Disney housekeepers have a fairly straightforward job keeping your room fresh, clean, and well-maintained so you have a comfortable retreat at the end of each day. As with any role at Disney, those in housekeeping do go above and beyond and strive to sprinkle a little extra pixie dust on your stay. Communication isn’t always easy with a Cast Member that you may not see in person. Here are a few things your housekeeper probably wishes she could tell you, and some tips for responding appropriately to the rules.

1. We can’t pick up your clutterPersonal luggage presents a stumbling block for housekeepers

Image: Anaa Yoo, Flickr (license)

Housekeepers often find themselves in a sticky spot. They want to get your room looking as clean as possible, but they don’t want to overstep the careful boundaries in place regarding your privacy and personal property. It’s always unsettling to find an item misplaced, and your housekeepers certainly don’t want to be the ones to confuse your system for stashing items around the room, however haphazard it may be.

In general, housekeepers won’t touch any personal items that you leave around the room. Though you might like it if your laundry were neatly folded, papers sorted into organized piles, and toiletries carefully arranged around the bathroom, it’s too tricky of a job. Where one guest might love having their items set up just so on the dresser, another could feel that their privacy was violated by the fact that the housekeeper picked up their personal things.

If you leave the floor littered with belongings, it makes it difficult for the housekeeper to vacuum properly. A vanity covered in your personal soaps and lotions can’t easily be wiped down, though your housekeeper will certainly try.

If you want open areas vacuumed thoroughly and flat surfaces wiped down and cleaned, the best way to make sure it happens is to clear off your items. Confine laundry to a single pile, keep your papers, laptop, and other gadgets off the unmade bed, and push your makeup and hair accessories off to one side. The more open space your housekeeper can reach, the cleaner your room will be.

2. Subtle tips will stay where they are

Hotel tip

Image: Molly DG, Flickr (license)

Tipping your housekeeper is a wonderful practice, and many guests are savvy to the finer points of proper tipping. However, there are many instances where a guest may intend to leave a tip, but find that it remains untouched the next day.

Taking a housekeeping tip is another tough spot for housekeepers because of the serious repercussions if someone were to mistake money for a tip that was not intended that way. If there’s any question at all as to whether or not something is meant as a tip, you can be sure your housekeeper will err on the side of safety and leave it alone.

If you do want to leave a tip, here are some smart strategies for communicating clearly with your housekeeper:

  • Leave the money square in the center of a pillow
  • Include a small note with the tip. A brief “Thank you!” is more than adequate
  • Wait until the end of your stay and leave a generous tip for your entire stay on the day you check out. Any loose change or bills left on a dresser or desk at this point is generally considered a tip.

If you really want to go above and beyond, you can join the ranks of the guests who bring along a small stash of envelopes for their tips. There have been many wonderful guests who took the time to decorate these envelopes with stickers or crayons, or even tuck a drawing or thank you note inside. While this is by no means necessary, it’s a special touch of appreciation that your housekeeper will probably hold on to for a long time (over 10 years later, I still have mine).



We always leave the tip at the end of the stay. It's a nice thank you and no awkward 'should I take it or shouldn't I ' uncertainty. We've been lucky with Mousekeeping over the years, except once when the housekeeper left our door open (with that thing you swing over to lock it at night) all day at the Wilderness Lodge, and we were gone more than 14 hours that day. Ugh.

At most Disney Vacation Club resorts (Old Key West, Animal Kingdom, etc.), the housekeepers don't come in the entirety of your stay, though...? They only come when you've left, unless you want them to come otherwise on a specific day. Why would I leave a tip when they don't come into my room/don't do anything?
Also, there have been multiple times when I've had the Do Not Disturb sign on my door and I've had someone knock on my door at 7 AM or earlier asking when I'm leaving. It's incredibly rude of housekeepers to do that. Unacceptable.

You're wrong about waiting to leave a tip at end of stay. Leave it EACH DAY. Your housekeeper isn't necessarily the same for your entire stay. Shifts change.

No, no, no! Don't wait until the end of your stay to tip!! Leave it in an obvious place (square on pillow or under the "I cleaned your room today" little placard EACH DAY. Shifts change, sometimes daily and the person who took care of your room for most of your stay loses out when the tip goes to the person just coming on.

I'm ashamed to say that I'm 26 years old, have stayed at my fair share of hotels, and only just learned you're supposed to tip housekeepers at hotels. I didn't know :( I'm sorry to all the housekeepers I've jipped!

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