Category Rank: 3
Okay, here we go.
Disney has been offering refillable mugs as a service for many years. There is nothing unique about this... it essentially allows for free refills. However, it is only good in restaurants in the resorts; restaurants in the parks do not honor the mugs. Plus, it is only for certain beverages... pop, coffee, hot chocolate. Not for milk or juice, which are sold in individual containers, and definitely not alcohol.
In recent years, Disney has added an RFID chip to the cup to assure that you are not cheating on your refill purchases. The RFID chip only works on the soda machines, but it assures that you cannot bring back one of your old mugs and use it. Well... in theory. In practice, it doesn't always work well. Plus, individuals have discovered that hot chocolate doesn't have the RFID chip on it, meaning more people are drinking hot chocolate, which is like 10 times as expensive for the restaurant managers as pop is. So in a rare Disney screwup, many managers have shut off the RFID service on the pop machines.
You can purchase these mugs for different time increments, or you receive them for free if you are on the dining plan. We have amassed many mugs over the past few years because of this. If you were to purchase a mug, it probably would not be a good deal for you, since it is difficult to get your money's worth (unless you aren't going to the parks, but rather staying in your resort all day long). Plus, many people suggest toting the mugs to the park is a waste anyways, since they only hold about 12 ounces, can't be refilled at the park, and end up being something you have to lug around the whole day.
To which I say poppycock.
I am most at home lugging around said mug in my hand, full of hot coffee for the first couple hours of a theme park. And then, when we get home, I get the pleasure of reminiscing about WDW every time I heat up a hot beverage. You can't get any more nostalgic about beverage containers than that.
Oh well... my love of the Disney mugs does not have to be a universal trait. Make your own list if you would like, but I'm going to enjoy my mug.
#42 on our list IS a universally nostalgic item. In fact, many will have this one higher up on our list. It is the first from our "landmark" category, consisting of the central structure in each park, and it happens to be one that hasn't been torn down in recent weeks.