Mom And Son On Run
  • On Apr 22, 2010
    Amber from MO Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Hi- ? we have the DDP, but have to pay 18% gratuity, b/c we are a party of 6. Its unfair, now we are having to choose to eat dinner as a family or seperate ! Is there anything we can do? Bought the DDP b/c of a TIGHT budget, 1st visit, PLEASE HELP US !!!!

    Hi, Amber! Unfortunately, I can't help you with the 18% gratuity. The servers work very hard, especially with larger parties, to earn their tips. You will find these cast members go above and beyond to make each meal magical!

    Perhaps there are other ways you can save some money while on your vacation:

    -Bring refillable water bottles from home.  Free ice water is available at all counter service locations.  A great way to beat paying for expensive bottled water while in the parks.
    -Before you leave home, stop at a "dollar store" or other discount store.  Pick up rain ponchos, crackers or other snacks that won't melt, a cute notebook for autographs, and even an umbrella.   By having everything ahead of time, you won't have to pay high prices for these items inside the parks.  Pack everything in a tote bag to bring to the parks each day.
    -Check on what kind of tickets are with your package.   By taking off park hopping and water parks, you can save a lot of money per ticket.  These upgrades are nice, but you can have a great vacation without them.
    -Many airlines charge to check your luggage. Try to pack one less suitcase to avoid that per-bag charge (if applicable on your airline.)
    -Set a limit on souvenir shopping.  I like to give my kids a certain dollar amount, and have them wait until the end of the week to buy their special WDW gift!  This gives them something to look forward to at the end of their vacation.

    If you still think your budget is going to be stretched too far, you can always change your Dining Plan to the Quick Service plan.  It is less expensive, no gratuities are needed and you can still have some great meals all around WDW property!  You can maybe plan for one table service meal (pay out of pocket) and make this a special night out for your family!  Best of luck to you and enjoy your vacation.

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Meet the Panelist: Cathy, Ohio

I am a fundraiser/event planner turned stay at home mom. When I am not running to cheerleading practice or a soccer game with my kids, I enjoy scrapbooking, reading, and of course, planning our next Disney adventure!

Learn More About Cathy

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