To quote the 90’s sitcom Boy Meets World, “Tipping is not just a city in China.” Yes, on top of all the other fees and costs of a Walt Disney World vacation, it is still necessary to tip some service staff. Especially if a Cast Member has been particularly helpful, be sure to tip well to show your appreciation.
It can sometimes be confusing about who gets a tip and how much that tip should be. Here is our advice on the proper etiquette for tipping at Walt Disney World.
The only dining locations where guests should tip at Walt Disney World are table service restaurants, bars, and lounges. Counter service and snack locations typically do not accept tips. Tipping expectations are typically around 18-20% for the meal. This percentage is based on the pre-tax price. This may seem high to some people, but because Orlando is an urban area with lots of fine dining establishments, this is not uncommon for the area. Tips can be left in cash, on a credit card, or on a gift card. You may use your MagicBand to charge the tip as well. The 18% gratuity calculation is normally included on the bottom of the receipt for ease of determining the appropriate tip based on the service.
For Bar and Lounge locations, it is customary to leave a tip of about $1 per drink. If you order food, the typical 18-20% gratuity should be applied.
For guests on the Disney Dining Plan, gratuity is not included in the cost of the plan. A tip should be left in addition to the dining credit used. If you are using the Dining Plan, you will receive a receipt just like normal, with the cost of your meal. The receipt will show the application of dining credits, and then you can leave a tip. A suggested tip of 18% will be listed on the receipt.
Gratuity will be included in the bill at some locations around Disney, so be sure to double check before you leave a tip. Gratuity is automatically included for parties of 6 or more at any table service dining location. Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop dee doo Review, Spirit of Aloha Luau, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ all include gratuity in their prices. For guests using the Tables in Wonderland discount, gratuity is automatically applied as well.
For luggage handling, a tip of $1 or $2 per bag is normally expected. This tipping expense applies to any service person who handles your luggage. This includes individuals at the airport, on Disney’s Magical Express, and at the resort where you are staying. Tips for luggage handling should be in cash. If you are looking to save money, to avoid this cost simply carry your luggage without assistance.
Most transportation on Disney property does not require a tip; however, transportation getting to Disney property may require gratuity. Bus drivers on Disney’s Magical Express from the airport do accept tips. It is not rude to forego the tip here, but if the driver has handled your luggage or performed some extra service for you, it is nice to leave a couple of dollars.
If you take a taxi, a tip of about 15% is typical. In addition, when using Uber or Lyft, gratuity is also not included in the fare. While it is not an obligation, riders are free to offer tips and rideshare drivers are welcome to accept them. You should expect to tip these drivers about 15%, as well.
Disney’s Minnie Van Service is operated through Lyft, however tipping is a little ambiguous since it is a Disney Cast Member behind the wheel. If you feel like you had a great experience and would like to offer the driver a cash tip that would be great. Be aware that the driver may or may not accept the tip. If you are unsure, it is absolutely okay to ask your driver if they can accept a tip.
The maid/housekeeping service at Walt Disney World is often referred to as Mousekeeping. These service Cast Members do accept tips. It is customary to leave $1 per day per person in the room for the housekeeper. Be sure to clearly label cash as a tip for the housekeeper, so they are sure to know it is for them. There are several cute envelopes and thank-you notes available online that can be used to clearly designate that money is being left as a tip (Check out ours here). If the room is extra messy, a larger tip is recommended. In addition, if housekeeping makes a special trip to deliver something to your room or provide some service for you, it is customary to tip as you feel is adequate for the service.
Other Tipping Locations
A 15-20% gratuity is typical for spa services. This includes the services at the Harmony Barber Shop, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and the Pirate’s League in addition to resort spa locations. (Note: the Harmony Barber Shop only accepts cash tips. There is no option to tip via your credit or debit card.)
If you use the childcare services provided at some Walt Disney World resorts, tip as you feel is appropriate. This varies depending upon situation.
Club Level Concierge Services
Tips are welcomed by the staff for Club Level accommodations at Disney resorts. Tips here can range from a few dollars to $100 depending upon services rendered. Tip as seems appropriate.
There is a wide variety of recreation at Disney. As an overall suggestion, a tip of 15% is likely appropriate.
Who NOT to Tip
Many Cast Members at Disney are not permitted to accept tips; however, if someone has gone above and beyond, there are other ways that guests can show appreciation. Cast Members often get perks if guests leave compliments about their service. You can compliment a Cast Member by speaking to their leader or manager, by going to Guest Relations and telling them about your experience, or by tweeting about the cast member. If you are tweeting, be sure to describe the location of the cast member and tag @WDWToday using #CastCompliment.
A few Cast Members who cannot typically accept tips include:
- Monorail Pilots
- Bus Drivers
- Boat Captains
- Servers at Counter Service Restaurants
- Servers at Quick-Service Restaurants
- Standard Theme Park Parking Attendants
- Concierge Desk attendants
Good luck with navigating the ins and outs of tipping at Walt Disney World. Remember, if you are unsure whether a tip is appropriate just ask!