Many families visiting Walt Disney World for the first time opt for one of Disney’s dining plans allowing you to pay for your meals in advance so that there are no surprises while you are on vacation. These plans are a terrific way to give your vacation that all-inclusive feel. Disney offers a handful of different dining plan options with the most popular being plans that offer a combination of Quick Service (on-the-go) eats as well as Table Service (sit-down) dining options. Though the meals are paid for in advance, many guests aren’t sure what to do when it comes to tipping during the meal itself. With that in mind, here are answers to a few of your questions regarding gratuities when you’re on the dining plan.
If my family purchased a dining plan are gratuities covered in the cost? No. Though the meal is paid for in advance, gratuities in most cases (see below) are not included in the meal. Disney World recommends that if guests are pleased with your service you consider an 18% – 20% gratuity for both table service and buffet restaurants. However, it is ultimately up to the guests to determine what you would like to tip.
Are there instances where tips are mandatory? Yes. If you are travelling with a group of 6 or more, Disney will automatically add a gratuity of 18% to your bill.
Are there any restaurants where tips are already included? Yes. There are instances where gratuities are already included in the cost. These are all experiences that cost 2 Table Service Dining Credits per meal as opposed to the usual 1 credit. So in a way you are pre-paying for the gratuities. These experiences are as follows:
- Cinderella’s Royal Table – Magic Kingdom
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue – Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Mickey’s Backyard BBQ- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- Room Service and pizza delivery – select Walt Disney World Resort.
How do I pay the gratuities if the cost of my meal is already covered? With the advent of the MagicBands tipping at Disney’s Table Service restaurants even when you’re on the Disney dining plans is pretty easy. If you’ve added charging privileges to your MagicBands then you can charge gratuities to your band which automatically gets charged to your credit card or debit card at the end of your stay. Alternatively, you can use cash, credit cards or Disney gift cards.
If I’m using dining credits then how do I figure out how much I should tip? Even if you are on the dining plan your server will still bring you a bill. Not only will it show you the dining credits used it will also show you the price your meal would’ve been had you paid cash. You can use this number to calculate the tip that you’d like to leave!
Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations. Best of all, my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, via email at email@example.com or follow along on Facebook.
Image copyright Disney.