If you plan on experiencing Thanksgiving at Disney World, you have many options at your fingertips. One important thing to figure out, as far in advance as possible, is where you plan to eat that day.
Thanksgiving crowds, like most holidays, tend to be large, and arriving with a solid strategy is the best way to prepare for these crowds.
If you are looking for an elaborate Thanksgiving experience like only Disney could provide, there are multiple Disney World restaurants offering Thanksgiving day meals. Or you can just simply make a dining reservation at any of the table service restaurants inside the parks!
Regardless of your choice, our guide to Thanksgiving at Disney World is here to help you plan your day so you can enjoy this holiday at one of the greatest American traditions around.
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Disney World Thanksgiving Meals
There are a variety of restaurants in Disney World that offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal for you to choose from. Each year a Thanksgiving dinner will be offered at many of the Disney resorts which often includes: roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, seasonal vegetables, and cranberry relish.
One popular restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner at Walt Disney World is Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom which will offer a special Thanksgiving buffet each year. The Colonial style decor of the restaurant matches the similar ambiance of the holiday. This is one of the most popular Thanksgiving restaurants for Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World will also release a full Thanksgiving food guide each year that will include all the seasonal menu options and where to find them. This guide often comes out in early November which is after many advance dining reservations open. You do not want to wait until the last minute to book a reservation so consider looking at the previous year’s guide (below!) to get an idea of common trends for which restaurants offer the best seasonal options.
Top Five Tips to Enjoying Thanksgiving at Disney World
Showing up at the parks prepared and knowing what to expect is the best way to ensure a successful Thanksgiving at Disney World. Here are our top five tips to make sure you have the most magical Thanksgiving at Disney World ever.
1. Make Dining Reservations
If you plan on doing a Disney World Thanksgiving feast, then book your reservation as soon as possible. If you plan on going another route, it’s still crucial that you book a dining reservation in advance to ensure a low-stress meal without having to worry about long waits for a table.
You can make your reservation up to 60 days in advance. You can book dining reservations from the Disney Dining website or call (714) 781-DINE. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will be able to book all their dining reservations for their entire stay at the 60-day mark from their check-in date.
2. Show Up Early
We cannot stress this enough when you’re visiting the parks at a busy time of the year. Thanksgiving, like any other holiday, is a day you can expect large crowds. Who doesn’t want to spend a holiday at Disney World?
The best way to maximize your time is to arrive early. Make a plan to get up early, eat breakfast before you come, and arrive at the park gates an hour prior to the official park opening.
Typically, they will begin letting people in the parks 15-30 minutes to the official opening which puts you in a great position to line up for Rope Drop. Before the official opening, the entrances to the lands are guarded with ropes and cast members. Being there early enough to make Rope Drop is a great way to be able to walk right on some of your favorite attractions. Don’t miss it!
3. Use A Touring Strategy/Plan Your Day
Using a touring strategy is the best way to maximize your time. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of what’s going on that you have a hard time deciding which ride to choose next. Those few moments of indecision and group discussion tend to take up valuable morning time when the lines are short.
If doing a touring plan isn’t your thing, at least make sure you have a general idea of which rides are your top priority so you can go to those first thing in the morning.
4. Download the Disney World App
We suggest downloading the Disney app prior to your visit and becoming familiar with the app. Everything you need to know including ride wait times, character interactions, entertainment times, and more is on this app.
5. Be Patient and Thankful
And most of all, remember that it is Thanksgiving! Practice gratitude and patience in your day and you’ll be bound to have a pleasant experience.
Be thankful for your family, friends, or whoever else you are spending this wonderful experience of Thanksgiving at Disney World with. Be thankful that you are spending this day of gratitude and thanks at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
A crowded day at Disney World only becomes stressful when you let it- don’t let any crowds ruin your magical day. Take our advice, show up prepared, and be ready to give thanks.
Walt Disney World Thanksgiving 2023 Food Guide
The 2023 Thanksgiving food guide has not been released yet but you can look at the sneak peak released on Disney’s Instagram to get an idea of what to expect. The Thanksgiving guide will likely be released in November!
Turkey Cupcake – Sunshine Seasons at EPCOT
Here We Come A-Croquetting – Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs
Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart at The Mara at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Pumpkin Pie-spice Beignets at Scat Cat’s Club – Café at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Maple Pot de Crème at Landscape of Flavors (Disney’s Art of Animation Resort) and Everything POP Shopping & Dining (Disney’s Pop Century Resort)
Pumpkin Cheesecake at Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse at Satu’li Canteen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Disney World Thanksgiving FAQs
Yes, any major holiday will bring large crowds to the park and especially on Thanksgiving Day.
The parks will be decorated for Disney World Christmas, so no specific Thanksgiving decor, but there will be themed menus and offerings for traditional Thanksgiving food.
Yes, you will see higher prices on hotel stays for Thanksgiving week along with higher tier ticket prices for that week. Airfare will also be the most expensive this week!
Disney World will be crowded on Thanksgiving Day but the holiday season at Disney World can be crowded from that point through December. Spending a holiday at Disney World is a magical experience!
Plan Your Thanksgiving at Disney World Today!
Let us help you plan your Disney World vacation! To get started, subscribe to our FREE deals newsletter for access to exclusive content and deals you won’t find anywhere else. Check it out HERE! Don’t forget to check out some of our other helpful planning guides:
- Guide to Disney World Christmas
- Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Disney World Dining Plans: Everything You Need to Know
- Disney World Character Dining
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