Planning next trip to WDW in May and was wondering if it was a normal practice for the Magical Express driver to solicit gratuities? He was really crying the blues on our last trip there 2 years ago.[/QUOTE]
It happens. It shouldn’t. I wouldn’t.
I’m a good tipper. I felt very badly for several drivers I observed a few weeks ago (not only my drivers, but I saw some at the airport as well as in front of my resort). It was obvious how hard they worked, scrambling on their hands and knees inside the belly of the bus grabbing bags for people, and so on, and then to see the guests just take their luggage and turn their backs on the drivers and walk away. I actually saw one driver just stare at the back of a man’s head in disbelief.
So I can imagine how frustrated some of them are … but I also know how tacky and unwelcome it is to actively solicit tips.
Disney allows the small sign on the inside of the bus.
A driver I had a few years ago did something really slick. As we pulled in to the resort, he told everyone they needed to stay seated inside the bus while he got out all the luggage, and then he would let us out. After he opened the door, he stood by the door and greeted eacg guest as they exited. It was very noticable that he was holding paper money in the hand closest to the guests, a pointer that others have tipped him and thus they should tip him, to (if he handled their bags). I didn’t have a problem with that sort of request for tips, since it was non-verbal and subtle.