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Walt Disney World will soon be introducing the Rapid Fill Mug to replace the standar refillable mug that has been sold at Disney resorts for years. The biggest difference will be that each mug will have a RFID chip. These chips will communicate with the new self-serve drink filling stations. The stations will also recognize traditional paper cups which can also be purchased will also have a chip and can be only be used for one hour from the initial serve and are limited to four 20 oz pours.
This is an obvious change from the way things currently work. Currently the drink stations are basically functioning on an honor system. Guests can fill any cup they want. Some have even been known to fill bottles and other assorted containers. I have seen mugs from resorts other than the one I was staying in filled as well as mugs that are obviously years old. In effect, if you wanted a free beverage at the resort, there was nothing to stop you from getting one.
Of course it was not intended to work that way. For those who have not stayed at the Disney on-property resorts a little explanation might be helpful. For years Disney has been selling refillable mugs. These mugs were sold with the clear understanding that they were for the length of your current visit and for use only in the resort you were staying in.
They were a bit pricey. The first one I bought was about $12. The last one was about $15. However, if you are staying in one of the resorts and you only bought two drinks for two days, at your resort, you about broke even for what if would have cost just to buy a single use paper cup plus you had a handy souvenir. Since I was always staying for more than two days I not only broke even but I saved money.
As a guest, I must admit I was a little frustrated to pay the money for a mug and watch others using the old mugs they had bought. By nature I am an honest, if slightly grumpy person. I do not abuse a system nor do I like to see others abuse the system. I am also smart enough to know that they money Diseny was losing from dishonest customers was costing us honest ones. We were, in effect, going to pay for those who were abusing the system.
Which brings up a moral question. Though these people were doing was an obvious abuse of the system was it wrong? Was it stealing? By definition stealing is taking something that does not belong to you. These people doing that were they not? What is the difference between that and shoplifting? None in my book.
Of course some people are going to say that Disney is making plenty and that Disney prices are outrageous. I do not disagree. It irks me to pay the price I have to pay for a drink at Disney too but I have a choice. I can always bring my own.
There are two other changes in the system.
The first is that guests can use the mug at any resort now. I am not sure how much impact this will have for the average guests. How often are they going to be at another resort after all? However, there are a good number of guests who split their stays between multiple resorts. Now they will not have to buy two mugs to stay legal.
The second involves pricing. Because the number of days the mug is valid varies the price will too. The price will start at $8.99 for one day and go up to $17.99 for length of stay plus four days.
Since Disney is going to start charging more as well as eliminating theft, I would like to make one suggestion. Get rid of the generic mugs and bring back resort specific mugs!
The new system was tested in 2011 and will starting rolling out to all Disney resorts soon.
For more information check this out this articl article from Orlando Theme Park News.
No doubt you, like all other Disney loves the world over, have been anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Fantasyland attractions. Well they are not all open yet but Disney has set a date!
Mermaid lovers will finally get to go Under the Sea with Ariel. The little mermaid will also be featured in Ariel’s Grotto for picture taking opportunities.
For those with a Beastly appetite the new Be Our Guest Restaurant in Beast Castle as well as Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts will be open for business.
Unfortunately not everything will be ready to go on December 6th. We will have to wait till 2013 for Princess Fairytale Hall and 2014 for the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train. But don’t look at it like a delay just an excuse for more trips to Disney World.
With the year winding down the official Disney Blog has declared their top five stories of the year. Those top five stories of the year? The 40th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom, a meet and greet under development with Mickey where the big cheese actually speaks, the Avatar expansion, a behind the scenes look at the construction of Beast’s castle in Fantasyland and the installation of Nemo icons the Art of Animation resort.
The question I must ask is simple, “Is anyone else let down that these are the top five stories of 2011?”
Don’t get me wrong each of them is at least mildly exciting in their own way but Beast Castle and the Nemo icons are not really news. They are just updates of stories from previous years. Disney is just letting us know progress is being made. Now if either of these items were announcements that work was complete that might be news. But saying hey we painted a wall? Well that might be a slight exaggeration of what they announced but it isn’t far off is it? I am not saying it isn’t news worthy but a top story?
As for the 40th anniversary story its not like there was a major tie in event. Sure guests who were there that day received a few special items like pins and maps but again this is the best news you had in all of 2011?
And don’t get me started on the Avatar expansion. Grumpy does not claim that this isn’t worthy of top news status. It certainly is. Grumpy’s problem is this: He’s not sure if it’s good news or bad. Avatar does nothing for me. At all. If they wanted something based on a movie why not something that was an established series? Jurassic Park would have suited me better! But they have a Dinoland already I suppose. What about Middle Earth? If you want to compete against Harry Potter world I would put Gandalf up against anything Harry has to offer! Still, it is an expansion I guess and I look forward to seeing what comes of it. Disney just better hope the next two Avatar movies don’t bomb.
That just leaves one story to talk about: Talking Mickey Mouse! Okay I have to admit this one doesn’t thrill me personally. But hey I’m grumpy right? It is big news though and it is good news. For forty years Mickey has been greeting guests at the Magic Kingdom and never spoken a word to any of them personally. Now he’s going to strike up a conversation. While talking Mickey may not excite me too much I can understand what an effect this will have on the youngsters and if it makes them happy it makes me…well less grumpy I guess. And there is technology behind talking Mickey and that does excite me because we don’t know what else that technology may eventually be used for. Watch the video for a short glimpse of how this may end up working.
So there you have it. The grumpy report of the top five stories from Disney World in 2011. Your thoughts? Even if you don’t want to reply take the poll and let me know if I am way off track. If you want to read the official post from Disney click here.
Taking a cue from Buzz’s “career” as a Space Ranger guests are asked to enlist in the Rangers and help repel an invasion by the evil Emperor Zorg. You board your space craft which comes equipped with two cannons and one joystick. As you travel through space one cadet can control the direction of the ship and both cadets can aim their cannons and take out targets. Cadets are awarded points based on the number of targets they successfully hit. There are some hidden targets that award huge bonuses!
Though it might seem, at first glance that this one is only for kids, adults will enjoy it too and at the end you can compare your score with everyone in your party for bragging rights!
Disney has promised us a huge announcement and all the rumors and clues seem to indicate it will have something to do with Leap Year. Could it be 24 hours of open parks? We don’t know yet but we sure are looking forward to finding out!