The classic tradition of sitting around the table with family, ready to dig into an abundance of turkey and all the work, never gets old. Or does it?
Some of us are ready to bring Thanksgiving to a new level. In fact, why not celebrate the holiday someplace awesome, like Disney! Disney is “The Most Magical Place On Earth,” right?
If you’re intrigued by having your Thanksgiving Dinner away from home at Disney but are unsure of how that would work, here is all you need to know about spending your holiday at everyone’s favorite theme park!
Why Celebrate Thanksgiving Dinner Away From Home?
You might think that Disney World is best enjoyed during summer vacation, but kids are also off from school for the few days leading up to Thanksgiving and the weekend after.
Parents interested in making the most of this extra time are eager to spend Thanksgiving Dinner away from home, and ideally, somewhere enjoyable with their families.
Celebrating Thanksgiving Dinner away from home at Disney is a popular way to check those boxes.
Beginning the 1st of November, Disney theme parks are on display for Christmas time. Spend Thanksgiving at Disney and get into the spirit of the holidays a little early.
To embrace the Fall as you celebrate Thanksgiving Dinner away from home, head to Epcot’s Land Pavilion and see the sights of pumpkin and scarecrow displays as part of the Behind the Seeds event.
Things To Be Aware Of While Planning Your Stay
If you’re excited to spend your Thanksgiving Dinner away from home at Disney, be aware that November is still a busy time to visit.
Make a list of your family’s expectations for visiting Disney. Having a plan makes it easier to ensure that everyone gets to do what they want to do at the theme parks after celebrating Thanksgiving Dinner away from home.
You’ll also want to make your reservations early to avoid being denied entry due to capacity limitations. Check out the park calendar to determine the best days to spend your Disney Thanksgiving Dinner away from home.
Disney Restaurants For Thanksgiving
Since Thanksgiving celebrates gratitude with food, you’ll want to be ready with your dining plan.
Will you use quick-service eating or embrace seasonal dining through Minnie’s Holiday Dine or Liberty Tree Tavern’s Thanksgiving menu? Be sure to book your dining reservations in advance!
A rule of thumb to remember is to enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner away from home before or after standard mealtimes.
This way, you avoid the crowds and can ensure that you snag the best Thanksgiving dinner options from restaurants in the area.
Although Disney does not have official Thanksgiving events, it does have restaurants that serve Thanksgiving dinner!
Book your reservation at Storytellers Café, Goofy’s Kitchen, or Napa Rose for a Thanksgiving meal at Disney! You can also eat your fill of Thanksgiving dinner at Garden Grove, located in Disney’s Swan Hotel.
Disney’s Thanksgiving Meals With Cultural Twists
Head out for a seafood-rich Thanksgiving at the Dolphin Resort Hotel for something a little off the beaten path.
If you’re ready to celebrate Thanksgiving Dinner away from home, head over to Disney’s boardwalk and dine at Trattoria al Forno for a Thanksgiving meal fused with Italian flavor.
For a Spanish-style Thanksgiving Dinner away from home, visit Disney’s Coronado Springs resort, Toledo, and enjoy your Thanksgiving meal on the rooftop.
Finish off your Thanksgiving Dinner away from home with the restaurant’s vanilla gelato topped with candied pecans!
Park And Resort Holiday Entertainment
There are no official Thanksgiving celebrations in any of the parks or resorts.
You can still celebrate time with family as part of your plans for Thanksgiving Dinner away from home. Christmas celebrations are already displayed throughout the park.
Experience Christmas time at Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios at Disney, and the Magic Kingdom.
Look out for pop-up character parades in the park. You might spot Santa!
History Lessons For Thanksgiving At Disney
For those who enjoy reminders of history as they celebrate Thanksgiving Dinner away from home, you’re in luck, as Disney offers a history adventure at Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom.
Experience the story of four American eras that are always woven into the heart and traditions of the Thanksgiving holiday!
