“Free Unlimited Swapping” at FuelRod Kiosks to End Next Week, $3 Charger Swaps Coming to Walt Disney World

Jessica Figueroa

“Free Unlimited Swapping” at FuelRod Kiosks to End Next Week, $3 Charger Swaps Coming to Walt Disney World

Jessica Figueroa

“Free Unlimited Swapping” at FuelRod Kiosks to End Next Week, $3 Charger Swaps Coming to Walt Disney World

Well, it’s the end of an era for FuelRod portable chargers in the parks. We noticed something was up once kiosks began changing out their “Free Unlimited Swapping” signage for just “Swappable”, but weren’t sure if that was merely a change in phrasing. Turns out, it was a sign of things to come:

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According to signage on all FuelRod kiosks in the Magic Kingdom, Fuel Rod swaps will cost $3 starting on November 1st, 2019.

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Since their arrival at Disney Parks, park guests have turned to countless trusted FuelRod kiosks for their first $30 FuelRod starter kit and enjoyed years of unlimited, free swapping once the battery ran out. In fact, the Disney Parks were one of the few remaining places where people could swap their FuelRods for free.

Many airports and other tourist destinations, including nearby theme parks like Universal, charge a nominal fee to swap your FuelRod. However, this change in policy for free swaps at Disney Parks is sure to be a major adjustment for many guests who rely on FuelRods to keep their devices charged during their day.

Similar changes in swapping fees are likely to come to Disneyland Resort as well. The initial changes in kiosk signage were first noted there.

32 thoughts on ““Free Unlimited Swapping” at FuelRod Kiosks to End Next Week, $3 Charger Swaps Coming to Walt Disney World”

    • Fuel Rod. they charge $3-$5 for replacements at every location worldwide outside of Disney property. At the airport, we have these, and it’s a $3 refill charge. It was only a matter of time!

  1. I sincerely believe that this is false advertising. I bought my Fuel Rod for $30 2 months ago under the premise that there would be free unlimited swapping. This change severly devalued my purchase, and shows a lack of caring on Disney’s part. It is becoming more and more like the standard “theme park” that Walt tried to distinguish it from.

      • That is honestly a good suggestion and I’m all for getting off the stupid devices. However, Disney makes it so that you need to be plugged in sometimes. For instance, My Disney Experience requires you to go on to change/make fastpasses…unless you want to walk across the park to a kiosk. Also, Mobile ordering uses the app. And heaven forbid you want to use the Play Disney app to do any of the interactive games. In my experience, both apps suck battery life like crazy and there’s no way to get through an entire day of even minimal use without needing a charge.

    • Fuel Rod’s website says free swaps when you purchase. I agree this is false advertising glad I didn’t spend the money. These are over priced but I was going to pay extra for the ability to swap for free at Disney. I can’t see people paying $20 – $30 for this now.

  2. They were great for swapping because Make it in charge up your phone completely so you could swap it out and go ahead and finish recharging now that they’re charging $3 more to get a fool or a partially full fuel rod that I have noticed I think they just hurt themselves the big time good luck to you feel run but I will be shopping on Amazon to get a bigger charge on my phone instead of having to do multiple charges on my phone you have a awesome day

  3. We will be getting rid of our fuel rod. The only reason we used it, instead of our personal charger, was the free swaps. Without it, we have no use for the rod.

  4. No thanks. My fuel rod is going on the trash. Probably the worst charger I ever bought but the exchange made it worth while. Not anymore

  5. I was expecting it to be more. Since these are owned by a third party and they need to make money I dont see an issue here. Let’s face it after you saturate the market how can you survive with giving away your services.

    • Selling a way overpriced item with the promise of free unlimited swaps and the changing that to make more money is a big issue – the chargers are crap and the free swapping was the only reason to buy them – take that away and it’s just the crap that stays…

  6. Something I didn’t think about, how are people going to pay for this? If you’re staying on property, more than likely, you’re using a magicband versus carrying around a debit card. Without a touchpoint to pay, a lot of people won’t even realize this until they walk up to the machine. I wish they had changed the start-up kit and kept the unlimited swapping.

  7. Not that surprising. Disney wants to nickel and dime its guests and this first place they’ll look is all the “free” stuff (like free parking at resorts–RIP). Not that anything was ever really “free”.

  8. Fuel Rod is a 3rd party that makes their own decisions. It’s been in the park for years now, and all other fuel rod locations outside of Disney charge money. It is unfortunate, but it was only a matter of time!

    • WRONG. Fuel Rod has nothing to do with charging for swaps. That is up to the businesses themselves. I know because I called Fuel Rod directly to complain when Universal started charging. And they told me it was the business, NOT THEM, that makes the determination.

      • You’re getting downvoted, but you’re partially correct. The companies foot the bill for swaps, and the company has the discretion to choose how much they charge. Disney has the option to cover the swaps, which is why the backstage Cast Member FuelRod station will remain free – and also why Disney will be the cheapest as compared to Universal, Airports, etc.

  9. What are you people doing with your phones that you need to charge it multiple times with an external battery? Put your phone down and enjoy the experience.

  10. This is ridiculous!! We will no longer be using this EXPENSIVE ‘service’. We’ll bring our own. I have a feeling they are going to getting rid of these entirely in quick order once others follow suit. Thanks/no thanks!

  11. Wow! $3 for $.10 worth of energy. Good money if you can get it. It was the free swap that made this device cost effective (sort of). Still, plenty of people walking around WDW with more dollars than sense.

  12. With all the emphasis Disney has been putting on their in-park apps, I would think it would be worth it to them to subsidize this particular cost. All this is going to do is create human clutter with people camped out next to any accessible outlet for hours, being bored and not spending money.

  13. I for one want a refund for my fuel rod . I purchased it with the intentions of swapping for a recharged one for free . The charger at best only charges my phone up to 50% . I can buy a charger at 5 below and get the same result if I’m having to recharge it my self . Because I’m not paying 3.00 to swap it out .

  14. Haha cut to every Disney Blog and Youtube Vlog making a video on why you shouldn’t buy these Fuelrods. What a joke. I bought a power bank 2 years ago with 20000MAH for $21 and can use it literally anywhere. It charges my phone about 4x full to this day.

  15. Wow. I don’t recommend this to anyone. What a disappointment the Fuel Rod was for $33.00!! $33.00 dollars for the Fuel Rod? & Only lasted 20 minutes, got my power up by 15%. Very poor for being in universal, I recommend to universal to remove them all from universal studios and swapping them for ones what actually work and are strong…$33.00 dollars is too much. Especially the price of everything else. I could buy an cheap one what would work off eBay/Amazon. I tried to take it back to the machine just to exchange the battery and the machine tried to charge me an extra $3.00 just to exchange. Which was a huge no thank you from me. Very naughty to charge an extra $3.00 Happy I got my refund of the $33.00 from the lovely girl on the kiosk near exit. I don’t recommend this charger to anyone.

  16. Shady practice. The Fuel rod website says free swaps. Was going to buy one for the free swaps at Disney but will be taking a pass now. What a racket.

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