Fuel Rod Exchanges No Longer Free – Beginning November 1

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The Walt Disney World parks have sold Fuel Rod portable device chargers for several years. The initial purchase of the Fuel Rod, which you plug your phone into for charging, is $30. Previously, when the Fuel Rod was depleted you could deposit it back into a machine and receive a fully charged replacement at no additional charge.

As of November 1, 2019, there will now be a $3.00 fee to exchange a depleted Fuel Rod for a new one.

When the replenished Fuel Rods were free, we understood why some guests might find this a convenient option for keeping their phone battery charged on the go, but now with the fee, this becomes a less attractive. Instead, you may want to consider that there are many, many external battery devices available for purchase that have a larger capacity than the Fuel Rod that you can charge on your own with no expense. Many cost in the same $30 range at the Fuel Rod base, and again, there is no charge to refill them.

My personal go-to external charger is the Jackery Giant which gives an iPhone at least four full charges and costs under $35 on Amazon. (Disclosure that the link here brings you the TouringPlans Amazon Store. We get a teeeeny fee if buy through the link.)

Do you use Fuel Rods? Will the $3.00 fee change your mind about using one?

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

8 thoughts on “Fuel Rod Exchanges No Longer Free – Beginning November 1

  • October 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm
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    I bought an Aukey battery for $20. Lasts 4 charges for my ipad. Another nickle n diming scheme.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2019 at 6:29 pm
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    I will keep my fuel rod and just charge it at home for free like I did my others. Sad day that they want to charge for swapping now too. I liked the convenience of swapping rather than needing to charge them myself, but not for $3 a pop!

    Reply
  • October 25, 2019 at 7:31 pm
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    Another example of how Disney service of late is steadily declining while prices are increasing… similar to the rental of strollers no longer being able to drop off/pickup at hotel…my guess is we will see the removal of fuel rod altogether soon and the replacement with the far more expensive “Disney exclusive” version… reaching a point where they are turning off repeat visitors… time will tell if all this nickel and dime money grubbing will work for or against them. Declining park revenue? Oh, I know- let’s just charge more and give less- guaranteed to bring people in droves…. Disney is badly in need of new management across the board

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    • October 28, 2019 at 12:38 pm
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      This is a change in Fuel Rod’s business model, and is not Disney’s doing. All other Fuel Rod machines stopped offering free swaps months ago, the Disneyland/Disney World ones are the last to make the change.

      Reply
  • October 25, 2019 at 9:26 pm
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    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of would-be-“influencers” cried out as their devices ran out of battery mid-vlog.

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  • October 26, 2019 at 9:51 am
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    They’re not worth the $$$. They can only charge one device at a time and only have a single charge. For the $30 you spend for one of these your better off buying one that has up to 4 charges for the same or less before you go on your trip.

    Those who I know who’ve purchased these Fuel Rod chargers when they were first available have said there are times when you get a charger that doesn’t have a full charge on it or sometimes not charged at all. I’d be upset if I spent money to get an empty replacement.

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  • October 26, 2019 at 6:57 pm
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    I won’t be exchanging mine anymore. I only used it for the free swap. Does this include fuel rods at airports?

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    • October 28, 2019 at 12:36 pm
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      Yes, this free swapping of Fuel Rods is a thing of the past in all locations (the Disneyland/Disney World machines are the only ones that still offer free swaps).

      Reply

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