There’s been a lot of talk about how Disney celebrates the holidays, but I’ve always been a little dubious. Let’s face it, the holidays are crazy enough without adding a vacation to the mix! I don’t think I could handle visiting Walt Disney World over Christmas, but what about Thanksgiving? It’s a holiday that’s all about food, at least for me! I love the chance to go over the top and cook enough food to feed a small army, even when it’s just our family. It’s my chance to indulge in a fantasy. (Come back on Wednesday to see my Disney-inspired Thanksgiving menu!)

But what if . . . instead of spending the Thanksgiving holiday in a whirlwind of baking and cooking and cleaning, we hopped a plane to Orlando? I’m not sure I could handle it, but I’ll give it a shot in this Virtual Vacation!

Wednesday: Arrival

We’ll arrive bright and early Wednesday morning, and check into our resort. For this trip I’ve chosen the Treehouse Villas at the Saratoga Springs Resort.

Treehouse Villa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort

Image courtesy of Auntie Rain

I love the ability to spread out and relax, and for this trip a bit of homeyness seems appropriate. Of course, I’m not going grocery shopping on vacation, so I’ll give Personal Disney Shopper my list. She’ll have things waiting for me when we check in!

Since it will be just about lunchtime by the time we get to the resort and get checked in, I’ll let Bill and the kids unpack while I whip up a quick munchies lunch:

  • Raw veggies and a quick sour cream and chives dip (better make sure Disney includes a mixer or food processor in that “fully stocked kitchen!”
  • Several variaties of crackers
  • French bread
  • Pita bread and hummus with paprika and olive oil
  • Fresh fruit – probably apples, bananas, and grapes.
  • Cheese plate – sharp cheddar, provolone, and Dubliner
  • Meat plate – prosciutto, shaved roast beef, shaved turkey
  • Tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil salad
Ok, so it sounds like a lot of food, but the idea here is that we’ll have plenty of munchies on hand for the rest of our trip!
We’ll spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Saratoga Springs resort. We’ll rent bikes and explore the trails, playground, and probably the arcade before enjoying an early dinner at The Artists’s Palette deli. We’ll finish the evening off with Movies Under the Stars and an early(ish) bedtime. We’ll want to be up early to hit the parks in the morning!
Thursday: Animal Kingdom
We’ll attend Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom Thursday morning, then go straight to the Kilimanjaro Safari. After the safari, we’ll explore the rest of Animal Kingdom, since we missed a lot of it on our first trip.

Safari Breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom

That evening, we’ll take advantage of Park Hopper to make it to dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern and fireworks in Magic Kingdom.
Friday: Hollywood Studios
We completely skipped Hollywood Studios on our first trip. Now that the kids are a little older, and Princess is a big fan of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, we’ll spend the day after Thanksgiving immersing in the movies.
Friday evening we’ll take advantage of in-room childcare and Bill and I will sneak off for some grown-up time at Downtown Disney. We’ll have tickets to Cirque du Soleil, and get dinner there, depending on our mood. Definite possibilities are Bongo’s Cuban Cafe and Raglan Road Irish Pub – which would you choose?
We’ll catch an early flight home Saturday morning – we’ll need a day or two to recover from our whirlwind Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World! Have you celebrated Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World? Share your tips in the comments below!