Mom And Daughter Resort Room
  • On Apr 17, 2008
    Kristine from FL Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi Erin! Your answer to a previous Disney Dining Experience question was so helpful...I just have one additional question for you. I read somewhere that Disney now charges 18% gratuity for all parties-is this true? Are the savings still worth it?

    Yikes. I almost answered your question wrong because I thought you were asking about tips for the Disney Dining Plan (DDP). Good thing I reread and saw that the question was about the Disney Dining Experience (DDE) card, discussed here

    WIth the DDE (rules are different for the DDP), Disney does add a gratuity fee of 18% to all bills.This 18% total is calculated on the total price of the food and beverages. You do not tip on the price of your meal taxes.

    18% is a standard tip level for good service. The etiquette books I consulted recommend 15% to 20%, with even more for extraordinary service or an elegant restaurant. I think 18% is a fair gratuity for the service you will normally find at WDW. If for some reason you have terrible service that you didn't feel warranted an 18% tip, it would be perfectly within your rights to speak to the restaurant manager about having the tip removed or reduced, but I very much doubt that this will be the case.

    If you were paying cash for your meals without the DDE, you would still need to add a gratuity. Let's say I'm paying cash and my meal costs $100. I will then add a tip and pay the restaurant $118. If I have the DDE, my meal costs $80 ($100 minus a 20% discount). Then, when I add an 18% tip (based on the original meal cost), I end up paying $98. I've saved $20! I would rather pay $98 than $118 dollars for the exact same meal.

    While the DDE card does cost $60 for annual pass holders like me (prices sometimes change), you can see that in just the example above, I saved $20. Four more meals like that and I've made back my investment and the real savings begin. During my most recent WDW vacation, we were a party of seven that ate lots of table service meals. We found our DDE savings to be very substantial.

    Hope this helps.
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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