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In this week's feature, Mark and Mike answer questions posed by international travelers to Walt Disney World, many of which may be of interest to domestic travelers, as well.
The idea for this week's show came from a listener email in Show 115, where a listener asked if we could do a show addressing issues for travelers from the U.K. In Show 147, Adam from Ballarat, Australia, asked that we turn it into a show for all international travelers and included a number of questions of his own. We spent our time mostly addressing his questions, though we'll include some additional information here in the show notes.
First, we addressed the question of how tipping is handled when you're eating on the Disney Dining Plan.
Next was the question of how much to tip and why a gratuity is sometimes included in your bill and sometimes not included. We made a detour into the changes to the Disney Dining Plan this year, especially the removal of the gratuity from the plan.
We then were uncertain as to whether wait staff share their tips with the rest of the restaurant staff or not, so we asked the listeners for help.
After that, we talked about tipping for various hotel services, such as bell services/luggage assistance and Mousekeeping. We mentioned Heidi Wolff's site, which has many designs for printing envelopes for Mousekeeping tips. We covered tipping etiquette (Hint: Don't argue with your spouse over how much to tip while the cast member is standing there. Decide in advance.) You should also beware that often the person that you leave your bags with at the front desk is likely not going to be the same person who delivers them to your room or gives them back to you when you load your car.
Adam wanted to know why, as a resident of Australia, he was prohibited from winning a prize in the Year of a Million Dreams. Mark read the rules of the giveaway, and while it is restricted to residents of different countries, Australians are eligible to win. (The 50 United States plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Japan are the other eligible countries.) As to the restriction for others, it's probably a legal issue.
The tipping on the Disney Cruise Line (or any cruise line) is different, and your cruise literature should tell you all that you need to know about that.
Another good resource on what to tip is located over at the Passporter Web site.
Links to pages of interest at the U.S. Customs Web site:
If you want to know the current currency conversion rate between your home currency and the U.S. Dollar, you can check it here.
Another great resource for travelers from the U.K. is the Disney World Unofficial Online Guide, which is focused on issues faced by U.K. travelers.
Were these tips helpful to you? Are you an international or a domestic traveler? Let us know by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278) and let us know what you think!
On April 27, Mark will be walking to raise money for the March of Dimes for the third time. Please consider supporting him. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).