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