How about a Disney Thanksgiving this year?
Disney World is a nice place to be at any time of the year, but Fall is a fantastic time to be here. And if you are thinking about a Disney Thanksgiving, the bonus is that the parks will be already transitioning to their Christmas looks! Yes, it will be a busy time of the year but we can give you some tips for an epic Thanksgiving in Orlando.
Visiting Disney World for Thanksgiving makes dreams come true for Mom and Dad too because guess what? No grocery shopping, cooking or clean-up required! Spending Thanksgiving at Disney World is the best vacation you could ever have because this particular season is truly a unique time to visit Orlando with the mild temperatures, holiday décor, and not-as-busy-as-other-holiday crowds.
First things first, because it’s all about the turkey, right? Planning where to enjoy your turkey is integral to a Thanksgiving visit at Disney World. But what most visitors do not know is that not all Disney World restaurants offer a special Thanksgiving menu on Thanksgiving Day although many do. So be sure to check in advance if the restaurant you have in mind will be serving up a special Thanksgiving menu. Each year, Disney posts on its site the restaurants that will offer Thanksgiving menus.
The following are some favorites based on their menu and ambiance:
Liberty Tree Tavern
Celebrate Thanksgiving at Disney honoring our Founding Fathers by dining at this colonial-style inn that offers traditional New England-inspired fare in buffet/family style or casual dining setting. You can enjoy a classic American meal in one of six historically themed rooms. On Thanksgiving Day, go back in time to the colonial days and enjoy the bounties of the fall harvest that will be served to you by the Sons and Daughters of Liberty Tree Tavern. Adding to the ambiance of this spot are rich wood paneling, large brick fireplaces, chandeliers, candelabra, and walls lined with portraits and curios belonging to the colonial era. Each of the six rooms commemorates an important figure in U.S. history.
Boatwright’s Dining Hall
Boatwright’s Thanksgiving dinner includes slow-roasted turkey, savory stuffing, sautéed green beans, sweet potatoes, house-made cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes with giblet gravy.
Disney's Contemporary Resort
This Thanksgiving buffet offers diners all-American flavors with one entrée. Besides mouth-watering starters, guests are treated to a choice of one of these:
1-Traditional Turkey Dinner with Mashed Potatoes with Sage Gravy, Cornbread Dressing, Cranberry Compote, Sautéed Green Beans Strip Loin with Mashed Potatoes, Caramelized Shallot Green Beans, Au Jus, Creamy Horseradish.
2-Verlasso Salmon with Sweet-and-Spicy Brussels Sprouts, Miso-Ginger Glaze, Cauliflower Purée | Seared Potato Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Forest Mushrooms, Swiss Chard, Brown Butter-Sage Cream | Braised Pork Shank with Bacon Mashed Potatoes, Broccolini
Tikka Masala with Jasmine Rice, Oven-roasted Cauliflower, Coconut, Yellow Curry
This treat is available at a cost of $40.
Olivia's Cafe at Disney's Old Key West Resort
Thanksgiving vibes are here to stay with the autumn flavors of Roasted Butternut Squash Soup or Field Greens.They offer Key West Citrus-Brined Turkey Breast with Roasted Garlic-Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cornbread Stuffing, and Pan Gravy Guests can choose from Pumpkin Cheesecake or Cranberry-Apple Pie Tart.
Port Orleans Resort- Riverside
Diners are treated to a Southern Thanksgiving Turkey Feast. Picture Slow-roasted Turkey, Savory Stuffing, Sweet Potatoes, Sautéed Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes with Giblet Gravy, and House-made Cranberry Sauce with your choice of Apple, Pecan, or Pumpkin Pie. This is another all-American meal you and your family can enjoy for only $32 for adults and $12 for children.
Il Mulino at Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin
Their Thanksgiving menu is mouth-watering sous vide turkey breast, confit leg croquette, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cipollini onions, turkey gravy, and cranberry sauce. Adults can partake of the meal for only $39 while kids only pay $25.
Some offerings from the standard menus:
Trails End Restaurant
This restaurant is located at Fort Wilderness, next to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. The interior of this cabin features exposed and charming log beams, tabletops made of oak and walls full of hanging old-time kitchen equipment that makes it look like a flea market. Breakfast and dinner in this restaurant are served buffet-style. The breakfast offerings are the traditional American fare such as eggs, bacon, sausages, waffles, and biscuits and gravy as well as fruits and pastries. The dinner menu includes ribs, fried chicken, pasta, catch of the day, chili, and pizza.
