If you have ever stayed at a Disney resort, you have probably purchased or at least seen the Disney refillable mug in your resort’s food court. It’s a great little souvenir and also a great way to keep your soda cool while in the Florida heat. Over the years this simple little piece of plastic has become quite a controversy. Now some of you may be wondering how an inanimate object that is as simple as a cup can be so controversial? Well, it’s simple. Using this mug requires following rules – and many do not follow rules.
When these mugs were first introduced, it was an idea unlike any other at Disney. They mugs were resort specific, meaning they had the logo/name of the resort where it was purchased and the waterpark ones even came with a sticker attached stating the date it was purchased so it could not be “reused” on another day. The theory was an honor system – where guests would use these mugs during their stay and during the stay they were purchased. Over the years, they have changed in design, cost, and for some resorts – how they can be used.
What’s that you say? Well, since so many people can’t play by the rules, rules that are simple enough and even politely reminded by signs placed near the soda bay – these mugs are to be used in the resort purchased and only during the length of stay purchased in – Disney must find ways to police these areas, without bringing attention to the rule breakers. You will never see a cast member confront someone using an old mug or a non-Disney drinking receptacle fill up before heading to the parks, but in this new day of technology, they will find a way to stop it.
Rumor has it – and this is a rumor that has been floating around for a while now – that Disney is testing a system at the All-Star Sports Resort which will limit the number of refills you can get using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. While I have not personally seen this, I have heard both yes & no as to whether you are able to use old mugs at this location. How it would work is each mug will have a RFID chip embedded in it to keep track of your refills. When you get a refill, the drink dispensing machine will read the RFID chip and determine if you are eligible. If you are not, then, as the soup natzi on Seinfeld would say – no drink for you! Additionally, if you have used that mug in the last five minutes, then again, no drink for you!
Sounds harsh right? Well, when you add it up, every extra refill costs Disney money. But one thing I am sure of, as with any technological product, I am sure it is not infallible.
Here is a video clip recorded last summer by guests who visited without the mug, but it also shows the way it would work with the mug. As I said, I have not visited this resort in recent years and am not sure it the testing is still ongoing.
So, the current mug – how much does it cost? The 2012 Disney Refillable Mugs cost $13.99 each, but for those guests that are using the Disney Dining Plans, each person on the plan receives a complimentary Disney Resort Refillable Mug. And before you ask, if you have been booked in on the “Free Dining” promo, yes, you do still get this mug for free.
Many of you may be asking “Where can I get or refill these mugs?” Well, here you go – this is a list of where your mug can be filled – just find your resort and you are all good!
- Disney’s All Stars Resorts – World Premier, Intermission, or End Zone
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Mara Quick Service
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Kidani – Johari and Maji
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Landscape of Flavors
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, Hurricane Hanna’s Grill, Marketplace
- Disney’s Boardwalk Resort – Leaping Horse Libations pool bar, Seashore Sweets, Boardwalk Bakery
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach – Old Port Royale
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Contempo Cafe
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Pepper Market, Siesta Poolside
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – Trail’s End or Meadow’s Pool
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Gasasparilla Grill
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort – Good’s to Go, Turtle Shack
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort – Captain Cook’s
- Disney’s POP Century – Everything POP
- Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Mill, Sassagoula Food Court
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Artist Palette and Pool Bar
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Roaring Forks
- Disney’s Yacht Club – Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, Hurricane Hanna’s Grill
Only time will tell if we have seen the end of refillable mugs as we know them. Regardless of what happens, there is always humor to be found in it. I leave you with this cute musical parody:
And on a personal note, this week marked my 1 year anniversary with TheInfoMouse blog. Thank you to Amy and all of the readers for allowing me to write and share my passion of all things Disney with you. It’s been great fun & I look forward to more time to come!
Sending pixie dust wishes & magical dreams your way – until next time…