18% Gratuity


I just read the post wherein the 18% being added was not pointed out to someone. Then I read the discussion regarding how people felt about the add on.

I myself do not agree with an add on b/c I am usually a person who tips a minimum of 18% and rarely leave less than that and normally leave more - they just lose the rest of the tip when they add it on. Plus, I do tip accordingly when service was terrible.

Anyway, my question…

If the service was horrible, would it be possible to speak with a manager and request that the tip be removed?



Yes, at least that is what I was told. I spoke to a CM at WDW Dining when i called for ADRs who advised me that if the service was not acceptable that i was to speak with a manager and the tip would be removed. I had mentioned that I had some concerns about 18% automatically being added to my bill and questioned the type of service I may receive. He immediately informed me that if the service was not “up to par” that a manager would take the gratuity off the bill.

What would they do though if you just didn’t pay the gratuity? Could they charge it back to your room? what if you are not staying on property and say, you pay with cash and not credit card (so they can’t change the total on the card? does anyone know from a legal standpoint, can they really MAKE you pay that? :huh:



Thats an interesting point Crazy4Tink is the automatic addition legal in the USA. Some service restaraunts in the UK add on gratuity charges especially if it is an over large party, However, this is not legally obligatory here and the charge can be removed if the patron requests.


If the serivce was horrible, I would do just that. Why should you have to pay 18% for horirble service?


You’re right- that is an interesting point. I know when I was in graduate school as a waitress I received $2.10 per hour (even though minimum wage was about $5 or so). Since the government assumes waitresses make tips (my friend was audited in college when she waitressed!), this seems to be a slippery slope.


I would ask for it to be removed as well. 18 % is a good tip- poor service does not earn 18 %.


At what point is the 18% atomatically added? I thought it was only on parties of 6 people or more.


Here we go again!
The automatically included tip has been removed from the Disney Dining Plan. Guests on the dining plan are now responsible for their own tip.
An automatic 18% tip on parties of 6 or more have been standard in WDW for more years than I can remember at this point.
Starting in January of this year, members of the Disney Dining Experience who use their membership card for the 20% discount are now automatically hit with an automatic 18% tip regardless of party size. If you are not a member of DDE, and this is most WDW guests, there is nothing for you to be worried about.
Starting on Jan 1, they did start printing your “suggested” tip at 18% and 20% on the bill in order to not so subtly remind you that you have to leave a tip and “oh look, we’ve even done the math for you!”.


Soundgod- dont shout at me for being dumb or if this subject has been covered before I must have missed it- but if the DDE discount is 20% and then Disney charge an 18% gratuity on top of the bill then the original discount is more or less (except for 2%) negated? am I right? so there are other advantages to the DDE then besides the discounts-oh crikey I just read that back and I confused myself:confused:


Leslie, how could they only pay you so little? was it because of your age? its no wonder then that tips are so important to some areas of the workforce, they are necessary to make up wages.
The sad thing is for me that the British generally do not tip (sorry hope this isnt a threadjack) if only they realised then how important tips were maybe they would-we do because we have spent such a long time in the USA but I know many many visitors who dont:sad:


Under Dept of Labor regulations, if you are a “tipped” employee, the employer is not required to pay minimum wage since the tips were meant to make up the difference in the hourly wage. As of recent, in NY server minimum wage is 4.60 per hour vs. 7.15 per hour for a non tipped employee, so you can see the comparison. So many people don’t think about this and withhold tips as a type of punishment.

In my opinion, 15% is the bare minimum tip for poor service. 18% should be the standard, and 20-25% for exceptional service. Unfortunately, many do not agree.


Several years ago in Myrtle Beach at Crabby Mikes we went in as a party of 11. We were automatically added on the 18% tip. I have NEVER had a worse waitress. She never brought refill to half of us, even though we asked - several times. This was a buffet where they brought the plates to the table, not kept at the bar - I guess to limit your trips??? and you could not re-use a plate. Our waitress only brought plates once extra to the table. When I went to reuse the one I had, I was told not to and I said that we weren’t given clean ones, so they brought out 1 for me, no one else. Finally we had enough, asked for the bill and the tip was added on (this amounted to alot as the meal was $25/person so like a $50 tip- which is alot to take away a couple plates and bring drinks once for some of us. I asked for a manager and told him I did not agree to this amount, explained why. He called the waitress over, and she denied everything, said she asked us for refills and we said no, asked if we needed more plates, etc, we said no. He believed her! I told him that I would pay my bill but was not paying the $50 tip, he said that if I did not pay in full they would call the police! I had the money (cash of course) out for the bill minus the tip and said this is what I am paying. He walked right over to the phone, picked it up and said he was calling them. I can deal with them after he presses charges for me not paying my bill in full. Needless to say, I threw the other $50 down on the table,told him I would never be back. He said we don’t need customers like you, we have a full house every night! So… according to this manager, if they add it on, you can be responsible for it.


