Fill Me Up, Buttercup

by 10/01/2014 03:33:00 PM 0 comments
Want a mug? Grab a mug.
The Thirst

There aren't too many places outside of your resort that allow you unlimited refills on soft drinks. Your table service restaurants can quench your bottomless thirst, and of course all the Beverly you can drink at Epcot's Cool Spot. Inside your resort, however, you can pick up a refillable collector's mug and purchase your refills by the day, or through the entirety of your stay. In our dining plan, each member in our party was provided with a mug that included unlimited refills for the length of our stay. So, before I get into a post about our first park, and since this was the first thing we dealt with after unpacking. I wanted to touch on this refillable mug thing for folks that haven't dealt with it before.

What if I'm only staying 2 days? Is it $17.99?
So you grab a mug at the food court, head to a cashier and have them scan the mug(s) and total it all up so you can tap your magic band and enable the mugs. Trust me, they won't work unless you enable them with a salesperson because each mug has an RFID chip in the bottom of it. Kind of Disney's way of leaving refill stations unattended without worrying about being taken advantage of. This program is called "Rapid Fill" and at times is anything but. Don't get me wrong, it's cool and all to just walk in, fill the mug and walk back to your room. Of course, by the time you've strolled back to your room the mug is empty and you feel the need to head back to get another refill, what with them being free and all. Then you remember what you went through to get the first one and you decide maybe you don't need another Mellow Yellow before bed.

At my resort, All Star Sports, the Rapid Fill station was two sided; each side having I believe 2 beverage dispensers. This ultimately gives you 4 banks of sodas (all of them offering the same choices). At one end of the station was a small sink and automatic faucet where you could rinse out your mug between visit. This I thought was the most genius aspect of the whole refreshment island because the mugs are too tall to be effectively washed out in the vanity back in your room. Ironically this was the only spot around the island that never had a line. I reckon folks were too busy trying to convince Skynet they needed more refreshment.

So many options. So much hipster filter.


Let's get to the whole artificial intelligence part of this soda fountain. We're not dealing with anything like Wall-E here, but due to Disney's gratuitous use of RFID technology it knows how many fills you've had today, when your last one was, and when to cut you off.. This is something that needed to be better explained to resort guests up front. Too many times I was behind someone that kept shoving their drink under the nozzle and hitting the button, only to end up arguing with the machine and asking it why it wouldn't give them any more soda. The answer to this question was typically displayed on the LCD but has time to read when you're dying of thirst for corn syrup and carbonated water?
I put a flashlight in a mug to show the RFID chip.
Rapid Fill, while you may have as many refills as you want, it does request that you wait 2 minutes between fillups. This is obviously to make sure someone isn't down there filling their mug, then filling their 2 liter bottle from the mug. I totally understand it. It seems, however, I was of the minority because while 2 minutes seems plenty reasonable of an amount of time to consume a drink, veteran keg standers and unaccompanied minors felt otherwise.

37 seconds? UNRESONABLE!


Let's get down to brass tacks. My family stayed at the resort for a total of 5 days and 4 nights. In that time we only ate in the food court twice; both times using a counter service meal credit. As per our dining plan, any counter service meals come with a drink, in this case a bottle of soda or tea or whatever. So the mug wasn't necessary either time, short of taking up space on the tray and table. You can't use them in the parks to get free refills, so really unless you are driving to a venue there is no reason to take them with you when you leave the resort. I would say, as a group, we used our cups 4 times which came out to about $4.50 per fill per cup. I used mine a few times by myself so that figure may be a bit skewed, I was just figuring based on when we went as a familial unit.

My take is, if you don't plan on spending lots of time at a resort this may not be worth purchasing as a separate item. If its included in your meal plan, bear in mind when eating in the food court you may not need it at all. Traveling with it on a bus, monorail, etc. just seems like a meltdown waiting to happen when it gets spilled or left behind. To be honest, the most use any of the cups saw was mine. I would get up early and head down to grab a cup of coffee. Which, ironically, was served from a basic commercial coffee maker that wasn't connected to any alien technology. Meaning I likely didn't need the mug at all. Oh bother.

Mikey Whisenhunt

Pseudo-blogger, Dad, Husband, Disnerd

I'm Mike. I'm a married father of 3 boys. When not at work I spend my spare time talking my wife into Disney trips.


Post a Comment