In the seemingly never ending saga that has been whether or not Fuel Rod will be charging for swapping, the current announcement has been no charging for swaps at this time. Whether it stays this way or not is yet to be determined, but we’ll use these as long as possible. For anyone who doesn’t know, Fuel Rod tried changing the free swaps to $3 per swap, but after a huge lawsuit, the machines now say Swappable. So we’re not sure where this goes from here, but for now, swapping fuel rods is again free for guests.
Between making FastPass+ reservations, checking your MyDisneyExperience app for wait times and your dining reservation, texting, posting to social media, and playing the DisneyPlay app, your phone battery doesn’t stand a chance in the Disney parks. Before you know it, that battery icon will turn red, and you’ll be looking for a place to charge your phone. There’s a very simple solution Disney has that makes charging your phone convenient and easy. The fuel rod stations in the Disney parks and at the Disney resorts allow you to use your phone as much as you need to without worrying about your phone dying halfway through the day.
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Where Are The Charging Stations Located?
Disney has fuel rod stations located at a few different locations throughout each Disney park, except Animal Kingdom which only has one location, as well as at almost all the resorts and Disney Springs. You can find the park locations on the map on the MyDisneyExperience app.
How Much Does It Cost?
The initial cost is $30, and as of November 1, swapping a fuel rod will cost $3 per swap. There are places you can find the fuel rods for $20-$25 (airports specifically), and you can purchase your initial charger there if you’d prefer. We now recommend buying a phone charger from Amazon (click on the link to see the brand we recommend) instead of one of these fuel rods as the true value was in the unlimited free swapping that they used to have.
What Do You Get?
The initial packet you get when you first pay comes with a couple different chargers for different phone types and a fuel rod. If you find your phone doesn’t work with the chargers provided, you can always use your own with the fuel rod.
How Does It Work?
When you walk up to the charging station, there is an iPad that will ask if you want to Buy or Swap. Tap the Swap button and place the charger, without the cord, in the slot at the top right. Another charged fuel rod will then come out at the bottom left of the machine, and you’re good to go!
One fun thing to note is that the fuel rods come with a USB cord that allows them to be charged via computer or a wall outlet. So you could keep using the same fuel rod over and over without needing to find a charging station if you wanted to. This also allows you to use them at home or traveling other places besides Disney.
What If Something Goes Wrong?
If you ever have an issue with the machine, there’s a number listed that you can call. We’ve done this a couple times, and they always answer quickly and solve the problem right there. Their customer service is awesome, and the fuel rods have been a park must-have every day for us.
How Much Does It Charge Your Phone?
We usually get about 50% of a charge for our phones for one fuel rod. Obviously each phone type is different, but with being able to switch fuel rods and having several, we’ve never had an issue. We just swap them as we need to.
There are other, better phone chargers out there that are cheaper in price, but we love the convenience of not having to worry about charging the fuel rods the night before. We also like that it’s lightweight because carrying a heavy phone charger through the parks all day can be a bit much.
Is It Worth It?
We’re hoping this new change means there won’t be charging for the fuel rods in the future, so if this is the case, we’ll continue using ours and enjoying the free swaps in the parks. If the charging for swaps comes back, we won’t be using these as it just isn’t worth it for us. There are so many better phone chargers out there that will last longer and charge your phone more before it runs out of juice. We recommend one like this one from Amazon or somewhere similar because it will charge your phone longer before it runs out. If you have fuel rods already and don’t want them going to waste, you can always charge your current fuel rods instead of paying to swap each time you need a new one to save money.