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Fuel Rods now available at all Orlando theme park locations

by Brittani Tuttle

FuelRod, the reusable, portable, swap-able battery system that allows you to charge your device on the go, can now be found in all three of Orlando’s major theme park organizations – but there’s a catch.

fuelrod

Guests may now run into swapping fees at select FuelRod kiosks.

Being known in the theme park community for offering free, unlimited swaps at its Walt Disney World kiosk locations, the company is now charging for swaps at select locations across the country.

fuelrod

Currently, FuelRod kiosks at Walt Disney World Resort and SeaWorld Orlando offer free swaps for guests who purchase a kit for $30 ($20 online and at select airports). However, Universal Orlando Resort now charges a $3 swap fee for guests looking to get a fresh, new battery.

When asked about this change, FuelRod shared this response on their company Facebook page:

“Because swaps have been used so extensively we’ve had to start charging at some (non-theme park) locations in order to address more frequent service requirements […] “We are a small company trying our best to balance a sustainable business model and customer expectatinos. Swaps have been used extensively, but our service techs do not work for free and the utility companies charge us for the electricity we use to recharge, so we have had to adjust our pricing after four years at the same price.”

fuelrodWhat’s worth noting about this statement is that Universal Orlando is a theme park – which makes it interesting that guests are being charged for battery swaps there. FuelRod did not respond when we reached out for comment.

The question is, will we see this new swap fee be introduced to other theme park locations? FuelRod kiosks can currently be found at the following Florida amusements and theme parks:

  • Aquatica Orlando
  • Discovery Cove
  • SeaWorld Orlando
  • WonderWorks Orlando
  • Universal Orlando Resort
  • Adventure Island Tampa
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
  • Walt Disney World Resort

You can check out select FuelRod kiosk locations in your area here.

While we don’t know if this new service charge will go into effect at other theme parks in the area, guests who purchase a kit do have the option to recharge their portable batteries at home with the included USB cords.

FuelRod is also offering five free swaps if you download their app and sign up for their free membership.

Stay tuned for more updates on this story as it develops. To learn more about FuelRod, visit Fuel-Rod.com.

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6 comments

Ferg March 13, 2019 - 4:43 pm

Brought 2 of my own portable chargers ( purchased for $5 each)on my stay at Disney and got us through the day with no problems. Charged them in the room at night. Save your money for something else.

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Barb March 14, 2019 - 3:39 pm

Hmm I would be annoyed if they started charging at Disney. Free swaps while at the parks was the reason why I bought it!

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Michelle Young July 2, 2019 - 12:58 pm

I bought mine at discovery cove with free swaps last October. Went yesterday and the swap there is now $2. I feel a class action In-N-Out future

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Chris March 16, 2019 - 9:52 pm

I just contacted them from their website and asked, I will let you know when and if I get a response, but who knows.

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Chris March 18, 2019 - 11:48 am

I just heard back from Fuel Rod and it was Universal that asked for the cost of swaps to be $2 each, they do not know why Universal chose to do this while swaps at airports are only $1. Really in my opinion, it makes more sense if Disney and other theme park locations were to cover the cost of the swaps, as they end up making more money that way than if they charge for the swaps.

Here is an example of how:
I live on the west coast and visit Disneyland frequently, we will often use mobile order just before leaving the parks because it is convenient and we won’t have to wait in line somewhere for our food.

But if my phone is dead, then mobile order isn’t going to work and we would still have to wait in line, so we would go somewhere that is cheaper and Disney looses money.

Also, there are times where if one of our phones are dead and we don’t have a fuel rod with us, we will leave the park, but would have stayed longer if our phone wasn’t dead and we would have spent more money.

I most likely would not pay $2 for a swap, $1 I might, but given that it has been free at Disney since purchase and was billed that way when I bought it, I would have a hard time doing so.

I understand there is a cost to these things, but it makes much more sense in a theme park environment for the theme park to pickup the cost due to how much they are pushing the use of phones inside the theme parks and how much extra money they make off of said use. Now I can understand other venues, such as airports not picking up the cost because they often offer other methods to charge phones and don’t make such a profit off of people using phones in the airport, etc.

They also mentioned they now have a phone app and if you download it, you can get five swaps for free, so you may want to check into that as well.

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Dave August 5, 2019 - 9:42 am

The theme park does pick up the cost. The retail price in the park is higher than at other site.

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