Here we go again was just a general comment because this topic just doesn’t seem to go away and neither does the confusion of Disney Dining Plan and Disney Dining Experience.
Yes, that would be a net discount of 2% if you want to look at it that way. Or you can look at it this way, the tip didn’t cost you any extra. If you didn’t get the discount, you would owe the full amount and you would still have the obligation of tipping your server.
Also, unless you are a Florida resident or a WDW passholder, you can’t join Disney Dining Experience. There are a few other benefits, mostly free valet parking at the deluxe resorts if you’re dining there and several invitation only events during the year, especially during Food and Wine Festival.


I would have waited for the police to show. STAND YOUR GROUND! Stop and think, you’ve got a party of 11 and you should all be blocking the entry/cash register area. This big a party complaining about a bill doesn’t look good to other customers and having the police show up will only look worse. If the manager wants to have that big a scene disturbing his business, I say, be his guest.


Thanks Soundgod for the explanation I can see that the subject of tipping is a grey area across the whole of the service industry and not just Disney. I guess it doesn’t help when Disney keep changing the terms on the different plans and it makes it confusing for everyone.
Also PrincessPooh, I agree, tipping is necessary considering the very paltry minimum wages-however, I do think this allows employers ‘off the hook’ so to speak in paying a fair wage for a fair day’s work.
In the UK minimum wage has to be paid to employees regardless of whether they are tipped or untipped and the rate for the over 21’s is approx $11.00 an hour, from 18-21 is $9.00 approx, and 16-18 is $7.00 approx.
You are expected to declare your tips to the Inland Revenue and for some industries like hairdressing the Inland Revenue use a ‘ball park’ tip figure to calculate this ‘extra income’-However, you can appeal this figure and get it reduced.


So…If no one else is no longer forced to pay the 18% tip, why is DDE still enforcing it??? Something doesn’t seem very fair here…


As a Florida Resident, I have used the DDE for the past couple of years. The card cost me 75 US dollars if I remember correctly. What I would just do is add my discount back in for the tip. Realistically, after nearly $400 in meals, the card paid for itself. Considering I use the card for an average of 10 meals per trip and we go up to 4 times a year for four of us, that’s 40 meals at an average of $75 a meal (60-70 for breakfast and lunch, 80-100 for dinner), it saves me roughly $500 a year. Add 2% to my savings if they are automatically adding just the 18%.

IE: I get a $75 meal. Normally, I would just add 20% for gratuity and the meal now costs an additional $15. Now the meal is $90. With the card, The meal is $75 minus the $15 for the 20% discount bringing the price down to $60. Add the enforced 18% adds $10.40 bringing the total to $70.40. With the card, I save $19.60. Even if I only normally add 15% gratuity, that only makes a difference of roughly $3 a meal, still a savings of over $16 a meal!


This is another misconception that isn’t dying.
Until Jan 1, 2008, the only mandatory tip was for groups of 6 or more and that hasn’t changed. Nobody else was forced to pay a tip.
If you were on the dining plan, that is, the prepaid meal plan, your tip was included and you weren’t required to pay for anything out of pocket at the meal, unless you ordered something extra.
NOW, those dining plan guests have to pay their own tip, but the amount is not mandatory.
On Jan 1, 2008, members of Disney Dining Experience are now charged an automatic 18% tip regardless of party size and this tip IS added to the bill.
The reason for the change to both the dining plan and DDE supposedly is due to the new labor agreement signed last year between WDW and it’s employees.


I am a server on the weekends here in PA and I make $2.83/hr plus tips. The employer is only required to change my base rate if the tips I earn (plus the base rate) do not average out to minimim wage ($7.50/hr) by the end of the week! What’s even worse, when minimum wage went from $5.75 to $7.50, the server wage did not change, but still had to average out to the higher rate. On a brighter note, the server minimum wage is scheduled to go up in 2009, to a whopping $3.10! woo-hoo! :blink:

On another note, as a party of 6 going in September, I am rather irritated that my BUFFET server (who will clear plates and refill drinks; HOPEFULLY) @ Cape May Cafe will be making $27 off my table… $27 dollars!!! I’m a server, so don’t get me wrong, but $27 dollars??? :eek:



Thank you for taking the time to explain too:happy: