Whether you’re an Orlando local who’s looking for something unique to do this Thanksgiving Day, or you’re a visitor staying in Orlando hotels who wants to celebrate the holiday in one of the most interesting cities in the world, Orlando has lots to offer. From delicious spreads to parades to fun and exciting events, there’s something for everyone – even those looking for great Orlando travel deals.
1. Check out the top eateries for Thanksgiving Day
Of course, no matter what activities you plan to take part in, you’re likely going to want to start your planning by finding the best eats. Here are some of the most popular options for lunch, brunch, or Thanksgiving dinner.
- Thanksgiving buffet at Amatista Cookhouse
- Vegan and non-vegan Thanksgiving dinner at Drunken Monkey
- Rosen Plaza Thanksgiving buffet at Rosen Plaza with free parking and complimentary champagne or wine
- Special Thanksgiving menu served at Emeril’s Orlando in addition to their regular menu
- 3-course Thanksgiving prix fixe menu at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop in addition to their regular menu
- Full Thanksgiving buffet, complete with carved meats, seafood, and a chef’s selection of desserts, at Lakeside Inn is just one example of great options at Orlando hotels
- Buffet with traditional entrees, smoked seafood, live music, and bottomless champagne and mimosas at Mission Inn Resort and Club
- Sushi, build-your-own desserts, turkey carving station, pasta, and live jazz music at Caribe Royale Orlando
- 25% Florida resident discount at Rosen Shingle Creek’s Thanksgiving buffet for those who live in the area and aren’t staying in Orlando vacation home rentals
2. Family fun celebration and Thanksgiving Day parade at Macy’s
It’s not the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade you’ll see on the news, but it is one you can visit in person with your family. Activities include face painting, balloon twisting, and do-it-yourself craft stations for the kids. Parents will appreciate the bonus gift with any $45 purchase.
3. Enjoy Thanksgiving at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Head over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and visit the Valley of Mo’ara in the new Pandora park. There you can taste the unique Thanksgiving meal cooked up by the fictional Na’vi people. Satu’li Canteen is the spot to visit, and they’re going to have wood-grilled roasted turkey breast, orange marmalade glazed sweet potatoes, apple and stage stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry boba pearls and many other items. For dessert, enjoy a unique pumpkin cheesecake mousse. These meals are available in adult-sized and kid-sized portions.
4. Enjoy Thanksgiving at Magic Kingdom
If you’d rather spend turkey day in the Magic Kingdom, then you’ll want to head over to Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café. This laid-back spot offers a feast complete with all the classics like turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and turkey gravy. If you want to stay at one of the Disney hotels, make sure you’re checking out
5. Enjoy Thanksgiving at Epcot
Epcot has a wealth of international cuisine and can provide some truly unique cuisine options on Thanksgiving. However, if you want to take on Soarin’ and Test Track along with a traditional fare, you’ll find it at Sunshine Seasons. Located in The Land Pavilion along with Soarin’, there you can enjoy a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner with turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
6. Start Christmas early at Leu House Museum
Local interior designers are going to create a beautiful, vintage Christmas inspired event at the Leu House Museum. This is an 11-room home that is going to be decorated with unique décor that’s designed to bring back the feeling of an old-fashioned Christmas that’s faithful to the time period in which the estate was built. Open from 10 AM to 3:30 PM on Thanksgiving Day.
7. See Christmas the way only Universal Orlando can do it
If you’ve ever wondered how Harry Potter would enjoy Christmas, then you may want to head to Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and London, all located within Universal Orlando. On Thanksgiving Day, the streets of these unique areas will be decorated with Christmas decorations, there will be special live entertainment, and a few treats to buy, too. When the sun goes down, a projection wrap will cover everything with a sparkling holiday spirit.
8. Visit Universal Studios for a unique look at the Macy’s Day Parade
If you haven’t got enough Macy’s Thanksgiving fill at Macy’s itself, check out floats and balloons straight from the New York parade of past years. There will also be an appearance from Santa himself, marching bands adding to the festivities, and clowns entertaining the crowd. Music will accompany the lighting of the tree when the sun goes down.
9. See Love Never Dies at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
For fans of The Phantom of the Opera, you won’t want to miss Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sequel: Love Never Dies. The story itself is spellbinding and spectacular, and with world-renowned players this show is sure to impress.
10. Say bah humbug at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
One of Dr. Seuss’s most beloved characters, The Grinch, is going to be the star of an awesome spectacular at Seuss Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The always-fun area of the park will be transformed and decorated for the holiday season. You can check out live music, a special stage show, and even meet the Grinch himself in his own lair. Thanksgiving Day breakfast with Grinch and other Seuss characters is also available – just make sure you make reservations.
No matter what you’re interested in, make sure you search for the best Orlando travel deals that allow you to experience a unique holiday at the lowest possible price.