Best Restaurants for Thanksgiving and Christmas in Walt Disney World

Will you be celebrating Thanksgiving or Christmas in Walt Disney World?

mickey-christmas-holiday-santa-krispy-treat-2016-1

Lucky you! What a fun way to spend the holiday season — with so much to be thankful for in such a cool place!

As you can imagine, the crowds tend to swell at Disney during holiday weeks like Thanksgiving and Christmas as lots of Disney fans choose to celebrate their holiday there. And Disney answers the call with tons of Thanksgiving spirit throughout many of their restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional meal, a gourmet twist on familiar favorites, or something that’s a complete departure from established customs, you’ll find lots of options for celebrating these special food days. Let’s check out a few of our favorites.

The Traditional: Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

We all know it’s true. When you’re craving Thanksgiving dinner at Disney, there’s one spot you can always count on to deliver: Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square.

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

And we’re not just talking about on Thanksgiving Day, or merely around Thanksgiving. You’ll find the traditional feast on the lunch and dinner menu, every day of the year.

If you’re stopping by for dinner, you’ll dine family style and all-you-care-to-enjoy. Start with a Declaration Salad — a guest favorite.

Declaration Salad

Declaration Salad

The centerpiece of the meal is the Patriot’s Platter, where you’ll find three meats — Roasted Turkey Breast, Sliced Prime Rib, and Carved Pork Roast. Nestled beneath the turkey is a generous helping of Herb Stuffing.

Meats -- Roast Beef, Pork, and Turkey

Patriot’s Platter Meats — Prime Rib, Pork Roast, Carved Turkey Breast, and Stuffing

But that’s not all there is to this meal. Rolls with Butter plus Sides of Veggies (usually Green Beans), creamy Mac and Cheese, and Mashed Potatoes round out the offerings. And yes — there’s also plenty of Gravy!

Side Dishes -- Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, and Gravy

Side Dishes — Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, and Gravy

And don’t fret if the Cranberry Sauce doesn’t come to the table automatically. It’s always available by request!

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Johnny Appleseed’s Bread Pudding is served as a sweet ending to your feast. The warm dish is accompanied by an Apple Compote, and is served with a Creme Anglaise. This comforting classic is a great way to enjoy the bounty of Fall.

But Lunch is a great time to dine at Liberty Tree Tavern if your group wants options — because it’s the best of both worlds! TG Traditional Types can now enjoy the all-you-care-to-enjoy Lunch Patriot’s Platter! It offers all the same items as dinner — including Declaration Salad, Meats, Sides, AND Dessert — but it’s scaled to the number of folks who are enjoying this option.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

In addition to the Patriot’s Platter, there’s still an a la carte menu as well, although it’s been reduced in size. While the fan favorite New England Pot Roast is off the menu for now, we’re glad to see that the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is still available!

Tradition on the Go: Earl of Sandwich in Disney Springs

A Walt Disney World vacation can be a busy time, and being there for a major holiday is no exception!

Sure, if you were celebrating at home, it would be all football watching, kitchen cleaning, and a hearty dose of friends and family fun. But when you’re at Disney, there’s an agenda to keep. So how about the holiday meal on the go? I thought you’d never ask!

Head to Earl of Sandwich

Earl of Sandwich in Disney Springs

Earl of Sandwich in Disney Springs

…And get a load of THIS!

Make your way up to the counter and go for the Holiday Sandwich. This one has it all — Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing, Turkey Gravy, Cranberry Sauce and Mayonnaise. And best of all, you won’t be waiting around for your Thanksgiving Feast. It will be ready in moments, and you can even eat it on the go!

Holiday Turkey Sandwich

Holiday Turkey Sandwich

Now if they could just figure out how to get the Sweet Potatoes into the mix, it’d be just about perfect!

International Flair: Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

Maybe you love the idea of a bountiful spread, but you’d like a little continental flair to go with it. We think that the Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot’s German Pavilion is a great option for a holiday meal. After all, it’s the celebration of another amazing food festival — Oktoberfest!

Get to Know Your Neighbors at this Streetfest!

Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

Step into Biergarten and you’re transported to Munich. A jolly town square is the setting for the entertainment.

Stage Area and Seating

Communal Seating Makes for a Festive Occasion

Before things really get underway, there’s business to attend to. First and foremost, you’ve gotta tap that keg!

