Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

7 Ways to Thank a Disney World Cast Member

by on November 22, 2017

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, we thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on how thankful we are for Disney Cast Members. While most of us will pass the holiday with our family and friends, gorging on food and watching too much television, many of them will spend their day at work, keeping thousands of guests safe and happy. And it’s not just during the holidays. Whether it’s a beautifully sunny day or the day a hurricane is forecasted to arrive, Cast Members are always there to keep the magic alive. I’m sure anyone who has vacationed at Disney World had at least one memorable experience with a Cast Member, if not more. So for the next time you’re at Walt Disney World, here are seven ways to thank a Walt Disney World Cast Member.

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Four Places to Watch Thanksgiving Football at Walt Disney World (Besides ESPN Club)

by on November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving, the most festive and gluttonous day in between Halloween and Christmas, is a holiday steeped in family and tradition. For some that tradition includes dressing up like pilgrims and bringing an entire turkey dinner into the Main Street Railroad Station. For many others, the traditional Thanksgiving celebration includes the ubiquitous background noise of American professional football. Specifically, the annual battles between the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and whichever other random teams are forced to skip a holiday and play football on short rest. Seriously though, football is as much a part of Thanksgiving at the Parade, the turkey, and the giant stack of Black Friday advertisements in the morning newspaper. This leaves many people to ask us “where is the best place to watch Thanksgiving football at Walt Disney World?”

A typical Thanksgiving meal at Walt Disney World. This one in particular is at Sanaa.
Credit: Tammy Whiting

There are a few obvious choices. First of all, as you already know, the Thanksgiving games are broadcast on the major networks and are available on the televisions in all Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms. So staying in your room for the game (or games) of choice is an easy, yet also a potentially boring and lonely option. There is also the Boardwalk Resort’s ESPN Club, the standard sports destination on property. The main problem with the ESPN Club is the crowds, especially on an NFL football day during an extremely busy time at the Resort. Moreover, both of these options are neither festive or particularly inventive. To remedy this we’ve come up with our list of four other places to watch Thanksgiving football at Walt Disney World.

The criteria for making our list was threefold: an establishment must have televisions on site capable of tuning into a football game, it must serve something that can reasonably constitute a Thanksgiving dinner, and it must have come to the mind of this author. Seriously. I don’t know everything. (Don’t tell my wife!) If you’ve ever done Thanksgiving sports viewing at Walt Disney World and know of some spots not mentioned, please chime in down below in the comments or on Facebook.

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Thanksgiving Options at Disney Parks

by on November 17, 2017

©Disney

Wow! Can you believe that we are less than a week away from Thanksgiving?! If you’re going to be spending the holiday in the parks, you will have a number of places where you can choose to dine and grab a traditional (or even non-traditional) turkey meal.  They include:

 

Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom

  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe will offer turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and gravy

Epcot

  • Sunshine Seasons will offer turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  • Biergarten
  • Coral Reef Restaurant
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse

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Disney Cruise Line Weekly Preview — Week of November 18

by on November 17, 2017

The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

Ahoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Glad to have you aboard, and away we go with this week’s preview!

Ports of Call (High/Low Temperature, Chance of Rain)

Disney Magic

  • 18 November – New York (54/51, 64%)
  • 19 November – At Sea
  • 20 November – At Sea
  • 21 November – Nassau (86/72, 62%)
  • 22 November – Castaway Cay (79/67, 25%)
  • 23 November – Port Canaveral (73/56, 30%)
  • 24 November – At Sea

Disney Wonder

  • 18 November – At Sea
  • 19 November – Key West (81/71, 8%)
  • 20 November – Nassau (83/79, 40%)
  • 21 November – Castaway Cay (79/74, 62%)
  • 22 November – At Sea
  • 23 November – At Sea
  • 24 November – Galveston (72/62, 25%)

Disney Dream

  • 18 November – Nassau (85/72, 44%)
  • 19 November – Castaway Cay (79/74, 25%)
  • 20 November – Port Canaveral (74/67, 1%)
  • 21 November – Nassau (86/72, 62%)
  • 22 November – At Sea
  • 23 November – Castaway Cay (82/65, 55%)
  • 24 November – Port Canaveral (71/60, 1%)

Disney Fantasy

  • 18 November – Port Canaveral (79/63, 0%)
  • 19 November – At Sea
  • 20 November – Cozumel (82/72, 25%)
  • 21 November – Grand Cayman (82/78, 20%)
  • 22 November – Costa Maya (84/75, 10%)
  • 23 November – At Sea
  • 24 November – Castaway Cay (81/64, 55%)

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Disneyland Preview — Week of November 18

by on November 17, 2017

The holidays are here, and there are a few special events as Thanksgiving ushers in some pretty large crowds this week. Read on to learn more in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

Photo: @Kenlyy1

The holidays are in full swing at Disneyland! In addition to holiday decor at every turn, the daytime parade has been replaced by A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… In Holiday Magic takes over for the evening fireworks. Also, the holiday overlays for it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion remain in place for the season. Over at Disney’s California Adventure, a couple of Cars Land attractions get the holiday treatment for the first time this year: Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters transforms into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. The resorts all get into the spirit as well with holiday decorations, including a gingerbread replica of the Grand Californian in that hotel’s lobby! Make sure you check out Rikki’s preview to learn more about what you can expect for the holidays.

Of particular note is the Festival of Holidays at California Adventure. In addition to food and drink kiosks sprinkled throughout the park, which are always well-received, Princess Elena of Avalor has a special show, and Disney ¡Viva Navidad! will be taking place throughout the Festival. Lots of great stuff happening this season, well worth checking out!

