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Tips for Thanksgiving at Disney World in 2022

HomeTips for Thanksgiving at Disney World in 2022
Tips for Thanksgiving at Disney World in 2022

With mild temps, holiday decor, and not-as-busy-as-other-holidays crowds, spending Thanksgiving at Disney World is a great idea for many people.

Here’s some advice, including where to spend your Thanksgiving meal and how to handle the crowds.

Let’s take a look…

How crowded is Disney World on Thanksgiving?

Though Thanksgiving week is definitely considered a busy time at Disney World, it’s not nearly as crowded as other times of year – like Christmas. Throughout the week, crowds continue to build, with the Saturday-Wednesday before Thanksgiving generally being slightly less busy than Thursday-Sunday.

If you’re planning to be there for the whole week, get in some quality park touring time at the beginning of your trip before crowds really ramp up.

Is Disney World more expensive on Thanksgiving?

The busier times of the year are always more expensive at Walt Disney World, and that includes Thanksgiving.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, it isn’t unusual to see premiums applied to some dining options. In addition, tickets and Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane selections also have variable pricing that are at some of their highest levels over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Disney World Park Hours for Thanksgiving

During Thanksgiving week, look for the parks to open up earlier and stay open later than they would during other times of the year. Here are the reported hours as of about a month before Thanksgiving. We do think there is a possibility that we will see the hours below extended. If that happens, we will update with those new hours ASAP.

But, as a rule, it is always a good idea to check the hours in the My Disney Experience app the evening before you plan to visit a park.

If you are staying onsite, Early Theme Park Entry will be key for touring. Whenever possible, try to make sure you are there at least 30 minutes before the park opens (no matter the park) to maximize your touring.

  • Saturday, November 19, 2022
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    • Epcot
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday, November 20, 2022
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
      • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (special ticket required) – 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM
    • Epcot
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Monday, November 21, 2022
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    • Epcot
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2022
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
      • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (special ticket required) – 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM
    • Epcot
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday, November 23, 2022
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    • Epcot
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday, November 24, 2022 – Thanksgiving Day
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    • Epcot
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday, November 25, 2022
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    • Epcot (Festival of the Holidays begins)
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday, November 26, 2022
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    • Epcot
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday, November 27, 2022
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
      • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (special ticket required) – 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM
    • Epcot
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Animal Kingdom –
      • Early Entry (onsite guests only) – 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
      • Regular Park Hours (everyone) – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Holiday festivities

Though Thanksgiving decor isn’t something that Disney World focuses on, Christmas decorations will be everywhere.

Holiday things you can expect to see for free Thanksgiving week:

Holiday things that require a special ticket:

A few things will require either a special ticket, or a special meal reservation:

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held a couple of times Thanksgiving week – on Sunday, November 20 and Tuesday, November 22.
  • Candlelight Processional (not available until November 25) – this holiday event at Epcot begins on November 25, and although it is free to see, the only way to guarantee a seat is to purchase a Candlelight Processional Dining Package.

For more information, you can read all about the Christmas at Disney World.

Restaurants and dining options for Thanksgiving at Disney World

All the restaurants at Walt Disney World will be open, but, there are a few that will be serving special Thanksgiving inspired menus.

Here’s where you can find a Thanksgiving Dinner at Walt Disney World:

Although restaurants often book up way ahead of time, you can check availability on the Disney World site.

Magic Kingdom

Table Service (Reservation required)

  • Liberty Tree Tavern
    • Their normal menu is a very traditional Thanksgiving meal

Epcot

Quick Service

  • American Holiday Table (Festival of the Holidays booth – available November 24-December 30)
    • Slow-roasted turkey with BEN’S ORIGINAL™ stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce
  • Refreshment Port (available November 25 – December 30)
    • Turkey Poutine: French fries with turkey gravy, cranberry relish, and crispy onions
  • Sunshine Seasons (available November 24 only)
    • Rotisserie-smoked Turkey with house-made stuffing, mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans, turkey gravy, and cranberry sauce
    • Caramel Crèmeux with Apple Compote

Table Service (Reservation required)

  • Biergarten (available November 24 only)
    • Turkey with mashed potatoes and stuffing 
  • Coral Reef (available November 24 only)
    • Thanksgiving Plate
    • Pumpkin Pie Tart with whipped cream and salted caramel mousse
  • The Garden Grill Restaurant (available November 24 only)
    • Roasted Turkey with stuffing 
    • Apple Cake with caramelized apples and streusel
  • Le Cellier (available November 24 only)
    • Turkey Plate

Hollywood Studios

Table Service (Reservation required)

  • The Hollywood Brown Derby (available November 24 only)
    • Carved Turkey Breast with cornbread, apple-sage stuffing, turkey thigh confit, mashed potato, fall harvest vegetables, cranberry compote, and turkey gravy
  • Hollywood & Vine (available November 24 only)
    • Thanksgiving Add-ons to Buffet: Oven roasted turkey breast, turkey gravy, cornbread stuffing, and cranberry relish
  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe (available November 24 only)
    • Holiday Plate: Oven-roasted turkey breast, turkey gravy, cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish, green beans, and mashed potato

