in, the money kind

So, the last time I stayed on property was for our honeymooon, 22+ years ago. I was young and naive and had never experienced a need to tip for anything other than a meal. So, I’m sure I came across the jerk when I didn’t really tip anyone.

I believe, in hindsight, that I was expected to tip the shuttle driver (this was before the days of MDE) and the guy who brought us and our luggage to our room (Dixie Landings at the time). The thing is, the truth is, in the past 22 years, I’ve never had a need to tip anyone other than for meals.

So, I’m wondering…when is a tip expected at WDW? And when is one technically unnecessary, but appreciated? Treat me like a newbie. Because, seriously, I don’t want to be THAT GUY again. :slight_smile:

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Touring plans has a great blog for this, but @PrincipalTinker is the one who’s good with links!

Tip anyone who handles your bags, your server at TS, bartender if you get a drink, housekeeping (per night not at the end of your stay) and taxi drivers. I think that covers the majority.

Turns out I had it bookmarked!


Awesome. Thanks!

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We tip:

  • DME Driver

  • Bell Services when they bring us our Garden Grocer, or for any luggage handling that we are present for

  • Mousekeeping daily as mousekeeper may not be the same day to day

  • Dining


Not quite related but haven’t found an answer. Do you tip anyone at the airport since we are getting wheelchair help?

If someone pushes the wheelchair tip them if they just drop it off for you it’s up to you.


I think the main thing for tipping at least for I and my wife and were from the Midwest, is if the service is better than average we tip in cash. The rooms at WDW cost a fortune in their own right. Tip if you want but we do not. We tip the Airline baggage check at the resort as they handle our baggage and makes sure it gets to the airport. We tip a standard $10 for all TS meals and somewhat more if the waiters go above and beyond the norm. This percentage stuff is only a guide and depending on how rich you are you can go accordingly. Figure out what your vacation package is costing you compared to staying at a off site hotel and you can decide your tipping that way. :yum:

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I’m not sure where in the Midwest you are, but here in north central Indiana that kind of tipping wouldn’t fly at all. I think the article posted is pretty standard across most of the US.

My opinion is- if you can’t afford to tip appropriately, then you can’t afford the insert item or service here. Even in the days when we lived on one minimum wage income as broke newlyweds we still tipped at least 18%. If we couldn’t afford the bill with tip then we didn’t go.



I mean, you do you but this feels wrong.


It’s not really fair to not tip your server appropriately because WDW rooms are expensive. Tipping is expected and appropriate everywhere in America. Even now as I’m planning our trip and evaluating TS restaurants I’m including the tip in the cost of the meal. If I’m not ok with paying $30-40 in a tip for our family of 5 to eat a TS or buffet then we need to eat somewhere else. That being said I understand that a $10 tip for two adults is probably frequently a good tip, as it would be 20% on a $50 check.

As someone who waited tables at many, many restaurants back in my college/grad school days I will just warn everyone that if you regularly frequent restaurants and don’t tip at least 15% you will get a reputation among the servers, they will fight over who has to wait on you, and you might end up with spit or worse in your food/drink. I’ve never done anything like that but I promise you there are many, many servers out there who have no qualms with shafting those who shaft them.


I understand that we must take the world as it is, and not as we wish it would be, but the American tipping system is nuts.

Basing the tip on a percentage makes no sense to me. The tip if I eat a filet steak could be double the tip if I just have a green salad. Or more. How does that make any logical sense? Why does the server deserve more for carrying a plate with a steak on it?

The whole system is indefensible. Yes — again! — I get that it is the system, but it’s ludicrous.

And the idea that non-compliance leads to criminal behaviour on the part of the server just highlights how ridiculous the whole thing is.

Why don’t staff at QS restaurants get tips? Do they not work as hard? Do they not have families to support? Why do I have to pay someone to carry my bag? Is that not literally their job?

For the record I always paid 20% at WDW because paying 18% just seemed petty (why have both, it’s a trivial difference). And I’m planning on bringing a stack of $5 bills for cash tips to Uber drivers, bell hops and so on.

But the whole system is as inexplicable to foreigners as, er, other things Americans feel passionate about that foreigners just don’t understand at all.


I’ve lived overseas (out of the US) for 11 years of my adult life so I’m well aware that the American system of tipping is nuts and I don’t love it. I end up thinking things like, " I don’t want to stay on property because I don’t want to tip Mousekeeping $5 a day for doing what they’re supposed to do!" I have no idea how much housekeeping gets paid or if they are relying on tips to make ends meet or if it’s just “extra.”

But after waiting tables for $2 an hour (before taxes!) yes, servers rely on people to tip them in order to make a living wage. QS workers (or fast food workers, not in WDW) make a flat rate of $X, so while no, a server is not necessarily working harder than a QS worker, they are relying on the customer to hold up their end of the bargain and tip appropriately. But I would actually say that servers are working harder than QS workers…they have many more balls to juggle, drinks to refill, special requests to take care of, etc.