Tapping the Keg

Tapping the Keg

The band and performers have been around forever, and they’re incredibly talented. You’ll enjoy traditional music, and if the notion strikes, feel free to get up and utilize that big ol’ dance floor down front!

Playing a Polka

Playing a Polka

Service here is buffet-style, and you’ll help yourself to a practically endless array of hearty Roasts, Meats, and Sausages. To go alongside, look for traditional German favorites like Spätzle, Braised Red Cabbage, and Roasted Potatoes.

Carving Station with German Meat Loaf, Pork Roast, and Red Wine Sauce

Carving Station with German Meat Loaf, Pork Roast, and Red Wine Sauce

And whatever you do, don’t forget the Beer!

A Liter of Beer!

A Liter of Beer

Black Forest Cake and Rote Grutze, or Fruit Compote served with a Vanilla Sauce, are some of our favorite desserts. And you can’t go wrong with Apple Strudel.

Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel

It may not be your traditional Turkey and Dressing, but I promise the sheer volume of rich food will take you to the same Happy Place.

Turkey and Mistletoe at Hollywood & Vine: Minnie’s Holiday Dine Dinner in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

I have a lot of friends who are perfectly fine with the fact that Thanksgiving has been sorta kinda swallowed up by Christmas and the winter holidays. Well, guess what? If you’re firmly in that camp, then Hollywood & Vine is the place for you!

That’s because beginning in early November, the restaurant will host Minnie’s Holiday Dine Dinner each evening.

Minnie's Holiday Dine

Minnie’s Holiday Dine

The festive event features lots of up close and personal face time with THIS gal, plus her famous boyfriend. ;-)

Minnie Mouse Celebrates the Holidays at Hollywood and Vine

Minnie Mouse Celebrates the Holidays at Hollywood and Vine

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

Other pals, like Santa Goofy, Donald, and Daisy — all decked out in their holiday finest — are on hand to make your dining experience extra special.

While there’s no telling what delights that Minnie has in store for her special guests this year, we can tell you that the spread was extra special the last time we enjoyed Holiday and Dine. With seasonal favorites like Cranberry Butter, Cornbread Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole, and this enormous Ham with Cherry Port Glaze, you can’t go wrong.

Cherry Port Ham at Minnie's Holiday and Dine Dinner

Cherry Port Ham at Minnie’s Holiday and Dine Dinner

Ha! Don’t you love this cake? It’s just for display, but there are plenty of goodies to end your meal.

Mickey!

Mickey!

Even if you can’t have half of a giant Mickey Cake, there’s always Hollywood and Dine’s famous Chocolate Fountain

Chocolate Fountain

Minnie’s Chocolate Fountain!

Chocolate-dipped Marshmallows

Chocolate-dipped Marshmallows

Can you resist?? I cannot.

Old World Meets New: Raglan Road in Disney Springs

We always enjoy a visit to Raglan Road. The authentic Irish Pub continues to offer a fresh, modern take on Irish food and drink. Whether you’re in the mood for classic dishes like Fish and Chips (try their amazing Gluten Free version too!) and a pint of Guinness, or you fancy something new from their ever-changing seasonal menu, you’re in for a treat.

Irish Soda Bread with Olive Oil and Guinness Reduction

Give Thanks with a Pint of Guinness and Irish Soda Bread

And with incredible entertainment, including the recent debut of their new show, Rhythms of Raglan, the restaurant also represents incredible value.

"Rhythms of Raglan" Show at Raglan Road

“Rhythms of Raglan” Show at Raglan Road

But did you know that they also offer special menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

We’ve had the stuffing, and it’s fantastic.

Hog in a Box -- Stuffing -- Up Close

Best. Stuffing. Ever.

Do. Not. Miss. It.

A Fun Departure: Splitsville Luxury Lanes in Disney Springs

We get it. We totally understand that there are some of you out there who’d like to say, “Hey. Holiday. I’m just not that into you.”

Or if you’re like a lot of Americans, you may love to hit the lanes after that big giant dinner! Then consider Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Disney Springs.

Splitsville in Disney Springs West Side

Splitsville in Disney Springs West Side

Sure, you’re already at Disney, and that’s pretty special. But I promise you, those parks are going to get busy, and FAST. An afternoon of bowling may just be the tradition that you and your family have been looking for!

Take a look at Splitsville’s vast and varied menu, and you’ll see something that will please every palate. From Sushi to Salads, from Pizza to Chicken Parm — you’ll find a little bit of everything here.

