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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tip Tuesday: More tips on tipping

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

There are so many things to prepare in advance when planning a trip to Walt Disney World. From tickets, to accommodations to dining, there is a great deal of planning involved. Over the past two and a half years, I've talked at length about how planning in advance can make a WDW trip so much more enjoyable.

This week, I want to share some more tips about, well, tipping.

Now in a previous post, I talked about how much to tip for the various services at Walt Disney World, from Mousekeeping to restaurant servers to valet parking attendants. But how do you tip? What's the easiest way to take care of tips?

Let's take a look at some of the best ways you can take the stress out of tipping.

First, let's talk about Mousekeeping.

In my opinion, Mousekeeping is the unsung hero of many Walt Disney World resorts. These people make sure your room is clean and neat, and you rarely ever see them in action. The service they provide usually is top-notch and just great. So I feel it's very appropriate to express some gratitude to the Mousekeeping attendants.

I've found the best way to take care of Mousekeeping tips is to prepare them in advance. I've done this two ways and both work pretty well. First off, you will always be dealing with cash, so you need to have cash on hand. This may sound like a no-brainer, but in this put-it-on-the-plastic society, sometimes you can forget that you need some good old-fashioned money sometimes.

The best way to prepare Mousekeeping tips in advance is to think about how many nights you will be staying in your resort. If, for instance, you are staying five nights, then you need five tips. I pre-print an envelope dated for the morning AFTER that night (remember, you're leaving the tip the following morning). So if I was staying January 24-29, I would have five envelopes labeled January 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 with a big "Thank You!!" on the front of each. In each envelope, I place the cash tip for that day. As we leave the room each morning, I simply set out the envelope for that morning.

The other method is very similar, I used pre-printed index cards instead of envelopes. Either way, the point is to have those tips pre-prepared so you don't have to worry about how much to leave and if you have enough cash on hand.

Either way, try to have some fun in how you leave the tip, especially if you have kids with stuffed friends in the room. We've had Mickey and Minnie holding the tip envelope before or Pluto carrying it in his mouth like a newspaper. It's these little details that help make Mousekeeping's day a little more magical.

Next, let's head to the restaurant!

Again, I've used two methods for preparing tips at table-service restaurants. If you're planning to pay cash, you may want to check the menu for your particular restaurant in advance and get a general idea how much you're going to spend and can prepare an appropriate tip ahead of time. You can find menus and prices at allears.net and wdwinfo.com. There are some iPhone apps related to Disney Dining as well which can be helpful.

If you're paying with plastic (as most people do), then the tip is no sweat. Disney includes suggested tipping amounts (18 and 20-percent) with your check. Just add the tip to the amount you want to put on the card and you're done. It's just that easy.

Now for the valet parking attendants. Here, you just need to have some cash in hand. Like the restaurants, you should have a good idea in advance how many times you will be using valet parking and can get those tips ready ahead of time.

So there you go... some additional tips on tipping. I hope your 2011 has started off with success and are ready for a great year!!

3 comments:

Tricia Furman said...

Absolutely, the envelope system is a great way to go! There are even some very creative people on some of the boards who you can borrow some artwork from to make special envelopes for mousekeeping & all your ADR restaurants. We always have our tips pre-portioned and ready to go in unsealed envelopes (you never know when the service might deserve a little extra!) This also takes the stress out of the trip and is really great when using the dining plan.

Brianna said...

I enjoyed every detail on your blog. When it comes to visiting Disney I always plan it ahead and make the necessary reservations on hotel, restaurants etc. That way I am more confident and the pressure of the crowd is totally not a problem because I have everything settled in advance.

Anonymous said...

How much do u usually tip for mousekeeping?