Vacation Planning Specialist – Nicole!

Independent Travel Agent with The Vacation Wizards!

Spending Thanksgiving at Disney World!

on November 10, 2015

If you are planning on taking your family to Disney World during the Thanksgiving holidays, plan on experiencing longer wait times than normal! The week of Thanksgiving kids are pretty much out of school a few days if not the whole week. Thanksgiving and Christmas are most likely the time for families to take vacations during those holidays.

As far as decorations go, don’t expect to see cornucopias and pilgrims all over the parks. Nope, Disney will already be decorated for Christmas! In fact you can expect to see Christmas decorations in all of the parks and resorts as soon as November 1st! Yup that’s right a whole month and half away from Christmas Day!

The week of Thanksgiving is going to be pretty crowded! Not as crowded as the week of Christmas and New Years, but there are very good chances that the parks can close due to capacity during this week. My best advice that I can give as to which park to visit is pick one and stay there! DO NOT PLAN ON PARK HOPPING! If you are staying on property however, I would suggest taking advantage of Extra Magical Hours if they are available and then going to your park of choice for the day. I the reason I say don’t park hop is because you could have plans to do one park in the morning and then maybe want to eat dinner at the Magic Kingdom, well the Magic Kingdom could close to capacity and then you are out your dinner reservation.

Another tip about getting the most out of your park experience is to ARRIVE EARLY!  I know that I have said this many times but it is true! The earlier you arrive the faster you get in the park with fewer crowds and less wait times. Now if you are there for the experience of being there and not really concerned about riding the rides besides your FASTPASS+ choices, then take your time!

Make sure to always have a plan. Have everyone in your party say what it is that they absolutely HAVE to do that day at the parks. If it’s riding the rides, get there early. If you are wanting good spots for the shows and parades, make sure to stake out a spot at least 45-30 minutes before showtime. If meeting the characters is your top priority, make sure to check out the Times Guide BEFORE arriving to the parks!

If you are going for the food, make you reservations during the non-usual meal times. Like say you want to eat dinner at a pretty popular place, schedule your reservation for as early or as late as possible and not around the normal dinner time. There are so many places to indulge yourself in Thanksgiving style feasts! 

Remember to bring with you a lot of patience. Everyone is most likely trying to get to and do the same things that you and your family are trying to do. Be polite and patience with others even if they aren’t towards you. Remember that it is a time to be Thankful for what you have.

Epcot’s Dining Locations that Offer Thanksgiving Meals:

  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

  • Biergarten Restaurant

  • Coral Reef Restaurant

  • Le Cellier Steakhouse

  • Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room

  • Sunshine Seasons (Quick Service)

Magic Kingdom’s Dining Locations the Offer Thanksgiving Meals:

  • Be Our Guest

  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

Hollywood Studios’ Dining Locations that Offer Thanksgiving Meals:

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe

  • Hollywood and Vine

  • The Hollywood Brown Derby

Animal Kingdom’s Dining Locations that Offer Thanksgiving Meals:

  • Tusker House Restaurant

Disney World Resort Hotel’s Dining Locations that Offer Thanksgiving Meals:

  • Wilderness Lodge – Artist Point and Whispering Canyon Cafe

  • Port Orleans Riverside – Boatwright’s Dining Hall

  • Contemporary Resort – California Grill and The Wave

  • Beach Club Resort – Cape May Cafe

  • Yacht Club Resort – Captain’s Grille and Yachtsman Steakhouse

  • Grand Floridian – Citricos, Grand Floridian Cage, Narcoossee’s and Victoria & Albert’s

  • All-Star Sports Resort – End Zone Court

  • BoardWalk – Flying Fish Cafe and Trattoria Al Forno

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jiko the Cooking Place

  • Polynesian Village Resort – Kona Cafe

  • Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – Mickey’s Backyard Thanksgiving Feast and Trail’s End Restaurant

  • Old Key West Resort – Olivia’s Cafe

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge Kindani Village Resort – Sanaa

  • Caribbean Beach Resort – Shutters at Old Port Royale

  • Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – The Turf Club Bar and Grill

Disney Springs’ Dining Locations that Offer Thanksgiving Meals:

  • Planet Hollywood

  • Raglan Road

  • Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe

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