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Answered Question - Disney Parks Moms Panel

  • We have several Character dinners scheduled during our visit and have the dining plan, but I'd like to know if anyone can give me an estimate of the gratuity to be sure I have enough cash on hand. thanks
  • - Asked by Jean from South Carolina on 11/8/2013
  • Hi Jean!

    What a great question and a good idea to be thinking about your gratuity cost ahead of time, that can lead to a lot less hassle after your meal.Gratuities should be based on the cost of your meal before using your Disney Dining Plan Credits and to make this even more helpful, suggested gratuity amounts are always printed at the bottom of your receipts.  

    The amount of gratuity can depend on the number of factors, including the size of your dining party,which character meal you are attending and what time of day your are dining, prices for character buffets will vary based on time of day.  For a family of four I would suggest $15-$20 for breakfast meals, $20-$25 for lunch and $25-$30 for dinners.  Keep in mind that this is just an estimate and you may want to tip more as the servers at Walt Disney World are phenomenal. Most table-service restaurants do not include gratuity, but there are a few so make sure to check your bill carefully before deciding on your tip.  Just be aware also,that parties of 6 or more will have an 18% tip included automatically to the final bill.

    One thing that I have started doing that makes tipping easier to keep up with is to use Disney Gift Cards.  Disney Gift Cards can be used everywhere at Walt Disney World and yes, even for tips.  I would designate one of my gift cards and write "Tips" with a Sharpie on the front, to keep it from getting mixed up with other Disney Gift Cards.  This came in very handy and no need to calculate cash for every meal, these also work very well to budget spending money while on vacation.  This time of year is a great time to stock up on Disney Gift Cards, as many retailers will give incentives or discounts for purchasing gift cards during the holiday season. 

    I hope this helps, Jean and please visit me again if you need any more advice or tips while planning your Walt Disney World vacation.

    Best Wishes!
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Panelists have received/will receive a Walt Disney World® Resort or Disneyland® Resort vacation for panelist and up to three family members and/or park tickets for their participation on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. The views expressed in the Panel are those of the panelists, who are independent contractors. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Disney Destinations, its affiliates, its management, its agents or its employees and have not been reviewed or approved by Disney Destinations prior to posting.