I don’t love the tip system, either. But it is what it is.

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The reason tips apply for TS and not QS has to do not only with the type of work, but the base pay. There are different minimum wages in America depending on whether you get tips or not. A person working a job where tipping is expected earns roughly half, per hour, in base pay. The thought is they will more than make up for it in tips.

Also, keep in mind that for many establishments, the tip doesn’t JUST go to the waiter, but the tip is split among the main waiter and the helpers (those who help carry plates, who help clear the table, etc).

The reason it is based on the bill is because it, generally, then scales up appropriately based on the amount of work needed. While it is true that any individual meal choice varies in prices, it balances out. But a larger group orders more, and so the price goes up as does the tip. Also, if someone orders drinks and appetizers in addition to the main meal, the price goes up…but so does the amount of work. But it is also why in some places you’ll find the waiters will subtly push dessert or appetizers or drinks. They want you to spend more because they get a larger tip as a result.

Anyhow, for food, we always do 20%…and I actually do more, because I tip on the tax as well, which isn’t expected…and then round up to the next dollar. So, for example, if the bill were $30 here in Michigan, that would be $31,80. 20% would be $6.36, but then I then round that up to $7. (The reason I round up is because of an old concept I’m not sure applies any longer…but if you had poor service, but still felt you should tip, then you would leave the tip PLUS a penny. The penny was a way to indicate you weren’t completely happy with the service, despite the fact you are leaving a tip. So, to me, not having a nice round number might imply something you don’t intend to imply when the service was good!)

But tipping for waiters is easy. Been doing that my whole life. I just didn’t want to skimp on others I should be tipping but am too ignorant about. For example, I have never tipped housekeeping in any hotel I’ve stayed…but part of that is because when we stay in a hotel, it is generally a single night. In such a case, cleaning isn’t for me at all, but just part of the expectation of staying in a hotel. HOWEVER, staying multiple nights, the housekeeping service is not for your own benefit exclusively. So, I guess I can see tipping for that…although it never would occur to me to do so. Hence, the reason for this post! :slight_smile:

What I love about the UK system is that the price is always up-front and clear. Taxes are included in the sticker price. You don’t have to do calculations in your head to figure out what you’re going to end up paying. And tipping is much rarer than it used to be because we have a national minimum wage.

If a UK hotel room is advertised at £100, then that’s what you pay. In the US, if it’s advertised at $100, who knows what you’ll pay. Different states have different taxes. Hell, different cities have different taxes — some are percentages, some are fixed amounts added on.

Isn’t this partly why everyone made such a fuss about Disney charging for hotel parking. It feels dishonest. The figure they quote for the room rate isn’t what you’ll end up paying. You’ve got to add parking. And don’t even get me started on the massive scam that is resort fees.

I want a single, all-inclusive figure. Anything else is just deliberately deceptive and consumers shouldn’t (have to) put up with it.

Same for tipping. It’s not my responsibility to make sure employees get a decent rate of pay. It’s the employer’s. And the state/nation. So stop charging me $40 for a filet steak and then expect me to add another $8 to improve my server’s standard of living. Charge me $48 up-front, and pay the server a decent wage. Because it’s also not my responsibility to be in charge of staff appraisal. I shouldn’t have to base my tipping decisions based on how good I thought the service was. The service should always be excellent and the restaurant manager should be making sure that it is. By hiring the best people. And paying them a good rate. And managing them properly.

The whole system stinks.


The tipping system actually allows for a waiter to make WAY MORE money than if they were paid a fixed wage. Also, the harder they work, the more they get paid. A fixed wage wouldn’t do that. They would make the same regardless of how hard/well they worked. The consumer decides, then, ultimately how much the waiter makes rather than an employer who rarely actually gets to observe the employee in action, or might just have a personality conflict, etc.

No system is perfect, but I have no qualms with the system. Annoying at times, sure, but calculating 20% on top of a bill is easy peasy.

But the system is sold to us as, “If you don’t tip your server, they will die, poor and alone, on the street.” So much so that you can expect them to spit in your food out of pure desperation.

Then the management of the restaurant needs to review its operations.

I calculate percentages for a living. When I’m on vacation, that’s the last thing I want to have to be doing!

I honestly believe the system is indefensible. I accept it is the system. I do what I’m supposed to do. But I don’t have to like it.


No comment really. Just enjoyed reading this in British

I’ve chosen a Jude Law bent on it. Hope you don’t mind.


A lot of people say I look exactly like Jude Law.

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Hahaha… I did the same however with Michael Caine and how he delivered in “Cider House Rules”.

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