Universal Studios is chipping their soda cups to limit refills


Good news, consumers!

Universal Studios Dental is now offering a free in-tooth RFID chip with each dental filling!

With US Dental’s patented “Trak-U-Tooth” technology, you can enjoy your authorized ration of cool, refreshing soda in less time than it takes to throw away your old expired RFID cups!

Update: Created “Universal Studios Dental” article in my Gnomon Chronicles wiki:



I don’t really care much for the unlimited refills (no such thing here in europe :slight_smile: ). But couldn’t they have gone with a QR code? ‘paper’ cups are bad enough for the environment as it is. Adding an rfid chip to disposable stuff is a bad idea ™ in my book.


This is so strangely interesting to me. I kicked the soda habit (including diet soda) some time back, and I have no plans to go to Universal Studios… ever. So I have no skin in this game.


While the people pointing out that it’s a good thing that soda intake be limited have a valid point, is that the motivation behind this move on the part of Universal?

Are they doing it to protect people from their own excesses while in their theme park?

Or is it a move to increase the sales of horribly marked up soda to a captive clientele?

Not to mention the increase in disposed cups that will occur, all of which will be heading to a landfill somewhere.

It feels like corporatism/consumerism running further amok.


I guess that a 3rd Party Company can see a way to make money selling RFID’s to the theme park; while QR codes would be a less lucrative contract. The road to hell is paved with Capitalism.


Unsweetened iced tea is often an option for fountain drinks too.


I think it’s more that tickets, food, and soda at these parks are expensive, so some guests got in the habit of bringing their own travel mugs (or McDonalds cups or whatever) and helping themselves to endless soda to save a few dollars. Enough people did it that you now have to use the cups you buy at the park.


You’re blaming the victim here.


If anyone is curious, this is what the soda fountains look like in Disney resorts


Yes. Notwithstanding the health implications of soda bla bla bla, this is an incremental step towards “Unexpected dishes detected in washer. Please check dishrack and try again.”


And the 2 hour refill time-limit that “breaks” the cup so the visitor has to shell out for another overpriced cup if they want to drink something is just good for business.


I’m sure there is an accountant at Disney/Universal that can give you an answer that explains the cost/benefit. I’m sure they wouldn’t have invested in the system if it wouldn’t net a profit in the end.


I dont think they call them picture shows anymore. At least that’s what I heard on the wireless.


Does it break the cup, or can you pay again to re-up your current cup?


Hmmm. Good point. I don’t know. I would hope they would do that.

However, even if they do, how many people are going to carry around an empty cup that they know will stop “working” after that 2-hour mark has passed?

Maybe if the visitors can “renew” their current cups at $1 or so less than a new one, they will see value in holding on to it.

I still expect a huge upswing in the number of cups being disposed of and ending up in a landfill from this policy. I wonder if anyone will investigate it down the road?


Nothing wrong with some unsweetened tea, my particular issue is filling up with the sugary and fake-sugar drinks. If this change at Universal causes more people to switch to just drinking water i call that a success.


This chip presumably prevents both.


Can we get this chip installed everywhere? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I think @Brainspore means it would prevent you from being able to get water as well. (edit: in re-reading, he means both sodas and unsweetned tea) I cant’t imagine any major theme park would do such a radical thing as give away free water.

But then, I haven’t gone to a theme park since I was a teenager, so I can’t say for certain.

Captive customers are captive.


They usually have two or three barely-functional water fountains spread throughout the park. But yes, it’s nice to be able to select “water” from the fountain drink dispenser even when “unsweetened iced tea” is unavailable.


I don’t understand the “refill” concept in the first place. If I have something to carry around, its going to be a sealable container. Who wants to be carrying around an empty, sticky cup in expectation that they’ll be thirsty in an hour.