BREAKING: Disney Removing Large Cups from Counter Service Locations, But Why?

BREAKING: Disney Removing Large Cups from Counter Service Locations, But Why?
This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

In a strange turn of events, several counter service locations at Walt Disney World recently removed large drink cups from their menus.

A large drink cup I acquired at Pecos Bill's just a month ago, now gone from the menu.
A large drink cup I acquired at Pecos Bill’s just a month ago, now gone from the menu.

The confirmed locations so far include Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Casey’s Corner, Westward Ho, and Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, all located at the Magic Kingdom.

Now, many counter service locations at other parks do not have large cups because the establishments feature self-serve soda fountains where guests are able to get refills on their own. The Electric Umbrella, Sunshine Seasons, Restaurantosaurus, and Backlot Express are examples of these types of counter service locations. Almost all counter service locations at resorts have these self-serve fountains as well, most sporting the Rapid Fill technology which limited the time and amount of refills the cups can be used for.

We have been unable to confirm why this is happening and if the trend will continue, but there are several possibilities here. The first is that Disney is trying to up-sell guests on souvenir cups. Westward Ho and Pecos Bill’s offer a fairly large souvenir cup shared like a jug, but even the souvenir mugs at Casey’s Corner and Cosmic Ray’s are much smaller than a large fountain beverage. That being said, Sleepy Hollow does not currently sell a souvenir cup.

From my personal collection: as you can see, the Country Bears jug is quite large, but the other souvenir cups are considerably smaller.

The second is that it is a cost cutting measure since most locations don’t even need to stock the large cups since they use a self-serve drink fountain. In addition, guests could be ordering just one large fountain drink for $3.69 and sharing it rather than buying one drink for each guest in their party. Disney could make a lot more money at $3.29 a drink if everyone in the group buys one.

With the busy holiday crowds, it could also be a way of streamlining service at some of the resort’s busiest eateries.

For those hoping self serve fountains or Coke Freestyle machines will be added, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Most of the locations mentioned above are far to small for either of these things to be installed.

Whatever the reason, we will have to keep our eyes peeled to see if the large cups return to these locations or begin to vanish from more around Walt Disney World.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Michael McKelvin (@DisneyDaddy1984)
Guest
Michael McKelvin (@DisneyDaddy1984)

Seems reasonable if there is free refills. Once most fast foods adding refill stations, I started getting smaller to save some change. But I’m sure you guys will be getting the psychotic comments soon. “Without a large cup it will take more refills to fill my 180 gallon bucket I brought for the family so we save money by buying one drink”

Anonomouse
Guest
Anonomouse

Well he said these locations that got rid of them probably won’t get soda stations and the ones with soda stations got rid of the larges way back when they did start them. So I don’t think people will be complaining about being able to fill their buckets. Just people complaining that they’re forced to buy 2 drinks for 6.58 rather than 3.69 for one that’s big enough to share. We usually just share a regular anyway and each get water, you know, to save money. Sorry for being so psychotic because we like to save!

DJ
Guest
DJ

The most likely reason is that people aren’t buying them unless it is included in the dinning plan. Why pay extra for a large if there are unlimited refills? BTW…what ever happened to the RFID chip cups that they were using that limited refills? Did those go away? I rarely buy soft drinks in the parks, and wasn’t sure if that was still going on.

Terence
Guest
Terence

We get the large drinks because it comes with the dinning plan, but they are too big. It is hard to carry 3 or 4 of them on a tray back to a table and we end up only drinking about half of it.

jose
Guest
jose

Another cost cutting measure from your friends at Disney. Strike that. They’re not friends. They park is there to just make a quick buck off of us. We’re friends of Disney characters and heritage though.

Carter
Guest
Carter

Merry Christmas Jose!! Please spread your holiday cheer all around.

Andre
Guest
Andre

No Carter, Disney already did that for him. You missed the article obviously before your rant.

Matt
Guest
Matt

It is a cost cutting measure pure and simple. I remember when I was working at Typhoon Lagoon they brought in a food consultant. They made the recommendation not to cut pizza at the fast food joint… because overtime it would save significant amounts of money by not having to pay somebody to cut each and every pizza when it came out of the oven.

The rant man
Guest
The rant man

Andre, merry Christmas. Hope your new year is filled with happy thoughts and things that don’t upset you, like the size of a cup.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Explain to me exactly how it makes sense to buy a large when there are free refills?

