Giving Thanks: How to Know When to Tip and How to Say Thanks

Cast Members are the hardest working people. They work with tens of thousands of people every day. They make our time at Disney World fun, safe, and magical.

So how do we show hard working employees gratitude for a job well done? Here I discuss when to tip your cast member, creative ways to say thank you, and common sense courtesy that will show them how much you care.

What Exactly is a Cast Member?

A Cast Member is what Disney call their employees. This is everyone. From the people who check you in at your resort, and keep your room clean, to people running rides at the parks. Cast Members are the Disney World employees that you will be interacting with your entire vacation.

Why are you so certain that I will want to go out of my way to thank a Cast Member?

Of course giving thanks is never required. And frankly, that's what makes it so special when someone goes out of their way to show true and genuine appreciation.

That being said, I can tell you that customer service training at Disney World is unlike any other. There have even been books written about Disney World customer service. Don't believe me? Check out this best seller for some customer service inspiration!

So while it is possible you might not have a Cast Member knock your socks off, chances are you'll meet a Cast Member who amazes you. And here are some fun ways to say THANK YOU:

Say Thank You

Well, this one seems obvious. But it is easy to overlook a quick, "Thank you" when you are running off to get on Space Mountain.

Cast Members are trained to meet your eye and ask what they can help you with. So if you find yourself asking for directions or help, be sure to say thank you!

Thank You Cards

It's never a bad idea to pack a few thank you cards in your suitcase before you head out to Disney World.

You can pack your favorite cards, find some fun printable cards on Pinterest (I have a ton saved on my Pinterest page for you to print for free), or make your own hand made cards before you leave.


Let me start out by saying you should always tip people such as waitstaff, people who handle your luggage, and mousekeeping (for starters).

If you aren't sure what to tip, here are some guidelines to help you out:

  • Waitstaff: 18-20%
  • Cast Members who assist with luggage: $1 per bag/min
  • Mousekeeping: $1-2 per day
  • Spa or hair stylists: 15%

These tip amounts should be your starting point. If a Cast Member goes above and beyond you can show them how thankful you are by adding to their tip amount.

Head to Social Media

If you want to make sure that the amazing Cast Member is recognized publicly, you can head to Twitter and tweet to @WDWToady. In your tweet let them know who the super Cast Member was and why, and be sure to include the hashtag #castcompliment in the tweet. The team can then find the Cast Member and make sure they are recognized.

Tell Guest Relations

You can tell someone at Guest Services about the Cast Member who made a difference in your vacation. When you do this they can then find the Cast Member and recognize them for being a super star.

You can reach out to Guest Services 3 ways:

  • Find a location at any of the parks, Disney Springs, or your Resort and let them know in person
  • Call Guest Services
  • Email Guest Services at

Take a Photo With a Cast Member Who Rocks

There are some Cast Members who are such an important part of our vacations, and they aren't supposed to accept tips. One great example is PhotoPass photographers.

They do so much to make our vacations amazing. They are literally the people capturing the magic for us to enjoy the rest of our lives.

A fun way to show them that you care is to ask if you can take a photo with them. Make them a part of your family memories by snapping a picture together.

Be Awesome

The easiest way to show Cast Members that you are thankful for all they do is to just be awesome! Be kind and courteous. A happy smiling face and a little gratitude will show them that you appreciate all they do.

Cast Members are some of the hardest working people around. So show them they are loved!

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