Free FuelRod Swapping to be Discontinued November 1st at Walt Disney World

    According to signage on the FuelRod machines, free swapping will be discontinued on November 1st at the Walt Disney World Resort.

    Introduced to the Walt Disney World theme parks in the summer of 2016, FuelRods have been a great way for Guests to keep their devices charged for a long day at the theme parks. For a one-time charge of $30, guests would get a portable charger and common charging cables to use on their Apple or Android devices. When the battery would run out, Guests could either recharge their battery, or more commonly, swap it for a new one instantaneously at any FuelRod kiosk for free. That is, until November 1st.

    Beginning November 1st, each and every swap will cost you $3. We’ll put some of our personal thoughts in an opinion post, but for now you can plan on pulling out your credit card each time you need to exchange your dead charger for a fully charged one at the kiosk. Of course, you can always recharge your FuelRod free of charge at a wall outlet.

    It’s worth noting that a charge to swap isn’t uncommon for the FuelRod company. At many of their other locations such as airports and even Universal Orlando, there is a charge to swap. Walt Disney World was somewhat unique in that swaps were free for the past 3+ years.

    What do you think of the change in pricing structure and business model? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.

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    1. Personally, I am okay with the small extra charge. My guess is that a lot of guests weren’t redepositing the FuelRods after using them and therefore taking them home (which they can then charge at home in a wall outlet). The other FuelRod outlets (that you list) charge because they users are taking the charger with them. I mean at the airport, I can’t imagine many people are swapping them out unless they have a really long delay.

      I like that Disney was trying to be different and did so for a few years but I guess that after doing some research, they found out that they were loosing money for lost FuelRods which guests weren’t returning. At least Disney did add a charge that was higher than the other outlets.

      • The Fuel Rod program was designed from the beginning so that once you purchased the battery, it’s yours to keep. When you need a fresh battery, you swapped it out using one of the kiosks. The Disney kiosks are some of the last ones to start charging for swaps.

    2. For many of us Cast Members, we bought the FuelRods for ourselves because swapping was free – and it’s a perk of being able to swap them out from day to day. Adding a cost when the whole reason we bought them was for free unlimited swapping seems misleading.

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