Tipping is a subject that’s very personal to each individual traveler. It’s a personal choice, based upon both the practice of an individual and the quality of service provided. Since tipping refers to paying a gratuity for services rendered, and no one concentrates more on providing great service than Disney, you might consider this when preparing your budget.
Today I’m sharing my own practices in regards to tipping because my guests often ask about this subject. At Disney, there is a wide variety of services provided, so I have addressed each one below.
Disney’s Magical Express
Disney’s Magical Express transportation service is not staffed by Disney cast members. Tipping is allowed for the drivers. I typically offer the driver a couple of dollars if I have taken my luggage with me and thus he had to store it under the bus and then retrieve it for me. Otherwise, I do not tip for this free service.
If we carry our own bags to the resort room then there is obviously no need for bell service. If we have our bags delivered to the room, however, we pay $1 per bag to the bell hop. Some people tip more, some less, but a tip is appropriate if you use bell service.
I always tip mousekeeping. Some guests tip each day of their stay, but some wait until the day of checkout and leave a tip for the entire visit. I personally leave the tip daily because I have no way of knowing whether the staff on checkout day will be the same that I have had during each day of my stay.
As a personal rule, I tip $1 per person staying in my room. So, for my family of 5, I tip $5 per day. One of my family members tips $1 per bed each day; so a room with two queen beds would be $2 per day in that instance. As I have said, this is a personal preference.
Disney Transportation Drivers
Disney cast members operate all modes of transportation on the Disney transportation system. These Disney employees are not allowed to accept tips. This includes buses, monorails, trams, ferryboats and friendship boats. If you hire a driver in the form of taxi, Uber or Lyft, the drivers do accept gratuities.
Cast members at Quick Service restaurants do not require tipping. At these counter-service establishments, you serve yourself. At table-service restaurants, however, it is customary to tip. In fact, you will notice that there is a place at the bottom of the ticket where they have listed the appropriate tip at 18% and at 20% of your bill. This is for your convenience only since most of us do not carry calculators or even pen and paper into the parks. It does not mean you have to tip 18 or 20%. If you normally tip 15% and your service was not exemplary, it is perfectly acceptable to leave 15%. If your normal rate is a certain amount, feel free to do the same that you would at any restaurant at home.
I have usually found my service to be exemplary at these restaurants but the tip amount should be service-appropriate.
A couple of things to note: 1) Parties of 6 or more automatically receive a gratuity charge of 18% on their bill; and 2) Tables in Wonderland guests are charged gratuity of 18% no matter the party size.
Concierge service usually warrants a tip of $2 to $20 depending upon the type of services requested. The higher tip is normally in cases where reservations for restaurants, tours, etc. were taken care of for you.
Deluxe properties have valet service for a fee. In addition to the fee, it is customary to tip the attendant $2 to $5 each time they retrieve your car for departure or receive your car upon return.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and The Pirates League
Guests are welcome to tip at both Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and The Pirates League. There is not a standard tip amount but, depending upon the service you receive, $10 to $20 is a typical amount.
It is customary to tip the cast members who provide personal spa services at the spas on property. A tip of 15-20% is fine depending upon service received.
I hope you have found these “tips” helpful. Most of all, I hope you will have a fantastic time on your trip. The service I have received at Disney has been exceptional on many occasions. Whether at WDW, Disneyland or on the Disney Cruise Line I have received impeccable service on many occasions. Great service deserves a great tip in my humble opinion.
Do you need help with planning your trip? My services are absolutely FREE to my guests. Contact me at Brenda@pixievacations.com.