If you're going to spend Thanksgiving at Disney World and want to enjoy a traditional feast with all the fixings, you've got oodles of options. You'll find Thanksgiving spreads at the restaurants of many Disney resorts and inside the theme parks. Options range from lavish sit-down meals to casual buffets for the whole family.
What to Expect for Thanksgiving at Disney World
Thanksgiving is peak season, meaning it's a popular time to visit Disney World with all the children having a long weekend of school break in the U.S. Expect the park to be very crowded; when it comes to Thanksgiving at Disney World, you don't want to wing it. 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 2018: Dining at Disney World Resorts
There are many options for those who want to celebrate the season within the Disney World Resorts.
- Animal Kingdom Lodge: Jiko – The Cooking Place (dinner); Sanaa (lunch, dinner)
- Beach Club Resort: Cape May Café (dinner)
- Disney's BoardWalk: Trattorio al Forno (dinner)
- Contemporary Resort: California Grill (dinner); Chef Mickey's (dinner); The Wave … of American Flavors (lunch, dinner)
- Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: Mickey’s Backyard Thanksgiving Feast at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ show at the Fort Wilderness Pavilion (three show times on Thanksgiving Day). Trail’s End Restaurant is also offering brunch and dinner.
- Grand Floridian Resort: Grand Floridian Café (lunch, dinner); Narcoossee’s (dinner)
- Old Key West Resort: Olivia’s Café (lunch; dinner)
- Port Orleans Resort - Riverside: Boatwright's Dining Hall (dinner)
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: The Turf Club Bar and Grill (lunch, dinner)
- Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort: Fresh Mediterranean Market (lunch); Garden Grove (lunch, dinner); Il Mulino (dinner)
- Wilderness Lodge: Whispering Canyon Café (lunch, dinner)
- Yacht Club Resort: Ale & Compass Restaurant (brunch and dinner)
Thanksgiving 2018: Dining in Disney World Parks
If you'd prefer to stay within the park (more time for rides!), then you're in luck. Many of the restaurants within Disney World have special turkey day dinners.
- Animal Kingdom: Tusker House Restaurant (lunch, dinner)
- Hollywood Studios: The Hollywood Brown Derby (lunch, dinner)
- Epcot World Showcase: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway (lunch, dinner); Biergarten (lunch, dinner) Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada (lunch, dinner); Coral Reef Restaurant in Future World (lunch, dinner); Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room in the United Kingdom (lunch, dinner)
- Magic Kingdom: Cinderella's Royal Table (lunch, dinner); Liberty Tree Tavern (lunch, dinner)
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 Day 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 very 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 into the MyDisneyExperience app. Guests are always switching their times and very 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.)