Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest; Animal Kingdom
  • On Apr 1, 2008
    Jill from CO 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.

    Is a 15% gratuity standard for a buffet meal as compared to a sit down restaurant? Thank you for all of the is a nice way to get organized and prepared!


    I know this is a hot topic on some of the Disney discussion boards, since there are so many different opinions about how much you should tip for sit-down and buffet restaurants.  In fact even the etiquette "experts" don't agree.  Miss Manners believes that you should tip the same at both types of restaurants (18-20%), and Emily Post states that you should only tip 10% at a buffet because she believes the waitperson doesn't provide as much service.

    I think at WDW the waitperson at a buffet restaurant does provide a lot of service, including taking drink orders, serving and re-filling drinks, promptly removing used dishes, explaining the buffet, etc.  So it does seem reasonable to me to consider tipping similarly to a sit-down meal.

    It also seems like WDW agrees with Miss Manners, since they automatically add 18% tip to any table with eight or more people, regardless of the type of service.  Disney also automatically includes 18% tip for any group using the Disney Dining Experience discount card (not to be confused with the Disney Dining Plan).

    One thing that the experts do seem to agree on, however, is that the gratuity should be calculated based on the pretax amount of the bill (you shouldn't pay a tip on the tax).

    In cases where the gratuity isn't automatically included, it really is up to the individual to make the final decision.  I only hope the information I provided here at least helps you make a more informed decision.
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Meet the Panelist: Bret,

As one of the dads on the panel, I have fun helping all Walt Disney World planners who want a dad’s perspective. Learn More About Bret

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