Thanksgiving 2013 at Walt Disney World
By Dave Shute
THANKSGIVING 2013 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Update October 23: New extended operating hours and 8a openings.
Thanksgiving week at Walt Disney World is busy–particularly Wednesday through Saturday.
While not as crowded as some other holiday weeks–Easter and Christmas, for example–it can be very challenging, and the material below gives some hints on how to deal with it.
WALT DISNEY WORLD 2013 THANKSGIVING WEEK ITINERARY AND DINING
Moreover, a couple of other things are worth noting.
First, this itinerary has you largely off on Thanksgiving itself, and with the only formal meal a morning brunch. Your meals otherwise are in your hotel food court.
If you are looking for something both more formal but fun in your Thanksgiving dinner (not necessarily in menu, but in ambiance and waiters and such), then consider
- Reserving the Liberty Tree Tavern at the Magic Kingdom Thursday, or
- Changing your Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort from lunch Tuesday to dinner Thursday, or
- Moving your Hoop Dee Doo Revue reservations from Tuesday evening to Thursday evening
The first option means both another table service meal and another day of park tickets; the other two don’t cost any more, as they are just moving items already in the Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary to another day, and are at resort hotels, not parks.
Note that to get a sit-down meal on Thanksgiving it’s critical that you make your dining reservations well in advance. See this for more.
DISNEY WORLD OPERATING HOURS DURING THE 2013 THANKSGIVING WEEK
Starting the day after Thanksgiving, Epcot is open thirty minutes later, and a special Christmas version of Illuminations is shown nightly at 9.30p rather than 9p. Adjust your Friday itinerary for this change in times.
The Candlelight Processional also begins the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Moreover, Disney has changed the operating hours of the parks to accommodate the crowds.
This includes 8a openings all week at the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom. Disney may also add additional Extra Magic Hours and more 8a openings.
These changes mean that some of your days need to start one or even two hours earlier than the itinerary suggests.
You can get updated park operating hours when you arrive at Walt Disney World. If you want to know what’s up before then, check the park calendars a day or so before you depart for Florida, and then while you are there as well.
Click the links for park calendars
And Disney veterans–please feel free to add more suggestions for Thanksgiving dinner at Walt Disney World to the comment box below!