Tips on Tipping at Walt Disney World: Transportation, Restaurants, Hotels, and More

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IMG_9618-1-300x200-300x200A frequent area of confusion for Disney guests is the topic of tipping. International guests may be unfamiliar with American tipping in general. There are some Disney travel situations where guests tip differently than at other travel destinations. And some folks are just plain miffed that they have to tip at all. Nonetheless, gratuities are a part of life when you travel in the United States.

To answer all your Disney World tipping questions in one place, here’s an overview of all the situations where you have to tip, and where you don’t have to tip, on your Disney vacation.

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Disney table service restaurants provide information about tipping.
Disney table service restaurants provide information about tipping.

SITUATIONS WHERE YOU NEED TO LEAVE A TIP

    • Luggage Handling: At the airport, at your hotel, and throughout your trip, you should tip anyone who handles your luggage for you in your presence. The rule of thumb is that you tip about a dollar per bag, or two dollars if the bag is extra heavy. Round up, and don’t ask the porter or valet for change. If you’re claiming your bags yourself at the airport carousel and taking them to a cab, rental car agency, limo service, or Magical Express bus on you own, then you won’t need to tip anyone while you’re in the airport. If you use a porter to assist you with moving your bags from the luggage carousel to ground transportation, then you tip the porter. If you’re at a Disney hotel and using their Resort Airline Check-In service, tip the luggage handler their just as you would a porter at the airport. If hotel bellman assists with bringing your bags to/from your room, tip a dollar or two per bag. If a hotel bellman also provides you with a resort tour or other help, tip a bit extra. If you’re looking to economize, you can avoid a lot of tipping if you transport your bags yourself. This may not be feasible for guests with medical challenges, copious amounts of luggage, more small children than adults, or owners of non-wheeled luggage. However, if you’re able-bodied and each member of your party can handle their own rolling bag, then by all means deal with your own luggage and circumvent the tip stream. This is an easy way to save cash.
    • Transportation, Magical Express Drivers: You’ll see a sign at the front of the bus telling you that driver will accept tips. If you’re just hopping off and on the bus, you shouldn’t feel obligated. However, if the driver is helping your store luggage under the bus, go by the dollar per bag rule. If you’ve used the yellow Magical Express luggage tags and had Disney take your bags directly to the hotel for you, then you won’t see the person who’s doing your luggage transport. In this situation, you’re off the hook for tipping.
    • Transportation, Limo or Town Car Drivers: Depending on the agency you’re using, the tip may be included in the price. Be sure to ask this when you set up your booking. In general, plan to tip about 15% of the fare. If the driver has done something extraordinary for you, such as making an extra stop or assisting with car seats or colossal amounts of luggage, tip more.

