Showing thanks on vacation often takes a monetary form, but in Walt Disney World, tipping is expected in some places and forbidden in others. So what’s a traveler to do?
Read on for tipping tips in the World.
Luggage: $1-$2 per bag
By plane, train, or automobile, anyone that assists with your luggage should receive a tip. The nice folks at the ticketing desk outside of the airport, especially if it is freezing cold or unbearably hot, should be tipped. They will print your boarding pass, ticket your luggage, and make sure it gets on the right place, and you should tip them accordingly.
Once you arrive at the destination airport, assuming you are taking the Magical Express, you only need to tip your driver if he or she helps store and retrieve your bags under the bus.
At the hotel, you should tip the Bell Services if they help cart your luggage from the bus or lobby to your room. Asking to borrow their cart to move your own luggage is rude; the Bell Service and his/her cart are a package deal. However, if your luggage arrives magically to your room, you do not need to tip the deliverer since you likely will not be in your room when it arrives. If you are there, it might be awkward not to tip this person, so feel free if you think it’s necessary.
Mousekeeping: $2-$5 per day
Disney’s housekeeping, known as Mousekeeping, should also receive gratuity, but this can be a little tricky. Tipping each day rather than at the end of your stay ensures that all mousekeepers will be compensated. If you are messy, tip on the higher end; if you are a neatfreak, you can tip on the lower end.
When leaving a tip, be sure that it is obvious. Money left on a table or nigh stand might be ignored because the mousekeeper thought it was just money left behind. Leave a note or put the money in an envelope just to be safe.
Room Service: $2 or 20%
Anytime you get room service like pizza delivery or towels/toiletries delivered, you should tip accordingly.
Most pizza deliveries have an added 18% gratuity figured in already. In this case, you should tip another couple dollars. If gratuity is not added into the bill already, 20% is more appropriate.
Asking for extra towels requires the mousekeeper to add a few extra steps onto his or her day, so a $2 tip would be nice.
Spas and Health Clubs: 15-20%
If you get a massage, facial, personal training, or any other service at a spa or health club, it is appropriate to tip 15-20% of the total bill. Check your bill before tipping. Some spas on property, including Senses, automatically add a 20% gratuity to the bill.
Restaurants: $2 or 20%
In general, a 20% tip, or more for exceptional service, at a restaurant is expected. If you decide to hang around your table for an extra 45 minutes to catch a show or fireworks, you should tip more especially if other guests are waiting. When tipping at a table service restaurant, don’t let taste or preparation affect your tip; often, it is not the wait staff’s fault that your steak wasn’t prepared correctly or your chicken didn’t taste just right.
It is often not necessary to tip at counter-service eateries in Disney World unless a cast member packaged your food to go or made a special accommodation.
Cast Members: None!
Most cast members are not allowed to accept tips. In fact, accepting any monetary gratuity is grounds for dismissal! Instead, stop by Guest Services, and fill out a comment card with the cast member’s name and hometown (for identification purposes). These comments are considered during promotions, and the cast member is recognized during their staff meetings each week. This will mean more to them than the money.
If you decide not to or you run out of time to fill out the comment card while on property, you can send the accolade by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by snail mail to the following address:
Walt Disney World Guest Communications
PO Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040