By the first week of November, Christmas decorations adorn the parks and resort hotels, but we can not forget about Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World. After all, what better place to give thanks than at the Most Magical Place on Earth? Let’s talk turkey at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, and only Disney offers the best family time available. Whether you hit the parks, sit by the pool, feast on special offerings, or go Black Friday shopping, there is something to complete Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World for everyone.
Celebrate in the parks in a unique-to-Disney way. Learn U.S. History at the Hall of Presidents. Experience the American Adventure at Epcot and sing along the Voices of Liberty. Starting black Friday, get into the winter holiday spirit with the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.
If your family chooses to hit the parks to celebrate Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World, be prepared for some fairly heavy crowds. The parks will be busy, but manageable. We are not talking about Christmas week or 4th of July level attendance. Of course, if you want to avoid crowds altogether, consider planning your trip for the week before Thanksgiving if you can swing it. If not, don’t stress. Follow the tips in our Beating the Crowds at Walt Disney World article for some great advice.
Skip the parks altogether to best avoid crowds. Tour the resorts to see the beautiful holiday decorations. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping at Disney Springs. Spend the day by the pool, enjoying each other, and letting others serve YOU. Order a drink or snack at the resort’s pool bar and grill. You deserve it. We MousekeMoms prefer Stormalong Bay’s Hurricane Hannah’s at Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resort. Most of Disney’s resort hotels offer poolside bars and dining options, so see which one might be right for you and book your stay there.
If dining poolside isn’t your thing, try on of the myriad other options for getting your grub on when spending Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World. Whether you need to feast on a traditional Turkey Day meal or seek something new and different, you’ll find options. Just be sure to plan ahead and make reservations for your holiday festivities. But first, the….
We MousekeMoms love enjoying a themed cocktail at any dining celebration. Only around Thanksgiving, Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge offers a special Smoked Turkey cocktail. It’s made with Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Red Stag Cherry Bourbon, grenadine, lemonade, hickory smoke, and garnished with a Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherry. This drink sounds like another great excuse to visit Wilderness Lodge. Cozy up by the grand fire and enjoy the lobby all decked out for the Holidays. Even if the name doesn’t sound very appealing for a cocktail, some of us are very eager to make it a Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World tradition.
Now that we’ve had a drink, it’s time to for the eats. Any day of the year you can munch on a Turkey Leg as you wander around Magic Kingdom or the American Adventure at Epcot. In fact, it’s estimated that guests consume more than 1.6 million turkey drumsticks every year at Walt Disney World and the Disneyland – that’s 2.5 million pounds of turkey!
As glamorous as gnawing on a big ol’ leg of turkey looks, on Thanksgiving many of us would prefer to sit and be served with proper cutlery. From classic to traditional-with-a-twist, we’ve got you covered. Who’s hungry?
Liberty Tree Tavern
The most obvious choice for a traditional Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World is Liberty Tree Tavern. Thanksgiving fare is served daily here, so they do it very well. Their Patriot’s Platter comes piled high with roasted turkey breast, pot roast, and carved pork roast, and is accompanied by traditional sides such as mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, herb stuffing, and house-made macaroni and cheese. On Thanksgiving Day, reservations fill fast, so book early if you will be spending the day in Magic Kingdom.
Whispering Canyon Cafe
Outside of the parks, try Whispering Canyon at Wilderness Lodge where a traditional “Cornucopia of food” will be offered. Or, you can hit the Edison at Disney Springs for a traditional feast. The Edison is serving slow Oven-Roasted Turkey and creamy Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, savory House-made Stuffing, brown sugar honey glazed baby carrots, and fresh Cranberry Chutney. The feeling of a home-cooked meal is guaranteed with these comfort food favorites prepared from scratch.
Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ offers up a Florida-style Thanksgiving in its trademark down home atmosphere. Enjoy Smoked Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing, Mashed Taters, Biscuit, and a vegetable. Plus, guests will even get a special holiday dessert to ring in the season!
Maria & Enzo's
At Maria & Enzo’s, experience an authentic rustic Italian twist on Thanksgiving offerings. Enjoy a gourmet meal starring Roasted Turkey Breast and Pancetta, stacked high with all of the fixings: plateful of Polenta Stuffing with mascarpone cream, Cranberry Squash Caponata, and green beans for just the way Nonna used to make it.
Looking for an Asian twist? Try Morimoto Asia. Including everything from their highly acclaimed carved Peking Duck to bowls of their piping hot signature ramen varieties, guests will be privy to a dining experience like no other, and will dine against a stunning backdrop of artfully designed 36-foot high ceilings adorned with cascading chandeliers.
Not a fan of turkey at all, and want to break away from the traditional meal? Try booking a reservation at a restaurant with a great view like Toledo’s, Topolinos, or Cailfornia Grill! You’ll have your pick of menu items paired with the special ambiance and fantastic views of these signature restaurants.
However you spend your Thanksgiving these MousekeMoms wish you and your family a joyous and safe Thanksgiving!
The MousekeMoms, Lori, Jennifer and Juliana, are experienced Disney moms who dole out valuable, honest, no holds barred information on their weekly podcast to help you plan your Disneyland, Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line vacation.
After all, Disney moms know best! And they are the best at planning your Disney vacations as the proud agents and owners of Kingdom and Cruise Travel- where vacation wishes come true.
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