A Walt Disney World vacation has become increasingly more reliant on smartphones. Between checking into your hotel room to using Mobile Order and using your phone as your ticket, it’s getting easier and easier to drain your cell phone battery before lunchtime. This is especially true with the introduction of Disney Genie and Genie+, which requires guests to utilize their phones more than ever before to access popular rides and attractions. As such, investing in FuelRods — portable chargers available on Disney property- has become increasingly necessary.
Read more: Turn Your Phone into a Magicband
Here’s everything you need to know about Fuelrods, including where to find them and how much they cost.
What Are Fuel Rods
As mentioned above, FuelRods are portable chargers you can purchase across all four theme parks at Walt Disney World. While FuelRods are nothing new (they were first introduced back in 2016), many guests still don’t know these are available.
These portable chargers can help prevent your battery from draining, however, they’re not an end-all, be-all solution. FuelRods can last between 4-8 hours depending on how much they’re being utilized.
A FuelRod kit includes:
- A fully charged portable phone charger
- A 3.5” Apple Lightning to USB cable for iPhone 5+ and up
- A USB C Adapter, which may be required for some Android devices
- A 3.5” USB to mico-USB cable for Android devices
Once your FuelRod runs out of juice, a red light will come in, indicating that you need to swap it out for a replacement.
Why Would You Need Fuel Rods?
As mentioned above, guests are having to spend more and more time on their cell phones in the parks to get by. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many establishments are still only operating on a Mobile Order basis. Furthermore, many restaurants have swapped out traditional menus with QR Codes, so you’ll need your phone to look at the menu.
However, the biggest reason why you’ll need FuelRods in 2022 has everything to do with Disney Genie. This complimentary service is only accessible through your My Disney Experience app and offers customized itineraries for guests who may need help planning their day. Furthermore, guests will need to use their phones to purchase and make reservations for certain Lightning Lane attractions.
This heavy reliance on cell phones is causing guests’ cell batteries to drain incredibly fast. And, of course, this doesn’t include taking photos on your phone, sharing them on social media, or trying to make last-minute dinner reservations through the app.
How Much Do Fuel Rods at Disney Cost?
FuelRods cost $30 plus tax. Guests will first have to purchase the portable charger for $30, however, may or may not be subject to a $3 fee for replacements. This is a bit of a controversy, as Disney came under hot water for stating that these replacements were free of charge, and then later charged guests $3 per replacement. As of late, these replacements have been free, but keep in mind that this could change without notice.
Fuel Rod Locations at Disney World
Here are all the Fuel Rod locations at Disney World. I’ve broken them down by park/area:
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland
- Tomorrowland Light & Power Company in Tomorrowland
- Big Top Souvenirs at Storybook Circus in Fantasyland
- Curtain Call Collectibles on Main Street, U.S.A.
- Pecos Bills Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Frontierland
Magic Kingdom Resort Area
- BouTiki at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- South Foyer in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- 4th Floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- In the lobby of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Gateway Gifts near Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- Disney Traders near the entrance to the World Showcase (on the Mexico pavilion side)
- International Gateway
- The Living Seas in World Nature
- The LAND pavilion
- The Imagination Pavillion
- Mission: SPACE
Epcot Resort Area
- Near Dundy’s Sundries at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas
- Rock Around the Shop near Rock n’ Roller Coaster
- Celebrity 5 & 10 on Hollywood Boulevard
- PizzeRizzo near Grand Avenue
- The Dino Institute Shop in DinoLand, U.S.A.
- Island Mercantile
Animal Kingdom Resort Area
- Inside Beach Haus at Disney’s Blizzard Beach
- Near Pepper Market at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Near El Paso at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Inside Game Point Arcade at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Inside Note’able Games Arcade at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Inside Reel Fun Arcade at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Near the Phone Bank at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Tips for Conserving Your Cell Battery
If you’re not really interested in buying a FuelRod, here are some tips to keep your cell phone battery alive longer:
- Put your phone on battery saving mode
- Reduce the brightness on your phone
- Turn off your personal hotspot and WiFi
- Turn off push notifications
- Disable location services
Read more: How to Keep Your Phone Charged at Disney
You can also invest in a Fuel Rod alternative, which we detail below:
Alternatives to Fuel Rods Disney World
There’s nothing unique about FuelRods outside of the fact that you can purchase them on Disney property. While we recommend bringing a portable phone charger with you on a Disney World vacation, there are plenty of better (and cheaper) alternatives to FuelRods that you can buy ahead of time.
The Anker Portable Charger for both iPhone and Android has overall great reviews and only costs $17.99 on Amazon. You can purchase it here. Another great alternative to Fuel Rods is the INIU Portable Charger for both Android and iPhone. This costs $25.99 and is approved to work on airplanes, so you can charge up your phone while you travel. Check it out here.
Funny enough, you can buy a FuelRod on Amazon for $29.99.
Read more: Disney World Packing List
Are Fuel Rods Worth it at Disney World?
If you forgot to pack your portable charger or don’t have one, then yes, it’s definitely worth picking one up if your phone starts to die in the middle of your day at the parks or if you still need to use it for reservations or Mobile Order.
However, that being said, I recommend going with one on Amazon. It’s less money, so you can sometimes buy several for the same cost as one FuelRod at Disney or at least close to it so you have a backup for someone else in your party.
I’ve only ever used a portable charger at the parks once and since then, my husband and I will usually switch off to use our phone for different activities at the parks — i.e. switching off between Mobile Orders or checking wait times, etc. This strategy has worked for us, but then again, my husband is rarely on his phone when we visit so it helps him conserve a lot more cell phone battery than me who’s always sharing updates to the ‘gram.
Traveling to Disney World with a portable phone charger is worth it, but there are a lot more affordable options you can use when compared to a FuelRod. That being said, they’re great if you’re in a pinch.
What Are Your Thoughts on FuelRods?
Are you an advocate for using FuelRods in the parks? Do you think they’re worth it? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for all the latest Disney tips and tricks.
As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.