Thanksgiving Week Touring Plans

We are going to brave the crowds during Thanksgiving week (22nd through 26th).

We will have parts of five days - getting to a park around noon or so on the first day (so no rope drop), then have to leave whichever park we’re at by around 5 on the last day.

My first thought was to do MK on both the first and last “partial” days. We’ve identified five rides we’d like to do both of the MK days (Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Haunted Mansion, 7 Dwarfs and Peter Pan) and then the rest of the rides and attractions we will split between the two days.

Now, though, I want to make sure we are not better off doing a park with less attractions that first day (about six hours worth is what we’ll have available). Can we do HS without rope drop in six hours? Or maybe AK?

We are tied in to Epcot on Thanksgiving day, but other than that, we are flexible. If it matters, the kids are 11, 14 and 14, and character meets are pretty low on our list of priorities.


I think HS or AK would be a better choice for the first day then do a full day at MK on the 23rd (MK has PM EMH then, can you take advantage of that). I will warn you by noon on the 22nd at MK, almost everything is going to have a 1 hour wait except for things like Country Bear or the Tiki Room. If there was ever a park where RD is most important, I feel it’s MK. There is just not that much to do at HS and you can knock most of them out with 3 good FPPs and 1 good wait for the other Tier 1 fast pass option.

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I agree with @duffy. Crowds really start building mid morning and are at their worst through mid day, up until 5-6. Our last Thanksgiving trip, things at MK were still pretty crowded even until wishes. You can get some things done, but wait times for rides are just long until dinner time or later. I think a park like HS or AK, where there are shows and ambiance to enjoy that don’t require a wait in long lines are a better bet for an afternoon. You can do a significant portion of HS in a half day, even with big crowds. That being said, MK with a strategic tp can also be fun. I’ve made a “short/no lines” TP for MK that included the very things Duffy mentioned- people mover, country bears, enchanted tiki, tea cups, Tom Sawyer island, playing sotmk, etc. combine that with a few FPP and you could still have a great time.

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We are braving the crowds that week too. Are you staying onsite? If so have you made your FPP? I’m seeing a lot of headliners with no FPP available. My search is for 6 but on the 22nd (we’ll be in MK too) space, buzz, and 7 D have no FPP left. We’ve stayed offsite before for Thanksgiving and New Year’s and never had a problem getting FPP (except for 7D) at 30 days so I’m not sure what is going on this year.

From experience, you can get so much more done at MK at RD. I think there are more rides to do at MK and honestly you can get probably all your rides (and more) done by noon especially if you can find a FPP for a few of them. I understand it is hard with teens to get them up especially as I hope they change the park hours to 8 am. We are hoping they have nighttime stuff at AK and HS so 2 of 3 of my MK days are late start (including the 22nd). Any typical afternoon, we tend to do large capacity rides/parades plus our FPP as we won’t wait in an hour line.

As @duffy said, if you go to AK or HS your really only have to wait for 1 ride. Plus, you can use the single rider line for some things like RnR or EE.

On any afternoon plan or Thanksgiving crowds, the key is FPP.

Today was the first day to get the FastPasses.

The only thing I couldn’t get at all was 7D on 11/23, but at least I was able to get it on 11/26. For Frozen on 11/24, I was able to get the FP, but MUCH later than I had hoped…

Everything else I was able to get pretty much what I wanted roughly around when I wanted.

That’s make me feel better about switching parks on the 22nd…and hopefully having a good plan will get us through AK that day!

I’m in the thanksgiving week club too. Wondering what to do about my FPP. I booked them on Monday but am now wondering if I need to push some of them into the afternoon evening. Do we have any chance of getting the 4th + FPP??? If not, then I’d rather have my FPP in the later afternoon when things are crazy busy.

A 4th FPP? I wouldn’t count on anything other than maybe an evening FPP for something like Dumbo, Barnstormer or Magic Carpets. We were there Thanksgiving last year and you can still get a ton done the first 2 hours but lines really build for everything and don’t let up too much. We rode a ton the first 2 hours, used strategic FastPasses next, and did really low wait things like Tiki Room, Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents. It’s still a ton of fun but you really cannot show up at noon and expect to get a lot done as far as headliners go. We enjoyed Thanksgiving week a lot still – enough to go back the same week anyways!!! Weather is fabulous, holiday ambience is great. I did feel bad for some people that were obviously not prepared (showing up without any FPP booked!!!)

That’s what I was thinking. I might move some of my FPP later I guess. Glad to hear you still enjoyed thanksgiving week. I know it will be the worst crowds we’ve ever seen. We will be there at RD every morning, without a doubt. Then try to be chill once the crowds come in. I’m trying not to worry. Wish all the extended hours were confirmed.