Trying to choose the best Disney theme park for Thanksgiving is like being forced to pick your favorite part of the Thanksgiving turkey dinner at grandmom’s house. No matter what you do, you’ll have a delicious time. You should know that just about any Disney park would be a perfect place to spend the holiday.
1. Disneyland, Anaheim, California: This is where it all started with the grand opening in 1955. Black and white television sets all over America showed then-actor Ronald Reagan host the grand event. The idea for Disneyland began with Walt Disney’s dream to break away from the usual, cheap carnival atmosphere of amusement parks to create an upscale, fun-themed and welcoming family resort.
If you choose to visit for the Thanksgiving weekend, you should find the usual mild California November weather there welcoming you to all the indoor and outdoor activities you want, from the vintage Pirates of the Caribbean ride to the latest Disney’s California adventure. Nearly 500 million people have visited Disneyland in the 55 years of its happy history.
If you’re expecting to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner while visiting Disneyland, you’ll have only one problem. That will be to choose among the hundreds of restaurant and hotel feasts available to honor the holiday. For more information, go to www.disneyland.disney.go.com
2. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida: Because of the enormous success of his creation in California, Walt Disney planned to open similar park in Florida. After selecting Orlando, the project began. Unfortunately, Walt died before the park opened in 1971. WDW has all the features of Disneyland, only more so, because it is considerably larger, and visitors can roam through everything from an enormous tree house to a downtown as only Disney could imagine it.
Because of all-year mild Florida weather, the Orlando park makes a very attractive Thanksgiving destination for families from the Eastern part of the the U.S. By the end of November, the North and Midwest are already into the beginnings of cold and wet winter weather.
For more information, go to disneyworld.disney.go.com
3. If you’re willing to spend the time and money, and want an entirely different Disney adventure, Disneyland Resort Paris would be a fantastic family Thanksgiving adventure. A non-stop flight from many U.S. cities gets you to Paris in six to eight hours, and then a half-hour taxi or bus trip to the city suburb of Marne-la-Vallee put you right into the resort. There are seven hotels on the Disney property, ranging from reasonable to outrageous in room rates.
Disneyland Paris attracts more than 15 million visitors a year,. However, late November is the beginning of cold weather in France, and if you’re there to celebrate Thanksgiving, you won’t run into crowds in your hotel, rides and restaurants.
You may think the only sacrifice you may have to make if you celebrate Thanksgiving in France is you must dine on truffles and foie gras instead of turkey and stuffing. Actually, that isn’t true. You’ll find most restaurants and hotel dining rooms at Disneyland Paris will serve traditional turkey dinners on Thanksgiving Day in honor of their American guests. For more information, go to www.disneylandparis.com
Whatever Disney resort you decide to visit for your Thanksgiving celebration, you’ll find the same friendly welcome and limitless fun.