When visiting Disney resorts, many travelers aren’t quite sure who can accept tips, how much to tip and whether or not there’s a need to tip. Despite what some insistent internet users may proclaim, tipping truly is at your discretion, but here’s a little guide that may help you navigate through the tricky trade of tipping.
Which Disney Cast Members Get Tips
As a general rule, if you tip this role in your daily life, tip them at Disney as well.
Servers traditionally receive a 15-20% tip. I tend to be a little more free with my money while on vacation, and Disney cast members are often a little more fun than any ol’ Joe Schmoe at our local restaurant, so I often lean toward the higher end of the spectrum. For parties of six or more, gratuities tend to be added to the bill. Confirm whether or not it was added when you receive your check. We take advantage of Tables in Wonderland (a discount card for Florida locals, Passholders and DVC members) at Walt Disney World, and the tip is included no matter the party size, so, again, be sure you study your bill!
While we’re on the subject of food, if you order room service, you are already paying a delivery charge, as well as 18% gratuity. Bartenders, as they typically do at home, can receive an extra buck or two per drink.
Any cast members who handle your luggage, such as bell services, are accustomed to being tipped $1.00 per bag. If you’re using a shuttle, whether Walt Disney World’s included Magical Express or have arranged your own transportation, $1.00 per bag is also acceptable if the driver aids in loading and unloading. When you’re getting ready to head home, it’s customary to tip the airline check-in crew at your resort, as well. Again, $1.00 per bag will work here.
Mousekeeping tips seem to split the crowd, but they are a tippable position. Some guests go as far as creating fancy little envelopes to tip their daily housekeeper. A dollar or two per person tends to be de rigeur. While you don’t have to break out the glue sticks and glitter to create envelopes to house your tips, do at least leave a note if you decide to tip mousekeeping so they know for sure the money has been left for them. A small tip, a dollar or two, can also be left if you receive turndown service.
If you’re headed to the spa, salon or even Harmony Barber Shop, your stylist/esthetician/nail tech/barber is tippable. A 15% gratuity is standard for personal grooming, be aware, however, that some locations include the gratuity, so be sure to review your cost for any “service charge” or “gratuity” notations before handing over the extra cash.
Finally, if you’ve booked any recreation that requires a cast member be present such as fireworks cruises, golf pros, etc., these cast members can accept tips, too. Again, about 15% will fit the bill.
Who Doesn’t Get a Tip
Basically, just about anyone not listed above is not able to accept tips. No cast members in the parks except those in table service restaurants will be able to receive tips, and if they are seen accepting them and do not turn them over to management, they can receive disciplinary action.
Disney also differs from standard hotel chains in that the concierge cast members will tend to not accept offered tips. Again, they will eventually accept if the guest is persistent, but the tips must be turned over after acceptance.
Get Park Wise: If you happen to run across a cast member you wish you could tip because they made your trip extra magical, be sure to thank them, of course, but also stop by guest services to leave a quick note about the magic they created! This helps your favorite cast member stand out when it comes time for extra perks, promotions and more.
Do I Have to Tip
I recently ran across an adage that said tipping is required “To Insure Proper Service.” I have to disagree. Tipping is at the discretion of the guest and is absolutely not required. While it is customary, if your service is not up to par, there is no need to tip. However, I do suggest speaking with a manager or supervisor so the issue can be remedied as opposed to having the server or other cast member assume you’re a cheapskate. On the other hand, if you receive good (or better!) service, say thanks with the appropriate amount of green!
What do you think about tipping Mousekeeping and other cast members?