Tipping and cash needed on Disney World trips – PREP096

You've got most everything paid for on your Disney World trip, but who will you need to tip? And what things will you need to pay with cash?

I've got info on that today, plus lots of news and a quick tip of the day.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

Call in your quick tip of the day

To prepare for the 100th episode, I'd love to have you call in your own quick tip of the day at https://www.speakpipe.com/WDWPrepToGo.

Things that require tipping or cash

Almost anytime somebody handles your luggage, you should tip $1-2/bag for their help. That includes curbside check-in at the airport, Magical Express Cast Members who load your bags on and off the bus, and when bell services helps you at your resort.

If you do not pick up your own bags at the airport and allow Disney to deliver them to your resort, tipping isn't required because you likely won't see the people delivering your bags.

It's customary to tip 18-20% at all Table Service restaurants (if you're on the Disney Dining Plan, be sure to tip based on the amount you would've paid). For parties of 6 or more, an 18% gratuity will automatically be included. Gratuity is also included with the price at Cinderella's Royal Table, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, Spirit of Aloha Luau, and Mickey's Backyard BBQ.

Tipping can be paid with cash, credit card, or by charging to your MagicBand. That includes people on the Disney Dining Plan who can pay for their food with credits but use another payment method for handling tips.

Other services
You can also expect to tip for salon services, $1/person per day for Mousekeeping (use my cute envelopes if you'd like), valet ($2-5), and boat drivers. Most other Cast Members can't accept tips, but you can feel free to give them thank-you notes and stop by guest relations to leave a compliment there.

I didn't mention this in the podcast, but you can choose to tip at places that provide salon-style services such as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop, and Pirate's League as well if you'd like.


  • 2016 packages were released and some changes were made to the offers. Check out this overview for a complete list of the changes. For people traveling in 2015, check out this list of everything that's included.
  • 2016 Disney Dining Plan prices have changed. See the list of prices here.
  • Many restaurants aren't shown as being on the list for 2016 Disney Dining Plan, but they should be added by the end of the year.
  • Mears has an app for calling taxis at Disney World (available for iOS and Android).
  • Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach refurbishments have been announced and are on the monthly dashboards.
  • Selfie sticks have been completely banned at both Disney World and Disneyland.
  • Military discounts have been extended through December.
  • Captain EO will return to Epcot on July 19.

Quick tip of the day

Disney now has a GIF app to allow you to include Disney GIFs in your messages.

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Everyone forgets that tipping is optional not required. Personally, and anyone’s opinion won’t change me, it’s their job not my job to make up for what they don’t get in their pay. We do meal plan, DVC owners, cost of our souvenirs which I get Disney gift cards to use. I don’t bring cash or credit card on trip


The lockers at the water parks and the machines in the laundry rooms accept credit cards only, no cash or Magic Bands.


How much should you tip for BBB? We are taking our daughter there.


Tipping based on “what you would have paid” at Disney is absurd, bc what your would have paid is at a minimum double what you should pay. I typically tip 10%, which is 20% of what the meal should have cost.


Me and my family are going to Disney World in January. There will be six of us at dinner so that automatic 18% gratuity will be added on. I am trying to figure out how much money I will need for tip? We are on the dining plan so as I’ve been told one appetizer one entrée and one dessert plus you’re drunk. What should we expect per meal? Also it’s only me my husband and daughter but my mother-in-law father-in-law and sister-in-law are sitting with us hence making the party of six so the gratuity will be split in half .

Sarah Morris

You should also tip the hotel housekeeper especially if you leave a mess. I usually go with $5 a day.

Shelley Crittenden

We just got back from our Disney trip. After reading all the tipping tips, we did the mousekeeping. We did 5 dollars a day for only 3 of us in the room. Nothing was different. We didn’t get extra shampoos, soaps, or anything special. We stopped the tipping after 4 days. It was kind of a let down.


The purpose of tipping mouskeeping isn’t for extra beauty products, if you need or want more simply ask for them. Tipping is done by giving freely and with out expectation, they work very hard just like you do in your home. It’s an expression of gratitude.




I’m sorry to hear that. I was there February last year and tipped her $5/day and we got extra shampoo, conditioners, lotion and soap everyday.


Tipping Mousekeeping is a MUST. Our Mousekeeper was the same the entire 8 days and she was SPECTACULAR!! We tipped her $5 a day and she kept our room stocked with all the yummy smelling shampoos and soaps and we had such cute surprises left every day. She brought each girl a signed pic of Mickey and Minnie, she had our stuffed animals playing poker one day, playing on the iPad another, decorated our window. It was honestly one of my favorite memories from our trip. We made sure to send an email to Disney when we got home praising her. We even made sure to get a pic of her with our girls. We loved her!!!

Lisa Z

Last trip, in November, we never saw Mousekeeping, ours never seemed to go out of their way for us — if my kids left the sofa bed out it was left alone, etc. And I guess at AoA, they dont do the cute towel sculptures like we had previously when we stayed at the Yacht club. All in all, I wondered why I was bothering to use cute handmade Mousekeeper envelopes and tip everyday when none of the magic was being returned. It was a letdown. Enough that I will not stay at AoA again, even if the suite was bigger for our family with 3 teens.


Should you tip the caricature artist? I didn’t, and felt awkward when I didn’t have something to give him after he handed me my artwork.


I didn’t tip ours either. I was surprised at how creepy the guy was that did ours. I just wanted to get out of there.


My son is doing pirate’s league for the first time in a couple of weeks, is tipping at Pirate’s League allowed?


Love all of your helpful posts! If gratuity is included in the price of dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table and Spirit of Aloha, does this mean that you do not tip if using the dining plan or that you do tip and they will tell you the amount? Thanks!!


I am wondering the samething…


At BBB in Magic Kingdom they would not allow tip via our payment method using Magic Band (charge back to the room). We carry no cash, no cards since using the Magic Bands. (always have a bit of cash on hand)

Jane OConnell

I think your envelopes for Mousekeeping are so cute, but when we used them last time, the Mousekeepers didn’t take them for the first two days. We left the envelopes with cash tips propped up on the dresser and the envelopes weren’t touched. It wasn’t until I opened the envelopes and left cash hanging out that the Mousekeepers took the envelopes. Since I’m kinda crazy about tipping, I felt bad that I inadvertently stiffed Mousekeepers two days. Next trip, I’m doing flat notes with cash on top.


Would you recommend the suggested 18-20% tip for character buffet dining such as crystal palace or Hollywood & Vine? I know they count as a TS but don’t require as much attention from a server as a traditional TS. Also, do you leave your mousekeeping tip in the morning before you leave for the parks? We plan on going back on the afternoon for a nap, so I just want to make sure our room gets turndown service and the appropriate people revive their tip.

Sarah Uthoff

I wanted to say I think this episode and the dining reservation tips episode (we got everything we wanted, most at preferred times) are the most useful ones you’ve done. I’ve really gotten a lot of incredibly useful information from your podcasts. I’m sure our vacation will be more magical because of you.

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