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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tip Tuesday: Thanksgiving at WDW - the next chapter

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

Two years ago, I gave a few tips about Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World.  I discussed crowds briefly and also talked more at length about how you can still get your fill of turkey, even at restaurants that aren't normally known for serving turkey and the trimmings.

This week, I wanted to talk about a few other aspects of Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World -- getting there and Black Friday.

First, if you're thinking about a trip to Walt Disney World for the Thanksgiving break, do yourself a HUGE favor and DON'T plan to travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  It's flat out nuts.  We journeyed to WDW for Thanksgiving in 2009 and the drive down was murderous, especially as we tried to navigate some of the more populous areas like Charlotte and Jacksonville.  If you're flying, well, you've seen all the stories each year about how it's the busiest travel day of the year, so you might be better off scheduling your flights a little earlier, or, perhaps, fly down on Thanksgiving day itself.  If you can get an early morning flight, you can probably be in the parks in time for a late turkey lunch or easily make a dinner ADR.  Oh, and remember that the Sunday after Thanksgiving is just as bad, so if you can stay a day or two longer, it might help make your return trip a little less stressful.

But... once you've had your fill of turkey (and recovered from the triptophan-induced coma afterward) it's time to start thinking about Black Friday shopping!  Or at least you might think about it.  In 2009, Downtown Disney did not offer many Black Friday deals, if at all.  Based on online research, I don't see any indication that 2012 will be any different.  UPDATE:  The Disney Parks Blog just announced some Black Friday deals at some stores at Downtown Disney including the Lego Store, Ridemakers and littlemissmatched.  For a list of Black Friday offers - see this link.

Disney Stores nationwide will offer Black Friday sales, but according to StitchKingdom, none of the Downtown Disney World of Disney stores (in Anaheim or Orlando) are participating in the Black Friday event.

However, that doesn't mean you can't get into the Black Friday spirit. is offering several online Black Friday sales, which you can start to take advantage of right now. 

Of course, who needs Black Friday shopping when you can be at the parks?  But that's a debate for another time.

My family and I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!!!

1 comment:

Scott said...

We did Disney at Thanksgiving in 2010, but we were there all week. The parks were crowded all week, but not more than during our normal visits, until the Friday after Thanksgiving. Seemed insanely crowded on that day. Thanksgiving Day, otoh, seemed pretty light. We were at Animal Kingdom that day, and Everest was 10-15 minute waits. My kids did stand-by about 5 times in a row before we left. Maybe the experience in other parks is different.

I agree about seeing the Christmas decorations. They are worth the trip, especially the Osborne Light Spectacular at DHS.

One more comment if I may: We ate at Sanaa (we were staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge) for Thanksgiving dinner. But we definitely wanted to try their brand of African/Asian fusion cuisine, not a turkey dinner that we would be getting at home on Saturday when we flew in. For me, the cuisine is part of the attraction of Disney World. Not that it's the best in the world, but it's varied and very good...

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