Animal Kingdom

Quick Service

  • Restaurantosaurus (available November 24 only)
    • Open-faced Turkey Sandwich: Grilled multigrain bread with roasted garlic mayonnaise, cornbread dressing, smoked turkey, herb gravy, and cranberry sauce served with a side of french fries
  • Satu’li Canteen (available November 24 only)
    • Thanksgiving Duo Bowl: Combination of grilled beef and turkey with gravy stuffing and red and sweet potato hash topped with crunchy vegetable slaw and boba pearls (Available Nov. 24 only)
    • Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl: Wood-grilled turkey breast with gravy stuffing and red and sweet potato hash topped with crunchy vegetable slaw and boba pearls (Available Nov. 24 only) (kid’s version available) 
    • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Mousse with chocolate cookie crumbles, pumpkin sauce, and boba pearls (Available Nov. 22 through 27)

Table Service (Reservation required)

  • Tusker House (available November 24 only)
    • Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet Additions: Roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin tart desserts
  • Tiffins (available November 24 only)
    • Roasted Calabaza Soup: Roasted calabaza, ginger-pear chutney, pickled jalapeño, and chai-spiced and candied pistachios
    • Turkey Roulade: Turkey breast, fine-herb whipped potato, maple-glazed carrots, sweet potato pave, wild mushrooms, green bean casserole, cornbread dressing, cranberry gel, and turkey gravy
    • Apple Pie Cheesecake: Whipped caramel cheesecake, apple pie compote, white chocolate streusel, and cranberry sauce

Disney Springs

These restaurants and quick service locations all have a little something Thanksgiving-themed available, each with their own twist. Check the Disney Parks Blog post for specifics at each spot.

  • City Works Eatery & Pour House (full meal)
  • Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming (sandwich)
  • Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew (donut)
  • Planet Hollywood (full meal)
  • Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant (full meal)
  • STK Steakhouse (full meal)
  • Wine Bar George (full meal)

Resort Table Service Thanksgiving Dinner Options:

Each of these spots serve either a full meal or thanksgiving themed sandwiches. Check the Disney Parks Blog post for specifics.

  • Boma (at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
  • Jiko (at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
  • Sanaa (at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
  • Beaches and Cream (at Disney’s Beach Club Resort)
  • Cape May Cafe (at Disney’s Beach Club Resort)
  • Flying Fish (Disney’s Boardwalk)
  • Trattoria al Forno (Disney’s Boardwalk)
  • California Grill (Contemporary Resort)
  • Chef Mickey’s (Contemporary Resort)
  • Steakhouse 71 (Contemporary Resort)
  • Three Bridges (Coronado Springs Resort)
  • Toledo (Coronado Springs Resort)
  • Citricos (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa)
  • Grand Floridian Cafe (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa)
  • Olivia’s Cafe (Disney’s Old Key West Resort)
  • Kona Cafe (Disney’s Polynesian Resort)
  • Boatwright’s Dining Hall (Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside)
  • Topolino’s Terrace (Disney’s Riviera Resort)
  • The Turf Club (Disney’s Saratoga Springs)
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge)
  • Ale & Compass (Disney’s Yacht Club)
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse (Disney’s Yacht Club)

Resort Quick Service Thanksgiving Dinner Options:

Each of these spots serve either a full meal or thanksgiving themed sandwiches. Check the Disney Parks Blog post for specifics.

  • Beach Club Market Place (at Disney’s Beach Club Resort)
  • Boardwalk Deli (Disney’s Boardwalk)
  • Contempo Cafe (Contemporary Resort)
  • Intermission Food Court (at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort )
  • World Premiere Food Court (at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort )
  • End Zone Food Court (at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort)
  • Landscape of Flavors (at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort )
  • Centertown Market (at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort)
  • Contempo Café (at Disney’s Contemporary Resort)
  • Capt. Cook’s (at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort )
  • Everything POP Shopping & Dining (at Disney’s Pop Century Resort)
  • Riverside Mill and Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory (at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and French Quarter)
  • The Artist’s Palette (at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa)
  • The Mara (at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
  • Roaring Fork (at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge)
  • P&J’s Southern Takeout (Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground)
  • Gasparilla Island Grill (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa)
  • Bar Riva and Primo Piatto (Disney’s Riviera Resort)
  • Market at Ale and Compass (Disney’s Yacht Club)

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Get more info about traveling in November on the November Crowd Calendar.

Have any other thoughts on spending Thanksgiving at Disney World? Feel free to share in the comments.

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Allyson Koerner

Robert

Tuesday 9th of May 2017

Our family will be staying at the Swan Hotel for Thanksgiving in 2017, we are 4 adults, 1 toddler and 1 infant.

Since 180 days is approaching fast (in 2 weeks), I'm trying to nail down our choice for eating dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

Currently the two main ideas are: Option A - Liberty Tree Tavern PRO: for obvious theming and cuisine parallels. CON: must use Disney transportation to get there (could be extra busy)

Option B- A restaurant at Epcot (undecided restaurant) PRO: Entirely walkable from Swan hotel CON: not an obvious natural choice for having Thanksgiving dinner

Any suggestions would be most appreciated! Robert

Comments are closed.