Posts Tagged ‘FAQ’

Tips on Tipping at Walt Disney World: Transportation, Restaurants, Hotels, and More

by on March 4, 2016

IMG_9618-1-300x200-300x200A frequent area of confusion for Disney guests is the topic of tipping. International guests may be unfamiliar with American tipping in general. There are some Disney travel situations where guests tip differently than at other travel destinations. And some folks are just plain miffed that they have to tip at all. Nonetheless, gratuities are a part of life when you travel in the United States.

To answer all your Disney World tipping questions in one place, here’s an overview of all the situations where you have to tip, and where you don’t have to tip, on your Disney vacation.



Disney table service restaurants provide information about tipping.

Disney table service restaurants provide information about tipping.


    • Luggage Handling: At the airport, at your hotel, and throughout your trip, you should tip anyone who handles your luggage for you in your presence. The rule of thumb is that you tip about a dollar per bag, or two dollars if the bag is extra heavy. Round up, and don’t ask the porter or valet for change. If you’re claiming your bags yourself at the airport carousel and taking them to a cab, rental car agency, limo service, or Magical Express bus on you own, then you won’t need to tip anyone while you’re in the airport. If you use a porter to assist you with moving your bags from the luggage carousel to ground transportation, then you tip the porter. If you’re at a Disney hotel and using their Resort Airline Check-In service, tip the luggage handler their just as you would a porter at the airport. If hotel bellman assists with bringing your bags to/from your room, tip a dollar or two per bag. If a hotel bellman also provides you with a resort tour or other help, tip a bit extra. If you’re looking to economize, you can avoid a lot of tipping if you transport your bags yourself. This may not be feasible for guests with medical challenges, copious amounts of luggage, more small children than adults, or owners of non-wheeled luggage. However, if you’re able-bodied and each member of your party can handle their own rolling bag, then by all means deal with your own luggage and circumvent the tip stream. This is an easy way to save cash.
    • Transportation, Magical Express Drivers: You’ll see a sign at the front of the bus telling you that driver will accept tips. If you’re just hopping off and on the bus, you shouldn’t feel obligated. However, if the driver is helping your store luggage under the bus, go by the dollar per bag rule. If you’ve used the yellow Magical Express luggage tags and had Disney take your bags directly to the hotel for you, then you won’t see the person who’s doing your luggage transport. In this situation, you’re off the hook for tipping.
    • Transportation, Limo or Town Car Drivers: Depending on the agency you’re using, the tip may be included in the price. Be sure to ask this when you set up your booking. In general, plan to tip about 15% of the fare. If the driver has done something extraordinary for you, such as making an extra stop or assisting with car seats or colossal amounts of luggage, tip more.

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    Outdoor Movies at Disney World FAQ

    by on November 13, 2014

    At the end of a long day of park touring, sometimes the only thing you have the energy for is kicking back and watching a movie. Sure you can do that in your hotel room on the TV or your trusty iPad, but it can feel a bit more vacationy to watch a movie under the stars. And wouldn’t you know, Disney has you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about outdoor movie viewing at Walt Disney World.

    Toy Story 3 poolside at All Star Music. (Not shown: me crying hysterically in the back row.)

    Toy Story 3 poolside at All Star Music. (Not shown: me crying hysterically in the back row.)

    Does every Disney hotel show outdoor movies?

    In general, yes. There may be situations where construction or refurbishment temporarily halts the movies at that particular hotel.

    There is one case where sister resorts, the Yacht & Beach Clubs, share a movie location. One resort, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, has two movie locations.

    Is there a charge for the outdoor movies?

    Nope, the cost is included with your resort stay.

    Do I have to stay for the whole movie? Is it weird to leave in the middle?

    Not at all. Since most of the movies are near the pools, guest will often pop in and out of viewing, alternating a few minutes of screen time with a few minutes of swim time.

    I will often stop and watch just a few minutes of a film if I pass one while walking back to my hotel room in the evening.

    Are movies shown every night?

    Usually yes. Some resorts have experimented with twice-a-week movies in the off season, but for the most part you can expect that your hotel will show an outdoor movie every night, weather permitting.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Strollers at Disney World

    by on October 30, 2013

    You’ve got kids. You’ve got kid stuff. And you’re taking it all to Walt Disney World for a magical fun-filled vacation. Sounds great, but how do you maneuver all those kids and all that stuff all over four gigantic theme parks, your hotel, and maybe an airport or two? With a stroller, of course. Here’s the complete stroller scoop to get you started on your planning.

    Do I really need to use a stroller at Walt Disney World?

    If you’ve got a child age six or under, chances are you’re going to want access to a stroller at some point during your Disney vacation. Your seven or eight year old might even find himself asking for some stroller time.

    Typical Walt Disney World double rental stroller

    Typical Walt Disney World double rental stroller

    But my child hasn’t used a stroller at home in years, why would he need one at Disney World?

