Is Thanksgiving the New Christmas?

by Jenna Kahl, contributing writer

If you asked what is my favorite holiday, I will always say Christmas. However, if you ask me what my favorite holiday is at the Disneyland Resort, I will always say Thanksgiving. As fall is in the air, even from my living room in Arizona, it's time to start planning our annual trip.

If you are looking to make a reservation at the Disneyland Hotel Thanksgiving Family Feast, then you'd better do so now. This is by far my favorite part of our Thanksgiving trip, but it fills up fast and I will admit it is expensive at $94.99 for adults, $34.99 for kids age 3-9 (free for those younger than 3). You can make your reservation online through the Disney Dining webpage or call Disney Dining at (714) 781-3463. Be prepared to pay in advance, a change from previous years, so know your party size and a preferred seating time up front (the buffet is open from noon to 6 p.m.). If you factor in the cost of what you typically spend for Thanksgiving at your house, plus the added convenience of not having to clean up, and being waited on while indulging in fabulous food—it is well worth it.

Not only is the selection of traditional Thanksgiving food spectacular, but they also have stations that feature pasta, cheeses, and desserts. If your kids, like mine, only eat a select number of food groups (chicken nuggets, pizza and PB&J) than they will love the children's buffet, the tables are even lowered so little ones can chose their items themselves.

The ballroom where the buffet is hosted, on the main floor of the Disneyland Hotel, is decked out in an autumn theme with beautiful lighting, hay bales, and great family photo spots. The live band wasn't a huge selling point for me the first time we attended, but it's become a big hit for my family and I, and we always end up of the dance floor enjoying great classic Disney music.

Thanksgiving fun with friends and family. Photo by Jenna Kahl.

Of course, this being a Disney event, there are characters, as well. My girls love spending Thanksgiving with some of their favorite characters, grabbing a picture, and having a way to break up the meal when they start to get antsy.

Although there are some lines while you are getting food, I have never felt like any of the wait times have been excessive, and the food is always fresh and fully stocked. It is rare that I can say I am truly relaxed during a holiday as there is always something that needs to be done, cleaned, or refilled, but it's hard to be stressed in a room full of music, good food, and fun.

Now you might be wondering why a girl who loves Christmas as much as me would rather be at the Disneyland Resort for Thanksgiving. Well, that's the best part! Thanksgiving at the Disneyland Resort is already Holiday Time at the Parks, and everything is bedazzled in true Disney fashion, but with smaller crowds, a yummy meal, and a way to get a jump on your Christmas shopping.

I hope this article left you hungry for some yummy Thanksgiving favorites and ready to plan your trip to the Disneyland Resort over the Thanksgiving holiday.

I'm sure Viva Navidad will become a family favorite for you as well. Photo by Jenna Kahl.

On a side note: While its easy to find lots of articles, photos, and recommendations for enjoying the holidays at the Disneyland Resort, I just had to include a quick shout out to Viva Navidad at Disney California Adventure Park. Maybe it is my roots in the Southwest, or my love for Latin music, but this is by far one of my favorite holiday experiences at the Resort. From the bright colors to the infectious melodies, my family and I love the location (near Paradise Garden Grill), the ability to watch the entertainment multiple times a day, and how close you can get the the action—including dancing with the cast members.




  1. By DisneyGator

    If you mean judging by crowd size, then yes! Thankgiving/mid-November is just as crowded as any December/Christmas day at the parks. The secret is definitely out.

  2. By xezat

    I think Thanksgiving is about the only major holiday I haven't spent at Disneyland, will have to rectify that one day. Done Christmas and Halloween (not minor ones like Easter)...well I dunno if 4th of July would count...but yeah.

  3. By josephfive

    I would say yes because many schools are off for the entire week.

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