Happy Thanksgiving! It’s the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year, but I like giving Thanksgiving its due before leaping into the Christmas season. Everybody loves something different about Thanksgiving. Some enjoy the food, others the football. There’s a taste of American history, and perhaps time spent at the kids table. Whatever you enjoy most, you can experience your favorite parts of Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World any time of year.
So, here are three things to do in Walt Disney World if you love Thanksgiving.
1. Enjoy a delicious meal
If you’re in Walt Disney World on Thanksgiving itself, you can get a traditional turkey dinner pretty much anywhere, so the restaurant’s availability and atmosphere are the key factors to consider. If you want a place that feels like home, with people who will tell you to eat your vegetables and keep your elbows off the table, eat at 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you’re fascinated by colonial America, try Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. If you’re just in it for the football, head to ESPN Club at Disney’s BoardWalk.
If you want a Thanksgiving-style meal at another time of year, Liberty Tree Tavern is your best bet. They serve Pilgrim’s Feast—”traditional roast turkey and herb bread dressing, mashed potatoes and a garden vegetable”—year round.
2. Watch a parade
A lot of people watch this one particular parade every Thanksgiving. I can’t say the name of its sponsor, because I’m loyal to Chicago and Marshall Field’s, but I think you know the one I mean. Although they don’t have any giant balloons, Walt Disney World’s parades are pretty fantastic. You can choose from A Dream Come True Parade (afternoon) or Main Street Electrical Parade (evening) at Magic Kingdom, Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! (afternoon) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Jammin’ Jungle Parade (afternoon) at Animal Kingdom.
3. Eat turkey
You can’t spend much time in Frontierland without spotting people eating turkey—more specifically, gigantic smoked turkey legs. (You can also find them in the other Parks, such as at Toluca Legs Turkey Company in Hollywood Studios.) I find the idea of walking around eating a huge chunk of meat in the Florida heat pretty unappealing, but to each his own. If what you love best about Thanksgiving is the turkey, have at it.
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This is where I usually suggest an itinerary for doing a day at Disney themed around what you love, but this one is pretty much a choose-your-own-adventure. Pick your restaurant and parade of choice, and enjoy a leisurely day with the family (or friends who feel like family). And eat lots of meat, if you so desire.