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Planning on visiting Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving this year? Here are just a few of the top things to do with the family!
Just a reminder that crowds at Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving are some of the busiest, so be sure to grab your park reservations and make those dining plans (reservations currently open 60 days in advance) as soon as possible.
#1. The American Adventure at EPCOT
Description of The American Adventure: In this dramatic production featuring 35 Audio-Animatronics figures, digital rear-projection images on a 72-foot screen, and stirring patriotic songs, you’ll watch firsthand as America’s story unfolds.
Take your seat in a stately Colonial theater and meet Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain—your guides on this trip through time.
Witness landmark events like the landing of the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, the winter at Valley Forge, the penning of the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, and the Great Depression.
You’ll even encounter luminaries like Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Jefferson, Chief Joseph, and Teddy Roosevelt, among others.
Time: The American Adventure typically runs 3 times a day but best to check the calendar.
Location: The American Adventure is in the American pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Guests may remain in their wheelchairs and ECVs. Note that there is an elevator and steep ramp that guests will need to use to access the theatre at the top level of the rotunda. Since there is limited accessible seating and the necessity of using the elevator, be sure to arrive 10-15 minutes before the showtime. Other guests will be using stairs or an escalator.
#2. The Hall of Presidents at MAGIC KINGDOM
Description of The Hall of Presidents: The Hall of Presidents is home to 3 massive digital projection screens and a grand proscenium. Watch an original film—developed by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian—that tells the dramatic story of the nation’s founding.
Learn about the formation of our Constitution and the hard-fought struggles along the way—such as the American Revolution and the Civil War.
Listen to the stirring words of John F. Kennedy echo through the theater and watch Abraham Lincoln—in attendance on stage—deliver his Gettysburg address.
President Joe Biden was added to the attraction in August 2021 and guests can hear him recite the Oath of Office.
Time: The show is approximately 25 minutes long and runs continuously throughout the day.
Location: The Hall of Presidents is located in Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, between Liberty Square Market and Sleepy Hollow.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Guests may remain in their ECVs and wheelchairs. Wheelchair/ECV seating is in the rear of the theatre. Guests also have the option of transferring into a theatre seat.
#3. Liberty Square Riverboat at MAGIC KINGDOM
Description of the Liberty Square Riverboat: Take a ride back in time on the Liberty Belle, an authentic steam-powered sternwheeler that glides along an underwater track. Guests will enjoy unique views of Magic Kingdom rides including Splash Mountain and many unique sights from the early days of the American Frontier including a Native American village.
Time: The ride around the Rivers of America takes 17 minutes and runs continuously throughout the day.
Location: The Liberty Square Riverboat is located on the Rivers of America in Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Liberty Belle is wheelchair accessible with guests in wheelchairs and ECVs boarding first and exiting the ride last. There are also several benches throughout the boat for those who need to sit down during the boat ride.
#4. Feast on Thanksgiving Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, MAGIC KINGDOM
Liberty Tree Tavern is a table-service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom that serves a hearty Thanksgiving meal every day of the year. This is a great option when visiting Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving and allows you to have your festive meal on a day other than Thanksgiving if it’ll help you avoid crowds.
If you are not interested in eating at Liberty Tree Tavern, there will likely be Thanksgiving dinner options at some of the resorts. Stay tuned to the official Walt Disney World website for specifics.
Time: Lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. and Dinner is served from 3:00 pm until 9:00 p.m.
Location: Liberty Tree Tavern is located in Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, between Liberty Square Market and Country Bear Jamboree.
Reservations Required: Yes; Discover how to make those hard-to-get reservations at Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving.
Menu: Lunch and Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern
Guests will share a Tossed Green Salad, Roasted Turkey Breast, Pot Roast, and Oven-roasted Pork with Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Herb Stuffing, and House-made Macaroni and Cheese, and Oooey Gooey Toffee Cake.
Vegetarians will be served a Tossed Green Salad, Plant-based Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Gravy, and Seasonal Vegetables, and Johnny Appleseed’s Warm Apple Cake with Camarel and Whipped Topping.
While cranberry sauce is not included on the menu, it has been suggested that you ask the waiter or waitress since past guests have gotten some from the kitchen.
Allergies: There are allergy-friendly dishes that guests can find online. FYI – Guests with unique allergies such as gelatin have been known to have trouble getting to talk with an allergy chef in the past.
#5. Grab American Barbeque at Regal Eagle Smokehouse, EPCOT
The best option at Epcot would be the quick service restaurant, Regal Eagle Smokehouse, where you’ll find mouthwatering barbeque favorites such as pork ribs, burgers, beef brisket, pork butt, and half-chicken. There is a plant-based burger option for vegetarians.
Time: Dinner is served from 11:15 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Regal Eagle Smokehouse is located to the right of The American Adventure at Epcot when you are facing World Showcase Lagoon (next to Italy).
Reservations Required: No
Menu: Lunch and Dinner at Regal Eagle Smokehouse
#6. Grab a Turkey Leg to Go
A guest favorite concession at Walt Disney World is the turkey leg. These giant turkey legs are similar to what you’ll find at Renaissance Faires.
And it has been said that these legs weigh up to 1.5 pounds!
You can find turkey leg stands spotted throughout the parks.
#7. Get in the Christmas Spirit
Visiting Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving is a popular option but the decorations and all-around festivities are centering around the December holidays and there is no specific Thanksgiving event or setup. The Holiday decorations and festivities will have begun on November 12, 2021. For those eager to get in the Christmas mood, no need to wait until after Thanksgiving.
Christmas festivities happening at Walt Disney World in 2021 include:
Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom – Celebrate the holidays in the very merriest way at a new event featuring Character sightings, themed fireworks, tasty treats, and more!
Castle Projections – Watch in awe as Cinderella Castle (Magic Kingdom) is transformed with cheerful projections.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth – Surround yourself with seasonal sights, sounds, and flavors during a beloved extravaganza boasting themed Holiday Kitchens and a scrumptious Holiday Cookie Stroll.
Inspirational Music at EPCOT – Be sure to catch special performances by Voices of Liberty. [Typically Walt Disney World hosts celebrity guests and choirs for the glorious Candlelight Processional but there is no suggestion it will be happening this year. You can still enjoy the music streaming on Amazon Music.]
Seasonal Décor – Explore holly, jolly trimmings, and theming throughout the parks
Limited-Time Treats – Indulge in holiday-inspired food and beverages available for purchase at select locations.
I hope you have a fabulous time visiting Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving with your family and/or friends!! Whatever you do and whenever you visit, you’re absolutely sure to have an amazing time. Stay safe and have fun!
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What is your favorite holiday and/or season to celebrate at a Disney theme park?