Instead of spending all day in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner for your parents, in-laws and immediate family, you may want to make it easier on yourself by letting someone else prepare the turkey and all of the fixings. If your mother-in-law does not jump at the idea of hosting the festivities at her home, you can always take the group to a local restaurant that will prepare and serve the food. Well, that can work out great, but for a truly memorable Thanksgiving, spend it at Disneyland.
Give the kids a mid-semester break from school and invite your parents and some of your favorite relatives to join you in Anaheim for a family gathering with Mickey and the gang. Plan your trip to Disneyland well in advance of the last Thursday in November and be sure to make reservations at the restaurant of your choice. The most popular Disney restaurants can book-up fast, so avoid being disappointed by not waiting until the last minute.
Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast at the Disneyland Hotel
One of the most popular and best places to have Thanksgiving dinner is in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. Actually, the term dinner is not an appropriate description for the occasion. The Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast is an annual event that gets better every year. An impressive buffet of all of the traditional items and other favorites will tempt you to load your plate until it can hold no more.
The carving station offers perfectly cooked roast turkey and tender prime rib. Put a scoop of homemade stuffing on your plate and don’t forget the sweet potato and cranberry sauce. Add a fresh salad and try the smoked salmon or king crab legs. Take your time and let your food digest. You have to save some room for the pumpkin and pecan pies.
Take a picture of your kids as they ask for autographs from some of their favorite Disney characters. Young children can be picky eaters so that is why the special children’s buffet, for children under 10, features some of their favorites like chicken fingers, homemade pizza, mini hotdogs and fresh corn on the cob.
While it is not cheap to partake in this fabulous feast, if you are able to swing the approximate $75 price per adult or $25 price for children under 10, you will get your money’s worth and some priceless memories.
Napa Rose in the Grand Californian Hotel
For a truly elegant Thanksgiving dining experience, you won’t find a better place to go than the award-winning Napa Rose. Gayot, a well-respected restaurant, hotel, and travel review site that has been in business since 1969, included Napa Rose as one of 2014’s Top Ten Thanksgiving Restaurants in Orange County.
Inspired by the fresh, locally sourced menus of the Napa Valley, Chef Andrew Sutton creates a perfectly balanced four-course menu that is sure to please even the most discriminating diner. While you expect and get the most succulent turkey, seasoned dressing and all of the traditional Thanksgiving items, the chef always throws in a few tasty surprises that you will not find at any other restaurant.
The price for experiencing fine Thanksgiving at its best is around $90 for adults (you can get a wine flight for an additional $45) and just $20 for a kid’s (3-9) turkey dinner. Reservations are recommended.
Okay, so we all can not afford to spend $100 on a meal for Thanksgiving, even if it is a truly great dining experience. When you go to Disneyland for the holiday, you have many other choices for where to have your Thanksgiving meal. The following two Disney restaurants have more affordable holiday menus.
Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel
Enjoy all of your Thanksgiving favorites on a complete menu that includes traditional entrees like turkey, roast beef, and ham, as well as plenty of delicious side dishes and mouth-watering desserts. Goofy offers both a Thanksgiving brunch and a Thanksgiving dinner. The 2013 price for adults (10 and older) was $33.99 for brunch and $38.99 for dinner. Kids, age 3-9, are charged $17.99 for either brunch or dinner.
Storytellers Café at the Grand Californian Hotel
Feast on a beautiful dinner buffet that includes turkey and all the trimmings at a very reasonable price. Adults (10 and over) can choose to eat all they want at the buffet for $30.99, or opt for the plated meal (no seconds) for just $22.99. Children (age 3-9) get the buffet for $14.99 and the plated version for $11.99.
Walking Off Those Extra Pounds
Thanksgiving is one of the few times of the year when it is okay to overindulge and eat more than you normally do. Don’t worry about putting on a few extra pounds on Thanksgiving Day, because you can work them off when you spend the next day or two enjoying the rides and attractions inside of Disneyland Park and California Adventure.
Your family group will have the opportunity to have hours of fun and get closer to each other while taking a pleasant trip through It’s a Small World. Hold onto Grandma’s hand as you take her into outer space on Space Mountain.
While there are no parades or special events for Thanksgiving, all of the Christmas decorations will be up. It can be hit-or-miss, depending on the day and time you, on whether the lines will be short or long. Get a Speed Pass if the lines are long.
Going to Disneyland can be expensive, and that is especially true if you are responsible for paying for a large group of people. If you want to save some money and still get the full Disney experience, consider staying at the Anaheim Express Inn Maingate, located within easy walking distance of Disneyland. The rooms are large, clean and well-appointed. Free breakfast and a nice swimming pool are part of the deal, and when you see the great price, you will be almost as happy as being at the Happiest Place on Earth.