Celebrating Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World


Thanksgiving can be a particularly busy time of year at the Walt Disney World Resort, but it can also be very magical. Disney excels at holiday celebrations and the big Turkey Day is no exception. From autumn classics like pumpkin and cinnamon filled treats, to a traditional Thanksgiving Feast and many patriotic parades and attractions, Disney World offers something to please everyone’s Thanksgiving traditions. Here are some tips and tricks to help you enjoy these holiday festivities even more.

Enjoy a Traditional Turkey Feast

There are several locations at Walt Disney World that offer a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  Perhaps the most well-known is Liberty Tree Tavern which is located in the Magic Kingdom. Their Pilgrim’s Feast includes a tossed green salad with house made dressing, carved turkey, beef and pork with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, herbed stuffing, and macaroni and cheese. This is a family style meal, so you and your little pilgrim’s will definitely not leave hungry.

Pilgrim's Feast Liberty Tree Tavern

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, located at Fort Wilderness, also hosts a traditional Thanksgiving feast in an outdoor and rustic setting. In addition to the buffet, you also get to enjoy some entertainment to make the meal more festive.

If you’re looking for something a little more upscale for your dinner, head to locations like Artist Point which has offered dishes in the past such as smoked turkey breast with sage butter and pumpkin cheesecake. Kouzzina often offers a Greek inspired menu with dishes such as glazed sweet potatoes and pecan and pumpkin pie tartlets.

There are so many choices in both the park & resort locations that offer some variation of a Thanksgiving dinner. Make sure to make those advanced dining reservations well ahead of time in order to get your first choice and preferred times for the big feast.

Enjoy a Patriotic Attraction or Parade

There are several attractions throughout the Walt Disney World Resort that offer patriotic themed entertainment. For example, The Hall of Presidents serves not only as an air conditioned place to rest but also has an educational and historical look at the history of America. The Carousel of Progress looks at the progress of the American family throughout the 20th Century.

Perhaps the most patriotic location is the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot. The Spirit of America Fife & Drum Core performs outside of the pavilion and plays daily. Another not-to-be-missed group is Voices of Liberty, a choral group that also performs daily before the American Adventure Show. And of course, the American Adventure Show is a 45-minute journey through the history of America. Guests who want to look back at the history of America will appreciate the animatronics and skilful story-telling. It’s a Thanksgiving must do!

Fife and Drum Core

Looking for a holiday parade? Not to worry, Disney offers several holiday themed parades in the parks. Just check your most recent schedule for times and information.

Relax and Take a Nap

We all know that Thanksgiving Day festivities and food can be nap-inducing. Why not take the afternoon to rest and relax at your resort. Sit by the pool, relax, and enjoy the day with your family. Resorts like Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offer terrific places to relax in their lobbies. The wooden rocking chairs and roaring fireplace in the Wilderness Lodge is a personal favorite of mine for relaxing.

Grab a Pumpkin or Fall Treat

Head over to the Main Street Bakery, Fountainview Cafe, or even Babycakes NYC at Downtown Disney for fall inspired baked goods. You can often find pumpkin flavored drinks, cupcakes, and other treats. Babycakes NYC offers pumpkin loaf and more for guests who have special dietary needs. You can find fall inspired treats in many locations. Even grab a Thanksgiving decorated rice krispy treat from the Confectionery!

Get Your Turkey Leg to Go

Nothing says Thanksgiving like turkey, and for those busy park go-ers Disney has made it handy to have your turkey and go on attractions too! Just grab a turkey leg from any one of the various turkey leg carts and kiosks located throughout the parks.

Fife & Drum

Disney offers guests a chance to enjoy the holidays in so many different ways in both the parks & resorts. From a high impact attraction filled day to a relaxing rest by the pool, guests are sure to find the best way to celebrate Thanksgiving in their own way.

Have you been to Disney on Thanksgiving? What are your favorite Disney Thanksgiving Day traditions?

When Sarah isn’t sharing planning tips about the Walt Disney World Resort, you can find her at Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW where she writes dining reviews and shares tips and tricks about dining at Disney with a special diet.



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2 thoughts on “Celebrating Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World

  1. This will be our 2nd trip during Thanksgiving 1st time we ate at wolf gang puck down town Disney and decided to eat there again this Thanksgiving. My daughter had sushi and I had pan baked fish yummy!

  2. This will be my first “Holiday” visit to Disney World I can’t wait! My dad (who is 82) and I are going just the 2 of us. It will be his last trip I am thinking but we are very excited to be there at Thanksgiving.

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