Most restaurant receipts calculate a typical tip amount for you.
Most restaurant receipts calculate a typical tip amount for you.
    • Transportation, Taxi Drivers: Taxi drivers also get about 15% of the fare. Again, if the cabbie does something above-and-beyond, tip more. Always round up to the next higher dollar in your tip; it’s considered poor form to tip your driver in coins. Taxis are one situation where asking for change for the tip is OK. For example, if your cab ride is $11 and you have a twenty in your wallet, it’s perfectly acceptable to say to the driver, “Here’s a twenty, can I have six back, please.” This tells the driver that you’re paying the fare and giving him a $3.00 tip.
    • Transportation, Uber or Lyft Drivers: Gratuities are included in the price of an Uber or Lyft ride, so it’s not technically necessary to add an extra tip. However, many riders do give their drivers an extra few dollars in cash to ensure that their user rating remains high.
    • Valet parking: The deluxe level resorts and many off-site properties have valet parking available for a fee. If you use the valet parking service, in addition to paying the daily rate you’ll need to tip the attendant each time you get your car. Two to five dollars is typical. Many guests tip both the attendant who parks their car and the one who retrieves it for them, but only the second tip is strictly compulsory.
    • Housekeeping/Maid Service at Your Hotel: It’s polite to leave about a dollar per day, per person in your party, as a tip for the cast members that make up your room. If you’re a family of five, this means a five dollar tip for your housekeeper each day. You’re supposed to leave the tip separately each day, rather than at the end of your stay, because there likely will be different people cleaning your room over the course of your visit. You’re also supposed to leave the tip with a note that says “thank you,” or in an envelope with the word “housekeeping” on the front. This makes it clear to the housekeeper that the tip is indeed for her, and not just a bit of cash that you forgot you left on the dresser. Some folks employ the strategy of leaving the housekeeping tip on their pillow. If you or your child have been super messy or ill, please leave a more. Additionally, If someone does an extra chore for you, offer a tip. For example, if you call down to housekeeping for more pillows or towels, give the person who brings them a few dollars.
A few Disney dining experiences have the tip built into the cost. Be sure to check in advance.
A few Disney dining experiences have the tip built into the cost. Be sure to check in advance.
    • Front Desk Concierge Service: Every Walt Disney World hotel has a concierge desk where you can ask directions, pick up tickets, get assistance with dining reservations, etc. For basic requests, there’s no need to tip. If you find a concierge particularly helpful or if they make multiple meal or recreation reservations or solve a thorny problem for you, offer a tip of $5-10. Most likely this will be firmly, but politely, declined, but it’s kind to offer. If you’re staying at an off site hotel and a concierge there provides you with assistance, you should tip $5-10 for simple requests, and $20 or more for complicated requests. This most assuredly will not be declined.
    • Concierge Suite Service: If you’re staying in a Club Level room with special dedicated concierge service, you’ll want to tip according to your usage of the service, the length of your stay, and the number of people in your party. Fifty or 100 dollars, or much more, is not unheard of if you’ve made extensive use of their personal attention.
    • Table Service Dining: You should be tipping 18-20% at table service restaurants, possibly more if you’ve had truly exceptional service or have lingered at a signature restaurant. Some international guests or older Americans are accustomed to no tipping or lower tipping norms, but 18-20% is now the tipping is now the standard in U.S. metro areas (of which Orlando is one). If you cannot factor gratuities into your budget, then you should plan to stick with counter service dining. To keep everyone on the same page, Disney restaurants often place a little card about tipping in the bill presentation folder. The card says: “We are often asked about gratuities. No gratuity has been added to your bill. Quality service is customarily acknowledged by a gratuity of 18% to 20%. Thank you.” Of course it’s really up to you to decide how much you want to tip. If you’ve taken root in the land of old school 15% tippers, then it’s up to you to decide if that’s where you want to stay. There are, however, a few situations where the 18% tip is mandated. These are:
        • Parties of six or more. An 18% gratuity will be assessed regardless of the age of the guests (babies are included) and regardless of whether the bill is broken up into separate sub-checks.
        • Guests dining at prepaid restaurants and dinner shows including: Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop Dee Doo Review, Spirit of Aloha Luau, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ.
        • Guests using the Tables in Wonderland discount card or Cast Member discount. If you fall into one of these categories, take extra care to look over your bill. You’re certainly welcome to add more to your tip if you received exceptional service, but you don’t want to inadvertently double tip.

      One tiny bit of cost saving news here: Your tip should be calculated on the pre-tax cost of your meal. There’s no need to tip for the sales tax.

