Hey everybody, there’s a new itinerary out for arrivals 8/31 through 10/26/2019. You can find it here.

By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





Category — 5. Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World

Thanksgiving 2015 at Walt Disney World

THANKSGIVING 2015 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Thanksgiving 2014 at Disney World

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 2015 THANKSGIVING WEEK ITINERARY AND DINING

Park schedules indicate that this site’s FastPass+ Itinerary for High-Crowd Weeks mostly works for Thanksgiving Week, with one change and one however.

  • The change is that you need to swap First Sunday and Wednesday in both the itinerary and its To-Do List.
  • The however is that the parks–especially the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom–likely will open an hour earlier than it indicates many days Thanksgiving week, and may also have morning Extra Magic Hours added as well–making the day start two hours earlier than indicated on the itineraries.

So you’ll need to stay in touch with schedules–even on the night before–to make sure when you need to arrive to beat park openings.  As these openings are announced I’ll update this page, but see below for links to Disney’s calendars.

Moreover, a couple of other things are worth noting.

First, this itinerary has you off on Thanksgiving morning, and at the Animal Kingdom park Thanksgiving afternoon, with all meals at counter service joints.

Believe me–that’s a wonderful way to spend Thanksgiving.  Animal Kingdom likely will be the least crowded park, and you’ll need a low-impact day by this point in your vacation anyway.

However, if you are looking for something both more formal and fun in your Thanksgiving dinner (not necessarily in menu, but in ambiance and waiters and such), then consider moving your Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue reservations from First Sunday evening (changed from Wednesday, remember?) to Thursday evening.

A more formal option would be to take advantage of the nearness of the Animal Kingdom Lodge–just a short bus ride away–and book dinner at Boma or Jiko there.

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.

SEEING EPCOT’S CHRISTMAS PROGRAM

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. Moreover, the Candlelight Processional also begins the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Even though Epcot will be quite crowded Friday, you may wish to swap the Monday and Friday itineraries to see these elements of Epcot’s Christmas program.

UPDATED PARK SCHEDULES

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!

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter or Pinterest!!

April 13, 2015   27 Comments

November 2014 at Walt Disney World

November  December   January   February   March   April    May   June

OVERVIEW: NOVEMBER 2014 AT DISNEY WORLD

November 2014 at Walt Disney WorldThis page reviews November 2014 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Mid-November has some of the best times of the year to visit Disney World, with cooler weather, low crowds, low prices, and fun special events.

The beginning of the month is not so good, with moderate crowds from Jersey Week, and Thanksgiving week, with high crowds and higher prices than the rest of the month, should be avoided.

[Read more →]

April 15, 2014   23 Comments

Thanksgiving 2014 at Walt Disney World

THANKSGIVING 2014 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Thanksgiving 2014 at Disney World

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.

[Read more →]

April 14, 2014   18 Comments

Major Changes in Disney World Thanksgiving Week Calendar, Especially Magic Kingdom Openings

Thanksgiving Week 2013 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netEarlier this week Disney World updated its operating calendar for November, and Thanksgiving Week in particular saw massive changes.

MAGIC KINGDOM OPERATING HOURS THANKSGIVING WEEK

Every day from Saturday November 24 through Saturday November 30, the Magic Kingdom is now open from 8a til 1a.

Before the change, hours were listed that week as 9a-10p.  No one expected that the 10p closes would stay–they were clearly going to be extended.  But 1a closes every day Thanksgiving week is a surprise, as are the 8a openings.

While 8a opens are common other busy weeks, this is the first time since I’ve been tracking that Disney World has had a week of 8a opens during Thanksgiving. (To compare last year’s Thanksgiving Week hours, see this.)

So those intending to beat crowds by showing up before open at the Magic Kingdom now need to get up an hour earlier. And those with 8.10a breakfast in the Magic Kingdom, scheduled with the thought that they’d be finishing just as the park was opening, will need to seriously reconsider these bookings.

The best time to tour is the first hour or two after the park opens.  And since the surprising operating hour extensions are a hint that Disney is expecting really heavy crowds Thanksgiving week…well that touring time is golden, and not wise to spend eating!

OTHER OPERATING HOUR CHANGES

Beyond the Magic Kingdom, Epcot saw no changes; Disney’s Hollywood Studios now has 10p closes, as I would have expected, and the Animal Kingdom is now open 8a-8p all week–as it was last year.

The schedule may change again, even the day before–Extra Magic Hours may be added, etc.  So keep up with the operating hours!

October 17, 2013   10 Comments

November 2013 at Walt Disney World

November   December   January    February   March   April   May   June

OVERVIEW: NOVEMBER 2013 AT DISNEY WORLD

November 2013 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews November 2013 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

[Read more →]

April 16, 2013   53 Comments

Thanksgiving 2013 at Walt Disney World

THANKSGIVING 2013 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Hoop Dee Doo RevueUpdate 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.

[Read more →]

April 15, 2013   125 Comments