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Review: Thanksgiving Weekend at Walt Disney World

by on December 5, 2016

thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you’re familiar with the TouringPlans Crowd Calendar, you know that major holidays at Walt Disney World can be intense when it comes to lines and crowds. But this year, I abandoned all logic and spent Thanksgiving with my family at Walt Disney World. I survived, but would I do it again? Read on for my Review: Thanksgiving Weekend at Walt Disney World.

November 23rd

My concern over the holiday crowds and never ending lines wasn’t limited to the confines of Walt Disney World. Actually, I was more concerned over what awaited me at my local airport since my family and I were flying into Orlando the day before Thanksgiving. One of the busiest travel days of the year!

Fortunately, our Frontier Airlines flight was scheduled to depart at 7:00 A.M.; and while the queues for security had already been extended, we made it through with plenty of time to spare and with no delays.

I was shocked when we found that there were no lines for Disney’s Magical Express at Orlando International Airport. Maybe because it was still early in the day? Or maybe Disney was more than prepared for the holiday rush? Regardless, we walked right on our bus bound for Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. We had never stayed at the French Quarter as Port Orleans Riverside is the Moderate Resort we gravitate to; but, thankfully we loved the French Quarter! It was smaller and more intimate, yet never once felt crowded or chaotic.

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“No Planning” Holiday Dining at Disney World

by on December 6, 2015

Believe it or not...sometimes not every table is filled months in advance!

Believe it or not…sometimes not every table is filled months in advance!

It is no secret that making dining plans for an entire Walt Disney World vacation can be a difficult and time consuming task. This task becomes even harder during the busy holiday seasons when Advance Dining Reservations can completely fill up months ahead of time. While we can not stress enough how important the planning process is for dining, touring, etc. (otherwise what would we be doing running a website like this?) we also must admit that there are times when it is enjoyable, and even a relief, to visit Walt Disney World with no plans and to simply “play it by ear.” So even though we can’t really recommend visiting Walt Disney World at the holidays with no planning, we can tell you that if you decide to go this route, you will not be completely out of luck  for eating a quality holiday meal. Here are three suggestions for how you might approach the situation (yes, this is a planning guide for a trip with no planning…sometimes we can’t help ourselves.)

 

Fife & Drum SignBook A Last Minute ADR

As of the morning before Thanksgiving 2015, a quick MyDisneyExperience search of all restaurants at Walt Disney World for an afternoon reservation on Thanksgiving for a family of four yielded plenty of results including restaurants in all four theme parks, Disney Springs and plenty of resorts throughout property, many of which offer special holiday menus. So even with only one day of planning, it is possible to get an ADR for a holiday meal. It should also be noted that Disney is well aware that the vast majority of its guests on Thanksgiving day will be looking for a meal that at least in some way contains turkey, dressing, etc. and some restaurants that normally wouldn’t serve this kind of cuisine add it to the menu for the holiday including Magic Kingdom’s Tony’s Town Square Restaurant and Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa. Similarly, ham is among the most common standard menu items on buffets and can easily be found on menus throughout property for Christmas and Easter meals. The point being that you may not even need to sacrifice your traditional holiday menu items by booking a last minute ADR at wherever is available.

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever December 3, 2015: Black Friday at Universal Orlando

by on December 3, 2015

black friday universal orlando best week ever

The day after Thanksgiving has become one of America’s most important secular holidays, as young and old celebrate capitalism by camping out for dirt-cheap televisions. I was also out there shopping on the big day, but in true Best Week Ever fashion I spent my Black Friday at Universal Orlando among the vacationing throngs.

I started my Black Friday shopping with a major purchase by renewing my Universal Orlando annual pass. After disconts, my Premier pass costs just under $1 per day. That’s a lot more than it was when I first became a passholder 15 years ago, but still a great value considering how quickly the parks has been adding new attractions.

 

Once inside Islands of Adventure, I was greeted by the still-jarring sight of the Incredible Hulk Coaster…or rather the lack thereof.

 

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#TBT: Thanksgiving Dinner at the Magic Kingdom

by on November 26, 2015

[This post originally ran in November 2014, which is when the Bloom family celebrated Thanksgiving in the Magic Kingdom. Wherever you are, have a Happy Thanksgiving. If you are not in the United States, you can go ahead and enjoy your day too.]

There are many choices for Thanksgiving dinner at Walt Disney World. Most every resort restaurant has some option, and within the parks many of the sit down restaurants offer a Thanksgiving meal. We decided to do something a little bit different. We brought our own Thanksgiving dinner into the Magic Kingdom.

WDW Pilgrims

WDW Pilgrims

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever November 26, 2015: Magic Kingdom Thanksgiving Week Crowds

by on November 26, 2015

Ok theme park fans, it’s time to talk turkey! If you want to have the Best Week Ever at Walt Disney World, common wisdom says that the Thanksgiving holiday isn’t the most stress-free time to visit in terms of attendance. In fact, the last week of November can be one of Orlando’s busiest seasons, right behind Christmas Week and Spring Break. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time in the parks this week, as long as you go in armed with some advice from your friends at Touring Plans, plus a whole lot of patience. To prove the point, I recently spent an afternoon elbow-to-elbow with Magic Kingdom Thanksgiving Week crowds to bring you this turkey day travelogue. Hopefully you won’t find it too fowl!

 

Violating the first rule of holiday touring, I showed up at the Magic Kingdom not at rope drop, but at high noon, just as park attendance should be reaching its peak. Much to my surprise, I was parked not in outer Siberia, but in the Zurg section of the Villains lot, right night to medical parking. From here I could walk to the TTC as easily as taking the tram, a nice treat on a busy day.

 

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