FuelRod at Walt Disney World – Your Portable Charger

The Fuel Rod is one of my ‘must have’ items when I visit Walt Disney World.  It is in my bag at all times when I am visiting the Disney parks.

One of my biggest challenges at Walt Disney World has always been my phone battery life. Taking videos and photos, posting on social media, and using the My Disney Experience app for Disney Genie, checking wait times and mobile ordering drains my phone’s battery.  Some days my phone would barely make through the afternoon without going in to “low battery” mode from the full charge I started the day with!

You can charge your phone here too!

​There are places in the parks that you can charge your mobile device if needed.  One spot that has some great access to charging stations is over near the Tangled washrooms in the Magic Kingdom.  There you will find  are some very cute little tree stumps with ports to charge your phone and/or plug in your Electric Scooter (ECV).  You can find access to power if you need to plug in, but for me that just isn’t convenient for my phone.  I want to be able to charge on the go and not have to sit in one spot.  That’s the big benefit of portable chargers.

I had purchased a portable phone charger from Amazon, and that served me well for a bit – but I had to remember to recharge it up every night when I got back to the hotel room.  While these other chargers are helpful on other vacations, there is a better option for my Disney trips.

The FuelRod kit is $30 USD + tax and available at many locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

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 fully charged FuelRod enables you to charge your phone immediately after purchase.  The convenience of it vs the portable battery you can buy on Amazon is the free unlimited swaps at no additional cost.

Contemporary Resort FuelRod Station

Contemporary Resort FuelRod Station

I always carry my own charging cable to plug in to the FuelRod USB port so that it’s long enough to keep the FuelRod in my bag while my phone is out.  The cables that come in the kit are great, but they aren’t long enough for me to use my phone and charge at the same time.

You probably never noticed the FuelRod Kiosks on Disney property before, but now you’ll be looking for them.  The machines are actually themed depending on their location, check out the pictures to see the different looks.  While they’re all the same shape and operate the same way – they do look a little different at each location.

Animal Kingdom FuelRod Station

If you are heading the theme parks want to make sure that your cell phones are always charged, this is the answer for you.  You could buy 1 to share with your family because the unlimited free swaps means that you always have access to a fresh battery.  Just make sure you stop by to swap it out when you see one of the FuelRod stations – while there are a lot of them, they aren’t always close when you NEED it.  I got caught last trip I should have stopped in the store at Epcot on my way out via International Gateway and of course the ONLY one was at the Boardwalk.  That wasn’t where I was going!  I waited until I got to Disney Springs to swap it out instead.

Coronado Springs FuelRod Station

You can check on the Disney site for a list of FuelRod locations here for Walt Disney World and here for Disneyland.
View my YouTube short here on how easy it is to swap them!

There was some talk about a fee for swaps some time ago and a class action lawsuit, but that went away as quickly as it appeared.

How do you keep your phones charged?

Fuel Rods Continue To Be Free Swaps At Disney?

Read here for up to date information on the FuelRods at Walt Disney World:  FuelRod is one of my ‘must have’ items

Fuel Rod DisneyThe FuelRod is one of my ‘must have’ items when I visit Walt Disney World, so I was very concerned when news broke in 2019 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 FuelRod is better than carrying one of the bigger batteries that would hold 3 or 4 charges worth, the FuelRod is much lighter in my bag.

In late 2019 Disney had started putting signs on the FuelRod 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 was there on October 27th 2019 and snagged a pic for me of the stickers on the FuelRod 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 FuelRod 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 FuelRods 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.