Fuel Rods Continue To Be Free Swaps At Disney?

Fuel Rod DisneyThe Fuel Rod is one of my ‘must have’ items when I visit Walt Disney World, so I was very concerned when news broke that they were going to start charging $3 for every swap!  I know that I could use the one I bought on Amazon instead and charge it myself, but it is convenient!  I have to charge my phone probably 3 times per day while I’m in the parks.  Taking videos and pictures, doing live streams – it drains the battery.  Having the ability to swap the Fuel Rod is better than carrying one of the bigger batteries that would hold 3 or 4 charges worth, the Fuel Rod is much lighter in my bag.

In late 2019 Disney had started putting signs on the Fuel Rod kiosks announcing the $3 fee for a swap after they had previously had unlimited ones.  They updated the website to say the same:

From the Disney site when the charges were first being communicated

My friend Carolyn from Pure Magic was there on October 27th and snagged a pic for me of the stickers on the Fuel Rod stations

Fuel Rod charged $3 for every swap

Stickers showing $3 Charge as of November 1st 2020

There was quite a backlash from the Internet about the charges and a lawsuit was even filed?  Really?  A lawsuit over the fact that you were promised unlimited swaps and now it’s $3?  I think the world has gone mad… and I refuse to link to the ‘lawsuit’ articles because I personally think it’s ridiculous.  Anyway…

As of November 1st – Disney has reconsidered and has taken the stickers OFF of the Fuel Rod locations and has released the following statement:

“A decision has been made to not implement the $3 portable charger swap fee until further notice. Guests can continue to swap their FuelRod portable chargers using FuelRod’s owned and operated kiosks at Walt Disney World Resort for no additional cost at this time.”

The Walt Disney World website now shows this again:

Fuel Rod description Disney site

Back to normal

I am happy about the reversal in the decision – but can’t for the life of me figure out why they would change it?  Did they not KNOW there would be people complaining?  Did they get more complaints than they realized?  We may never know… For now – I’ll put the Fuel Rods back in my travel bag and enjoy the unlimited swaps!

UPDATED JULY 2020 – The company has created a “Founder” Status to grandfather people who bought the original ones under the impression it was unlimited free swaps.  They released this statement:

“SAN DIEGO – July 10, 2020 – Tricopian, Inc. (DBA: FuelRod) announces the availability of the “Founders” status in recognition of the continued support and loyalty of the most valued customers and “early adopters” (*) of FuelRod’s world-first, power-on-the-go program. The creation of the “Founders” status also resolves pending litigation against it pertaining to changes in its policies regarding charges for swapping its devices.(**) As a Founder, the customer can continue to enjoy free, unlimited swaps at any FuelRod kiosks (***). There is no cost to eligible customers to become a Founder.

Once verified, Founders will use the FuelRod app in conjunction with the kiosks to obtain free swaps under the program. The app will generate a scannable QR code that will be input at the kiosk at the time of the swap. The kiosk will then allow Founders to swap their existing FuelRods for free, even at kiosks that charge to swap.”

All existing FuelRod customers are encouraged to verify their eligibility by completing a simple questionnaire at https://kiosks.fuel-rod.com/questionnaire.php.

 

Fuel Rod – Keeping Your Phone Charged at Disney

Phone charger Disney

The Fuel Rod is one of my ‘must have’ items when I visit Walt Disney World!

One of my biggest challenges at Walt Disney World has always been keeping my electronics charged. Taking videos and photos, posting on social media, my Iphone and camera would barely make it to lunch time.

There are places in the Walt Disney World parks that you can charge your devices. For example, over near the Tangled washrooms in the Magic Kingdom are some very cute little tree stumps with ports to charge your phone.

When I’m in the parks though, I prefer to be able to charge ‘on the go’ and not be stuck sitting in one place to top up my battery life.

The Fuel Rod is $30 USD + tax and available at many locations throughout the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts.

Fuel Rod Disney

Inside of the Fuel Rod package you will find:

  • One fully charged portable phone charger
  • One 3.5” USB to micro-USB cable (for most Android devices)
  • One USB C Adapter (needed for some Android devices)
  • One 3.5” Apple Lightning to USB cable (for iPhone generations 5+)

Having that first one fully charged enables you to charge your phone immediately. When I purchased mine, it charged my iPhone fully from 15% battery.  The convenience of the Fuel Rod vs the charges you buy on Amazon is the ability to swap it out in the machine for a fully charged one – at NO COST.  There were some changes and updates to the program speculated in October 2019 – but Disney has reversed the decision to start charging for swaps.  I believe there will be a charge in the future given the company has created a “Founder” Status to grandfather people who bought the original ones under the impression it was unlimited free swaps.  They released this statement in July 2020:

“SAN DIEGO – July 10, 2020 – Tricopian, Inc. (DBA: FuelRod) announces the availability of the “Founders” status in recognition of the continued support and loyalty of the most valued customers and “early adopters” (*) of FuelRod’s world-first, power-on-the-go program. The creation of the “Founders” status also resolves pending litigation against it pertaining to changes in its policies regarding charges for swapping its devices.(**) As a Founder, the customer can continue to enjoy free, unlimited swaps at any FuelRod kiosks (***). There is no cost to eligible customers to become a Founder.

Once verified, Founders will use the FuelRod app in conjunction with the kiosks to obtain free swaps under the program. The app will generate a scannable QR code that will be input at the kiosk at the time of the swap. The kiosk will then allow Founders to swap their existing FuelRods for free, even at kiosks that charge to swap.”