much whether reusing the cups constitutes stealing, but why any guest would care.

  22. Jamie says:

    We are a family of five (kids: 6, 3, 3) and we don’t drink soda. We always get the DDP. After reading this, I think we’ll bring our mugs from our last trip down because a) we’ll have already “paid” for mugs through the DDP and b) I hate waste. So rather than putting 5 more mugs “out there”, I’ll just reuse ours. We only use it for coffee in the mornings, so I love the idea of just reusing our mugs! If anything, I really wish Disney would allow people to bring back old mugs (somehow using the RFID system) so that we can all cut down on the amount of waste being generated. Maybe instead of charging $18, they can charge $10 if you bring back a mug and “re-up” for the current trip?

    Meanwhile, Tom, thanks for the link to the collapsable water bottles – new to me! I love this idea and will probably get some as that’s all we really drink while at the parks!

    • Sara says:

      This is a good idea. I like the idea of being allowed to “renew” your old cup for a discounted price. Makes a lot of sense!

    • Heath says:

      I agree. We reuse our mugs because we don’t need 20 plastic mugs at home. I would gladly pay each trip to recharge an RFID mug. And I too miss resort specific mugs, though it’s nice to fill up the generic mugs at other locations when resort hopping.

  23. Mikey says:

    It’s a concern when soft drink cups end up being more technically advanced than EPCOT 😛

  24. Glamazon says:

    I have purchased the mugs prior to them becoming part of the dining plan. I carry my mug with me in the morning, fill my cup of the way to the bus or Monorial and drink while I ride to my destination for the day. The cup is not heavy and can be used to split up large drinks will in the park AND keep them cold with the thermal insulator. I always have saved money with the expense of the cup since I tend to dehydrate and typical have a beverage at hand. My family typically travels to the park for at least one week and with 12 or more people and each person does purchase the cups AND saves money on drinks.
    These cups are also a no brainier for anyone that does not believe in wasting multiple cups in a day and prefers to leave a smaller carbon foot print. It is also important to note that Disney began this program along with several other green initiatives back in the 90’s I would prefer that the cup be a more earth friendly material but I am able after SEVERAL YEARS OF USAGE to put in the recycle bin at home.

  25. Andrew says:

    We normally purchase resort mugs when we stay on property, and we have no moral or ethical issue using them at any resort while we are there. We never use them in the park, or for a subsequent trip though.

    We also collect the in-park mugs, but we don’t refill them as they aren’t “refillable”.

    The way we see it, after the trip we have brand new travel mugs that can be used for the rest of the year (and boy do they get used). They are every bit as good as or better quality than any travel mug you can purchase for the same (or close to the same) price.

    With the new mug pricing rumored though, I think they have passed the price point where they are no longer a value during or post-vacation.

  26. Rob says:

    Lots of comments about people caring more about this issue than Disney, and the if they cared Disney would do something about it.
    Well…RapidFill. Disney is finally doing something about it. Just wanted to point that out.

    • Sara says:

      haha yes thank you. I was confused by those comments as well. Disney obviously does care and they want you to stop!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      That’s true, but I question how much concern there is when this has been a known issue for over a decade and no steps have been taken to address it until now.

      • Rob says:

        Does it really matter what the concern was in the past. There is obviously a concern now, and they are choosing to address it.
        Of course, I’d wager that the Disney concern is more of how to make more $$, and not in preventing the moral corruption of those willing to steal some pop (yes pop, not soda!)

  27. Ray says:

    I’m still laughing because Tom took ethics courses because they were easy A’s, not because they were valuable, essential courses.

    Oh…wait….I just remembered that Tom is a lawyer. Nuff said.


  28. Chronic Gin Deficiency says:

    I wish there was one subject related in some way to Disney fandom which didn’t bring out the trolls Hell-bent on a mutually assured destruction approach to tight-assery.