Tip the Resort Airline Check-In staff as you would a porter at the airport.
Tip the Resort Airline Check-In staff as you would a porter at the airport.
    • Buffet Service Dining: Servers at Disney’s buffets work just as hard, if not harder, than those at traditional table service restaurants. There’s a lot more clearing and refilling than at other meals. The norm is to tip buffet server staff the same as traditional table service staff. However, if you feel that buffets are in a different category of dining, then it’s up to you to decide your tip level. But remember, if you’re a party of six or more, an 18% gratuity will be automatically added to your bill.
    • Disney Dining Plan Users: Tips are NOT included with meals paid for with Disney Dining Plan credits. You will need to tip your server with actual money (cash, credit/debit cards, Disney gift cards, and other payment methods all work for this). If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, your bill will include a notation about how much you would have paid had you been paying cash. Tip based on that amount. If you’re a big eater on the Dining Plan, your tips over the course of a vacation can end up being quite substantial. Be sure to factor this into your budget.
    • Bars/Lounges: If you’re just having drinks, one to two dollars per drink is the right amount. If you’re also getting food, go with 18-20%.
    • Room service (in-room dining): The In-Room Dining menus state, “A $3.00 delivery charge, applicable sales tax, and an 18% service charge will be added to all orders.” It’s not obligatory, but if the server who brings your food to your room is extra nice or helpful, you could hand him $3-5 to be extra nice back.
    • Salon/Spa Services: Plan on tipping 15-20% of the bill for any personal care or grooming service. Massages, manicures, haircuts, facials, and those poolside hair wraps all merit a tip of at least 15%. You can tip cast members involved in your (or your children’s) personal beautification at the Harmony Barber Shop, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, or Pirates League. For the Barber Shop, tip about 15% of your bill. At one point tipping at the BBB had been prohibited, but in recent years this rule seems to have been relaxed. If you feel so inclined, you may offer a 15% tip to the Fairy Godmothers in Training or the Pirate tutors.
    • Recreation: Offer a tip of at least 15% for any specialty recreation. This includes boat drivers, waterski instructors, parasailing guides, tennis instructors, and the like. For golf instructors and caddies, use standard golf club etiquette on tipping.
There's no need to tip the Disney bus, boat, or monorail drivers on property.
There’s no need to tip the Disney bus, boat, or monorail drivers on property.
  • Childcare: The cast at the Disney childcare centers (Lilo’s Playhouse, etc.) will not be expecting a tip. If you’re using Disney’s in-room sitting subcontractors such as Kids Nite Out, then a tip should be offered. This could range from rounding up the bill by a few dollars to an extra $100 or more if the real-world version of Mary Poppins has tamed your unruly mob. For a normal, competent sitter, a tip of $10-20 is a nice gesture.

That certainly sounds like a lot, and in some cases it can be. But there are also many Disney service people that do not require tipping. In general, cast members working in the theme parks, with the exceptions of dining and personal care staff mentioned above, doing their regular job in the parks are not allowed to accept tips/bribes/grift/etc. If they are seen accepting tips, this is grounds for dismissal. You can’t give them a twenty to speed you through the standby queue at Soarin’, nor can you tip them for offering you kindness or special attention.

SITUATIONS WHERE YOU DO NOT NEED TO LEAVE A TIP

  • Disney transportation on property. The bus/boat/monorail drivers should not be tipped.
  • Counter service restaurants. No tipping needed here. If you’re on a strict budget, eating counter service meals (many of which are quite tasty, healthful, and substantial) is not only less expensive from a food cost standpoint, but also eliminates a potentially large gratuity expense.

Some guests, knowing the no-tips rule for in-park cast members, will bring a stash of thank you cards or tiny treats from their home town when they go to the parks. They’ll offer these to cast members who have shown them a special courtesy. Cast are allow to accept these de minimus tokens.

While giving a kind cast member a Statue of Liberty pencil sharpener is nice, what’s even better is giving the cast member some documented props. Guest comments weigh heavily in cast member performance evaluations. Your positive remarks can help good cast members get promoted into better jobs. To make an official comment, pick up a comment card at the Guest Services office at the parks. If you’d rather wait until you get home, you can send comments to: Walt Disney World Guest Communications, PO Box 10040, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040. The e-mail address for Guest Communications is: wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com. Be sure to include the cast member’s name and hometown (both noted on their name tag), as well as a description of the cast member’s good deed and approximately where/when it happened.

Even if your in-park cast member experience is so good that it makes you cry, you still can't offer them a tip.
Even if your in-park cast member experience is so good that it makes you cry, you still can’t offer them a tip.

