The Future of the Disney Refillable Mug – $25? $30? More?

| September 6, 2011

Posters on the DISboards anxiously await new designs for Walt Disney World’s refillable mug.  Many people wish Disney would bring back the “resort specific” mug where each hotel on property had its own design.  Well one Disney resort that does have its own mug design is Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa that just opened in Hawaii.  However, with that resort specific design comes a price – $32.99 to be exact.  Continue after the break for more thoughts and questions.

A guaranteed hot button issue on the DISboards is the Walt Disney World refillable mug rule/policy.  For some reason people debate Disney’s wording that mugs are only to be used for the length of stay in which they were purchased.  Recently Disney’s gone so far as to test a new electronic technology preventing guests from bringing back and re-using old refillable mugs.

Will the $33 price tag for Aulani’s refillable mug encourage even more guest cheating?  Do you think we’re ultimately destined to see price increases in the cost of the refillable mug at Walt Disney World?  How much would you be willing to pay for unlimited refills?  Right now the cost of a mug hovers close to $15.  Would you pay $20? $25? $30? $33???  If the cost of a mug goes up that high, do you think we are going to see more policing (maybe even by guests) at the drink station to make sure the rules are enforced?

Please leave a comment below to let us know what you think.  


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  • Brian

    I guess it all depends on the cost of drinks. If it saves me money AND provides a cheap souvenir then I’d pay for it.

    Also when mentioning the cost of the Hawaiian cup, you have to take into account what everything costs over in Hawaii. EVERYTHING costs more there. That being the case it costs Disney more per fill up. So its understandable that they’d charge more for the cup.

  • Chuck

    I don’t blame Disney for cracking down on Refillable Mugs. The first time someone goes to a buffet they pay a set price for all they care to eat. On their next visit NO ONE just goes back up to the buffet and starts eating and expects not to pay again. Of course you have to pay each visit so therefore NO ONE should expect free refills on beverages for life.

  • gallicdenis

    On our last few trips we’ve begun to question how cost effective the refillable mug is for us. We still purchase one for my DW, myself, and any of our adult DDs that may come along. However we find that we seldom use them. Perhaps a morning cup of coffee once in a while then we fill it up for the drive home. As stated earlier in the blog if they were resort specific, with the year of issue and a higher quality I might consider it.

  • natenlogansdad

    If Disney keeps everything the way it is, I wish they would offer a version of the QS meal plan that does NOT offer the mugs and reduce the price of the plan by a few dollars per day. With the resorts only having the stations in the one part of the hotel, we need to take the mugs down fill them up and carry them to the parks or back to our room which can be a huge pain.

    HOWEVER,

    If they implemented the RFID cups AND had a few refill stations on each floor of our hotels then I’d consider paying extra for the mugs. Right now, the mugs are more of an inconvenience in my opinion to warrant spending the money.

    I think the refill stations are also in need of a rehab to be honest. Many times to soda’s are watered down, the lemonade is just blah, and the coffee? Well, I know some like the coffee but for Disney’s sake, I hope the coffee lovers don’t ever make a stop into the WAWA going in by Sea World. Being a PA boy, I can say that there’s nothing like a WAWA coffee in the morning.

    Best of luck Disney. I’m just glad we make other arrangements. In my house, we dictate what is a value for our dollar….not big companies.

  • Debbie

    All it will encourage is for folks to bring their own mug and buy a case of soda from the grocery. Ice and water will still be available. Very sad.

  • DisneyScott

    I think it’s really unreasonable especially in this economy. I worked in the fast food service area of a bowling alley during my high school years and I know it only costs pennies on the dollar to fill one of those mugs up. And I mean pennies per drink. Sad Disney, very sad that you are gouging your customers…

  • tonyandjeanine7470

    I think that you should only use your mug for the time you are there and buy a new one when you come back. That being said, I think Disney shouldn’t charge an arm and a leg for them either. That will only make people try and sneak around. I think Disney needs to make a few changes in other areas. I can go to McDonalds and get free refills along with free wifi. I can even get free wifi at a 39.00 a night hotel but not at an over 300.00 a night resort. I love Disney World but I think they make more than enough profit.