    I only brought a re-usable mug into a park with me one time. It wasn’t even a Disney mug, but one I got as a truly insulting spiff from a vendor I used to use. It’s been through the dishwasher so many times that its metal surface is thoroughly etched. As such, it looks totally inconspicuous as an alcohol smuggling device. Which is why I was toting it, filled with Bombay Sapphire, Noilly Pratt dry vermouth, and a fistful of olives, into the Magic Kingdom back on 2012’s 24 hour Leap Day thing. Not only had I drunk Walt Disney’s milkshake, but his bitter tears as well.

    I do feel badly about the gin fumes I was blasting at the WDW survey lady who made the poor decision that afternoon to ask for my opinions.

  29. James A. says:

    Something to consider outside of reusing the mugs outside of a stay…

    Disney has tried to introduce these mugs before(http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2011/07/13/news-disney-world-refillable-mug-system-experiment/) Last time they introduced them they had a 5 Min refill limit on them. I am probably not the average user but, generally I stop by the refill station get a drink(tea/hot chocolate mainly) and drink it then refill before heading back to my room. Now I have to wait to refill, it looses it’s convenience especially since the mugs hold so little actual drink.

    Another ethics question for the group. I generally just purchase one mug for both my wife and I, is this stealing? When we go to a counter service restaurant in Disney we will generally just share one drink.

  30. Amy Morris says:

    I must confess I have reused my mug at WDW but it is in the RV and is refilled from our personal coffee pot. It just adds a little extra magic. 😉

  31. Skipper Kelly says:

    But is it ok to park your car at the Polynesian and then go to MK for the day?

    I kid, I kid.

    Team 2-liters all the way. Those refillable mugs are a complete waste of money.

  32. Laura says:

    ” There is no place for cool heads in this discussion. Use outlandish analogies! Personally attack your opponents! Make ridiculous assumptions! Disregard Logic! Condescend as much as possible! ”

    What do you think this is? Disboards?

  33. Lucas says:

    Ill have to see this in action, but if they work anything like some of the old mugs at the water park where you hold it up to a scanner and then fill, it will be a pain. It took forever to move people through the line. it seems like any extra money Disney rakes in on lost soda will be lost in the man hours needed to troubleshoot with guests and help manage lines.

  34. Francine says:

    The refillable mug was a lifesaver. I purchased one and filled it with powerade morning and night and occasional for the road. I saved a ton of money because powerade in the parks is about 4 dollars a bottle. I needed it to keep the dehydration away and it worked great without breaking the bank.

  35. Tammy says:

    Interesting…so wrong is only wrong if someone else cares or if you get caught? That seems to be the gist of most of the comments.
    Lets remember that “most” of us are probably traveling with our children. So it no longer is a personal ethical decision, but also a new tool to teach our children how to bypass rules and do it anyway even if we know we aren’t supposed to! Not really setting the best example.

  36. Tom P. A/K/A The "Disneydude" says:

    As a reformed “fleeced sucker” & “total moron” who bought two of these microwaveable wallet destroying catastrophies at POR in 2011. Let me just say:…yes I have sinned! Not only once in buying these money gouging gizmos; But yet again by packing them in our suitcases and flying them home all expenses paid. All that extra space and weight. And for what? When the Magical Express service sent our bags home a day late via the Disney Magical Mystery Tour, thieves opened our bags and stole a box of Disney Christmas cards and left my expensive and precious future Disney collectible souvenir mugs alone. How humiliating! I had to rethink my entire value system. Needless to say I will not be purchasing these on our upcoming Friday the 13th “Boo to You” trip. The reason for this monumental decision has nothing to do with the afore mentioned finacial fiasco. Be advised, it is all Tom & Sarah’s fault! As a dutiful husband, I have participated in the disney resort “mugathon” for years. For the uninformed, that is where the husband leaves the room carrying those mugs for a half mile round trip trek (hoofing it) to the resort restaurant to procure his lovely wife a Disney mug full of Magical Morning Joe. This blog changed all of that by putting Starbucks’ Via coffee on their disneyworld packing list. Within two days of using it at POR, my wife was smitten and deeply in love. No, not with a Disney Prince, the Via Coffee. Gone was any mentioning of the rotten eggs and sulfer like smell of the Florida water in her coffee. Not unlike Beauty and the Beast, a miraculous transformation had occurred. For the rest of our trip I had my own smiling, perky, caffeine infused Disney Touring Princess. Today the enchantment and savings continues right here at home. My wife has replaced her one dollar per pod morning coffee habit with a fifty cent Via one. Resulting in an approximate annual savings of $182.00 per year. No refillable mugs in my future. Kudos to the Brickers!

