If you're going to spend Thanksgiving at Disney World and want to enjoy a traditional feast with all the fixings, you've got options. You'll find turkey-day spreads at some of the the restaurants at the resort’s hotels as well as inside the theme parks. Options range from lavish sit-down meals to casual buffets for the whole family.
Thanksgiving is peak season, meaning it's an especially popular time to visit Disney World. U.S. schools have a long weekend break for the holiday. Expect the park to be very crowded; when it comes to Thanksgiving at Disney World, you don't want to wing it. (A little turkey humor for you.) Reserve your table as far in advance as possible with the My Disney Experience website or app, or call 407-WDW-DINE (3463). Availability is extremely limited, and all dining events are subject to change or cancellation without notice.
Thanksgiving 2019: Dining at Disney World Resorts
The following list of restaurants had special holiday meals planned for Thanksgiving in 2018. At the time this article was updated, Disney World had not yet announced participating restaurants for Thanksgiving day, November 28, 2019. However, the list is likely to be similar this year.
Keep in mind that Disney identified the restaurants listed below as having special menus for the holiday. It's likely that virtually every table service and buffet restaurant throughout the resort will have at least one turkey-inspired dish for Thanksgiving.
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway pavilion at Epcot. Serving lunch and dinner. This is the first of a number of curious choices for a Thanksgiving meal at Disney World. Sure, it's great to spend the holiday at the home of Anna and Elsa. But it seems odd that a restaurant specializing in Norwegian food would offer a traditional turkey meal.
- Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney's Yacht Club Resort. Serving brunch and dinner. The New England-inspired restaurant would seem to be one of Disney World’s most ideal places to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.
- Biergarten Restaurant in the Germany pavilion at Epcot. Serving buffet-style lunch and dinner. Want some bratwurst to go with your turkey? This is the place!
- Boatwright's Dining Hall at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside. Serving lunch and dinner. Perhaps the turkey here will include some Cajun seasoning.
- California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Serving dinner. This is one of Disney World's best table-service restaurants. We’re pretty sure the turkey will be scrumptious.
- Cape May Cafe at Disney's Beach Club Resort. Serving dinner. Like Ale & Compass, this is a New England-inspired restaurant. It, too, would be an apropos place to get your annual turkey meal.
- Coral Reef Restaurant at The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion at Epcot. Serving lunch and dinner. The menu is normally seafood-based here. Maybe you could go for a surf-and-turkey combo.
- Fresh at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Thanksgiving buffet will be served from 12:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. In addition to turkey, the restaurant will be serving ham, seared gulf fish, and mushroom risotto.
- Garden Grove at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Serving lunch and dinner buffet. “Traditional” green bean casserole is on the menu here.
- Il Mulino at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Serving lunch and dinner. Finish your meal with pumpkin pie.
- Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada pavilion at Epcot. Serving lunch and dinner. It’s an ode to Canada, and it's a steakhouse. So, of course, it's the ideal place for Thanksgiving.
- Olivia’s at Disney's Old Key West Resort. Serving brunch and dinner. The buffet will include turkey (of course).
- Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room in the U.K. pavilion at Epcot. Serving lunch and dinner. Okay, this is getting silly now. Celebrate a holiday that honors the Pilgrims in a restaurant themed to England?
- Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village. Serving lunch and dinner. Since this restaurant is a fusion of African and Indian cuisines, it should do something with turkey.
- Sebastian’s Bistro at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. Serving lunch and dinner. You might feel like an expat chowing down on your Thanksgiving meal at this Caribbean-themed restaurant.
- The Wave…Of American Flavors at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Serving buffet-style lunch and dinner. This all-American restaurant is tailor-made for your holiday meal.
- Todd English's bluezoo at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Serving lunch and dinner. Roasted turkey roulade is on the menu.
- Trail’s End Restaurant at The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. Serving buffet-style brunch and dinner. It should be quite a holiday spread at the casual restaurant.
- Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Known for its heaping portions, the Thanksgiving meal should be bountiful here.
Looking for even more options? Consider heading to Disney Springs, the dining and entertainment district at Disney World, which offers 50+ dining options, many of which will offer Thanksgiving lunch and dinner. In addition, there are dozens of shops and entertainment venues that will be open on Thanksgiving.
Tips for Spending Thanksgiving Weekend at Disney World
- Dine outside of peak mealtimes. Thanksgiving brings in extra crowds to Disney World, which means restaurant lines will also be extra long. You'll be more likely to land a table quickly if you eat during off-peak times. Consider having an early breakfast and then an early lunch and an early dinner. Alternatively, eat a big breakfast and have a late lunch and a late dinner.
- Plan your morning around Extra Magic Hours. Getting value at Disney World—especially on high-volume days—means spending less time in line and more time having fun. Families staying Disney World Resorts should take full advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Every day, one park opens an hour earlier than the others, and another stays open an hour later. During the morning Extra Magic Hour, even the most popular attractions have virtually no line. This is your best chance to ride Expedition Everest or Space Mountain twice in a row with little if any wait time, so go for it. As a bonus, you won't need to use up any of your precious FastPasses until later in the morning.
- Use FastPass+ wisely. Accept that the theme parks will be super crowded, and that wait times will be longer at most rides and attractions. Long before arriving in the parks, you can reserve times at up to three rides or attractions using FastPass+.
- Be willing to split up. From time to time, it may make sense for your family to divide and conquer. Let's say you're in the Magic Kingdom and your preteen wants to ride Space Mountain, while your kindergartner wants to meet her favorite princess at Princess Fairytale Hall. Guests within the same party can elect different FastPass+ choices at the same time window.
- Keep trying. Can't get a FastPass+ for the ride you want at the time you want? Keep checking the MyDisneyExperience app. Guests are always switching their times and often, a previously booked-solid attraction may suddenly have an opening. Be ready to pounce. (This is true about dining reservations, too. When disappointed, keep checking the app.)