November is a great time of year to be visiting the Walt Disney World parks – temperatures are cooler, in general the parks are quieter and the holidays are already in full swing. There are a few days in November however where you should prepare for the parks to be a little busier – around the 24th November the park receives lots of visitors who want to celebrate Thanksgiving in the parks – and who can blame them?!
Thanksgiving falls on the 24th November this year, a Thursday, which means the US will have a public holiday which runs from the 22nd – 28th November. During this time, you can expect slightly larger crowds in the parks and longer waiting times for attractions. With this in mind, here’s our top tips for making the most of this very special occasion:
1. Arrive early
This is something we recommend you always do, but it’s particularly important in the holidays! If you’re staying on-site, make sure you take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours, which shouldn’t see too many extra guests, as a lot of the US visitors will be driving in that day or staying off-site. Even if you’re not staying on-site, you should aim to arrive an hour before the park gates open in order to avoid being at the back of the line before you even begin!
2. Book your Fastpasses
Again, we always recommend that you book Fastpasses as far in advance for your holiday as possible, but on busier days it’s more important than ever. Use your Fastpasses wisely – read up on what the longest attraction lines typically are and use them for those, rather than just your favourite rides. Remember sometimes it’s the meet and greets which have the longest lines (Anna and Elsa is typically one of the most popular) so don’t forget you can use your Fastpasses for these too!
3. Organise your Thanksgiving lunch in advance
To find out which restaurants are serving Thanksgiving dinner at Walt Disney World this year, you can consult this list. Lots of the restaurants included on this list are in the resort hotels but there are plenty of spots in the park where you can chow down on some turkey. If you would like to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving lunch or dinner at the parks, be sure to book that as quickly as possible as these reservations are extremely popular.
4. Check out the pumpkins at Epcot
Although the parks aren’t decorated specifically for Thanksgiving, there’s an autumnal décor throughout which will definitely put you in the holiday mood. Giant carved pumpkins dominate the park, with plenty of oranges and reds laced into the elaborate decorations. One place at WDW where you can see a uniquely Thanksgiving display is experiencing the Living with the Land and Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot. The team behind these incredible vegetable gardens and displays really go all out to create a Thanksgiving display which includes traditional harvest such as pumpkins, squash and towering orange peppers. It’s definitely worth a visit!
Thanksgiving will undoubtedly be a busier time at the parks, so it’s important to be prepared but also to go with the flow! Don’t get too hung up on the crowds and make sure you enjoy the amazing atmosphere and all the extra special events that go on in the parks in the lead up to the holidays and you’re guaranteed a magical Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World.
Haven’t got your tickets yet? Make sure to book your tickets before you arrive, so you can start booking Fastpasses now!
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