I'm feeling kind of rant-y today. I've heard a lot of crying and moaning about the new RFID cups and that made me think about the ways people "cheat" the system at Disney World. Here are my thoughts on the refillable mug issue (more cheating the system rants to come I am sure). If you disagree, please feel free to ignore me or post in the comments!
The main argument I've heard from the people who are not happy about the new mugs is that Disney never used to enforce the old rules. Just because a rule isn't enforced regularly doesn't erase it from the rule book. Sure there are some spots on the highway that you can speed on, but you know what? You would still slow down if you saw a police car patrolling. Now Disney is enforcing the rules that everyone has always known about and that have NOT changed. Just as the police have every right to crack down on driving laws, Disney has EVERY right to crack down on the rampant violations of the refillable mug rules.
The second argument I've heard basically goes like this: "I spend so much money on a Disney vacation, I don't see how it could possibly hurt the company if I take a free soda which costs them SO little." Okay there are several problems with this argument. First, the reason you spend so much on a Disney vacation is because Disney is a company that needs to report profits to its shareholders. I suspect more than a few of the people who are complaining about the refillable mug issue actually have Disney stock. So it's a little counter intuitive for them to complain that Disney is trying to make money.
Plus, Disney is HUGE. In addition to making a profit for its shareholders, Disney also has a ton of costs. The World requires about a zillion employees (scientific estimate) and requires a ton of upkeep. The $$$ you're paying for that room in Port Orleans, the overpriced food, the ticket prices that increase year after year? All that money, well most probably, is going to the continual upkeep of the parks and resorts. Sure you could get a non-Disney vacation for a lot cheaper, but I'm guessing your hotel won't be nearly as themed, the employees won't be nearly as cheerful and accommodating, and the places you go won't be nearly as spic-and-span. So if you think about what you're getting, you're not actually paying that much.
Finally - and here's there the second argument in favor of stealing free soda gets truly ridiculous - believe it or not, you are NOT the only person stealing the soda! I know, I know it's crazy. Surely you've noticed how crowded the parks can get. Certainly the dozens (hundreds?) of people standing in front of you at Toy Story Mania are not ALSO stealing free soda! But wait, they ARE. One person stealing a free soda probably costs Disney only a couple of cents. That is not what's happening. It's hundreds of thousands (I'm guessing) people stealing soda over years and years. That is going to add up, you guys. And I will refer you back to my other argument regarding the shareholders. Shareholders are not going to be thrilled if their company is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because the company is not enforcing a pre-existing rule.
Really, if you are a Disney fan, you should be in favor of the company doing well financially. I certainly am because I do not want those wonderful parks to go away. And if that means I pay a few extra dollars for better themeing, a clean park, great cast members, and yes, soda, I am happy to shell out the cash.
P.S. I've also heard complaints that other places *(Carnival cruises I think?) have a similar system and it doesn't work for various reasons. But that's putting the cart before the horse a bit no? Shouldn't we give Disney, with its long history of customer service and theme park experience, the benefit of the doubt until the program is implemented and the kinks are worked out?