• On Jun 23, 2011
    Wendy from NY 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.

    Can someone tell me about the services for the buffet? I am asking because I am traveling with another family. If I am getting my own food , I dont see the reason for the automatically 18% gratutity. Should I book separate reservations?

    Hi Wendy! I remember when I was growing up, my parents used to say the tipping percentage was lower at a buffet than a table-service restaurant since the server wasn't bringing the food to the table. However, I've dined at many a Disney buffet, and I personally think the servers there often have a harder job than those at table-service restaurants. When you are seated at a Disney buffet restaurant, the server will greet you, take your drink orders, and explain the buffet. She'll make sure your drinks are kept filled during your meal, and she'll clear the dirty plates from the table. (If you're like me and make multiple trips to the buffet, your server will have lots more plates to clear than your server at a table-service restaurant would!) If you're dining at a character buffet, the servers let you know when the characters are getting close to your table so you won't be at the buffet when they stop by, and if the characters don't visit you in a timely fashion, the servers will track them down for you. Finally, at the end of your meal, they'll bring your check and process your payment, just like at a table-service restaurant.

    At both table-service and buffet restaurants at Walt Disney World, an 18% gratuity is added for parties of 6 or more people. Since the servers at both types of restaurants work equally hard, I generally tip at least that much anyway, so I wouldn't make separate reservations for members of my traveling party to avoid that automatic gratuity. However, if the automatic gratuity bothers you, you could certainly make separate reservations so that your party size does not exceed 6. If you do make separate reservations though, it's quite possible you won't be seated near the other family with whom you're traveling.

    Hope that you have a magical vacation! Come visit us again at the Moms Panel if you have more questions! We'd love to help! 
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Meet the Panelist: Amanda, North Carolina

I'm a busy mom of two from North Carolina who loves to find ways to stretch a Disney Dollar so that I can enjoy the luxury of Disney's deluxe resorts and fine dining. Learn More About Amanda

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