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

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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:

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

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.

About the author

Jessica Figueroa

Jessica lives in South Florida with her 15-pound cat Gordo and a small army of Tsum Tsums. You can contact her, ideally with photos of your cats, at [email protected]

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Sue
Guest
Sue

Is this a decision made by Disney or FuelRods?

Joanne Mcreery
Guest
Joanne Mcreery

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!

Courtney Shook
Guest
Courtney Shook

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.

Monkeypoopants
Guest
Monkeypoopants

Maybe stay off your devices and actually enjoy the park the way Walt wanted you to.

Christa
Guest
Christa

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… Read more »

Joanne Mcreery
Guest
Joanne Mcreery

Disney didn’t make this choice.

Nay nay
Guest
Nay nay

Are u sure Disney didn’t…u can pay how much for everything at Disney…but not smart enough to use it

thxultra
Guest
thxultra

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.

Deb
Guest
Deb

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

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

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.

Nickel and dimed to death
Guest
Nickel and dimed to death

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

Martin
Guest
Martin

I generally agree, but I would suggest the recycling bin instead of the trash… 😊👍🏻

Cody
Guest
Cody

Well it was great while it was free. Good bye fuel rod

Tim
Guest
Tim

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.

Martin
Guest
Martin

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…

Kelly Kervin
Guest
Kelly Kervin

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.

Bryan
Guest
Bryan

Buy an Anker and never look back.

April
Guest
April

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”.

Joanne Mcreery
Guest
Joanne Mcreery

It’s not Disney’s decision! Fuel Rod is 3rd party and charges everywhere else in the world

Joanne Mcreery
Guest
Joanne Mcreery

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!

Disney Fan
Guest
Disney Fan

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.

Buck Rogers
Guest
Buck Rogers

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.

Monkeypoopants
Guest
Monkeypoopants

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.

Bob from Toledo
Guest
Bob from Toledo

But then what am i going to use for my Photopass pictures, the crappy photopass boxes????

Monica
Guest
Monica

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!

John Scott
Guest
John Scott

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.

Becky
Guest
Becky

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.

Ann
Guest
Ann

Why is everyone always on the phone?

Tammy
Guest
Tammy

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 .

Customer Satisfaction
Guest
Customer Satisfaction

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.

Liam
Guest
Liam

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… Read more »

thxultra
Guest
thxultra

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.