This article is to discuss a few points about how to Tip while on the Disney Dining Plan.
***Just as a warning***
This article will 100% make you hungry!!!
Tipping is a hot topic around social media and takes some thought in how to present it in a post, but I’ll do my best to provide as much (or as little) insights as you’ll be requiring for your planning. Take these thoughts with a grain of salt, as everything is personal preferences.
Tipping is NOT required
Yes, tipping is nice, but when you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, you’ve already paid for the food with your initial purchase. It’s not like you’re getting anything for free, so don’t feel that you are required to tip.
When you’re on the Quick Service Dining Plan, there isn’t a requirement to tip at Quick Service locations.
18-20% is the usual tip that we budget throughout our stay on property. Sometimes its less and sometimes it’s more depending on the situations, and we can all tell our experiences on both ends of that spectrum. For this topic, it’s more of a generalization and common courtesy vs individual times…because we all have those stories that we can put on TripAdvisor;)
Parties of 6 or more
An 18% gratuity is automatically added to your bill for parties of six or more. Just be aware of this going in and you’ll be fine. The last thing you want to have is sticker-shock when the bill comes.
How To Tip
Now that we’ve gone over the general terms, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the Tipping procedure while you’re on the Disney Dining Plan (Table Service Dining).
Your goal while on the DDP is to have great dining experiences, and it’s important to set yourself up to truly enjoy your full vacation. This means that when you’re booking your ADR’s 180 days out, that you’re thinking about the entire price-point of your vacation.
This is where Dustin gets to Plan-Geek out
The cost for the Disney Dining Plan is $67.33/night per adult
1 quick service meal
1 Table Service Meal
How do you budget your tips? It’s all about planning in advance to know what 18-20% of your Table Service bills will look like. Take into account the meal as a whole, with either an average of $40-45 for adults who get Steak/Chicken and $30-35 for vegetarians. Buffets will usually be a higher pricepoint (aka a better value for your credits at $45-$50 per reservation).
Captain’s Grille @ Yacht Club Resort
New York Strip (Entree)
Smoothie (Non-Alcoholic Drink)
Total Bill (without Tax)
The tip for this meal could range from $6.50 (15%) to $8.50 (20%) if the service and food was up to par.
How do I do the math?
Disney does it for you! Take this example from our lunch @ Tusker House
Seating Reservation (copyright Steps To Magic)
Total for the meal was $74.53 (including tax). Now because we were on the DDP, we only looked at the suggested tip and decided what the meal was worth.
We ended up tipping $15 between the two of us, because the experience was memorable and the chef came out and helped us with options for Jill (as she’s a vegetarian).
How to Plan for Tips
We do three things during our vacations, and this is for Two guests:
- We bring a $10 bill for each meal to start with
- We bring enough smaller bills to make up the difference in the tips (a variety of $1 and $5 bills)
- Always tip to fit the experience. Buffets vs individual sit-down meals, time of day and other factors that could impact the overall meal.