The Disney Dining Plans at Walt Disney World enable you to pre-pay for your meals before you arrive for your vacation. However, tips are not included. Here is what you need to know about tipping on the Disney dining plan:
1. Tip 18-20% – The going rate for tips is 18-20%. This is based on the grand total of your meal, not the cost you paid for a day of the dining plan. Your bill will include the total of your meal along with the suggest tips for 18% and 20%. You just fill in the amount on the tip line that you would like to tip.
2. Tip at buffets – Even though you serve yourself at the buffets, you are still expected to tip 18-20%. The wait staff at the character meals actually worked their way up the ladder to be able to work these shifts. Be sure you tip them accordingly. If your family of 2 adults and 2 children dine at Chef Mickey’s, expect your tip to be approximately $33.00.
3. Parties of 6 – If you are a party of 6 or more, a gratuity of 18% is automatically added to your bill. Your dining credits will still cover your meal, but you will be expected to cover the tip in full.
4. Charge to your band – Tipping isn’t difficult when you are on the Disney Dining Plan. When it is time to pay, the server brings you your bill. You present your MagicBand and he scans it and it deducts the dining plan credits. You write in the amount of tip you’d like to leave on your receipt. It is automatically charged to the credit card you have on file. If you would like to charge it to another credit card or Disney gift card, let the server know. If you plan to pay your tip in cash, just leave it with the bill.
5. Budget for your tips – Instead of being surprised at Disney, go ahead and budget for your tips before you arrive. Walt Disney World has the menu prices on their website. View the menu for one of the Table Service reservations you have and select what everyone might order at that restaurant to figure out how much your grand total would be. Use this tip amount as your budget for all table service meals. If you plan character meals, look up the cost to eat at Chef Mickey’s and then use this tip amount as your budget for the character meals. When you are presented with the actual bills, you will already have the money saved. You could even have it all on one gift card and present that to the waiter to run for your tips.
6. Some tips are included – If you are dining at Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, Spirit of Aloha Luau or Cinderella’s Royal Table, your tip amount is automatically included in what you pre-paid for the meal. If you are use the Disney Dining Plan, your credits covered the cost of the tip at these 4 restaurants only.
7. Do not tip at Counter Service Locations – Counter Service Locations are not set up to accept tips. This includes Be Our Guest for breakfast and lunch. The only meals you have to tip at are at the Table Service restaurants and shows.
Tipping is not difficult at Walt Disney World. Hopefully these tips help you to feel more confident before you arrive for your magical vacation.
Learn more about Walt Disney World Dining and get suggestions for where to eat, how to use the Disney Dining Plan and more.
(Thanks Christina and Patricia!)