    Warning!! Husbands please be advised: no matter how good that morning cup of coffee was. Even after a “Magical Mickey wake Up Call.” No matter how beautiful the midnight fireworks were. Upon returning to your resort room after midnight as well as a 19 hour touring day. Do not be surprised if the Mrs is not as thrilled as you are about the adult Princess Jasmine costume and wig you stupidly bought her on Main Street. In my next post on this epic refillable mug debate that has riveted disneyphiles world wide, I shall endeavor to use all my business graduate accumen coupled with detailed cost benefit analysis and geometric logic to once and for all explain the concept of total return and total value as it pertains to the disney (including both the boys and girls versions) refillable mugs. Are you kidding? With this grammer, spelling and syntax you thought I was an English literature major!

  37. Kristen says:

    Does anyone know if the rfid switch has been made? We tried calling our resort and they basiclly dodged the question…anyone there recently who knows?

  38. Stacey J says:

    First off I would like to say this blog is done so well! I love it!
    We have never been to WDW but we went to DL 2009. In DL they had these cups for hot coco. We came back with a suite case of them. Somehow we only have 2 left, what can I say, KIDS! I have followed much of Tom’s tips like the Britta water bottle idea because we understand the water is unlike Seattle water (which is some of our Country’s best water!). We have purchased most of the things on Tom’s list such as Frog Tog’s and Mole Skin’s. We are planning on using the Britta bottles with Gatorade powder and Crystal Light. I fully intend on being a “Moron” and come home with a bag full of these mugs!!! Our kids love them and I do as well. I would rather have these cups in our cupboard over store bought cups any day! These mugs are great for our family on a daily basis. Our trip is in 13 days!

    P.S. Not touching the Ethics topic.

  39. Sandy B says:

    An all you can eat buffet doesn’t mean all you can eat for the rest of your life.
    A Lego cup can’t be refilled for free every time you visit the store. Or a sugar stick.
    It’s simple & I can’t believe people think it’s okay, in fact, if they didn’t think it was dishonest they would use any thermos cup instead of trying to pass off old cups as new cups. It’s not the crime of the century but it is wrong. Disney can afford it but if I visited a friend who made a good wage I wouldn’t help myself to their fridge either. And I haven’t taken any ethics classes :)

  40. Pooh says:

    I only get it so I can bring it home, lay by the pool with it and make everyone jealous because they know I’ve been to WDW and they didn’t get to go… :)

  41. Debbi says:

    This is now being implemented at all the resort hotels. Also being coded for paper cups, so will probably be in the parks eventually. Paper cups work for an hour or three refills, whichever comes first.


  42. tc says:

    I have been visiting Disney since the 70s. When the refillable mugs were first offered they were found in your room with a message that they cost $7.95 and they were good for any future stay at that particular resort (they were resort specific we have quite a few purchased up until 2003 (last time with the message of ‘good for all future stays). So what happens with these now? That was how Disney marketed them initially

  43. K Smith says:

    We just used our mugs for the 3rd year in a row this past July. We purchased them once just because we wanted some at home to use. With the new system we would never buy them again
    “RIP OFF!!!” We don’t drink soda so if we did fill them it was just tea or lemonaid. I think Disney is the smartest company in the world. Anybody that can sucker people into the dining plan is brillant. When you do the math I am sorry it is just not a value at all, and besides who needs to eat all of that food in the Florida heat heck who needs to eat all that food period. I would be sick if I had sodas and ate that much food everyday YUCK thats just disgusting!