MORE INFORMATION

I’ve spent the past five years researching tipping culture. It’s certainly a hot button topic, with strong opinions on all sides. Tipping etiquette is also a moving target, with some restauranteurs moving toward changing the pay structure of their employees and eliminating tips (note – this has not yet happened at Walt Disney World). If you’re looking for more information about gratuity practices in the United States and other countries, here are some resources:

So fellow travelers, what are your thoughts on tipping? Do international guests think we Americans are crazy? Have you made any tipping gaffes that are keeping you up at night? Let us know in the comments below.

*this article is an update from a previous version published on touringplans.com on March 21, 2012

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

49 thoughts on “Tips on Tipping at Walt Disney World: Transportation, Restaurants, Hotels, and More

  • March 4, 2016 at 7:38 am
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    Thank you for the most useful and comprehensive tipping guide I have ever seen! As a visitor from the UK, I have never felt confident with when and how much I should be tipping as it is very different here, and usually ending up with an overwhelming feeling of not having got it quite right. You’ve also saved me some cash as I was working out an 18-20% tip based on the table service bill including tax.

    Reply
    • March 6, 2016 at 7:32 pm
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      Most servers do not mind rounding off. If you normally tip 18-20% for good service, these examples show an easy way:
      Check (including tax) is $46.50, $8 tip
      Check (including tax) is $128.35, $24 tip

      I generally round the check down to the nearest ten, then tip $2 for every $10 spent. You can always +/- a few dollars from that depending on your experience, if desired.

      Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 8:09 am
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    I have never understood people complaining about the tips when on the Dining Plan….you would pay tips on your meals anyway (or so I would hope.) Just because you are now paying for your meal with a “credit” as opposed to cash/credit card, that does not change the amount of work on your servers’ part.

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  • March 4, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    Thank, you for this guidance – I am also from the UK and I find tipping in the WDW confusing sometimes ie when you do and when you don’t and how much. The main thing I struggle with is – if my friend and I both order a meal – one twice as expensive as the other – and have the same server and service, why should the tip for one of us be twice that of the other when we have both received exactly the same service? Anyway, that aside, I am going to save this article on my phone for the next time we go to WDW so that I can get it right! If I am right, workers in the US are taxed on their wages and tips which it is assumed they receive so if we don’t tip them, they are being taxed on something they are not getting – is this fact correct?

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    • March 5, 2016 at 11:57 am
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      Yes, you are correct. Servers are taxed on their wages and EXPECTED tips, whether or not they actually receive the tip. Also, I don’t know about Disney Cast Members, but in general wages for servers in the US are far below minimum wage. The tips are not “extra” money for them — they are their bread and butter.

      Reply
      • March 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm
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        This should be stressed. I once saw a waitress break into tears at a Orlando restaurant because she got stiffed on a couple hundred dollar tab at a very demanding table.
        It actually cost *her* money in taxes to wait on that table, An older couple and ourselves made it up for her.

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    • March 6, 2016 at 7:51 pm
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      “why should the tip for one of us be twice that of the other when we have both received exactly the same service?”

      ^Sometimes it is just that.
      Other times, there actually may be more work going on behind the scenes for your server. The industry prefers to hide the fact that servers do a decent amount of the food prep themselves (depending where they work). It’s the norm for servers to entirely assemble some salads, desserts, plate iced seafoods, etc…

      The point you raise is totally valid. Some dishes are expensive & easy to serve while other are troublesome and cheaper. There is a discrepancy, but the system balances these out by law of averages.

      Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 9:17 am
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    I’m little confused about the hotel tipping. So let’s say I stay at the Boardwalk and we have 15 bags. They take my bags out of my car and put them into storage for 10 minutes at bell services while I check in, then I have to call bell services once I get my room to deliver my luggage. Are you saying I should be tipping $15 -$30 twice to check in – to the bellhop that took it out of my car and the one that delivers to to my room? We always just tipped the bellhop who brought it to the room.

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    • March 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm
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      I always tip when GETTING my luggage, not when DROPPING OFF- with a few exceptions: dropping off with a porter before a cruise, or if I was going to use the Magic Express luggage service for the flight home.

      Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 9:29 am
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    No, they are only taxed on the tips they receive.
    A cash tip is best as then they don’t usually report all of it and save on taxes. It’s also OK to tip less than 18% if the service is poor.

    Reply
    • March 4, 2016 at 10:56 am
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      Not reporting cash tips to avoid paying income tax on it is called tax fraud, and it shouldn’t be encouraged.

      Reply
      • March 4, 2016 at 6:48 pm
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        I think some people confuse the reason why servers prefer to get cash tips. The point made here is regarding “saving on income taxes” may be true for some, but is in actually tax fraud.

        The reason most servers prefer cash is most restaurants deduct bank fees from server’s charged tips. The norm is 4% and up, or a set fee (like a dollar per tip). 4% doesn’t seem like a big deal, but over the course of a year those deductions can range from $500 to thousands deducted out of a servers tips for bank charges.

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        • March 5, 2016 at 7:05 pm
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          The Restaurant Manager reports the total receipts by server to the IRS.
          The IRS calculates income based on a percentage of the reported receipts. For tips in a with a credit card the entire tip amount is reported as income. A tip in cash, the IRS assumes a percentage.

          Reply
          • March 6, 2016 at 8:26 pm
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            That is true.
            Some restaurants just assume an hourly wage across the board by totaling restaurant sales multiplied by average tip percentage, divided by total man hours worked during the last fiscal year.
            All the servers’ wage stubs will show the same hourly wage. The accountant’s crunched numbers might show everybody is likely making $12/hour in tipped wages over the year.
            The pay stub will reflect this by showing $5 paid wage (e.g. Disney Server Wage)+ $12 tips = $17 per hour. Taxes are determined upon those totals in this instance.

            Many diners do not realize servers tip out anywhere from %20 to %50 of their tips everyday between the bar, food runners, busboys & back of house (as is industry standard).

  • March 4, 2016 at 9:58 am
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    I had no idea we should have tipped the Resort airline check-in staff. I’ve always taken my bags down there myself to have them tagged for my flight. Now I feel terrible that I didn’t do this. This is certainly a helpful post – now I know for the future.

    Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 10:16 am
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    Having stayed concierge level many times for years, tipping of the concierge level desk cast members has been refused. It’s been graciously explained by several of them. Has this changed recently?

    Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 10:32 am
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    One area where WDW differs from most other hotels – actually, they’re the only ones I know who do this – is that housekeeping *isn’t* a tipped position. The housekeepers are paid a regular wage, rather than a “tipping wage”.
    I have no doubt that they appreciate the tips they receive, but it isn’t required in the same way that it is for restaurant or baggage staff.

    Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 11:17 am
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    Tipping, particularly restaurant wait staff, is crazy. It’s a totally irrational thing. I wish we’d get rid of it all together. I would much rather that the people providing the service were paid more, and the cost on the menu, for instance, actually reflected what I will be expected to pay. If the menu says my steak dinner costs $100, it should cost me $100, not $130 with tax and tip. The idea of the tip, as I understand it, was to reward good service, but if it’s de rigueur to tip 18-20%, where’s the incentive for the service person to provide good service? What about when the service assumes that I will be a poor tipper and provides commensurate service?

    All tipping really does now is allow the restaurant to avoid paying the waitstaff enough and put unrealistically low prices on the menu. It also allows waitstaff who don’t report cash tips to avoid paying taxes that they owe, and gives waitstaff an excuse to provide poor service to people they assume will not tip well. And it allows some (awful) customers to get out of paying their fair share by shafting the waitstaff.

    That last is why I do pay tips, because we don’t live in a perfect world, and for better or worse, the server is expecting to make a certain amount of money for providing service. But I am looking forward to a day when that’s not the case.

    It would especially be nice at someplace like Walt Disney World, where I’m already paying such a premium, to not be nickeled and dimed with this weird obligation.

