4 Things to Do at Disney World on Thanksgiving

Celebrate Turkey Day Disney-Style

If you're heading to Disney World for Thanksgiving, you'll find plenty to do to celebrate the holiday in the theme parks and resorts. The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom are all open on Thanksgiving Day, so pick your favorite park and join in the turkey-day fun.

Tip: Thanksgiving Day will be crowded, so use Fastpass+, single rider lines, and the rider switch program to make the most of your holiday visit.

  • 01 of 04

    Experience the American Adventure at Epcot

    Spaceship Earth
    ••• Spaceship Earth, the iconic landmark in Epcot at Disney World and one of its original attractions. © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

    Epcot presents the American Adventure show, a memorable 30-minute journey through the history of America. This program, packed with innovative audio-animatronics, visual effects, and patriotic songs, is stunning any time of year, but Thanksgiving is the ideal time to be reminded of the country's humble beginnings—don't miss the pilgrim vignette at the beginning of the presentation.

    Tip: The American Adventure Pavillion theater seats 1,035 guests and everyone gets a great view of the show from any seat.

  • 02 of 04

    Watch a Parade

    Picture of Mickey's Air Ship in Festival of Fantasy Parade with Cinderella's Castle in the background.
    ••• It is easy for young ones to wander off during the excitement of Disney's parades. © The Walt Disney Company

    If you visit Disney World in Orlando on Thanksgiving Day 2017, you are in for a treat—the Thanksgiving Parade of Bands. This mass marching band performance includes award-winning bands from around the country, along with the Boston Brass.

    Tip: ​Find a place to sit at least 10 minutes before the parade starts to be sure you can see everything.

  • 03 of 04

    Feast on Thanksgiving Dinner

    DisneyWorld_Thanksgiving_Minnie.png
    ••• Walt Disney Parks

    Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean you need to miss out on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. All of the restaurants in the Disney resorts and parks are open on the big day. Enjoy Thanksgiving "under the sea" at the Coral Reef in Epcot, where you can dine near the 8-foot-high aquarium window. Or have your meal in the Colonial-themed American restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom. Be sure to make reservations well in advance so you don't miss out.

    Tip: All Disney World theme park restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving Day, but only some offer a special turkey day menu. You don't have to be a guest of a Disney World resort to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

  • 04 of 04

    Grab Turkey on the Go

    Festival Turkey Legs
    ••• Festival Turkey Legs. Harris Graber/Getty Images

    Grab a smoked turkey leg at the Frontierland Turkey Leg Cart in the Magic Kingdom and bypass the Thanksgiving meal entirely. You'll still enjoy a satisfying meal and be ready to hop aboard your favorite attractions with less of a wait. Time your rides at typical dinner times to avoid the longest lines.

    Tip: Go to the park early in the day to avoid the worst of the Thanksgiving Day crowds and have your big traditional Thanksgiving meal later.

    Edited by Dawn Henthorn