Sushi at Splitsville

Sushi at Splitsville

Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza

And guests who are looking for Gluten Free dining will appreciate menu offerings — including Pizza and Cupcakes — that are just for them!

Holidays, Florida Style: Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Campground

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ offers a fun and relaxed version of the holiday meal.

Mickeys Backyard BBQ Sign

Getting to this combo Character Dining and Dinner Show will take you some time, as it takes place at the far (read: back) end of Ft. Wilderness, which is opposite of where you park. Plan extra time to get there if you’re taking your car, or do what I do — catch a boat from Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort, or Wilderness Lodge.

Fort Wilderness Mickey's Backyard BBQ Pavilion Entrance

Fort Wilderness Mickey’s Backyard BBQ Pavilion Entrance

But once you’re there, hold onto your hats! Because you’re in for a great time, as performers entertain you with plenty of music, dancing, rope tricks, and general cowboy merriment. Characters interact with guests before, during, and after the show, signing autographs and posing for pics.

The entire event — both meal and show — take place in a covered, outdoor pavilion.

Pavilion Dining Area

Pavilion Dining Area

For Thanksgiving, expect the buffet to include all of the traditional favorites — Sliced Turkey, Ham, Cornbread Dressing, Candied Yams, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Cranberries, and lots of Veggies. Soup, Salad, and Cornbread round out the meal.

Mickey's Backyard BBQ Thanksgiving Eats!

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ Thanksgiving Eats!

And don’t forget the Pumpkin Pie! We sure won’t! :-D

The Upscale Version: California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

If you’re looking for your Holiday Dinner with the refinement of a signature dining option, then consider our final recommendation, California Grill.

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

California Grill is one of our favorite Disney restaurants in terms of atmosphere; you just can’t beat the sweeping panoramic views from high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

California Grill Sunset

California Grill Sunset

And if you time your advance dining reservation just right, your holiday meal will come with a side of spectacular fireworks. (If you can’t get that coveted time slot, no worries; you’ll still be able to come back and watch the fireworks later in the evening.)

Fireworks from California Grill

Fireworks from California Grill

No doubt that if you book your table for Thanksgiving or Christmas at California Grill, you’ll still experience the traditional favorites. But we’re confident that the crack culinary team will also have a few tricks up their sleeves to make this a memorable meal.

Apple Cinnamon Crème Brûlée

Look For Seasonal Flavors with a Gourmet Twist (Pictured: Apple Cinnamon Crème Brûlée)

And there you have it — Disney Food Blog’s recommendations for Thanksgiving and Christmas Dining at Walt Disney World!

If you don’t already have your advance dining reservation, you may find it difficult to secure a table this late in the game at some of the spots. Nevertheless, try calling 407-WDW-DINE, and hopefully they can hook you up. And if you don’t have success… Well — there are always Jumbo Turkey Legs! :-D

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Holiday Fun!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays, 2016 e-Book is now available! 

2016 holiday guide cover

This 380+-page guide to all things Disney Holidays related — not just food! — offers you the latest holiday tips and brand new info you NEED to know before you hit the parks this November, December, and January!

And with 350 full-color photos, it will be like you’re right in the middle of the magic!

Order your 2016 edition today! Don’t miss a moment of the fun!

Use code CANDYCANE at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

Happy Holiday planning from all of us here at DFB!

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Best Restaurants for Thanksgiving and Christmas in Walt Disney World

But now I’d really love to hear from you! Would you like to be in Walt Disney World this year for Thanksgiving Dinner? Leave a comment and let us know which spot gets your top vote!

Comments

  1. Lisa P says

    Maybe about eight years ago, we had to get a last minute flight for a funeral in Tampa just before Thanksgiving. Afterwords, since we we already in FL, we stayed a couple of nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge through the holiday. I can remember in those that the call center actually had room specials and we got a last minute booking for $149 per night with the savannah view over Thanksgiving! We weren’t in much of a mood for the parks so we decided just to spend the time at the resort. Of course Boma and Jiko was all booked up on Thanksgiving, but one CM asked us what we were looking to eat and we said a turkey dinner. He said they had a full turkey dinner at the quick serve restaurant, Mara, and that it came straight from Boma’s kitchen anyway. So we all got the turkey platter dinner and a bottle of wine and sat out by the pool where it was quiet and very comfortable. It was a lovely Thanksgiving.

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