  • Disney86Girl

    I think the new thing for the mugs is highly rediculous.
    my mom and i have been going to disney since 2005 but only found out bout the refill mugs in 2007. we are one of those people who have been using the old cups again once we saw other people have done it too. i think it is highly rediculous since Disney has enough income from merchandise/food/hotels/parks and tours and whatnot… they already raised the park tickets why do they have to take another thing away from vacationers?
    I also bring the mug to parks and fill it up when possible. :)

  • cherokeemamma

    I might be in the minority here but I have NEVER purchased a refillable mug in all of my trips to WDW.(11+) I think using the mugs are VERY inconvenient and I have never missed them except to have a souvenir. Perhaps if our children were very young or if we stayed around the resort more it would make more sense. We bring a couple of cases of water, our own coffee supplies, hot chocolate, cokes, as well as milk and juice. We almost always get the dining plan and have never seen the need for the mugs. Even when flying we order from gardengrocer so there isn’t a big need for additional drinks. How sad that Disney is becoming so very, very greedy and making it so difficult for families. :(

  • merbobear

    I have to say, I have no problem with Disney raising their prices on the mugs. There may come a point where I will not purchase one due to the price, however it is Disney’s prerogative to price their products as they so choose.
    I am always a little thrown by complaints about pricing by WDW patrons, as I am sure that we must all know that WDW is a business, and out to make a profit (and the highest profit possible, at that!).

    I do agree that it would be great if more drink refill stations were added around the resorts, as it can be quite inconvenient to make a trek for a soda or coffee.

  • boardwalkwdw

    If it such a problem and they are loosing so much money why not put the beverages behind a counter again and let a disney cast member dispense them?

  • nannigans

    I think the RFID is a good idea if they find a way to implement it – I would not look forward to the lines if they put the dispensers behind the counter but that is just me and it would be effective for sure IF they had specific mugs/ swapped designs out more often if they choose not to do RFIDs. I’ll be going to Aulani in the beginning of Oct and will NOT buy a mug at that price. I bought one when I was at WDW in 2007 that is still very nice but the ones I bought in 2011 were a travesty; mug 1 was dropped 6 inches and broke the inside liner so I had to toss it (Disney would not replace it which is understandable but still sad…) mug #2s lid cracked of its own accord (was not dropped or mishandled – I always handwash) and #3′s design is already coming off from rubbing against the mug holder in my car after only two rides in it. Seriously low quality all around.

    I’m also torn because I am not a soda drinker so I only get coffee/cocoa in the morning to go and see it as more of a souvenir. I also have mixed feelings about encouraging people to drink more soda to ‘get their money’s worth’ when it is so very bad for you (I know, I know, to each their own vice) but $32 of soda is a LOT!

  • disneyfan4life

    when we visit Disney, we always get new mugs with our meal plans. However, my husband brings along one extra one for his coffee. He doesnt like to drink his coffee and soft drinks/water from the same mug. Although we dont stay at our resort long enough to use the mugs most of the time. We usually have a poptart or something simple for breakfast before we leave the room with a drink from the ice chest. If we happen to eat something at the hotel restaurant we usually will buy a drink(if not on meal plan) because we dont want to carry our empty mugs around all day and dont wanna go back to room to put it away.We are just ready to head to the parks. If disney would introduce one that could be refilled at all resorts and the parks(even for a discounted price), then yeah i would pay a much higher price for it. I really loved it when the mugs were resort specific..Then you always had a reminder of where you have stayed and the memories you have there..

  • eliza61

    I never understood why the resorts don’t simply do as the waterparks do. When you bring an old reusable mug from the water park you must purchase a new “bar code” sticker to put on your mug. The sticker is less than the full price of mug yet allows you to “activate” the beverage station.

    Problem solved.

    As to the question. No I probably would not purchase a mug at 33 bucks. simply because it would not be cost effective. Generally we drink water most of the time in the parks (as we go in hot August) and only have soda with our meals.

  • tww1965@verizon.net

    I agree with the sticker idea. That way, you are always charged for
    the sticker but it’s a minimal charge. I have way too many Disney mugs
    at home!

    If the price goes any higher, I will have to reconsider buying them. It’s just not worth $33.00 at DW in FL. Maybe it might be if you are going to Aulani because you spend the entire time at the resort so you can always refill. At DW in FL you can’t refill your mugs in the park only at the resort. We also stopped buying water at the parks. $2.50 a bottle is way too expensive. We stop at the Hess and get a case of water. Still overpriced, but much cheaper than buying by the bottle at the parks and resorts.

  • adventure

    We purchased a mug last year when we stayed at the Carribean. It was around $14 and I thought it was a rip-off. There was only 1 location on the entire property that offered the soda fountains and we had to walk a 1/2 mile to get there. The drink was gone before we got back to the room! The soda fountain was always a mess and filthy to use. Next time I’ll just bring my own or buy some at a local store nearby. To think about having to pay double that…$30 is even expensive by Hawaii standards. No thanks Disney.

  • erin_s

    I am not okay with the price increases at wdw, at least. Disney gets their fountain drinks from coke for free. I’m ok with reusing the mugs for this reason. I’m out $60 to get mugs for my family every trip? It’s ridiculous. I’ve loved Disney for a long time but it’s really hard to not think they are gouging families these days (especially in the area of these mugs)!

  • loihi

    Course its a super deal, got what ya paid 4, the longer ya stay the better deal it is, and i dont wanna leave.

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