Walt Disney World will soon begin implementing new RFID-enabled dispensers at all resort locations servicing refillable beverage mugs.
In 2011 Disney tested RFID technology at a select number of resorts. The program utilized refillable beverage mugs and paper cups embedded with RFID chips which would control the frequency and duration of their use.
Dubbed "Rapid Fill", the RFID-enabled cups are now scheduled to be implemented at all Walt Disney World hotel locations including the Disney Vacation Club properties.
The chip attached to each cup will control how often guests can refill their mug and the time period over which it is valid. During tests, after a refill guests were required to wait at least 5 minutes before they could initiate another refill of the mug.
Mug pricing will vary depending upon the timeframe selected. Pricing is as follows:
- One Day: $8.99
- Two Days: $11.99
- Three Days: $14.99
- Length of Stay: $17.99
(Note that "days" are calendar days, not 24-hour time periods.)
All cups purchased with the length of stay option will be valid for a full 14 days from the date of purchase. Guests with a total resort stay of more than 14 days will still pay the $17.99 price, but Disney has not indicated exactly how the mug usage will be administered.
Video screens installed at the refill locations will display the number of remaining days on a mug. After the purchased number of "days" has passed, the mug will no longer activate beverage dispensers. Mugs previously purchased which do not contain an RFID chip will no longer be valid.
Refillable mugs are also included with most of the current Disney Dining Plan options.
Installation of RFID beverage dispensers is scheduled to begin in July 2013 and encompass all Walt Disney World resort hotels. No word on whether Disney plans to expand this service to its theme parks.