Refillable Mugs & Other Money-Saving Beverage Tips at Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs

What Are Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs? How They Work Resort Locations Using Other Cups Worth the Price? Water Park Refillable Mugs Other Beverage Tips

What are Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs?

Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs can be purchased at food courts and quick service locations at all of the Disney resorts. They are good for refills at any resort where they can be purchased for the duration of your vacation stay (up to 14 consecutive days). The Rapid Fill refillable mugs employ a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded into the bottom of the mug that turns on the beverage machine when the mug is placed on it. The chip can be programmed to work for multiple days. The mug is active for the length of the guest’s stay at the resort.

The cost of a Rapid Fill Refillable Mug is $21.99 plus tax for the entire length of your stay, regardless of the length of stay.

Rapid Fill refillable mugs can be purchased by anyone, not just Disney Resort Guests. Some resorts do not have a food court, so these mugs are also available at select quick service restaurants, pool bars or other locations.

Rapid Fill refillable mugs may only be purchased at Walt Disney World Resort hotels with self-service beverage stations. The resort refillable mugs are not refillable in the theme parks or at the water parks. While the water parks do have a refillable mug system, currently the water park mug is only valid in water parks. Because of the RFID chip embedded in the Rapid Fill refillable mugs, they cannot be microwaved. With this program, any old mug from a previous vacation will not work to activate the new soda machines. Guests must purchase new Rapid Fill mugs for each Walt Disney World visit.

If you have an older Rapid Fill mug (with a RFID chip) from the previous year, you can bring it back and activate it for your resort stay. You will not receive a discount, however, for reusing your older mug. Mugs purchased prior to August 2013 when the Rapid Fill program began or that lack a RFID chip, can not be reactivated.

 

Rapid Fill Mugs at WDW

When you first purchase your mug, the security tag holding the lid onto the mug will be clipped off at the check-out stand by a Cast Member. Once you’ve purchased your mug, head over to the beverage station and look for a sink to rinse out any storage debris and dust that may have accumulated before your purchase. Once “neat and pretty” you can then fill your mug with any of the offerings that are available at the beverage station.

The Rapid Fill mugs can be used not only at the resort it was purchased, but at any Rapid Fill machine any Disney-owned resort on property. So, you are welcome to take your mug with you should you resort-hop. Just keep in mind that the refills are not available at the theme parks.

Disney Dining Plan guests will receive this mug as part of their package—a Rapid Fill mug will be included for each member of your party at no additional charge. Just use the Dining Plan on your MagicBand to “pay” for the mug wherever they are sold at your resort.

How The Rapid Fill Mugs Work

The mugs work when they are placed flat on the stand below the soda dispenser, which allows the machine to read the RFID chip inside the mug. The soda dispensers will let you fill your mug up one full pour, roughly 16 oz. Once the Rapid Fill mug has reached its “fill capacity,” the dispenser’s screen alerts the guest with a “Fill Complete” message. Guests must then wait for 2 minutes to refill the same mug. If a guest tries to fill the mug prior to the 2 minute “no fill” period, the screen will alert the guests to the amount of time remaining before the next refill can be dispensed.

The Rapid Fill policy applies only to the soda selections dispensed by the Rapid Fill machines. Guests may fill their mugs with the Coca-Cola products offered, including Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Fanta Orange, Barq’s Root Beer, HiC Punch, Minute Maid Lemonade, Powerade. Refills of coffee, hot tea, hot cocoa and iced tea are not dispensed via the new Rapid Fill system. These beverages are available, however, with unlimited refills when you purchase the Rapid Fill mug.

For those guests who wish to fill a water bottle, or any other container with water, they may still do so with no restrictions. Ice and water remain free.

The Rapid Fill refillable mugs will not get you milk or fruit juice from any food court, nor will it work for alcoholic beverages at the pool bars or in the sit-down restaurants if your resort has one.

Resort Locations To Purchase Rapid Fill Mugs

What About Paper Cups?

