Question about tipping while on the free DDP


How much do you figure in tipping while on the free Dining plan would it be safe to budget in $20 per table service for a party of 5?


Well, I still think it depends on the total of the bill. I believe they still show you the receipt when you sign for your TS credits. I still leave 20% which obviously would make the cost of tip different at Beaches n’ Cream than at California Grill.


What would be a safe budgeting price?


I would say 18-20% depending on the size of the party… more for a larger/ more demanding party.


I agree, 20% is standard. If they don’t give you a bill, I’m sure you could roughly add up your total looking at the menu.


here is a list of my adrs
1900 Fare
Sci- Fi
Whispering Cayon Cafe
Tusker house
Planet Hollywood
Coral Reef
Crystal Palace


IF you really want to be fair to your server, the average scale is 15% for just OK service, 18% for Good service, & 20% for GREAT service.

You want to figure your tip according to the bill total before tax.

Being that you are a party of 5, you will get an option for tipping. A party of 6 or more automatically gets charged 18% gratuity.

However, sometimes they add the gratuity on regardless of the size.
For instance, when my daughter & I did the My DIsney Girl Tea party at GF. I was charged $28 for gratuity. I can tell you that NO SERVER did anything for us to deserve that kind of tip. BUT… because the fee for this was so large… the 18% gratuity really was a lot more.


If you are looking to set aside money for tipping 20 dollars per meal is a little too low in my opinion. Unless you’re planning to get very cheap meals the bill will likely be pretty high. My friends and I just got back from a trip, we were a party of five, and our bill’s were around 130 each night, so I would plan for 25-30 just to be safe.


This is good to know, for others who may be planning on doing the tea party.

I follow the same scale for tipping.


Regardless of whether you are free or you are paying, each bill will remind you that tip is not included and will show you “suggested” tips of 18% and 20% of the total before sales tax.
If you want to plan what your tips are going to amount to, start looking at the menus at All Ears and do your math.
But let’s face it, any sit down meal for 5 people is going to require at least a $20 tip every time, if not more. Some meals could have totals of $200 and you’re going to need to tip $35 or more.
Also, another thing to consider is the cost of living. While 15% used to be considered an acceptable tip, this has crept up to 18% for about 4 years now. Now, with gas having increased by 50% in the last year, 20% is becoming the norm. So you need to keep this in mind as well.


I think at Disney $20 for a party of 5 will turn out to be very low. We went last month and typically tipped 15-20 dollars per meal for just two people. Granted we usually have an alcoholic beverage and an appetizer in addition to the meal so that raised the price some.
You may want to do a guesstimate of how much your meals will cost using the Allears menus and then figure out an average from there. It’s hard to tell you a safe number to budget since every family is different and every bill will be different.


I say tip what you’re comfortable with. There is no law that says how much you should tip. The 15, 18, and 20% are all nice suggestions, but do what you feel is right and can afford. If $20.00 per meal is comfortable for your budget, then $20.00 is a good tip. The key word here is tip. This is extra on top of what they are being already paid. Most people seem to feel pressured to leave a certain %, so you can rest easy knowing that even if what you leave doesn’t fall within that number, the server got plenty from several others that night. A friend of mine worked at a WDW TS and on top of her base hourly pay she was bringing home on average $200+ a night in tips. AND, this WASN’T an expensive place.
Just do what you are comfortable with and can afford. This trip is about you having fun with your family and showing your children a good time. Spend the money on them!


I believe you must tip at least 15% before tax. Unless, in some cases some restaurants automatically add the 18% gratuity in. The reason being that the government charges the servers 10% I believe. So if you leave less than 10% of that bill the server will have to pay at the end of the year on their taxes. This has happened to me before. Needless to say I wasn’t very good at waitressing in college. I actually owed money at the end of the year because people weren’t leaving me enough money.


As a former waitress I have to disagree with this comment. Most servers earn a max hourly rate of 2-3 dollars an hour and survive off of tips. It’s not fair to assume that every other table left a good tip before you and therefore you don’t have too. The only exception to leaving a tip under the norm of 15% is exceptionally bad service. If a person only leaves what they are comfortable with AND that happens to be under 15% then those people probably shouldn’t be eating out. Also, servers have to tip out busboys, hostesses, bartenders etc…so what you leave them is not necessarily all they will get.


You are absolutely right. I totally agree with you.


Not meaning to highjack, but does anyone know what the servers at DW are paid as a base before tips?


We could go all Reservoir Dogs on here again, but I still stand by if a $20.00 tip is what afford, go for it.

With the increase in the cost of living and gas people are saving their butts off to go to WDW. Free dining has made it possible for some people to go that may have not been able to other wise. If this is the case, EVERY penny counts. If leaving less of a tip means another icecream for their child so be it.


I’m going to echo what a couple of others have said- there’s no simple answer, and if you want to budget, you’re going to have to do some work. Like they’ve said- go to Allears and look at the menus, make some reasonable guesses about how much you’d spend on each meal, and calculate your tip from there- whatever percentage you feel to be fair.

DH is a better tipper than I am- or perhaps I should say, he’s a more forgiving tipper. For good service, we’ll do 20%; for excellent service, a bit more. DH will leave exactly 15% for less-than-good service, whereas if I feel the service is bad, I’m all about leaving a bare minimum.


I have to disagree with you.

A reasonable tip is part of the cost of the meal (even if the meal itself is part of a package), and everyone knows that going in. If you can’t afford a decent tip, choose a less expensive restaurant.

The cost of living and the price of gas affect the servers as much as they affect the diners. Every penny counts for them, too.

I don’t really like the whole tipping system- I’d rather servers were paid a flat wage like most everyone else. But since their pay is based on the assumption they’ll get tips, I don’t think I need to personally punish them for this by bucking the system.


I agree with you. Tip what you can! If the server is working 4 tables and they all leave $20 then they have been tipped $60 for about an hour! I know they share those tips with others, but still, I don’t make $20 an hour. I believe a tip should be earned instead of an amount set for you to pay. I try to leave good tips and to tip according to service.