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Tips from a Disney Insider: Are Refillable Resort Mugs Worth It?

If you have visited a Walt Disney World Resort, there is a good chance you have seen Guests clutching brightly colored Disney characters and resort-themed cups. No, you aren’t going crazy these mugs really are numerous. They are carried by Guests across the Resort and are even seen in Parks secured by carabiners to Park bags. These refillable Resort mugs cost $19.99 each and are available for purchase in quick-service eateries at Disney Resorts. Let’s dive into a discussion about these popular Disney souvenirs, cover frequently asked questions, and answer a pressing quandary…Are refillable Resort mugs worth it?

Refillable-Resort-Mugs

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Resort mugs are no new thing, they’ve been around for quite a long time with varying character designs and Resort themes on mugs. These insulated mugs are thought to hold between 12 and 16 ounces and have a convenient lid and handle for sipping on the go. In the days of the Disney Dining Plan, each Guest that purchased the DDP got a Rapid Fill mug as part of the package. While the Disney Dining Plan is unavailable now, Guests can still purchase a refillable Resort mug to use throughout their trip.

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Adorable scenes like Donald Duck and the gang in the woods on the Wilderness Lodge mug, Minnie Mouse relaxing poolside at Beach Club Resort, and Mickey digging in the sand on the beach of the Polynesian Village Resort are some of the designs I’ve loved in the past. Designs can show off the Resort the mug was purchased from or popular characters that range from Mickey and the gang to Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, or Disney princesses. Holiday designs are also common during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. In addition to the practicality of using a Disney World refillable mug during vacation, these souvenir cups are an excellent choice back home too. Fill your cup with a fountain beverage daily on vacation and use it for your morning coffee back home when you reminisce about vacation memories.

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The refillable mug program is also called the Rapid Fill System. Guests with a Rapid Fill Mug can enjoy bottomless sodas, water, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate from Disney Resort’s quick-service food court-style restaurants. Milk, specialty coffee, alcohol, and fruit juices like apple juice or orange juice are not refillable beverage options.

Rapid Fill mug privileges last for the duration of your Disney vacation if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. I mention this because Guests not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort will enjoy the Rapid Fill privilege with the purchase of their mug only the day of purchase. Obviously, it’s unlikely that a non-resort Guest would enter a Disney Resort to purchase a refillable mug, but this important point is still worth mentioning.

Rapid Fill mugs each have a chip in the base of the cup that is scanned by refill stations. This ensures Guests don’t pull sneaky stunts like returning old mugs to use on subsequent vacations for free. If you are a returning Guest looking to purchase the Rapid Fill mug privilege on the next vacation, we recommend you start new with another mug instead of bringing back old mugs.

Credit: Disney Dining

Mugs purchased after 2013 (when Rapid Fill chips entered the scene) can be reactivated for later Disney vacations. However, Guests do not receive a discount for recycling their old mugs, so there is no real advantage to reusing mugs from a previous Disney vacation. Save yourself the packing space and just collect new mugs when you buy Rapid Fill for your next Disney vacation.

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Once you have purchased your mug, you’ll be able to take it straight to the fountain to fill it up. Note that Disney World serves Coke fountain drinks, so you may not want to purchase a Rapid Fill mug if you are craving Pepsi products. Refill with beverages like Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Sprite, Powerade, Minute Maid Lemonade, Coke Zero, Root Beer, and more at Rapid Fill fountains.

Be sure to sit your mug down flat on the refill platform so the machine can read the chip in your mug. An important note is that Guests can’t snag another refill for 2 minutes after pouring one. So, if you accidentally fill with Diet Coke before realizing you need to dump, wash, and refill with Coke, you will have to wait two minutes before having a second pour.

Speaking of washing your mug, there are mug washing stations at each Resort refill station. Washing stations are pretty straightforward – a way to rinse the flavor or residue of your previous beverage from your mug before refilling. Mug washing stations make reusing and carrying empty mugs in Park bags much cleaner and easier.

Where do these refills work? We are glad you asked! Guests can enjoy bottomless beverages with a Rapid Fill mug at any Disney Resort. That’s right, Guests of All-Star Sports could break out mugs for a beverage refill at Contemporary Resort during a midday break from the Parks.

Any Rapid Fill mug, regardless of the Resort it was purchased from or the Disney Resort a Guest is staying at – can indeed be refilled at any Walt Disney World Resort. If your stay is split between multiple Disney Resorts, your mug won’t know the difference! Because the mug is programmed for the length of stay, you can purchase it on day one at Pop Century Resort and enjoy refills when you start the second half of your vacation at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Credit: Disney Dining

Related: From the Bottom to the Top: Ranking the Disney Resorts

An important detail to remember is that mugs cannot be refilled in Disney Parks, Disney Springs, or Disney Water Parks. While it is true that Disney Waterparks do offer refillable mugs for purchase, these are an additional purchase, not part of the Rapid Fill Resort mug program. That said, you could easily substitute this Disney mug for a water bottle and use it for water fountain refills in any Disney Park.

Making the decision on if mugs are a good value for your family can be tricky. Thinking through how many non-negotiable cups of coffee and Diet Cokes you are going to purchase per day is part of the equation. However, knowing how often you will be at a Disney Resort, how close your Resort room is to the refill stations and when you will want refills are other points to consider. Of course, the longer your Disney vacation, the more “worth it” you will likely find these mugs.

Credit: Disney Dining

 

Let’s run the numbers! A cup of coffee from Everything Pop Shopping & Dining at Pop Century Resort is $3.49. If you cannot run without coffee and know you will need to drop by this eatery to buy a cup each day before boarding the bus- costs will add up. Coffee each morning on a 5-day-trip will put your total at $17.45 by the end of your trip, that’s if you decide to have just one cup a day. In this case, it might make sense to buy a refillable mug to enjoy as much coffee as possible along with sodas during your trip.

Wishing you a great trip and smooth sips on your next Disney vacation. Whether you choose to buy a refillable Resort mug or not!

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.