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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Rapid Fill" For Mugs Coming to Disney Resorts

Yesterday, the Walt Disney World Resort announced a new “tiered” refillable mug program called “Rapid Fill” that will begin this month at All Star Resorts and then expand to all other Disney Resorts.

The new program allows the RFID chip embedded into the mugs to be programmed to allow refills for guests for various lengths of time, depending on the length of stay.  The RFID chip in the mug will then deactivate itself at the end of the purchase period.

The pricing is based on calendar days:
  • $8.99 for 1 day
  • $11.99 for 2 days
  • $14.99 for 3 days
  • $17.99 for length of stay

The soda refill machines will then be equipped with LCD screens that tell guests how many more days of refills are left on their refillable mugs. 

Mugs from previous trips will be useless, as new mugs (which can have the RFID chip activated) will need to be purchased for each trip.

The new mugs, with activated RFID chips will be included in some Dining Plans.

Okay, we have been hearing this was coming for some time and now it is here.  What I don’t understand is the selling point of “now your refillable mugs can be used at any resort.”  This is not new!  The previous refillable mugs could also be used at any resort food court!  Didn’t people try this?  We explored both the Contemporary Resort and Wilderness Lodge and just happened to have our mugs with us.  It was great to take a break at the Contemporary with a snack and drinks from our refillable mugs.  The Monorail and EPCOT resorts better watch out as guests from nearby Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are going to throng to their food courts for free refills!  Probably not, but if this “refill your mug at any resort” is an advertising bullet for this new program, it is certainly a possibility.

We have been long time fans of the refillable mugs—purchasing some at Caribbean Beach many moons ago, you know, when the mugs had the resort logos.  We continued to bring them back—even to Port Orleans Riverside.  Yes, I know you aren’t supposed to do this. 

Then, when refillable mugs became part of the Dining Plan, our collection of refillable mugs has grown considerably, as we obtained 3 new mugs with each trip.  Looks like that tradition will continue with the new Rapid Fill program.

What I could get behind is a program that allows refills at the various theme parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney.  Couldn’t Disney’s extensive recycling program get behind that type of program?  Buy your mug and fill it throughout the entire Walt Disney World Resort, which is what I think the Disney wordsmiths are trying to convey with the “fill your mug at any resort” which is misleading. 

What about mugs for Annual Passholders?  Their mugs could be activated for the entire year of their pass! 

Rapid Fill most likely won’t affect us this trip and we will carry on as usual.  I am curious about the roll-out though, as I anticipate some kinks in the normally well oiled Disney machine.  And, in the meantime, may your cup. . . er, mug, runeth over.

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