A message board poster (and WDW CM) heard from a union rep that Disney will remove the included gratuity on the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) starting in January 2008. Yes, this is hearsay. But it has the ring of truth.
Naturally, Disney won't be reducing the price of the plan.
I predicted this months ago when I chronicled the problems the DDP brings to the parks: smaller and more standardized menus, lackadaisical service, very very crowded restaurants. I knew the company would squeeze more money out of the program; it's one of the things they do "best."
The real future of the DDP is on display at Universal Orlando, where the $24 meal deal gets you all you can eat... but it's all fast food, it's all crappy quality, and there is not one guest around in those eateries who is paying out of pocket.