  44. Jennifer says:

    We love the refill mugs. I would fill mine with coffee every morning on the way out from the resort (we like to go in the fall, so it is chilly in the mornings, but gets hot in the afternoons). By the time afternoon arrives, I either put water in my refill cup, or we would put our purchased soda from lunch in the refill cup (on the way out the door). I didn’t mind tagging the cup along, but I have a backpack to place it in, in the event I’m not using it. There are 2 of us and we usually only take 2 cups into the park and share, rather than carry all 3 cups. I think I like the cup best because I’m a big coffee drinker and coffee in a nice cup is so much better than a disposable cup that tends to make messes and spill. I have only ever tried using my cup at the resort (other than dumping my purchased drink inside the refill cup). I also have never tried reusing the same cup on a different trip. We usually make it to Disney every 2 years, and somehow just end up purchasing more cups through the package we get through Disney. I’m with you in that it isn’t really an economical value perse, but I like having it vs. the paper cups.

  45. Jennifer says:

    oops…meant to say there are 3 of us, but usually only take 2 cups and share.

  46. Wendy says:

    We have a cabinet full of mugs with different designs from over the years. We use them every day and consider them great souvenirs! They remind us of our great trips and they keep us excited about upcoming trips!

    Also…for the record…we would NEVER reuse a cup from a previous visit. Just not right!

  47. Akb5 says:

    I just returned from WDW and rapid refill was being used in our hotel. You could only fill up if you placed your cup on the tray and it told you how many days your cup was good for

  48. Ethel says:

    Fun is primary in the design, not trendy or chic. I have mugs of every shape and size, many different designs, kids that visit me love them. Don’t forget they are Disney items, therefore will some day be ‘collectables’. In the name of conservation, I would like to bring and reuse one at a reduced price for unlimited drinks. If you can’t live with the rules, or they are impractible for you, DON’T BUY ONE.

  49. Visitor says:

    I have some mug, both resort specific and generic, some bought new and reused in the past (pre-RFID), and one recent RFID. On the latter trip, they charged me for 3 days and somehow put 14 days on the cup. It will be more trouble than it’s worth to use it beyond the 3 days, even though I actually will be in the city again before it expires. I agree that Disney would have implemented some controls sooner if pop shrinkage truly troubled them, and tend to think RFID is more about extracting more revenue than it is about stemming losses in the pop department.
    I don’t always buy or bring a cup. Sometimes I buy a paper cup (and never knew those could be refilled, so thanks!), and sometimes if I do have a car, I will bring a case of pop. When I have the cup, I do carry the cup to the park because it is no weight to speak of, and as far as bulk, well, it can go in or attached to my purse. I refill as I leave the resort (with ice and insulation, the amount of beverage is long gone before the bus arrives) and again when I return to the resort. I’m never truly on vacation and I like to sit in the resort food court and work on my laptop in the evenings sometimes, and I can chug through a fair bit of sugar-free hot or cold beverage in that time. With spouse/kid, on other occasions, they can be talked into a beverage run as well, while I lounge around the room.
    What I am (mock) stunned is that in the moral outrage about theft of syrup and bubbles, and the debate over purchaser gullibility, nobody has addressed the outright violation entailed in taking beverages on the buses: the buses quite clearly say “please refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking while on board the motor coach.” If there’s enforcement needed in the beverage department, surely that’s one! Let’s flame our fellow bus riders now.

  50. karen says:

    facts it is just plain stealing it is not a good deal just go to walmart purchase a couple bottles of 2litre bottles of soda you can still get ice and water at the machine the chip kicks in only for the soda but if the soda is free or not for disney it is still stealing if you refill cups not purchased on your current visit

  51. Kerry says:

    I enjoyed my refill cup. I think I got the four days. We were at Pop and very close to the classic hall so I refilled the cup a lot. I’m a big diet coke drinker so it was worth it for me. At night I would just buy a $3 bottle of pop and fill the cup with ice. I had extra money to burn though so it wasn’t an issue, like it might be for someone who was worried about money (of course then why would you be in WDW if you worry about money lol)

  52. JMo says:

    Things that make my blood boil at WDW: OLD refillable mugs being used on current trip. Especially the old fashioned FAT ones that you used to get at Blizzard Beach; People who use RENT Scooters in Florida who don’t usually use them at home. Rent them at the park please. Don’t take up all our time at the bus stop. Drives me zany. Or how about, your whole entire party of 15 people don’t get to board the bus with you because you are in a scooter. The rest of us have been waiting to go to Epcot for 25 minutes and you just rolled up (literally and figuratively).

