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Get a (turkey) leg up on the competition by visiting WDW on Thanksgiving Day

Get a (turkey) leg up on the competition by visiting WDW on Thanksgiving Day

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Okay. It's time to talk turkey. As in: Is it really a smart idea to try & spend Thanksgiving Day at a Disney theme park?

Well, if we were talking about Disneyland … Then I'd have to say "No." I was actually at the Happiest Place on Earth last year on Turkey Day. And the tens of thousands of people who were crammed into that theme park on that autumn afternoon did not seem happy. At least not to me.

Photo by Jeff Lange

More importantly, if you hadn't made advance reservations, there wasn't a table to be had at any of the Disneyland Resort's on-property restaurants. We even went so far as to wave a $100 bill in front of the hostess at the Blue Bayou, with the hopes that she might then be able to hook us up with some holiday fare. But no such luck.

Which is why - last year - my Thanksgiving dinner consisted of a turkey leg that I ate standing up in Frontierland. So much for having things to be thankful for …

But if we're talking about spending Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World … That's a whole 'nother story, kids. You see, unlike their Southern Californian cousins, Central Florida's annual passholders tend to stay home on Thanksgiving Thursday. They seem to prefer spending time with their friends & family, rather than standing in line with perfect strangers for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Photo by Jeff Lange

The end result is … Thanksgiving usually winds up being a very pleasant day to spend at the parks. Where it's relatively easy to get your fill of your favorite rides, shows and attractions.

And when it comes to getting your fill, food-wise … Thanksgiving at WDW gives you plenty of options. Take - for example - if you're pining for the sort of turkey & trimmings that you used to get down at Grandma's place in Georgia. Well, Boatwright's Dining Hall at Disney's Port Orleans Resort will be offering a traditional southern holiday feast tomorrow. Where adults can then pull on the feedbag for $29.99 per person, while the kids can tuck in for just $9.99 per person.

What's that you say? You deliberately came to Disney World this year because you wanted to avoid the whole clichéd Thanksgiving experience? Not to worry. Over at Disney's Boardwalk, Spoodles is offering a decidedly different holiday meal. Here you'll find a buffet that simply loaded with Mediterranean fare. Where there won't be a single cranberry in sight.

 Photo by Jeff Lange

Okay. So what if you're the sort of person who actually likes Thanksgiving traditions? Like - say - sacking out on the couch after eating that big meal and then watching a movie with your family. Well, Disney's All-Star Music Resort has found an interesting way to put a fun new twist on that holiday tradition.

You see, they're first going to set up this huge inflatable movie screen at the edge of Piano Pool. And then they're inviting all of the families who are staying at the All-Star to come on by after Thanksgiving dinner to catch a screening of "Toy Story 2." (Hmmn … I wonder if that old don't-go-in-the-water-for-at-least-an-hour-after-you-eat rule actually applies in this particular situation? )

Speaking of food … I'm told that the food courts at all three of Disney's All-Stars will be offering a traditional turkey dinner as a dining option tomorrow afternoon. Of course, if you'd prefer to eat your Thanksgiving dinner off of fine china, rather than a plastic tray … May I suggest heading over to the Grand Flo? Where I'm told that both Narcoossee's & Citricos will be serving hoity-toity holiday meals.

 Mickey meets May and Flower, the two turkeys that President George W. Bush
officially yesterday at the White House. Look for these gobblers to roll through
Magic Kingdom tomorrow aboard a parade float as part of that theme park's
Thanksgiving Day festivities. Copyright 2007 Disney. Photo by Diana Zalucky

But what if you're too busy taking advantage of those smallish-sized crowds at the theme parks to take time out for Thanksgiving dinner? Does that mean that you actually have to miss out on that wonderful holiday meal?

Heck, no. Let's remember that the Liberty Square Tavern - what with its home-style American dining - actually serves Thanksgiving dinner 365 days a year. So if you need a turkey-and-stuffing fix come Friday, just head on over at the Magic Kingdom.

Of course, if you'd like to see some real turkeys (And - no - I'm not talking about those tourists who aren't smart enough to do any prep work before they go off on their Disney World vacation), be sure and catch the parade tomorrow afternoon at the Kingdom. That's when you'll be able to see May & Flower, those two oversized gobblers who were originally supposed to be on the bill of fare at the White House on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily, they were eventually able to hang onto their giblets. Thanks to George W. Bush's last minute presidential pardon.

Youngsters with Camp Fire USA and other guests join President George W. Bush
around May, the 2007 National Thanksgiving turkey, during Rose Garden
festivities surrounding its official pardoning ceremony yesterday.
Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

As you can see, there's a lot to be thankful for if you were smart enough to plan on spending Thanksgiving Day at Walt Disney World. So give this some thought if you're looking for something different to do next holiday season.

And while you're planning ahead … Why not plan on dropping by Orlando Fun Tickets the very next time you're in our neck of the woods? Our experienced staff (Which is made up of many WDW veterans) will be happy to share our insights about how you can make the most of your next Disney World vacation. More to the point, we can give some great price breaks on admission to the parks thanks to some of the exclusive ticket packages that we now offer.

Anyway … Have a great Turkey Day, folks. And be sure and save a drumstick for me!

Orlando Fun Tickets is located less than 2 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort, 2 lights west of I-4 at 8472 Palm Parkway. Their office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For further information, please call 866-225-4712 and/or check out the official Orlando Fun Tickets website.

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