The End of Refillable Mugs in Disney World?

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Jess's picture
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The End of Refillable Mugs in Disney World?

http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2010/05/22/patent-no-refillable-mugs/

"StitchKingdom is reporting that Disney has applied for a patent that could mean the end of the beloved refillable mugs in Disney Parks and Resorts...or at least the end of the free refills...

The new "Self-Service Beverage and Snack Dispensing Using Identity-Based Access Control" system would mean that your Key to the World card " or even potentially your fingerprint " could do more than just get you into the parks; it could determine your fate as to how many refills of that Orange Fanta you can get next time you're at Pop Century's Food Court!

That's right, Disney's proposing using RFID technology to put an end to endless refills " unless you're legitimately paying for them. (Time to throw away those Wilderness Lodge mugs from 1997, maybe? Or at least put them on ebay...)

Of course, in my heart of hearts, I'm hoping this might also be the beginning of automats in Disney World (which would be a.w.e.s.o.m.e.). The patent mentions "snack dispensing" ability, which, I hope, means I can go get a butterfinger cupcake at any time of the night...as long as I have the right magnetic strip to scan, of course..."

Not sure how much validity this has because they just released the new refillable mugs for this year but I think I would be sad if it was....love the refillable mugs

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Mase's picture
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Its sad... im actually all for this. I know our family said we wished we thought of bringing our cups from the previous year, but there is a point where its ok. My only thing is... and I believe this is the same at all of the lots is I wish there was more than one place to refill your cup. The first year at the AKL... we had to walk what seemed to be a mile for a refill and we hardly used them! Last year wasnt bad... but why cant they put these refill stations in more places? Especially if they do this identification system. It should make it easier for that now. Scan your wrist, thumb... whatever... and it dispenses.

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I hope this doesn't happen before September Sad I really wanted to buy a refillable mug in the hotel and drink my body weight in coke over the 2 weeks

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Pegosaurus's picture
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I'm a little confused by it though - does it mean as long as you buy a mug that trip, then you can still get the free refills? Is it just to stop people using old mugs?

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Peg -- I don't think I'm too worried about this one. It's from a while back, and nothing's happened yet. They just put out a new mug design for Let the Memories Begin this year. I think we're OK for a while. And, yeah, it's just to stop the mug abuse.

Mace -- I am 100% agreed! I would definitely buy mugs more often if I there was a dispenser on every hotel floor!! I'm just NOT in the lobby/food court/pool bar enough to get my mug's worth. Plus you can't get anything at night after the mug spots have closed.

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It sounds like they aren't getting rid of the mugs - just closing the loophole that let people cheat. Jason always buys one and uses it four times a day and we always buy a new one for every trip

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From stitchkingdom directly:
Today a finger scan facilitates your entry into one of the Disney theme parks, but in the age of tomorrow, it may help to quench your thirst. So suggests a new patent application from Disney which describes a 'Self-Service Beverage and Snack Dispensing Using Identity-Based Access Control' system.

Calling out shortcomings in existing systems such as customers being able to obtain unlimited refills from self-serve beverage dispensers (as Walt Disney World has introduced to a limited number of counter service dining locations) to potential concerns with the Refillable Mugs currently available for purchase at the Walt Disney World Resorts (such as losing the mug, toting the mug back and forth and cleanliness issues), the proposed system allows for either unlimited or controlled refills with any cup/vessel using token-based authentication.

For example, a guest at the Contemporary Resort may be able to purchase the unlimited refill package and simply authenticate to the refill station using their Key to the World card. Using RFID with read/write capabilities, the system could also potentially record and limit the number of times a drink is refilled by a particular guest. Of course the existing system is already open to exploitation by guests who bring back the mugs across several trips or even use their own unofficial beverage containers, so the proposed system really appears to close the existing loopholes more than serve the health needs of the Resort's guests.

On the flip side, the patent application also calls for a snack vending machine that can use the same sort of token-based authentication to serve up its products. So for example, the vending machine down the hall from your hotel room could potentially be configured to accept the Disney Dining Plan in addition to dollar bills and coins.

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If I am correct WDW currently uses a very similar system in their water parks, where you can purchase a mug good for unlimited refills during your day at the water park and it has a bar code on the cup and you have to "scan" your mug and it will then dispense the selected beverage. Has any of the water park lovers out there used this?

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At the moment can you only use the hotel mugs in that hotel, rather than in any other hotel or park?

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Mase's picture
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bali wrote:
Peg -- I don't think I'm too worried about this one. It's from a while back, and nothing's happened yet. They just put out a new mug design for Let the Memories Begin this year. I think we're OK for a while. And, yeah, it's just to stop the mug abuse.

Mace -- I am 100% agreed! I would definitely buy mugs more often if I there was a dispenser on every hotel floor!! I'm just NOT in the lobby/food court/pool bar enough to get my mug's worth. Plus you can't get anything at night after the mug spots have closed.

I know at the AKL... ours is open 24/7 I believe. I know ive gone down there real late at night to get some grub and a refill.

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Mase's picture
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Pegosaurus wrote:
At the moment can you only use the hotel mugs in that hotel, rather than in any other hotel or park?

Technically... yes. But since they all looked the same for so many years... it didnt matter.

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Vettelover wrote:
If I am correct WDW currently uses a very similar system in their water parks, where you can purchase a mug good for unlimited refills during your day at the water park and it has a bar code on the cup and you have to "scan" your mug and it will then dispense the selected beverage. Has any of the water park lovers out there used this?

You are correct. They also sell a new sticker for those bringing back old mugs.

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Oh the good old mug debate!