    Reply
    • March 4, 2016 at 1:01 pm
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      Charles, restaurants try to go away from it from time to time, but usually end up returning to it. See for example, this article about a restaurateur who eliminated tips at 2 of his San Francisco restaurants and brought it back:

      http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/19/pf/no-tipping-reversed-bar-agricole-trou-normand/index.html?iid=ob_article_hotListpool&iid=obnetwork

      Me, I’m drawing the line at this supposed 18-20% restaurant tipping. It’s been 15% ever since I became an adult :mumblemumble: years ago, and by gosh, I’m not going to up it* just because I’m in the Disney Reality Distortion Field.

      *–Actually, I tip more for exceptional service. And I have Tables in Wonderland, which includes an 18% autotip, so my “line” is more aspirational than anything. 😉

      Reply
      • March 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm
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        I hate the practice of tipping as well- and think Disney should really go to a no tipping policy. That said- as the system is set up now, 18-20% off the the pre-tax bill should be tipped unless the service was terrible (and if it is, you should also be talking to the manager). Otherwise, you shouldn’t be eating at table service restaurants.

        Reply
    • March 4, 2016 at 2:41 pm
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      I agree with you that Americans (as a general rule; there are always exceptions, of course) are tip-happy. They seem to want to tip everyone and everything, and brag about how they tip ‘extra’ when tips are already included.

      Tips are ‘mandatory’ when the person’s wage is lower in anticipation of tips making up a large part of their wages. This would include waiters, pizza delivery people, taxi drivers, many cruise ship employees, etc. It is also important to ip when someone clearly goes out of their way to provide extra/good service to you. But people who receive a normal wage/salary should *not* expect tips. That’s ‘double-dipping’ and is only playing on the ‘guilt complex’ of the guest.

      The one that gets me is the luggage people at the hotels. I check in before my room is ready and am required to leave my luggage at the bell desk. Fine. But when my room is ready, I am *not allowed* to take my own luggage to my room. They hold my luggage hostage and refuse to let me have it back until *they* deliver it to the room. That’s extortion, and I refuse to pay a tip when someone forces a service on me that I would rather have done myself. Disney is terrible for this.

      If I have a lot of bags, and I need help getting them to my room, and I request that assistance, then yes, I will tip. But not if it’s forced upon me.

      Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 12:09 pm
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    Given past research demonstrating tipping is discriminatory (just one example: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=articles), I think it’s a breath of fresh air that many chic restaurants in NYC and elsewhere are doing away with tips and paying their servers appropriate wages.

    Frankly, I don’t see why this is a hot-button issue. If you say you’re against tipping, people lambaste you as if you expect servers to work for $3/hour. Eliminating the antiquated tipping system in the US certainly does not mean that (to the contrary, in fact) and it would be a step in the right direction, particularly for international tourist destinations like WDW.

    Reply
    • March 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm
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      The ones who get lambasted are not people who are against tipping, I completely agree with doing away with the system. It’s the ones refuse to tip knowing full well the server is only making $3 an hour because they feel it’s their right, or they’re taking a stand against the greedy owners, or some other non-sense to justify their cheapness when in reality they are just hurting the people who are working hard.

      Reply
      • March 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm
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        Servers in NJ make $2 😮

        I just read (from the recent lawsuit) that WDW pays tipped servers around $5 per hour, and they aren’t allowed to have that server spend more than 20% of their time doing non-tipped duties such as restocking, cleaning, etc…

        Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 1:31 pm
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    Do you tip for Disney Tour Guides? I have in the past, but never see anyone else do it. Wasn’t sure if it was allowed.

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    • March 5, 2016 at 7:35 am
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      We tried to tip a tour guide once and he said he was not allowed to accept. This was about 3 years ago.

      Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm
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    A few notes:

    Uber- tipping is “included”
    Lyft- allows you to tip afterwards via credit card. If you want a good rating (and therefore get picked up faster in the future), you should tip a $1 for a short ride or $2 for a long one.
    And nobody tips in cash on either service- the whole point is you don’t have to have cash on you. (Cue the one person who ever tipped in cash, to leave me an angry response).