    Many guests have worn pedometers during their Disney vacations. Factoring in theme parks, resorts, and entertainment areas, they typically find that they’ve walked somewhere between seven and twelve miles EVERY DAY of their Disney vacation. Just one lap around the World Showcase area of Epcot is almost a mile. Do that several days in a row and you’re going to end up tired. Now imagine walking that much with the tiny legs of a kindergartener, in 90 degree heat.

    Another reason to consider using a stroller is the safety factor. Let’s face it, Walt Disney World can be a crowded place, particularly during high intensity times like park closing or during the fireworks. Even if you’re holding a child’s hand, it’s quite possible to lose him in the melee. To avoid separation, or having your child get accidentally stepped on by another guest, it may be easier to keep him in the confines of a stroller where you’re in charge of the direction and pace of movement.

    Additionally, some children simply become overwhelmed by the constant stimulation at Disney World. A stroller can be a safe haven – a contained environment where a child can go to temporarily regroup and decompress.

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    Disney World Park Hopping FAQ

    by on September 18, 2013

    With so many options, buying Walt Disney World theme park tickets can be an overwhelming process for first (or second or third) time visitors. I’m here now to demystify one aspect of the ticket selection process: The Park Hopper.

    What exactly does Park Hopping mean?

    In Disney-speak, Park Hopping means that you visit more than one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in one day. If you want to go to more than one of these parks in a single day, then you need to have the Park Hopper add-on for your Disney theme park ticket.

    Some folks consider the Animal Kingdom to be a "half day" park and want to spend the rest of their time at a different park. You need a Park Hopper to do this.

    Some folks consider the Animal Kingdom to be a “half day” park and want to spend the rest of their time at a different park. You need a Park Hopper to do this.

    Do I need a Park Hopper if I’m going leave and return to the same park during the same day?

    No. With a Disney base ticket, you’re welcome to leave and re-enter the same theme park as many times as you like during the same day. So, if you want to visit the Magic Kingdom in the morning, go back to your hotel room for a nap, and return to the Magic Kingdom for the evening fireworks, then you do not need a Park Hopper ticket. However, if you visited the Magic Kingdom in the morning, went back to the room for a nap and then went to see the fireworks at Epcot, then you would need a Park Hopper.

    Do I need to get a Park Hopper if I’m just going to pop into a second park to eat or shop?

    Yes. Any time you want to set foot in a second park during the same day, you’ll need Park Hopper (with one type of exception which I’ll get to in a sec). There is no “just eating” or “just shopping” or “just seeing the fireworks” way to avoid needing a Park Hopper. The Hopping has nothing to do with going on rides, it has to do with entering the park turnstiles (which are not actually turnstiles any more, but I digress).

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    Disney World FastPass+ FAQ

    by on September 16, 2013

    We’ve been going a little MyMagic crazy here at TouringPlans. I’ve shared some of my MyMagic+ test experiences and given you the basics about MagicBands, Kristina Murphy has explored the world of MyDisneyExperience, and Brian McNichols has given you the scoop on how to make the best use of FastPass+ with your own Touring Plan.

    Make your FP+ selections electronically

    Make your FP+ selections electronically

    What we’ve missed so far, and what I’m now here to give you, is a basic rundown of the features of FastPass+ which when paired with a MagicBand, is the crown jewel of Disney’s next-gen in park technology. Here’s what you need to know:

    What exactly is a FastPass+?

    A FastPass+ is a reservation for a ride or other Walt Disney World attraction. You can make reservations days, weeks, or even months in advance of your Walt Disney World visit.

    What’s the difference between FASTPASS and FastPass+?

    If you’ve been to Walt Disney World in the past decade or so, chances are you’ve seen or used the old FASTPASS system. (Which Disney is now calling “legacy FastPass.”) With the old FastPass system, you put your park ticket into an on-site kiosk machine (like an ATM) and the machine spit out a paper ticket telling you at what time to return later that same day to enjoy the ride with little or no wait.

    With FastPass+ you can make reservations for rides from locations other than Walt Disney World via a computer, tablet or smartphone (assuming that you have an account with Disney and the appropriate app). There are also centralized locations at the WDW parks where you can make/organize FP+ reservations; you do not need to go to the attraction itself. You do not get a paper ticket, instead you enter the ride FastPass return queue using either an RFID enabled card or a MagicBand.

    With legacy FP, you had no choice about when your return time was, you simply took what the system spit out, regardless of whether that time worked for your meal/nap schedule. With FP+, you can control your return time, allowing you to avoid returns which interfere with your other plans.

    With legacy FP, once you got a paper ticket, you were stuck with that return time, with no way to modify your FastPass. With FP+, you can change your FastPass attraction or attraction return time, while you’re on the go in the parks.

    With legacy FP, anyone could use the paper ticket. You could give the entire family’s allotment of FP to one child, or you could gift unused FastPasses to other guests on your way out of the park. With FP+, the FastPasses are non-transferrable.

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