Phil Upmacup
Guest
Phil Upmacup

Because they removed the large cups from locations that don’t offer free refills and probably won’t be adding refill stations to them?

Aggl
Guest
Aggl

Free refills are disappearing Jeff. Get used to paying a lot more, for a lot less. it this doesn’t bother you, you won’t be a lone. The “shut up and take my money” generation is a large one.

Bernie
Guest
Bernie

Very few restaurants at Disney are self-serve. I believe the reason is to cut costs!! The price of the meal goes up and you get less!!

Joe P.
Guest
Joe P.

The cups are what cost the most on soda fountains. The soda itself is cheap. Dropping the large size can also speed up the order process with one size.

ScroogeMcDuck
Guest
ScroogeMcDuck

But I need mah large sodas. How else will I be able to fuel my diabetes? It’s why I got my extra cup holder for my scooter.

Disney Pete
Guest
Disney Pete

You’re so right. Let’s get rid of sodas altogether Better yet, let’s get rid of all drinks except for water. Install water fountains at every table!

Anonomouse
Guest
Anonomouse

And how much would this revolutionary table side tap water cost?

Stefan
Guest
Stefan

I think this is an unobjectionable move. They save money for the cup costs and make more buy selling more sods per family. People always rag on Disney for doing these types of things but they are a company, a very large one at that, who needs to do what it can to make the most profit. And its not like Disney does’t care, none of us would have those special moments in the parks

Phil Upmacup
Guest
Phil Upmacup

Those special moments in the park are because of outstanding cast members that DO care and want you to have those special moments. It’s the people that make it special, don’t minimize their role and give all the credit to the company.

Aggl
Guest
Aggl

hahaha, cast members whipped now AGAINST those special moments, and are pushed to make guests move faster, tighter tougether in shows to accommodate more efficiency, with just a smile on their face.

Robb
Guest
Robb

Geez people….all this over a soda cup?

Liza
Guest
Liza

I know! All this over a soda cup? All this over the double prices and half portions? All this over 3 of 5 rides being closed and one only open part of the day? All this over parking lanes being closed so you wait 20 minute to get the privilege to pat $35 to park? All this over your restaurant table being an inch now from every other table around you cuz they crammed more in? all this over their food quality being cut to sub grade A yet triple prices? The point….it all adds up. And equals a diminishing… Read more »

Bobbert
Guest
Bobbert

His name is Robb, so he probably works for Disney since they’re robbing everyone blind.

Jonathon Gomez
Guest
Jonathon Gomez

Then don’t go. If all the complainers did this, it would be less crowded for me.

GA Disney Fan
Guest
GA Disney Fan

Jonathan Gomez> This same argument has been brought up on this site countless times. What it doesn’t take into consideration is 1) the number of folks such as yourself who pay for products they’re too dumb to see they’re not getting what they pay for, and 2) Disney greatly discounts (free tickets, half price stays) large groups from Brazil, and 3) Disney cuts back capacity on rides, services when it’s not packed, so it’s still going to feel as crowded.

Samantha
Guest
Samantha

We visited Disneyland last weekend and noticed the large cups where gone from there also.

Mike M.
Guest
Mike M.

I am so sick of Disney’s less for more attitude! I just let my season pass lapse & doubt I’ll ever get 1 again or even visit! Disney no longer really cares about their guests like they once did. It’s now all about enticing people in & then fleecing them for as much as possible. So sad, really. R.I.P. Disney Customer Service

Bob Penton
Guest
Bob Penton

Visiting Disney ” Mouse Traps” come on get real, the place is not there to entertain! It’s the so Walt could make money. And let’s be honest many of the people, self included! could do with down sizing on food and drinks anyway. Go to Florida to enjoy beachs and sunshine not rip offs and making Disney Ever Richer. Note over the years, 1/ time allowed in parks on rides reduced unless extra paid, 2/ Opening and closing times reduced, 3/ The famous midnight light parade around the park, changed from very late to late then this year stopped all… Read more »

Johnny M
Guest
Johnny M

Some people are just dumb enough to be HAPPY to pay more for less. You’re not alone. Disney gives the least value for money I’m sad to say. We’re here this weekend. The don’t give a flying fuck about anything but money. Honesty.