Mug(ged) in Disney?

You know which mugs I’m referring to, don’t you? I can’t believe the controversy that starts boiling each time I see the topic of Disney refillable mugs come up in a blog post or hear it discussed on a Disney podcast. “Should you?” “Shouldn’t you?” “How can anyone justify spending $15.49 on a coffee cup?”


Well, Mrs. All in WDW and I visited our favorite place to stay – Coronado Springs Resort – in early January and engaged in one of our favorite things to do. We love to …

… walk up to El Centro first thing in the morning and visit Martha at the Pepper Market coffee window. Stop by and tell her that Bob and Mary from Atlanta say, “Hi!”. Ah, just stop by and tell her ‘Hello’ for yourself. She’s fantastic!

Anyway, we were standing there on Day #1 of our latest visit, and a very nice gentleman walked up to buy four cups of coffee and a water. That put me on the path to writing this post. That fellow spent $12.06 (before tax) for his morning refreshments. Undoubtedly, they weren’t all for him, but let me ask you this … do you usually have just one cup of coffee each morning? Maybe you do, but we don’t. Do you usually stay only one day at a resort? We most certainly don’t. Do you ever come back from a hot, exhausting day at the parks and crave a Coke, lemonade, ice tea, or even water? We always do.


A small coffee is $2.39. A large one is $3.59. A bottle of water is $2.50, and a soft drink is $2.89. You’d have to buy seven small coffees (or five large ones) to repay your “investment” in the mug. Six soft drinks or seven bottles of water would take care of that $15.49. If you buy one small coffee and one soft drink per day, you cover the cost of the mug in just under three days. I’ll admit, we do sneak down to WDW for some short visits, but they rarely last less than three days.

My point is, of course, that unless you don’t drink coffee and stay away from soft drinks, we have a hard time seeing how the refillable mug doesn’t make sense. Even if you buy it to replace the need for bottled water, the initial cash outlay is repaid after six to seven purchases. Do the math, my friends. Depending on your individual circumstances – length of trip and tastes in beverages – the refillable mug might make a lot of sense. Then, you can spend that initial $15.49 without feeling like you’re being “mugged” by Disney!

5 thoughts on “Mug(ged) in Disney?

  1. I drink only one cup of coffee each morning, and I don’t drink soft drinks….but I can’t imagine a WDW trip without a new refillable mug! For me, the value comes not just from my daily coffee while at the resort, but from the souvenir angle. I use my refillable mug several times a week during my commute to work, and every time I reach for it in the cupboard, I get a nice little memory of someplace I’d rather be!

  2. That’s one of the best parts, I agree, Kelli! Keeping the mugs. We have an old Coronado Springs-themed refillable mug that we’ve kept since our first trip in 1999. We love that thing!

  3. From Reddit: The subject of the souvenir refillable mugs. The very first thing that got me into reading about the parks, hotels, and property resorts was the old DisneyFoodBlog post on said refillable mugs, which AJ tends to give updates about every now and again.

    I’d have to say its mainly a battle of generations. The older generation who bought the mugs when they were “Guaranteed Refills for Life” continue to reuse them o trips, whereas newer generations saw it as one and done for a single trip.

    Last I heard they were going to implement an (RFID?) chip into the mugs for single trip use. The case of cost is quite obvious though. I’d simply buy the mug for coffee (Since I don’t do soda) each morning at the resort, or fill it up before a trip somewhere.

  4. From Reddit: I think they ended up postponing the RFID mugs due to damage costs. During the pilot, many people broke the soda machine arms while smashing their mugs against it, trying to get it to work with their non-applicable mugs.

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