Hey, you know how sometimes I actually post news about Disney, and resorts and things here? Did… did anyone know that? Um…
Anyway, sometimes I do. Like right now! On Sunday, July 7, it was announced that Disney World is changing their policies with refillable mugs. In a really cool futuristic kind of way! If you’re familiar with RFID (radio frequency identification) chips, they are being introduced all over the Disney resorts and parks – and have been in use in various ways for a while already – well, they are adding these to the refillable mugs in a program they’re calling Rapid Fill. Previously, guests at Disney World resorts could purchase a big ol’ plastic mug for approximately $15 and it could be refilled for the length of the stay. Rules were that the refills could only be done at the resort you stayed at, and you could only use the mugs from your current stay – no bringing them back year after year.
As you can imagine, this is hard to enforce. Disney’s latest RFID venture solves the problem of enforcing the rules and also offers flexibility and new options to the deal! So the mugs will now have RFID chips embedded within them, and those chips are programmed with a guest-determined length of use for the refillable option. The price of the mugs varies based on how many days of refills you have, from $8.99 for a single day to $17.99 for four days or more; the time period is determined by the guest, so you can choose fewer days than your full length of stay if you want! The chips can be programmed for up to 14 days – must be consecutive and you must actively be staying for that length of time – but more days can be added if you are staying longer than that.
The mugs will now be able to be refilled at ANY resort beverage station, not only the resort they were purchased at! The mug’s chip will communicate with the refill dispenser and display how many days remain on the free refills; if the deal is expired, the dispensers just won’t work. Past mugs can’t be reactivated, and right now the refillable mugs can’t be used at the water parks, or at the theme parks. There are plans to include the water parks as an add-on (for an additional price), but no plans yet to include the theme parks… let’s wait and see how the program does!
For those wondering: of course the mugs are not mandatory, and guests can still purchase paper cups too. Non-refillable paper cups. 😉 The refillable mugs will also still be included on the Disney Dining Plan and there’s no added cost based on days included, you just get ’em.
More information can be found at this link announcing the change, and you can ask me questions too! If it’s not covered in the link I probably don’t know the answer, but you know, I can try. 🙂 What do you think? I can see where this would be unpopular among people who have been habitually using the old mugs because Disney didn’t enforce the rules, but from the perspective of people who accept the rules, I see only one downside: the $17.99 price tag on these babies for 4 days or more. Guys! In 2005 these things cost like $9.99!! I’m not kidding! It MIGHT have been 11.99. Yeesh! Also, I wish they’d bring back the resort-specific designs, because those were cool. The only one I got was a Port Orleans – Riverside one, but it’s a prized possession.