    Drinks at the bar: going rate in big cities 20%, but no less than a $1/ drink. While maybe not frowned up at Disney, in big cities, if you tip $1 for a $14 cocktail, you will be asked not to return to the bar.

    Reply
    • March 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm
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      If a bar charges me $14 for one drink, they won’t have to ask me not to return.

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    • March 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm
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      I have a friend, who drives for both Uber and Lyft, and I was recently discussing this very subject with her. As noted, Lyft does allow customers to tip via their app. However, Uber’s app does not allow this and a tip is not already included in the fare. So if one wants to tip his Uber driver, unfortunately, cash would be needed. [Not an angry response, just a clarification. ;-)]

      My friend said that she doesn’t necessarily expect a tip when driving for Uber, but she always appreciates it when she gets one. I have read that some Uber drivers will actually give their passengers a lower rating if they don’t receive a tip from them. (My friend doesn’t do this, but I have heard of others that do.)

      Reply
      • March 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm
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        Interesting, the Uber website specifically states “You don’t need cash when you ride with Uber. Once you arrive at your destination, your fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file — there’s no need to tip.”

        That seems to imply the tip is built into the fee. Seems Uber needs to clean this up.

        Reply
      • March 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm
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        Uber specifically states that tipping is not required. You can’t tip via the app and the whole point of Uber is that it supposed to be a cashless service. If I found out that an Uber driver scored me low for not tipping (you can get your score by emailing customer service if you want) I would report the driver in question for violating policy. If I’m not required to tip, they shouldn’t be allowed to give me a low score for not doing so. If they don’t like that policy, perhaps they should switch to driving for Lyft, which provides for tipping within their app.

        Reply
        • March 4, 2016 at 9:54 pm
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          To be clear, the reason that there is no tipping with Uber is because Uber says that they pay their drivers enough without tipping. It’s not explicitly banned, but it seems to me that I read (some time last year) about a few drivers getting fired from Uber for soliciting tips.

          Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 3:35 pm
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    We’re doing a split stay at WDW for the first time this spring. Starting on property and then moving off site to a larger condo. When we check out of our hotel, can we leave our bags with the concierge desk at Disney until we check into the condo? (Approximately at 4 pm) and if so, should we tip the concierge? And how much?

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    • March 4, 2016 at 10:20 pm
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      I’m curious about this myself. We are also doing a split stay and leaving our luggage with bell services to be transported to our next resort. Do we tip bell services when we leave our luggage and again once it’s delivered?

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      • March 5, 2016 at 11:39 am
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        We did a split stay during our last visit in 2014. We were moving from POR to SSR. We brought our bags down ourselves to bell services at POR to be transferred. I offered a tip and it was politely but firmly refused.

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  • March 4, 2016 at 4:20 pm
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    I have a question about the “Concierge Suite Service” tipping… when would you tip them? Given the text, I’d imagine you mean at checkout?
    [ One day, I aspire to stay Club level 😉 ]

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  • March 4, 2016 at 6:09 pm
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    Don’t buy in to this tipping. What’s so hard about dishing up a bit of food and drinks. Do you tip plumbers poll man etc?????

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    • March 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm
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      I do tip my plumber & pole man. My “pole man” (actually my cable guy) came to bring new boxes &set them up. He was prompt, cordial, & knew exactly what he was doing. Tipped him $10 to brighten his day.
      My friend who is a plumber came & did 3 hours of work for us. I tipped him $20 on top of the service charge. Again, he did a great job.
      When people are awesome in their fields & doing a service for you, it’s nice to let them know you appreciate it by giving a little extra.
      Karma probably has you having horrible service experiences, despite your wonderful charisma.
      In the case of food servers, they earn a horrible base salary that must be supplemented with tips.

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  • March 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm
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    Wow! Look at all these responses 😮 Most readers, but today everybody has an opinion about tipping, lol.

    Best line in this post:
    If you cannot factor gratuities into your budget, then you should plan to stick with counter service dining.

    Simple & well said.