The Rapid Fill Beverage Stations also impact guests who buy paper cups. One-time purchase paper cups are also RFID-enabled, but they work a little differently than the mugs. The paper cup can be refilled for one hour, up to 3 times. The cup will then deactivate after one hour or 3 refills, whichever comes first. The LCD screens found on the beverage dispensers will keep track of what you’ve already poured and will tell you how many refills you have left. Paper cups are also confined to the time limit of 2 minutes.

Is It Worth The Price?

There is a certain amount of personal preference involved, but then again there are some empirical statistics that may make a difference as well.

First of all, how long are you staying at Walt Disney World? The longer your stay, the more economical the mug becomes as it evens out after visiting the beverage stations anywhere between 6-8 trips to the beverage station.

If you drink a lot of coffee or tea, it could be a good value too. While the Values, Moderates and Deluxes offer a coffee pot in the room, that may not be enough for some guests. If you enjoy a good cup of joe, or a piping cup of tea, you may want to consider purchasing the mug.

How far from a refill station is your room located? Is your family typically in a hurry to get to the parks? Or is a leisurely walk back to your room to deposit your mug after breakfast just fine with you? Each family will have to work out the statistics to decide if purchasing a Rapid Fill mug is going to be worth it money-wise for you.

How about adding a little Magic to your daily grind? Here’s where sentiment meets practicality: How many pins do you buy at $8-$12 each and put away until your next vacation? How many plush dolls? How many Vinylmation? That’s why the mugs can be a good deal, even at home, since you can use them in a very practical way, every day. They are pretty rough and tumble, dishwasher safe, (do not microwave them!) and very portable, which makes them a usable souvenir and, unlike a t-shirt, one that you’re unlikely to grow out of.

Water Park Refillable Mugs

Refillable mugs can also be found at Disney’s water parks. The water park mugs sell for $12.99 plus tax, and can be refilled all day long with soda. The water park refillable mugs can be used interchangeably at either of Disney’s two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. Mugs must be refilled at the drink stations, which use a bar code activation system. The downside to purchasing a refillable mug at the water parks is that if you won’t be returning at least few times (or drink a lot of soda), you probably won’t get your money’s worth.

Other Money-Saving Beverage Tips

Water Tips

  • You can ask for and receive a free glass of ice water at any Disney Quick Service restaurant and save on the cost of bottled water.
  • Guests will need to make sure they are consuming plenty of liquid while touring the theme parks. Bringing your own bottled water to the park can save a bundle over the per bottle price that Disney charges. Disney knows you’re going to get thirsty and charges accordingly. There are still plenty of water fountains in the park, but with bottled water conveniently available, many people don’t like to use them. Florida water also has a slightly different taste than what visitors might be use to. If you’re able to bring bottled water from home, it can save a lot.
  • All standard resort rooms come with a mini refrigerator. They are small, but big enough to chill a half-a-dozen or more bottles of water each night plus hold other snacks. Refrigerators in standard rooms at the Value Resorts (called beverage coolers) don’t come with the “small” freezer compartment available on models at Moderate and Deluxe resorts and at the Family Suites at the Value Resorts.
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is stocking 8 packs of bottled water in the market section of Landscape of Flavors food court. This is a few dollars cheaper than the per bottle price in the parks!
  • Many guests buy water and other groceries from services like Amazon Prime Now or Garden Grocer and have it delivered to their resorts . Be sure to include your reservation number and arrival date with your address if you try this.
  • Also consider packing an empty bottle and refilling it at quick service restaurants, your resort, or fountains in the park. Small packets of Kool-Aid or Crystal Light can turn bottled water in to a flavorful drink for the little ones. Disney sells a bottle strap for about $3.75, making a bottle convenient to tote. A filtered refillable water bottle can convert fountain drinking water to bottled quality.
  • A very economical filter bottle can be found at Amazon.com for anywhere from $8 to $15.
  • If you’ll be making use of one of Disney’s Baby Care Centers, water coolers are available as source of free “bottle water” quality water for filling baby bottles.

