Budgeting for a Walt Disney World vacation can be quite the process with so many different factors to consider. From theme park tickets to resort stays, and room for some shopping at Disney Parks and Resorts, there is a lot that goes into figuring out just how much to set aside ahead of your trip.
One of the most overlooked areas when it comes to budgeting is tipping, and this point is even more true if you are traveling from a country where tipping is not customary or if you are used to taking vacations where gratuities are included.
As you budget for your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, we’re sharing all of the detail on who you should be tipping, and how much you should plan to tip during your stay.
Depending on how you arrive at your Walt Disney World Resort hotel from the Orlando International Airport, you may have a driver who should be tipped. This goes for taxi drivers, Uber, Lyft, and other car or transportation services like Mears Connect or the Sunshine Flyer, as well as Minnie Vans for transportation upon your arrival.
If a driver is handling your luggage, it is customary to tip about $2 per bag, along with a 10-20% tip on the service itself. For instance, if your ride from the airport to your Resort cost $50 and your driver assisted you with three bags, your tip would be $11-$16.
Likewise, valet drivers if you choose to take advantage of this service upon arriving at your Resort, are usually tipped between $2-5.
Similarly, any Cast Members who handle your luggage upon arrival at your Disney Resort would be tipped $2 per bag. Without Disney’s Magical Express operating anymore, you may have less interactions with Bell Services Cast Members, but this tip is still good to know in case someone brings your bags to your room, holds them on the day that you check out, or assists with your transfer during a split stay to another Resort.
Waitstaff & Bartenders
Tipping at Walt Disney World restaurants is consistent with other tipping customs across the country in that waitstaff would typically receive 15-20% in tips based on service. If your party includes six or more Guests, be sure to check your bill as the tip may have already been included. And, if the Disney Dining Plan happens to return for your next trip to Disney Parks and Resorts, remember that gratuities are not included in the cost of the plan.
For bartenders, recommended gratuities are typically $1-2 per drink or 15-20% of the total tab. In Walt Disney World this can admittedly be a bit of a grey area for Guests when alcoholic beverages can be ordered on their own from carts and quick-service dining locations that are not traditional bars. In some cases, those Cast Members cannot allow tips, but any bar at Walt Disney World will be able to accept tips, and in either instance you can always ask for clarification from a Cast Member.
General ettiquette suggests that Guests tip housekeeping $1-5 per day, with tips on the higher end depending on how many Guests are staying in the room, and if additional services were needed. At Walt Disney World Resort hotels, and at accommodations across the country, it is recommended that you tip daily rather than at the end of your stay as a different Cast Member could be cleaning your room throughout the week.
If you keep the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign up, or otherwise decline housekeeping, Guests would still be expected to leave a tip on the day that they check out. Additionally, placing all of your trash into the barrels and leaving towels in one central location on the bathroom floor is always appreciated.
If you take a backstage or VIP tour at Walt Disney World, tips of 10-20% are appreciated as is standard with other walking tours across the country. Backstage tours at Walt Disney World can range from about $40-200 depending on the experience, and VIP tours can cost well beyond that, so working this gratuity into your budget can help with your planning.
Spa Services & Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Select Walt Disney World Resort hotels offer full service spas, where tips of about 20% of the cost of the service are appreciated. With services like massages, hair styling, facials, and manicures available, this number could be something to add into your budget.
At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Disney has noted that tips are not required, but are appreciated with 10-15% of the cost of the service. For this uniquely Disney experience, remember that tips cannot be accepted on a credit card, so you may want to plan to have some extra cash with you if you’ve booked a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservation.
Remember, tips are not required anywhere at the Walt Disney World Resort, but they are greatly appreciated. Many of the Cast Members working in tipped positions at Disney World do go above and beyond to make every Guests’ experience a magical one, and budgeting in some extra cash to tip them is a small but meaningful way to show that you appreciate what they do.
We hope this guide to tipping at Walt Disney World helps you budget for your next trip. Have a magical time, and happy planning!