  53. Chris says:

    JMo – you totally nailed the one on the scooters. DRIVES ME NUTS – especially at the end of a long day – you’re waiting for packed bus after packed bus, and a scooter party rolls up (literally) and is allowed to basically cut the line.

    • Jess says:

      I understand that the scooter issue can be frustrating, but I’d like everyone to take a minute and look at it from another perspective. My dad has to use a scooter at disney ( he has MS and can not walk long distances). However , he gets very self conscious because he worries that other guests are staring at/judging him, especially in the bus line. When I read posts bashing all scooter users, it makes me sad for folks like my dad. Sure some people abuse the system, but others need the scooters in order to enjoy disney with their family. Just be glad you are healthy and able to walk the parks. Waiting a couple extra minutes for the bus won’t kill you.

  54. orangecrush says:

    To be serious about this topic a minute, let’s address something few people think about. Just as every ride exits through a gift shop, Disney has very sound economic reasons for not sweating this issue. The placement of soda stations in the resort brings you past gift shops where you are likely to spend money on souvenirs and into dining areas where you are likely to spend money on food. Soda is wholesaled to Disney at about three cents a pour for a mugful. Want to guess where the real profit is? Hint: it isn’t in the empty liquid calories with which you’re sabotaging yourself. So, go ahead, and feel like you are getting your money’s worth out of the machine. A bigger machine is the one you’re inside the whole time you are on Disney property and it’s very efficient at shaking the money you think you’ve saved right out of your pockets. While you’re at it, pay with a Disney credit card- the interest rate won’t kick in until long after you’re home. Speaking as a passholder, to keep my sanity I just pretend that Disney is a cleaner Vegas with better chance for having a good time. Relax. The house always gets the better odds, especially the House of the Mouse. They really don’t need you on the security detail.

  55. ran6110 says:

    On other sites and forums this has been a hot (and heated) topic so last month when we went stayed at the Contemporary I decided to try something.

    I brought an older Christmas themed mug from Disneyland (Yes, Disneyland) along and when we went down to Mickey’s for breakfast I asked the CM if I could use it and she said no problem then pointed me to the coffee!

  56. layla says:

    I have a family of eight, six kids two adults. We only go to Disney when they give out free meal plans. Its a pretty penny for all eight of us to go to Disney, so we opt for the free meals. It saves us so much! Ty, Disney! Anyway, when and if we decide to take ours to the park, we fill them up with lemonade and ice before we board the bus. That way if the lemonade gets watered down it doesnt taste that bad…not like a watered down soda…bleh. But I do agree that they are a hassle, especially if your room is not close to the lobby. If we didnt get them for free, we wouldnt buy them. $18 times 8 is just not worth it. I wish they would change up the designs on the cups. Its just not the same to be visiting in Nov and see the characters swimming on my mug…although we did swim in November…lol!

  57. Kristi says:

    I still don’t understand whether you can use the refillable cups for more than one stay. We brought our mugs with us on our last stay (we had gotten them free with meal plan 4 months ago). Two of the four mugs worked fine. The other two did not. We asked a clerk and she said that she had to reset them to work. Are we not supposed to use them for more than the initial stay? So confused.

  58. laura says:

    We like to bring our insulated water bottles from home and fill them with ice and water from the soda machines before we go to the parks. Can we still get free water and ice from the soda machines or do we have to buy the RFID Mugs ?

  59. Lucy says:

    Don’t like, don’t buy end of.
    I.E don’t bitch, put Disney down and insult
    other people’s intelligence.

    So many f-ing moaners in the world wanting
    everything for free and acting “entitled”.