See the original New England, The Hudson River Valley, the Dutch New Amsterdam, and Colonial Williamsburg represented in full swing.
Take a tour of these four American areas on the Liberty Swan Riverboat for a family activity that is festive for the season.
Learn how Thanksgiving is celebrated across the globe at Epcot’s World Showcase.
You can speak with cast members representing each country about their traditions. Enjoying your Thanksgiving Dinner away from home with a side of global history is something special the whole family will love.
Other Holiday Things To Do At Disney
Since Christmas activities start the first week of November at Disney, take advantage of Black Friday deals!
Where Can You Shop?
Disney holds a Black Friday extravaganza that contains a multitude of different holiday deals at their Disney Park shops, their Character Warehouse, and the associated Orlando outlets.
Ways To Get The Most Out Of A Disney Thanksgiving
When you’re tired of shopping, go resort hopping. Thanksgiving is, in part, a celebration of food, and it’s no secret that Disney’s best dining can be found across the many resorts.
Make a day of it and celebrate Thanksgiving Dinner away from home by eating your heart out and dining at other resort restaurants.
For dessert, head out to Disney’s Art of Animation resort and experience the apple, pumpkin, and spiked coffee drinks at Landscape of Flavors.
Beach Club Marketplace has pumpkin cheesecake with cranberry crystals of sugar for Thanksgiving Day dessert! Still not full? Head over to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and get your slice of pumpkin pie or apple tart!
Adults and kids alike will love the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving Dinner away from home by hopping from one restaurant to the next and experiencing the best food that Disney has to offer.
Relaxed Family Fun At Disney
To make the most of this special family time, enjoy other things to do together that are more relaxing outside of the theme parks.
At Disney Vacation Club resorts, there are community rooms to play board games, watch tv, and use your laptop.
For a family room feel, this might be the best place to wind down after your Thanksgiving Dinner away from home.
To feel like part of the Disney family, experience Biergarten’s Oktoberfest. Like Thanksgiving, this is a family-fun event filled with good food and quality time.
You might get to hear live music in celebration of the holiday.
Tips To Survive Your Trip
- Plan your itinerary perfectly to avoid falling behind schedule. Don’t try to include too many activities, as it takes time to get from one side of a park to the other!
- There are so many theme parks and resorts. You will only overwhelm yourself if you try to do it all!
- Determine what you and your family would most like to do and stick to those things only to make the most of your Thanksgiving Dinner away from home!
- Stick to one park to spend Thanksgiving Day to avoid the crowds and stress of moving about to different places.
- Resort hopping to experience Thanksgiving Dinner away from home with an assortment of goodies is manageable but experiencing various theme parks takes a lot of time.
Preparing For Your Trip
Although the weather at Disney is pleasant during November, you should still bring rain jackets and hats to plan for downpours. The last thing you need is Thanksgiving Dinner away from home in sopping wet clothes.
- Keep a pair of clean clothes with you in a bag as you roam about the parks and resorts, just in case.
- Download Disney Apps to stay up to date on any deals for spending Thanksgiving Dinner away from home at Disney.
- You can also find itinerary organization apps specifically for Disney to make planning for and navigating your trip easier to do.
- You will find maps, schedules, suggested visiting times, and so much more to keep you on your toes!
- You can find pass deals, early reservations, and other steals that could make your vacation cheaper and possibly even more enjoyable for Thanksgiving Dinner away from home.
Don’t forget about car ride entertainment. Actually getting to Disney for Thanksgiving Dinner away from home is half the battle.
Make sure the kids have movies to watch, books to read, and other sources of car-friendly entertainment as you drive or fly the many hours it takes to get to Disney!
Book Your Holiday Trip Today
Thanksgiving celebrations at Disney may not be as easy to spot as their Christmas events but staying at Disney for Thanksgiving is still a whole lot of fun!
Act quickly and book your holiday trip early to ensure that your family gets a taste of a traditional holiday, Disney-style!