I love buying the mugs..I'd be sad to see them go. However, like most, unless my room is right by the food court I usually end up using it as a souvenir instead of a actual money saver. Especially since we are usually on the dining plan and drinks come with!

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They should make it so that if you buy a refillable mug you can use it EVERYWHERE. Parks & Restaurants in particular! I'd be more interested in them then. We just don't drink that much in our resort.

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dsoup wrote:
They should make it so that if you buy a refillable mug you can use it EVERYWHERE. Parks & Restaurants in particular! I'd be more interested in them then. We just don't drink that much in our resort.

The only drawback with that is that you would then have to lug those mugs around with you everywhere. When I go in the parks the ONLY thing I carry is my wallet, (usually very empty) and my pin lanyard around my neck, period.

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The discussion of the free fill up mugs got nasty on some other Disney boards so I hope it ends here.
I will say this however: (From an old submarine buddy of mine who just retired as manager of a restaurant in The World.)
For what you pay for a mug ($13.00) and for what they and the soda cost Disney, you would have to drink about 4K mugs full before it would cost them any money and then only a fraction of 1 cent.
Nuff said.
Joe

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subvetss wrote:
The discussion of the free fill up mugs got nasty on some other Disney boards so I hope it ends here.
I will say this however: (From an old submarine buddy of mine who just retired as manager of a restaurant in The World.)
For what you pay for a mug ($13.00) and for what they and the soda cost Disney, you would have to drink about 4K mugs full before it would cost them any money and then only a fraction of 1 cent.
Nuff said.
Joe

I've seen some down and dirty mug fights..I think this board is a lot more "what ever floats your boat" than most boards!

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Ah, it's a good day to be a water drinker... wink

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Lizzy_B wrote:
Ah, it's a good day to be a water drinker... wink

I recently had to give up Pop, but ill still drink Lemonaid and such.

As for the ugly board that got into a war about this? Really? Its not like this is a big deal or anything. There just talking a new system.

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Mase wrote:

As for the ugly board that got into a war about this? Really? Its not like this is a big deal or anything. There just talking a new system.

I think the war they're referring to are the "is it okay to re-use your mug" wars. We try to be as laid-back as possible here and not get into such debates.

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Brad wrote:
Mase wrote:

As for the ugly board that got into a war about this? Really? Its not like this is a big deal or anything. There just talking a new system.

I think the war they're referring to are the "is it okay to re-use your mug" wars. We try to be as laid-back as possible here and not get into such debates.

Your right about that Brad.
Joe

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subvetss wrote:

For what you pay for a mug ($13.00) and for what they and the soda cost Disney, you would have to drink about 4K mugs full before it would cost them any money and then only a fraction of 1 cent.

Challenge accepted

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^^^ Peg I can just see and hear you now, BBBUUUUUUUUUUURRRRPPPPPPPP. laugh

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Haha - I think the only war we're in danger of here is - to drink soda (and the like) or not to drink soda (and the like.) But Brad's right - variety is the spice of life, live and let live, etc etc. Because don't EVEN talk to me about not drinking coffee Laughing out loud (I suppose we all have our vices.)

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Lizzy_B wrote:
Haha - I think the only war we're in danger of here is - to drink soda (and the like) or not to drink soda (and the like.) But Brad's right - variety is the spice of life, live and let live, etc etc. Because don't EVEN talk to me about not drinking coffee Laughing out loud (I suppose we all have our vices.)

For me... I had to give up caffeine for a while because of the medication I was on. So lucky me! I had to give up my Pepsi, Starbucks cold turkey! I only drink water, orange juice and lemonade now. I probably could go back now... but I just dont see the point... 3 months sober! ha ah ha

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Mase, did you find out that you got back to where you could get stuff done without caffeine? I pretty much have to drink it to get anything done anymore. Does that capacity ever come back? laugh

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Honestly... not sure. I liked water so the transition was kinda easy. I got headaches a lot and a bit testy once in a while, but I have found out I needed to find some kind of substitute, and thats where Orange Juice comes in. Its like my coffee in the morning. Always when I head to work I get a large OJ at McD's and take a thing of Simply Orange Juice to work as well. So yeah... lol

Ive actually found that I have more energy. Not taking as many naps anymore. Sleeping better... kinda nice... heh

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Vettelover wrote:
If I am correct WDW currently uses a very similar system in their water parks, where you can purchase a mug good for unlimited refills during your day at the water park and it has a bar code on the cup and you have to "scan" your mug and it will then dispense the selected beverage. Has any of the water park lovers out there used this?

I haven't been the water parks but have read about the bar code. I also read that you can bring back the mug another day and pay half price to get the refills. I think this would be a good idea for the resorts too for re-using the mugs on future visits.

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Mase wrote:
Lizzy_B wrote:
Ah, it's a good day to be a water drinker... wink

I recently had to give up Pop, but ill still drink Lemonaid and such.

I had to drink stop recently too! Although, I think mine was more of a diet soda issue. I kept having awful back pain every time I drank it! It broke my heart thought because I adore a nice cold soda and I lived off of the stuff!!

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Bella wrote:
Mase wrote:
Lizzy_B wrote:
Ah, it's a good day to be a water drinker... wink

I recently had to give up Pop, but ill still drink Lemonaid and such.

I had to drink stop recently too! Although, I think mine was more of a diet soda issue. I kept having awful back pain every time I drank it! It broke my heart thought because I adore a nice cold soda and I lived off of the stuff!!

Yeah... ive been caffeine sober now since January... lol

I always said that I would never give it up... but when the doc told me I had to because of the meds and my liver going bad... kinda had to. Also since I have arthritis as well... its better I stay off it anyways.

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