It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and the Disney Parks are revving up for an exciting week of celebration. If you are spending the occasion in the theme parks, we’ve got some tips on how you can get the most out of your vacation. Here is some of our best advice for spending the holiday at Disney. Feel free to add your own advice to the comments section at the bottom.
Be Prepared For Crowds
It sounds like an obvious one, though I still hear of friends who visit during popular holiday weekends and seem surprised when it seems as though every person in Florida is in Magic Kingdom at the same time. Go into this with the right mindset, ready to enjoy the day but prepared for there to be delays and large volumes of people. The crowds won’t be limited to just the parks. Give yourself extra time to use Disney transportation in Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, waiting for a handful of buses to pass before you can get on one isn’t uncommon at peak times. The last thing you want to do is arrive at your lunch or dinner reservation late and frazzled. Leave extra time and keep things running smoothly.
Get in the Parks Early & Leave More Time Between Reservations
The best way to deal with peak crowds is to get into your park of choice early. Rope Drop is the best time to make use of the lower capacity before things start to get hectic towards mid-morning. Early morning entry is your best chance to enjoy the most popular attractions before the crowds descend. Just like your transportation, leave extra time to move through the parks. We all know that the additional people visiting for the holiday aren’t neatly lined up on the side of the walkway, making it easy for you to zip around the park. Everything in the park will be affected by congestion, which will leave you needing more time to get some points from point A to point B for that table service reservation or Genie+ booking. Try not to book anything back-to-back just in case a delay causes a snowball effect and everything falls out of place.
Pace Yourself With Food
I know there are so many incredible food and drink options at this time of year. You’ve got all the Holiday selections and specialty Thanksgiving items; they all look so good! The hot tip is to pace yourself. Instead of sitting down to a sizeable quick-service meal and ordering everything that sparks your interest, do it in smaller portions throughout the day. Eating large amounts of food in one go can make you feel tired and take away from your enjoyment of the attractions if you are full of food. By trying out all of your favorites across the whole day, you will feel physically better when moving around and get to focus on each item and its own experience rather than simply part of a feeding frenzy at lunchtime.
Be Smart With Alcohol Choices
For many of us, celebrating often comes with a few rounds of drinks with our nearest and dearest. However, when you are spending a holiday at the Disney Parks, all of the alcohol isn’t always conducive to enjoying your active time during the day. Drinking too much can quickly turn from tipsy to terrible, leaving you heading back to the resort early. Much like the food, pace yourself when it comes to enjoying those special drinks. The effects can creep up on you, especially if you are visiting on a particularly hot day.
Make The Most Of Your Time In Line
Thanksgiving is about spending time with your loved ones and creating those connections that make us feel grounded and loved. Even though lines might be extensive for Disney attractions, use your time in line to connect rather than complain. Play games, start discussion topics, or simply take turns voicing the things you are grateful for. Whatever your family tends to gravitate towards, humor or sentiment, use that time in line to have a few laughs and remind each other of what the day should represent.
How do you survive one of the busiest times of year in the Disney theme parks? Let us know by adding your own tips in the comments below.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.