Fuel Rod swaps now $3 at WDW

Touchdown

Well-Known Member
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People, just buy one at Amazon, I have a model the size of a fun size KitKat bar, it can charge my iPhone 8+ 2.5 times, I simply make sure to plug it in every night when I plug in my phone and I’m good to go. It cost less then $15 too.
 

Monorail_Orange

Well-Known Member
Well, the free swaps were nice, it was ultimately convinced me to buy before. Oh well, I'll run the one I have out, and like @Touchdown says, after that, I'll just bring my own higher capacity/more capable unit. I think this move may hurt Fuel Rod.

Unless WDW is charging them more to keep the kiosks on location and that is driving the swap fee, I don't think we can legitimately blame Disney for this price increase.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
I second the Anker. We always have a backpack anyways, so we throw it in, and in a 7 day vacation, i think i had to charge the actual anker one time, and last trip we used it kept a Pixel xl, Pixel 2 xl and Iphone whatever going all week with heavy usage of MDE, and keeping up with each other. Doesnt take a ton of room and does the job well.
 

matt9112

Well-Known Member
Fuel rods are a bad value period with modern capacity and prices. The free thing made it i guess good because in thoery it never ran out in the day but now why wpuld anyone use a fuel rod station? Than again people rent those giant plastic strollers so i guess?
 

HRHPrincessAriel

Well-Known Member
People, just buy one at Amazon, I have a model the size of a fun size KitKat bar, it can charge my iPhone 8+ 2.5 times, I simply make sure to plug it in every night when I plug in my phone and I’m good to go. It cost less then $15 too.
I’ve said this from the get go! Think I spent $20 on one that’ll charge iPhone 3 times.
 

Gringrinngghost

Well-Known Member
So, I decided to share some info on my twitter about fuelrods. I will share it here for you all to enjoy:

Mark my not shocked face. They have been hurting. Tricopian LLC (dba FuelRod) has seen a greater volume of imports. They knew this was an unsustainable idea, especially at the Disney Parks. Hence why there wasn’t a fee. They were also contracted to not say they are at Disney. Tricopian LLC last I checked, also ran and possibly still runs a subscription service on Rechargeable AA batteries in California under the title of SaveMe Products. That was if I remember correctly $1/mo. So again, this sudden fee isn’t shocking at all. To add a bit further, according to import records, Tricopian imported 4 Pallets (250 cartons;47 cartons weighed 536kg as per records) of lithium-ion battery’s for the month of September alone.

I have both a Gen 1 and Gen 2 Fuel Rod as I call them, based off the markings. The second batch are much more questionable as they have 2 rated capacities. The first is 2600mAh (both Gen 1 and Gen 2 have this) & the second is 1450mAh (Gen 2 also lists this). It does have an underwriters Laboratories marking on it, which I did validate. I’ve wondered how the swap devices worked, then I ran into a webpage, https://www.jpaul.me/2017/10/fuelrod-my-recommendations/ where it was revealed that the FuelRods when you swapped them went to a catch bin, to be removed and then manually charged by an employee to be replaced back to the device.

Fun Bonus fact! The shanghai director for Tricopian who is now California based is the Vice President of Silicon Valley China Venture Management LLC. He is also a independent non-executive Director for IGG, Inc.

Just to state, my research into these companies continues, and has been months in the making. I will have videos soon doing a deep dive into FuelRods, and I’m going to test the hardware.

With all that being said, FuelRod does have an more expensive competitor that I’m looking at... and they also have a market presence in Orlando... That’s all for now, and I’ll have videos soon on FuelRods for you (I’m going to actually be testing FuelRods against several cheap battery banks).
 

AshaNeOmah

Well-Known Member
Bought one the month they introduced these things. Another a few months later on our next trip. I've used them enough to get more than my money's worth, but I do feel it's dishonest to start charging the fee.

I've got bigger and better batteries now, but the Fuel Rods were small and easy to use. I'll miss them, since I definitely won't be paying $3 for what probably amounts to a few cents of power at absolutely most.

I would have been willing to pay for a $10 card that buys me 10-20 charges. Swipe the card then exchange the battery. I guess that wasn't a profitable idea.
 

trainplane3

Well-Known Member
Haters're gonna hate. That's as inevitable as this change was.
I'm not denying that.

Why spend $30 on a poor quality battery when you can spend $40ish on a larger capacity battery that's a bit larger (in size) and support faster charge rates? Only reason I can find is if you're stuck and absolutely need a charge.
 

yedliW

Well-Known Member
From what I understand, this isn't totally a Disney change, they have been charging for swaps at other locations for a while now.

I do have one that I bought a couple years ago, it is a convenient size. It doesn't give my phone a full charge (especially if I continue to refresh for FP+ availability and take pictures), but it is enough to hold me over until I can get somewhere to plug it in.

Yes, the free swaps are part of the reason I bought one, but mostly because my battery was dead and I had left my (much larger/heavier) Anker in the hotel that day.

There aren't any Kiosks near me, so I have only exchanged it at Disney (including when I was there last week), but I have used it rather regularly and charge it at home. after about a year of using it, the capacity wasn't what it used to be, so I was looking forward to getting back to Disney to swap it out.

Even at the $3, it will probably be worth swapping it out each trip or so to get a 'fresher' battery to use until the next time I am down there (we go about every year or so)
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
I'm not denying that.

Why spend $30 on a poor quality battery when you can spend $40ish on a larger capacity battery that's a bit larger (in size) and support faster charge rates? Only reason I can find is if you're stuck and absolutely need a charge.
And even that is pretty rare as long as you have access to a plug for a few hours a day. Even the smaller portable chargers will charge a phone 2-3 times on a single charge
 

WhatJaneSays

Well-Known Member
From what I understand, this isn't totally a Disney change, they have been charging for swaps at other locations for a while now.

I do have one that I bought a couple years ago, it is a convenient size. It doesn't give my phone a full charge (especially if I continue to refresh for FP+ availability and take pictures), but it is enough to hold me over until I can get somewhere to plug it in.

Yes, the free swaps are part of the reason I bought one, but mostly because my battery was dead and I had left my (much larger/heavier) Anker in the hotel that day.

There aren't any Kiosks near me, so I have only exchanged it at Disney (including when I was there last week), but I have used it rather regularly and charge it at home. after about a year of using it, the capacity wasn't what it used to be, so I was looking forward to getting back to Disney to swap it out.

Even at the $3, it will probably be worth swapping it out each trip or so to get a 'fresher' battery to use until the next time I am down there (we go about every year or so)
You are correct. I'd gotten one before their roll out at Disney at an airport I was traveling though. I've noticed many of those kind of locations charge for swaps now, typically $1-3. The free swaps forever were never going to last even at the $30 Disney price. Particularly with a more captive user base the cost of keeping up with collecting, testing, recharging, and reloading adds up.

I still bring my proper battery backup if we're out at the park all day, but my fuel rod stays in my day-to-day bag just in case. It's definitely saved my group a few times over the years. It's not ideal, but $3 is still semi-reasonable in a pinch. I'm not likely to swap it at that price in the future but I'm rarely in the situation that I would have to.
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
I have used them for several years, since they started. Fuel Rods are the reason I have several batteries to recharge my phone. I know I got more thsn my money's worth over the years and will miss them but there is now way on earth I will pay to exchange one when I have more thsn enough to recharge my wife and mine all day and recharge them for free at night. I appreciate the service and knowledge Fuel Rod provided but they are dead to me.
 
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