Tips and gratuity at Disneyland? We have many readers from Australia and other areas of the world who are curious about tipping at Disneyland, and maybe even some of our locals here in the states are wondering—should I tip for this Disneyland service?
All your Disneyland gratuity questions answered, plus a few for those Hollywood tours you may be taking in addition to your Disneyland vacation.
Tipping, or gratuity, is customary in the States, but many places also try to take advantage of tourists who are unfamiliar with tipping practices. The truth is, the amount and when to tip varies greatly even among Americans. I’ll break down tipping at Disneyland for you right here.
Table of Contents
Should I tip at Disneyland Restaurants?
Yes, you should leave a tip for your server at sit down restaurants at Disneyland. This is the most common type of expected gratuity anywhere you dine with a server in the United States.
To further clarify, you should include a tip with your payment at any restaurant that has a server who takes your order and delivers the food to your table, including buffets. Tipping restaurants at Disneyland Resort include any place you can make a reservation:
- Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean attraction
- Cafe Orleans
- Carnation Cafe, with my favorite appetizer fried pickles on the menu
- Carthay Circle Restaurant, perfect for a date night or upscale family meal
- Catal Restaurant in Downtown Disney
- PCH Grill including character dining with Donald Duck
- Goofy’s Kitchen charater meal at the Disneyland Hotel
- La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney
- Napa Rose, home to Princess Breakfast Adventures
- Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria (full review here)
- Plaza Inn when eating at Minnie & Friends character breakfast
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney
- River Belle Terrace, one of my kids favorite spots to eat
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes in Downtown Disney
- Steakhouse 55 at the famous Disneyland Hotel
- Storytellers Cafe for dinner or brunch with Mickey and friends
- Tortilla Jo’s fresh Mexican food in Downtown Disney
- Wine Country Trattoria at California Adventure
- World of Color Dessert Party
How much should I tip at Disneyland?
A standard gratuity amount 20% of the bill pre-tax. You can certainly tip more or less depending on service given.
Some people make it their personal rule to never tip below a certain amount, but like to give more when a server is especially attentive and helpful. Be aware that some restaurants add the tip in automatically (especially if you have a large group), so check your receipt and make sure you’re not tipping twice.
Do I need to tip at quick service restaurants?
Many dining establishments have a line for adding a tip on the receipt, even if you’re not served at your table. This is just kinda a standard thing on most receipts here in the States. Personally, if I go up to a counter, order food and they hand me the food, I do not tip.
Some people do. There is not a clear cut rule for these. If you see a tip line on your receipt and do not want to tip, I simply draw a line through it and write the total again before signing. This is the same for screens at the register that show a tip amount to add. Look closely, there is always a spot that says “no tip” and you can select that.
What about tip jars near the register?
Again, this is similar to the above. Tips collected in a tip jar or cup are usually split up at the end of the day. Most Americans either ignore these, put in some loose change or add a dollar or two if they’re feeling generous and had good service.
You are under no obligation to tip here. You likely won’t see these kind of jars inside Disneyland Park or California Adventure Park, but may see some at Downtown Disney places like Jamba Juice.
Do I tip at a counter order places at Disneyland?
No, and usually those Cast Members can’t even accept a tip. I had someone insisting on tipping a Cast Member in front of me once. She asked to see a supervisor so she could tip the cashier who was so kind. The supervisor said they need to offer a tip 3 times before they an accept.
Not sure if that’s still true but if someone truly impresses you, give a #CastCompliment instead. You can do this on any Disneyland social media or via email. Note the Cast Member name, location and date. They will be recognized by their superiors and possibly more. It’s a great way to help them along their career path and maybe they’ll even get a raise when review time comes around.
Do I need cash to tip at Disneyland?
In some cases, yes. Anytime you pay with a credit card you can simply add a tip on the receipt you sign.
For other people like bell hops, skycaps etc. you should have some singles on hand to tip. It is not customary to ask for change when tipping luggage handlers and bell hops, although it wouldn’t be considered rude, just a little odd.
If you give a 20 dollar bill, they’ll likely ask if you’d like change but under that, they may assume it’s all theirs to keep. You can also ask your Disney hotel bell hops for a QR code and tip them via credit card as well.
Gratuity and Disneyland VIP Tours
Did you know Disneyland Resort offer private and semi-private tours? I’ve taken one, Walk in Walt’s Footsteps and it was fabulous!
You can offer a tip to your tour guide at the end of the tour of about $10-20 per person, although it is not required or expected. Here’s what Disneyland guest services said about it when I tweeted to them:
If you use a private VIP tour guide, plan to tip at least $20 per person for the several hours the tour guide spends with you. One thing you don’t need to tip for is our printable Disneyland itineraries. It outlines your day step-by-step, just print and go!
Tipping at Disneyland Airports
Before you even get to Disneyland Resort, you’ll likely arrive at LAX or one of the major airports in Southern California. Any time someone other than airline or TSA personnel handles your luggage, tipping a dollar or two for each piece of luggage is customary. This includes SkyCap when checking luggage at the curb.
For example, if you’re taking a shuttle, Uber, Lyft or taxi and the driver loads/unloads all your luggage, be sure to tip them accordingly. You can of course, handle your own luggage and simply say, “no thank you” or “I’ve got it, thanks”.
I generally travel with a small carry on bag and like to handle it myself to avoid tipping and that’s totally ok. However, if you have a large group and lots of luggage, expect the driver to handle those to ensure a timely departure and a properly stowed luggage area.
I’ve bee in foreign countries where people appear to be airport workers and “help” you check in then ask for a tip. Most Americans will not ask for a tip. It’s considered rude.
If you happen to be on a tour in Hollywood or somewhere and it’s part of the jokes or presentation asking/telling you to tip—that kind of behavior is directed right at foreign tourists. They want to make you feel uniformed and obligated to tip. I find it very tacky and am more likely to not tip when tour guides use those methods.
Gratuity at Disneyland Hotels & Salons
Here are a few more tips on tipping at Disneyland and the surrounding areas:
- Americans generally tip bell hops handling luggage ($2-3 per bag) and room service at their discretion.
- Some people tip maids each day of their trip because your room may be serviced by various maids throughout your stay. About $1 per person per day is acceptable.
- While dining at a bar or pool, be sure to tip bartenders $2-3 per drink or food order when ordering poolside food service.
- If your car is parked via valet, even if the hotel says it is free valet parking, you’re expected to tip the person who brings you your car.
- If you visit a salon like the one at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, tip about 20% of your total bill—my last visit, they included a 20% “service charge” which was the tip, so don’t tip on top of that. If you have questions, just ask!
- Tip about 20% at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where little princesses come to get pampered.
- We had a cabana at the Disneyland Hotel with a personal attendant, those people should also be given a tip.
Did we cover it all? Where else should out of town visitors expect to tip when they visit Disneyland Resort?