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  • March 4, 2016 at 8:16 pm
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    My husband & I always tip housekeeping (or mousekeeping as some call it) very well, both at Disney & on other trips.
    That extra $5 to $10 per day can be the difference between a very well kept room, extra towels, pillows & blankets, etc.
    After a long day at the park coming back to a room that is just a bit more comfy & prepped for you is worth a few extra dollars.

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  • March 4, 2016 at 10:31 pm
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    Phil seems like a hell of a guy to hang out with

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  • March 5, 2016 at 2:42 am
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    I don’t understand not asking the porter for change. They always seem happy to provide change for a $20 to get rid of some of the huge stack of singles they always have. And I end up with change for future tips. I think a lot of people only have $20’s because that is all the majority of ATM’s dispense. I hardly ever pay for anything in cash so I never have an opportunity to get change. I’m sure the porter would prefer making change to get a $4-5 tip versus the alternative of no tip because I don’t have change.

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  • March 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm
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    I’m also from the UK. We travel as a couple and generally tip $5 a day for mouse keeping (with a little note saying ‘towel animals please’). It generally seems to work. If they go brilliantly overboard we tip $10 (e.g. Our mouse keeper made an entire pool party out of bin bags, juice cartons, sun lotion, soft toys and yes, towels!)
    We are happy to tip 20% in restaurants where service is good but big tips (by UK standards) when service is bad (which is rare in Disney) I struggle with a bit. I guess I may need to recalibrate a tad… I need to remember its very different to home! 🙂

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  • March 5, 2016 at 1:36 pm
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    Great and very useful article! I know we still have to tip on the DDP, but can we use our MagicBands to pay for the tip or do we have to use other payment methods?

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    • March 5, 2016 at 2:48 pm
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      You can use the magic band to pay for dining tips and almost everything else. 🙂

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  • March 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm
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    You could do an entire other article about tipping on a cruise ship. Like keeping auto tips on the bill and tipping more than the auto tips. I tip the steward up front about 20 more then the autotips the first day…this usually results in my Collapsible ice cooling being filled twice a day. And quick responses to special requests like Champagne bucket with ice and Champagne glasses. It also gets complicated with your waiter and Maitre D’s and Sommeliers. It can be a bit more tricky on a ship because there is almost always a small percentage of tip added automatically for things like Room Service and Bar drinks. And the timing of leaving a tip because in the dining room you normally have the same staff through out the voyage and people get these white envelopes to hand out tips on the last day.

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    • March 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm
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      Great minds think alike Sam. I did the same thing on my DCL sailing, although I wasn’t smart enough to bring a cooler. I just used our second bathroom sink. 😉

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  • March 9, 2016 at 9:53 am
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    “My husband & I always tip housekeeping (or mousekeeping as some call it) very well, both at Disney & on other trips.
    That extra $5 to $10 per day can be the difference between a very well kept room, extra towels, pillows & blankets, etc.”

    This is the problem I have with tipping people in positions where they are not expected to make up part of their salary from tips (like servers are). Basically, you are bribing mousekeeping to give you a clean room. Justify it any way you want to, but in the end it is an outright bribe. To me it is no different than going to your child’s teacher and handing them cash and whispering “make sure little Bobby gets some extra attention”.

    Another thing some folks don’t seem to realize: The accepted tip rate has gone from 15% to 20%. Food prices have also gone up quite a bit in the last 10 years (in many cases doubled). Therefore, compared to what they are making off tips 10 years ago, many servers have had quite a raise when you combine a 5% increase in tips and the percentage on a meal which has probably doubled in price. Example: 10 years ago on a 50 dollar meal, a server could expect to make $50 x 0.15 = $7.50. Today, they can expect to make $100 (prices have doubled) x 0.20 (accepted tip rate has gone up 5%) = $20. This all while many of us have had no meaningful raises in that time period. Something to think about.

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  • July 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm
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    We are doing a VIP tour on our next trip. I understand tipping is customary for the tour guides. Is that dependent on the number of people in the group, the cost of the tour, etc? Any recommendation would be appreciated.

    Reply

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