Monday, November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving at Disney | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

At Walt Disney World, as soon as the Halloween decorations come down, the Christmas ones are ready to take their place. Somewhere between October 31 and December 25 is a great holiday in our country known as Thanksgiving. However, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that seems to get lost at Walt Disney World!

I have not been to WDW during Thanksgiving week. I have been there two weeks prior and the week following, but never the week or day of Thanksgiving. So, in preparing this post, I had to do a bit of research. What I found is that there are MANY opportunities for families to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal at the Disney parks and resorts on Thanksgiving day. That's about it. From what I've found on Disney related web sites, there are not any special Thanksgiving parades or parties. What I did find is there will be high school bands from around the USA performing and at the Hollywood Studios, there will be cheerleading and dance teams from around the country performing in the Opening of the Magic Kingdom Park Main Street, USA Parade.

Since there aren't any special events at WDW to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought I would share what I would do if I were there on Thanksgiving Day! First, I would park hop between The Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot. I would begin at Magic Kingdom to see this Opening parade that is mentioned at the cheerleading web site! After the opening, I would head to the Hall of Presidents to begin a day of celebrating our country and all we have to be Thankful for! I would let each member of my family choose their favorite attraction at the park to do. Once we have done everyone's favorites, we would head to Disney Hollywood Studios to enjoy our Thanksgiving lunch at 50's Prime Time Cafe. I can't think of a better place to celebrate! Having your "cousin" serve you a delicious meal while enjoying another period of Americana history sounds like so much fun.

After lunch, we would walk, or boat, to the International Gateway entrance of Epcot. We would make our way around the World Showcase to experience The American Adventure. Again, a perfect tribute to our country on the one day we set aside to say Thanks! After enjoying the other countries, we would head back to the Boardwalk and take in a little football at the ESPN Zone- what Thanksgiving day is complete without football!?!

At our house, after the turkey is eaten, the dishes are clean and the football games are over, we begin decorating our house for Christmas. Since I would be at Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving, I would end my day back at Disney's Hollywood Studios to experience The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! This is the perfect way to end a Thanksgiving Day and begin preparing for the Christmas season!

If you don't want to eat your Thanksgiving meal at 50's Prime Time Cafe, there are plenty other options around the parks and resorts. Don't forget to call to make your reservations. You can begin calling as early as 180 days prior to your vacation. You may make reservations online at, or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

Magic Kingdom
Be Our Guest - Lunch and Dinner
Liberty Tree Tavern - Lunch and Dinner (family style)
Tony's Town Square Restaurant - Lunch and Dinner

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - Lunch and Dinner
Biergarten - Lunch and Dinner (buffet)
Coral Reef Restaurant - Lunch and Dinner
Le Cellier Steakhouse - Lunch and Dinner
Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room - Lunch and Dinner
Sunshine Seasons- Thanksgiving menu all day

Disney's Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Brown Derby - Lunch and Dinner
Hollywood and Vine - Lunch and Dinner (buffet)

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Tusker House - Lunch and Dinner (buffet)

Disney's All-Star Sports Resort
End Zone Food Court - Dinner

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Jiko - The Cooking Place - Dinner (Prix Fixe Menu)
Sanaa - Lunch and Dinner

Disney's Beach Club Resort
Cape May Cafe- Lunch and Dinner (buffet)

Disney's Boardwalk Resort
Flying Fish Cafe - Dinner (Prix Fixe Menu)
Kouzzina- Dinner

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Shutters at Old Port Royale - Lunch and Dinner (buffet)

Disney's Contemporary Resort
California Grill - Dinner
The Wave - Lunch and Dinner

Disney's Fort Wilderness
Mickey's Backyard Thanksgiving Feast - Fort Wilderness Pavilion - Dinner Show Buffet
Trail's End Restaurant - Lunch and Dinner (buffet)

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Grand Floridian Cafe - Lunch and Dinner
Narcoossee's - Dinner
Victoria & Albert's

Disney's Old Key West Resort
Olivia's - Lunch and Dinner

Disney's Polynesian Resort
Kona Cafe - Lunch and Dinner

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
The Turf Club Bar & Grill - Lunch and Dinner

Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Artist Point - Dinner (Prix Fixe Menu)
Whispering Canyon Cafe - Lunch and Dinner (family style)

Disney's Yacht Club
Captain's Grille - Lunch and Dinner (buffet)
Yachtsman Steakhouse - Dinner (family style)

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