Other Beverage Tips

  • When purchasing drinks in the parks in between meals, buy the ones that come in a plastic bottle with a screw on cap. Open fountain drinks aren’t allowed on rides and attractions, but you can take on the bottled type.
  • If you won’t be purchasing a resort refillable mug, bring tea bags and hot chocolate from home. Hot water is available at the food courts. Food courts also have sugar, creamers, and lemon. If staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, rooms have coffee pots with coffee, sugar and creamers provided and more is available by asking the housekeeping staff.
  • While guests are not allowed to bring large coolers (or rolling backpacks) into the theme parks, Disney does not object to small coolers, as long as they do not contain any alcoholic beverages or glass containers. Totes no larger than 24″ x 15″ x 18″ with a shoulder strap are fine, but may not fit into park rental lockers. Lockers vary in size from park to park, but typically, a large locker is 17.5″H x 12″W x 16″D and will cost $9.00 per day plus a $5.00 key deposit, which is refunded when the key is returned. Small lockers measure 11″H x 9″W x 16″D and are $7/day plus deposit. Coolers are permitted, including those with wheels, at Walt Disney World Resort water parks, as long as they do not contain any alcoholic beverages or glass containers.
  • If you’re a Pepsi drinker, you’re out of luck. Walt Disney World Resort is a Coke only zone. You’ll need to visit a nearby gas station, convenience or grocery store to purchase some, or have it delivered.
  • Beer, wine coolers, wine, cases of bottled water and other non-alcoholic bottled beverages can be bought at the Speedway Gas Stations on Disney property much cheaper than at the resort’s grab ‘n go market sections or pool bars. The Speedway stations carry most major brands of beer such as Budweiser, Coors, Heineken, Miller, Michelob, etc. Beer is available in bottle or cans by the 6-pack, 12-pack and 18-pack, depending upon the brand. Individual bottles are also available from 16 oz to 32 oz size. Be aware that no glass containers are permitted at resort swimming pools and also buy plastic cups or use the refillable mugs. Speedway Gas Stations also carry a great selection of sandwiches, wraps, ciabattas, and cold or hot subs, as well as very good pizza and wings at an excellent price. There are 3 Speedway stations on property. One Speedway station is located at the Car Care Center on World Drive near the exit of the Magic Kingdom parking lot, another at Disney Springs, and another in the area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios just before the entrance to the Boardwalk Inn.

If you’ll be purchasing alcohol at any of the various kiosks located in Walt Disney World parks or Disney Springs, the following forms of I.D. are acceptable:

  • US State drivers license
  • US Military ID
  • Original Passport (not a copy)
  • “Copy” of Passport along with a government issued photo ID that includes date of birth

Sunshine Season Food Fair in The Land pavilion and Connections Cafe are counter service restaurants in EPCOT that offer self-serve beverages. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Backlot Express has a self-serve beverage station. At Animal Kingdom, Restaurantasaurus and Satu’li Canteen offer a self-serve beverage station. At Disney Springs self-serve soda is available at Earl of Sandwich. Many of these stations seem strategically placed as far from the seating areas as possible and can be easily forgotten. Still, one should be able to get free refills at these dining spots.

Many alcohol and kids virgin drinks at Walt Disney World are served with a glowing ice cube, but you can save $3 if you request your drink without it.

EPCOT Wine Experiences at a Great Price
• Germany’s Weinkellar shop in EPCOT offers “Wine Flights”. Choose any three 2 ounce pours from 6 choices of German wine including white wines, apple wine, dessert wine and ice wine.
• The World Showcase Wine Walk offers 6 pours, stopping at Germany, Italy, and France in EPCOT . A Wine Walk Passport can be purchased at the Weinkeller shop in Germany, Enoteca Castello shop in Italy or Aux Vins de France shop in France. Show your passport at the three shops and you’ll be given to samples at each shop. Plus, a cast members in each shop will give you a stamp for each wine you sample.

For even more money saving food and beverage tips, visit our Dining Tips page.

 

 

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