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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Testing Cash-Free Payment Options

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cash-free payment at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Well this one is certainly interesting. Beginning Monday, February 12, on the the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House will participate in a test where all monetary transactions will be handled with cash-free payment options. What does this mean? Well, all purchases and services made at the resort will only be able to do so through payments via MagicBands, credit cards, debit cards, Disney Gift Cards, Disney Rewards Redemption Cards and contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay. Cash will not be able to be used.

For those who don’t have access to or prefer not to use credit cards, Cast Members at the front desk will be able to help Guests with their hotel charging privileges and a cash deposit can be made at check-in to activate room charging privileges.

What about gratuities that may need to be paid? They can still be paid in cash.

It will be interesting to see how this cash-free payment test goes and if it will get rolled out at other resorts. I’ll make sure to keep you updated.

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at

15 thoughts on “Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Testing Cash-Free Payment Options

  • This is another offensive policy Disney has come up with lately. For those who simply do not believe in credit, this is a very strong imposition, particularly because there is no benefit to the guest. At least the new pet policy was to accommodate a certain market. My personal response to such exclusivity is to boycott. Nothing is more annoying to me than companies which have one hand stretched out asking for my hard earned money and pointing to me with the other hand demanding stipulations for acceptance. As a bank teller, I’m fully aware of the risks and requirements of handling cash. Disney has removed that burden from themselves and placed it upon the customer. Does anyone believe they will actually pass on the saving they will achieve from this to the customer? Me neither. Totally selfish.

    • Lots of places have gone cashless. Airlines have been cashless for years. A debit card works. Or go use your cash to buy a Disney gift card. Not that hard.

      • It’s not about how hard it is. It’s about them deferring the responsibility to the customer and excluding those who’s prefer to handle their finances according to their convictions.

  • So how does it work for someone not staying at a Disney Resort and doesn’t have ApplePay, Credit Card etc who has a meal or shops in the Resort store

    • Just guessing here, but based on the above I assume they’d have go to the front desk with their cash to set up a short-term resort charge account, then get the remaining balance refunded afterward.

      • I’m interpreting this as ‘no cash’. No cash means no cash. If they won’t take cash for payment, they’re not going to take it to set up a credit account. The point is to not work with cash.

      • I have an answer! A cash deposit can be made at check-in to activate room charging privileges.

      • Great news!I am glad to hear this!

      • Sure, that’s in your original post. Ruth’s question pertained to *non-resort* guests who don’t have a Disney room to charge to. If you’re staying at an offsite hotel, but want to eat dinner at Boma, what then? I’d assume those guests could go to the front desk with cash to set up a temporary charge (or buy a refundable gift card) – can they?

  • The only cash I use at Disney is tips I leave for mousekeeping. But I did get a rude awakening once when I tried to buy a glow item at a parade and they said they only took cash.

  • So it would function like DCL. I can see that.

    Not having to balance cash drawers and deal with handling large volumes of cash. And people tend to spend more when they swipe or tap rather than watching a cash pile dwindle. But at the same time, it’s another thing guests don’t have to carry and keep track of, things like that.

  • Maybe if people aren’t carrying cash, they wont feel the need to pelt anything on display with coins.

  • Struggling to see how this benefits them or increases revenue. Anyone?

    • It saves time both for the guest and the cast members who have to manage the money each day. More importantly, it reduces the potential for loss from human error when handling cash.

    • Also reduces need for armored vehicles to come on property as often to relieve gift shop and restaurants of their cash. It also increases revenue as people who tap magic bands are less likely to feel the pain of spending real money in the moment, and therefore buy more stuff.

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