  60. Lynda says:

    Decided to weigh-in on this discussion. I was researching the rapid fill mugs and read soooo many passionate posts! Honestly, I don’t mind that they have limited the use of the mugs. Frankly, it has always bothered me that people re-used mugs from previous trips to get free drinks. It’s not about the money, it’s the principle. Any way you look at it, or try to justify it, it’s stealing. My husband thinks I’m crazy, and he’s tried to get us to bring back our old mugs for re-use every year, but I just can’t do it. I believe that most rules are meant to be followed, not broken, and this rule makes sense. You paid for a mug for a specific trip/period of time, and Disney is clear that you can only use it for that time period. So why the discussion? It’s pretty simple. The rule is, a new mug for each trip. Period. That said, I do agree that if Disney had a policy that if you brought back an old mug and re-purchased drinks for your stay, that you should get a small discount. To help the environment, if for no other reason. As well, I would also like it if they could personalize the mugs for each resort. We have ours going back to the early 2000s and we still use them! Also, for larger families, it is very limiting to have only 4 colours to choose from. They should and could easily have 6 or 8 or more. The small number of colour choices have also led to a few “debates” between my children, who invariably, always want the same colour!! Now we research ahead of time and decide that before we leave….sometimes using our family decision-maker: Paper, Scissors, Rock. You just can’t argue with that! Finally, to those who think we are crazy to bring our mugs to the parks, I disagree. If you plan ahead, it works very well. My husband and I drink our coffee in the morning while waiting in line for the bus to the parks. When we return to our hotel, we don’t have to go back to our room to get our mugs. They are already with us so we fill up after getting off the bus and on our way to our room. As well, I keep large plastic ziploc baggies in my little napsack that we take to the parks, so that’s where they are stored during the day. They are light and we never have any issues carrying them during the day, and they don’t leak because of the ziploc baggies. That’s my 2 cents and I understand that many of you will disagree, and that’s okay!

  61. karen says:

    have stayed on disney property for the last 29 years this dec it will be 30 have about 5 mugs that i bring back every year i go to walmart when we get there and buy 12 pk soda and a 2 and a half gallon water jug there is plenty of ice located on each floor the mugs are insulated so i like to have in the room or down at the pool and when i am there i also pick up snacks or whatever else i might want i usually stay for 2 weeks so i am not going to pay their prices but i do not steel the soda from the food court i agree with the lady before the mug is JUST for that trip besides you should not drink that much soda its not good for you.

    • karen says:

      have stayed on disney property for the last 29 years this dec it will be 30 have about 5 mugs that i bring back every year i go to walmart when we get there and buy 12 pk soda and a 2 and a half gallon water jug there is plenty of ice located on each floor the mugs are insulated so i like to have in the room or down at the pool and when i am there i also pick up snacks or whatever else i might want i usually stay for 2 weeks so i am not going to pay their prices but i do not steel the soda from the food court i agree with the lady before the mug is JUST for that trip besides you should not drink that much soda its not good for you.

  62. Leah says:

    Doesn’t Coke give Disney their product for free? So why even bother to stop people from getting refill? But any excuse to use some new technology. I’m kinda bummed to learn that you can’t use these to get milk. I was hoping to be able to get our kids milk in the mornings.

  63. Franklin says:

    Ok, morals & ethics aside, can a mug which is definitely dated (yet has the RFID chip) still be used at the refill stations? I’m going in May and wondering if it is a waste of time to bring the mug.

  64. Ty says:

    Mom and I have found a great way to get GREAT value from our Rapid refill mug and not delve into the dark side of the ethical use!! Use the mug JUST once each day (coffee in the morning on the way to the park) on a 25 day trip and it is about $0.72 per fill — twice a day (coffee in the morning and a soda at night) and it gets even better.
    (Yay you could make coffee in your room but then you have to remember to set it up and trun it on and so on what a pain just fill the dang mug and let me get to the parks)
    Okay so the hotel room cost for the use of the mug is kind of high but heck more days mean more fastpasses!!!!
    Mom wanted to do her 76th birthday very special so 25 days in Orlando seems a great way to do that!

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