If you visit Walt Disney World you will get used to package deals. One of the potential values you’ll see on the first day is the purchase of a refillable cup. Refillable cups are even a wildcard feature in the Disney Dining plan. When you have this food package the cup is included as well as the monetary value of your refills throughout your vacation. When deciding if the dining plan is worth it this may be the deciding factor to justify the cost of the prepaid dining plan. As a paid product, however, is this something you need? Here is some information about what the Disney World refillable cups (RapidFill mugs) are and how much value they typically present.
What is a Walt Disney World Refillable Cup?
Walt Disney World refillable cups are reusable throughout your stay at a Disney resort. The cups are provided at quick-service locations where self serve beverages are available. They are 16 oz. mugs that entitle purchasers to unlimited beverages including coffee, tea, and fountain drinks.
Although there used to be different plans available, the current reusable cups have a flat 14-day activation. The reusable cups included in the Dining Plan are available for the duration of the plan which is based on the number of nights you stay in a Disney resort hotel. The cups use technology that communicates with beverage fountains to trigger them to dispense without the use of buttons. The technology does not work with the coffee and tea, although they are included in the available drink offerings.
How Much Does it Cost?
Disney World refillable cups are $21.99. They are good for unlimited refills on fountain drinks, coffee, and tea throughout your stay. Fountain Drinks on their own cost about $4 a piece, so the value is fairly apparent depending on how often you plan to use your RapidFill mug. If you have a longer stay then your opportunities for use will be greater. A shorter stay is less likely to warrant the use of a RapidFill mug.
What are the Refill Rules?
The primary drawback to Disney World refillable mugs is that they don’t work in any of the theme parks. Although you can’t access free refills in the parks, you can use them while resort hopping. No matter what hotel you purchase your RapidFill mug from, you can use it at any of the other Disney owned and operated resorts.
There is another drawback to the technology used in the RapidFill mugs. Because of the chip that communicates with the fountain sensor, there is a timeout window that will not allow you to get another refill for up to three minutes. In most cases, this isn’t a problem and it serves as protection against using a single RapidFill mug to get drinks for multiple people, who have not purchased Disney World refillable cups for themselves.
Do Disney World Refillable Cups Save Money?
There are different ways to look at the value of a RapidFill mug purchase at Walt Disney World. The first thing to understand is that with any prepaid option Disney is not looking to cut you a deal. The pricing is based on what you are likely to spend during the course of your stay. Having said that, everybody is different and everybody experiences Walt Disney World in their own way. If you spend a lot more time than the average Disney guest at your hotel or resort hopping to other hotels, then you may get more value out of a RapidFill mug than most other guests.
The main thing to consider is how often will you be at the food court or counter service restaurant at your hotel? If you plan to go twice every day, then the savings from the mug purchase may add up. It could also save you money if you intend for the mug to be your main souvenir from the trip.
One thing to watch out for is overextending to try and get that value. If you find that you are pushing to use your RapidFill Mug to the point where you need to alter plans or go to the food court even if you don’t want to, then you may technically be squeezing out the dollar value, but you are sacrificing the experience. If you don’t think so many trips to the counter service at your hotel fits well into your plans, don’t try to justify getting the mug, it will most likely not save you anything.
Can You Reuse an Old Refillable Cup?
No. That’s the short answer. The technology has a limit that is set to expire, much like the park tickets you purchase that must be used within a set number of days. The length of time a Disney World refillable cup is good for is 14 days. After that, you will need to purchase a whole new one. The original cup can not be reactivated.
However, these beauties are well-loved and used back at home. They make great travel coffee cups for everyday use. There is nothing in this cup that restricts you from using again and again!
When Do You Need a Refillable Cup?
If resort hopping is your thing and/or you plan to spend a lot of time at your own resort you may consider the value of a RapidFill mug. However, if you will be consuming alcohol then this is probably not the deal for you as you will not be using the refillable cup enough to justify the cost. If you will be having breakfast and dinner at your hotel quick service on a regular basis throughout your trip, then that is a good indication that the RapidFill mug may be right for you. The best thing to do is to budget your dining plan before you arrive and weigh the cost of the mug against your calculated costs of fountain drinks at your resort.
Do you get a refillable cup when you go to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below! If you have been to Disney before we want to also know if you have kept these cups!
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!