Whispering Canyon Café
This is a zany restaurant in Disney World that specializes in western foods. This is the perfect place to visit during the holidays. Whispering Canyon Café is an open-air restaurant with views into the lobby of Wilderness Lodge. You can enjoy the amazing decorations and the iconic lobby tree when you dine here during the holiday season. The standard item at this restaurant is the Traditional or Signature Canyon Skillet, an all-you-can-eat skillet that contains chicken, ribs, pork sausage, corn on the cob, mashed potato, cornbread, and baked beans. The other items on the menu are more of a formality as almost every guest will go for the Canyon Skillet.
This is an elevated eatery at Disney’s Contemporary Resort where guests can enjoy the park views and globally inspired seasonal fare. The restaurant has an ever-changing menu that aims to adapt to the local availability of ingredients. The dishes on the menu are always high-quality and fresh. Guests keep on coming back to California Grill because there is always something new.
Grand Floridian Café
It is a bright American restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa that offers pool and garden views. It is a casual table-service restaurant that features inventive twists on familiar favorites in a charming Victorian charm. The café is a hidden gem offering moderately-priced cuisine with maximum flavor.
Check this site which will be updated well before Thanksgiving each year for details: https://www.wdwinfo.com/holidays/thanksgiving.htm
Thanksgiving week is a very busy time at Disney World however it is not as crowded as other holidays like Easter or Christmas weeks. The crowds do continue to build throughout the week.
There is no specific Thanksgiving entertainment at the Parks, but Christmas will be on full display. Epcot’s Holiday Around the World festivities begin the day after Thanksgiving. For guests who want to avoid large crowds the week after Thanksgiving is one of the least busy in the season.
If you plan to be there the entire week, make sure to get some quality park touring time right at the beginning of your trip before the crowds get bigger.
The Extra Magic Hour during the week of Thanksgiving at Disney World is a good idea if you are staying onsite. You’ll need to wake up early or stay late to take full advantage of them. It will be even better if you have Park Hopper tickets so you can visit another park during the non-EMH portion of the day.
Make a plan even before arriving at Disney World so you will know and schedule the rides on your top list. The wait in some rides could be very long so it’s best to hit them first before the lines become extra long.
You will spend some time getting tickets for the rides. Get a FastPass that allows you to book your rides in advance. This will save you a significant amount of time allowing you to enjoy more rides within the day.
Plan your meals ahead of time. Dine early or later than the crowds so you don’t have to be in line as long. Dining before the crowds will also allow you to enjoy your meal slowly and in peace. We all tend to hurry our meal when there are lots of people waiting for our table to become available.
Thanksgiving décor is not something that you can expect at Disney World but holiday decorations will be everywhere. During Thanksgiving week, expect to see holiday decor in the parks. All resorts in Orlando are decorated for the holidays.
Some holiday events that start the day or the week after Thanksgiving include:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
This begins in early November, but don’t expect it to take place on the week of Thanksgiving. It would be difficult to close the Magic Kingdom at 6 p.m. for the party to start with the large crowds present.
This holiday event at Epcot usually starts the day after Thanksgiving, but beginning 2018 was held right on Thanksgiving Day.
Want the Most Epic Thanksgiving Ever?
You can enjoy the most memorable Thanksgiving ever by choosing a super luxurious rental home when you come for your Disney Happy Thanksgiving. Getting a super luxurious rental home beats staying in a hotel for lots of reasons.
Plenty of space for the entire family - Even the most luxurious hotel suite is not a match to the amount of space a super luxurious rental home can offer. When renting a luxury villa you get an entire house with plenty of room, a large kitchen to prepare snacks, breakfast or a family meal, plenty of space for the kids and many amenities such as a swimming pool and access to the golf course and the parks.
Luxury villas are complete with fully-equipped kitchens
If you feel like cooking for your family the fully-equipped kitchen will let you show to your family and your guests your culinary skills. You also have the option of having your dinner brought in fully cooked to enjoy in a large and elegant dining room.
Take a swim in your private pool and play in the community water park after.
Enjoy the amenities of your rental villa that include themed rooms, screening rooms, arcades, and many add-ons services.
Your Disney Thanksgiving will be extra memorable when you rent a super luxurious home from Villatel. Villatel is the only company that is focused on creating, maintaining, and servicing vacation homes and properties for families. By designing and managing every property in their collection they guarantee their guests consistency, reliability, and the highest standards of product quality across their portfolio.
Next time you dream of celebrating Thanksgiving day at Disney World in Orlando, be sure to plan ahead. Make your reservations as soon as possible while it is not busy yet. Disney World is packed with large crowds any time of the year but Thanksgiving week is one of the least busy for you to fully enjoy the parks.
 Wow News Today; What You Don’t Know About Thanksgiving at Disney World, September 28, 2018.
 WDW Prepschool; Tips for Thanksgiving at Disney World in 2019, Shanon Albert, June 12, 2019.
 Disney Tourist Blog; Tips for Thanksgiving at Disney World,Tom Briker.
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