Agree...Just the way it is worded was unclear. This was rumored to happen back in August when some of the DDP changes were officially announced for 2008.
I also agree that this is more like a service charge and not a gratuity. I guess there really isn't much of a change. You had to tip anyway.
Well, apparently the 18% gratuity is across the board for all table service restaurants, not just for DDE cardholders.
The Walt Disney WorldŽ Resort will be implementing an across property policy change regarding gratuity at all food and beverage locations. Effective January 1, 2008, 18% gratuity will be added to all transactions, regardless of party size. (11/8/07 Disney Dining Experience Newsletter)
This is reportedly for ALL table service locations regardless of whether you are using a Disney Dining Experience card or not.