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Vacation Planning Tips & Tricks Discuss Thanksgiving 09 in the Vacation Planning forums; Hi Everybody, I've been scouring the boards and the web searching for information regarding a Thanksgiving trip this year and I've found a little bit of information, but not a ...
  1. #1
    1000thHaunt is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Northern California

    Thanksgiving 09

    Hi Everybody,

    I've been scouring the boards and the web searching for information regarding a Thanksgiving trip this year and I've found a little bit of information, but not a whole lot.

    I'm super nervous because I'm taking my husband who has never been to WDW and I don't want to blow it... I don't want him to wait another 34 years before he wants to go again!

    Anyway, we're staying at the Wilderness Lodge and we're making final decisions about dining reservations, but that's as far as we've gotten. We're taking 1 day in each of the parks and have an extra day and a half to either revisit a park we really want to spend more time at or explore other things on the property (I really want to take him to other resorts and see if I can get him to commit to a future trip!)

    Any specific tips about A) going Thanksgiving week and B) taking a newbie?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Spodie's Avatar
    Spodie is offline Fastpass Holder
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Re: Thanksgiving 09

    #1: PACE YOURSELVES! Thanksgiving week is one of the most crowded weeks at Disney, but it will be totally managable if you just slow down and don't tour the parks "commando style." Because of the economy, it may not be as bad this year as years past. Hit the major attractions that you want him to see and maybe take a break in the middle of the day to swim or tour other resorts/Downtown Disney. Since you'll be staying at WL, you can also cozy up to the huge fireplace in the lobby during breaks.

    Also, it would be an excellent opportunity on this trip to explore the resorts since all of WDW will be decorated for the holidays. All of WDW takes on a whole new appearance this time of year, and it's absolutely spectacular. WL is definately a favorite during the holidays. My mouth literally dropped open when we walked into the WL lobby last Christmas.Also, if you're really lucky, you may be able to catch a soft opening of the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (which will knock your socks off!) or another show for the Christmas season.

    You've picked one of the best places to stay during the holiday season and I think that it will be the first of many Disney vacations to remember together!
    Last edited by Spodie; 07-17-2009 at 11:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Disnyfan83's Avatar
    Disnyfan83 is offline Fastpass Holder
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Carolina

    Re: Thanksgiving 09

    Spodie is right -- be prepared for crowds! I hope you are traveling on the backside of thanksgiving - right after Thanksgiving weekend, the crowds really drop off.

    Seeing all the resorts decorated for the Holidays is a special treat!! Will you have a car with you? That is the easiest way to see the resorts - but if you don't, you can still see several resorts without too much difficulty. Since you are staying at the Wilderness Lodge (absolutely fabulous, by the way!!) you share several buses with both the Polynesian Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort. Just hop on one of those buses, tour the Polynesian Resort and then take the monorail over to the Grand Floridian Resort. From there, you can take the monorail to the Contemporary Resort.

    You can see the amazing decorations at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and Boardwalk Resort by exiting Epcot through the International Gateway in World Showcase. The Beach Club is not to be missed!!! Last year, they had fantastic carousel all made out of chocolate that actually spun around!! The smell alone will knock your socks off!

    Now is the time to be thinking about any dining reservations, so you are ready to make them at your 90 days mark.

    Need any other help - just ask!!! Everyone here on the forums are always eager to help!!
    Leslie Henson
    affiliated w/ MEI & Mouse Fan Travel

    Old Magic Kingdom Tour Guides never retire -- we still tell people where to go and what to do!

  4. #4
    SnwhtNdwrfs's Avatar
    SnwhtNdwrfs is offline Dancing with the dwarfs!
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Being entertained by the voices in my head

    Re: Thanksgiving 09

    I agree that this is a great time to go. In Nov. 2007 we stayed 10 days at the Wilderness Lodge. It is so beautiful this time of year. The crowds were doable except for the Studios where it seems to me that the walkways are just a bit smaller than at the other parks. (Could have just been the day we went.) We really enjoyed the launch from the resort to MK. Very calming and so much better than getting on a crowded bus after a day at the parks.

    Make a list of things that are Must-Dos and focus on them. Anything else you get in will just be extra fun.

    Good luck to you and have a great time!

  5. #5
    eyeinthesky's Avatar
    eyeinthesky is offline C-Ticket Holder
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Thanksgiving 09

    Try to get to the parks early and have all the headliner attractions done before noon.

    Plan to have dinner at one of the resorts, they have the best dining and will likely impress your husband. So many people think theme parks are all "burgers and fries." California Grill and 'Ohana at the Polynesian (plus you can take the monorail in)

    Be prepared to make the most of the unexpected. This is where the most magic happens. I like to tell people to hang back after Illuminations at Epcot. Let all the people go and find a nice place to just sit. Once the park empties out, take a stoll along WorldShowcase, it will be like having it all to yourself. The torches will be lit and beautiful atmosphere music plays.

    It's also fun to point out some of the hidden details like the Main Street windows in the Magic Kingdom. To a newbie, this can be learn about all the work that went into making Walt Disney World.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Creator, The Best of Walt Disney World

  6. #6
    1000thHaunt is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Northern California

    Re: Thanksgiving 09

    Thanks for the great tips, everybody! I'm inspired to really get things organized for our trip!

  7. #7
    whatwasithinkin is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Re: Thanksgiving 09

    If you want to realy impress him and show him a great WDW vacation, then dont go thanksgiving week, or Christmas week or any other big holiday week. November is a great time to go. Usually great weather and low crowds. But holiday weeks are crazy busy. With the economy as it is, at the moment it sounds like less folks are spending the money to do long vacations at expensive destinations, so things may be lighter this year. But for me, when its a mob scene, its no fun. Ive been to WDW when it was quiet and when it was at full capacity. Full capacity days are no fun whatsoever. Unless you like waiting 4 hours to get on rides, or standing in food lines for an hour etc.

    But if you have already booked that week, then a few basic tips can make it all bearable if its busy. Take advantage of the early AM openings. If your staying on property, the parks offer an hour early opening for resort guests. Same goes for late hours. On holiday weeks there are the late park hours too. During the chaotic mid day hours, chill out at your hotel. This is when I have also ventured out to different resorts to see what Im missing. And my experience has shown me that I was able to walk into resort resturants at lunchtime that I could have never gotten into without reservations at dinner. During busy weeks dinner reservations get realy sparce if not impossible to get. If you can skip the parades, that is a good time to head towards the popular rides. Guests start lining up along the parade route up to an hour before the parades. So head to the rides while the bulk of the guests are standing and waiting for the parade.

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