Refillable mugs may sound like a fantastic option if you're heading to Disney World but whether or not they make sense depends on a lot of things.
Thinking about purchasing some for your next trip?
Check out the answers to some of the most frequent questions we receive about Disney refillable mugs!
How much do the mugs cost?
If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you'll get a mug included with your plan.
The current price for people paying out of pocket for their mug is $18.99 (plus tax).
The average cost of a fountain beverage is around $3.50ish so if you think you'll be purchasing at least 5 drinks from a resort food court, a mug might be a good idea.
Can you use your refillable mug in the theme parks and water parks?
Nope. These mugs will only work at the resorts in food courts and quick service locations with self-service beverage stations.
They won't work in the theme parks or water parks, however, the water parks do sell their own version of a refillable mug.
How do the mugs work?
Magic and Pixie Dust.
Or by special technology branded "Rapid Fill".
The cups have a small RFID chip in them (the same technology that runs MagicBands) that tells sensors in the beverage machines whether or not the cup is activated.
If your cup is activated, you'll simply follow the directions on the screen by placing your cup on the tray (it needs to touch the tray in order to work) and then filling it up with the beverage of your choice.
Most of the machines will also tell you how long your mug will be activated, too.
If your cup isn't activated, nothing will happen and you'll have to walk away as lights flash and sirens blare.
I mean, nothing will happen (no beverage will dispense) but there aren't any lights or sirens. Usually.
There is a small waiting period between refills - 2 to 3 minutes, so if your plan is to buy one mug and then use it fill up a giant jug to haul around the parks your plan has been foiled!
2 minutes may not seem like a long time but if you've slammed your drink because you ate something too spicy and you really need a refill, it's an eternity.
How long do the refillable mugs at Disney World last?
Disney used to sell different mug "plans" but now the only option is to buy a mug that is good for 14 days.
What happens if my stay is longer than 14 days?
If you are staying longer than 14 days a Cast Member can extend it for you but you'll have to ask; it doesn't happen automatically.
What kinds of beverages are included?
All the regular fountain beverages (Coca-Cola products), iced tea,
wine, hot tea, coffee, and hot chocolate.
Premium beverages like milk and real fruit juices are not included. Nor is any alcohol. BUT, nothing is stopping you from buying an adult beverage and pouring it into your mug to keep it chilled.
How much do the mugs hold?
In my opinion, not enough. They are kind of small BUT that makes them easier to handle and schlep around, I guess.
14 ounces is about what they will hold - but that is without any ice. For reference, a can of pop is 12 ounces.
I bought one of the "forever" mugs, can I still use it?
Alas, nothing is really "forever".
Yes, way back when Disney used to say the mugs they sold would be good "forever" but that was a long time ago and now they have all this fancy technology so you'll need to buy a new mug.
Can I reactivate an old mug?
That's a negative. If you want refillable beverages you have to buy a new mug each trip which means you'll end up with a cabinet of happiness at home.
Of course, if you travel to Disney World frequently or if you have a large family you may quickly run out of places to store lesser needed items like "plates" or "food" but who needs those when you have a brightly colored display-o-mugs to remind you of your happy place?!
Seriously - there are days when opening up a cabinet to see brightly colored Disney mugs would spark a lot more joy in my heart than seeing a cabinet of canned beans.
I am planning a split stay. Can I use them at more than 1 resort?
Yes! Your mug can be used at any Disney World resort regardless of where you are staying.
Do children under 3 get a mug with the Dining Plan?
Nope. If your child is under the age of 3 they won't get a mug. You can buy them one out of pocket but since a child under the age of 3 doesn't need to buy the Dining Plan they don't get a mug.
Are the mugs a good deal?
If you are on the Dining Plan the price is factored into the cost of the plan.
If, however, you are thinking about paying for some mugs out of pocket the math gets a bit more tricky.
You'll need to be confident that you'd be buying roughly 5 beverages from your resort over your stay. If that is a "yes" there are some other things to think about - like, how convenient will it be to go refill your mug?
Some rooms can be far away from the refill stations. Will you REALLY want to walk all the way over to fill up your mug each day?
Some people like to fill their mugs up on the way to the parks or they like to fill them up as they get back from the parks.
The problem with that is that then you're carrying your mug with you all day. It is doable (especially if you have a stroller) but it can be a hassle.
An alternative to that plan would be to order some groceries or beverages to keep in your room. That way you can grab something as you leave and recycle the container when it is empty.