Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line

This holiday season, give a gift that’s both nautical and nice: a cruise on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, all decked out with holiday cheer. Starting early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship during Very Merrytime Cruises, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas. But the best part might just be relaxing on deck instead of shoveling snow.

During these voyages through the new year, special stem-to-stern holiday events include:

  • “Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.
  • “Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball” in the atrium lobby, where Disney cruisers welcome the guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus, with a grand celebration featuring Broadway-style entertainment, favorite Disney characters and classic holiday tunes. This evening of enchantment is made complete when a special pair of royal sisters joins the party and causes a flurry of “frozen” fun as a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.
  • Dickens-inspired carolers carrying the spirit of the holidays throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends. At the end of the cruise, children will have the opportunity to join the carolers onstage for a special farewell show.
  • Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses and meeting Santa Claus.
  • Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.
  • “Deck the Deck Holiday Party,” a tropical celebration with Disney friends leading games such as hula hooping and limbo under oversized candy canes, along with dances for the whole family like the “Yuletide Slide” and a conga line around the pool.
  • A special holiday edition of the cheerful farewell celebration on the final night of the cruise, with beloved Disney characters and the ship’s crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.

On Thanksgiving Day, guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast and visits from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, NFL football games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screens – Funnel Vision – located near the family pool.

Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree Santa Claus and his helpers will have a surprise for all the kids, and guests will delight in a special musical performance from the children. A traditional Christmas Dinner will be served that night in the dining rooms.

Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, Dec. 12 to Dec. 20.

Special holiday décor adorns each ship from bow to stern, anchored by a three-deck-tall tree in the atrium lobby. The 20’ tall tree is uniquely decorated to complement the existing colors and overall theme of the lobby, including a custom star that is as unique as the ship. All together, the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Dream have 402 garlands totaling 3,768’, 126 wreaths ranging from 24” to 60” and 130 trees ranging from 24” to 8’.

When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.

For an extra sprinkle of holiday joy, special amenities are available for stateroom delivery. Purchased in advance of sailing, these include holiday-themed gift packages and treat baskets and even mini Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, red berries, mini carnations and a bow topper. Plus, during the holiday cruises, the Disney Cruise Line holiday merchandise collection and ever-popular Disney Cruise Line ornaments will be available in the gift shops.

To ring in 2018, voyages during the holiday include a special New Year’s Eve party, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown.

To celebrate the holidays, the Disney Magic sails four-, five-, seven- and eight-night Bahamian cruises, five- night Eastern Caribbean cruises, and a five-night Western Caribbean cruise departing Nov. 11 to Dec. 24; the Disney Wonder sails seven-night Western Caribbean cruises, and seven-night Bahamian cruises departing from Nov. 10 to Dec. 22; the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing from Nov. 10 to Dec. 22; and the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises departing from Nov. 11 to Dec. 23.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Thanksgiving Day Dining Reservations at Disneyland Resort Open Today

Disneyland Thanksgiving Dining

It’s countdown to turkey time, and the Disneyland Resort chefs are planning some extra-special dining for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26. Here’s where you’ll find the big bird in the theme parks and hotels. For reservations, visit Disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE.

The biggest celebration is from noon-5 p.m. at the Disneyland Hotel ballroom, where the annual fall harvest includes Thanksgiving favorites such as carved roasted breast of turkey and prime rib, served with homemade stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, fresh cranberry-orange relish and smashed potatoes and gravy. You’ll also find salads, artisan cheeses, smoked salmon and cured meats, poached shrimp and king crab legs. Desserts include pumpkin and pecan pies, tarts, cookies, chocolate mousse and a chocolate fountain. Fall harvest buffet is $76.99; also a special buffet just for ages 3 to 9, $27.99.

Here’s your guide to Thanksgiving Day dining throughout the Disneyland Resort:

Disneyland Park

  • Carnation Café: Slow-roasted turkey with turkey-bourbon gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, apple-cranberry stuffing, cranberry-orange relish, veggies and a dinner roll.
  • Plaza Inn: Slow-roasted turkey with traditional turkey gravy and sage dressing, mashed potatoes, veggies and a dinner roll.
  • River Belle Terrace “Fantasmic!” Dinner: Slow-roasted turkey breast with stuffing, roasted garlic-thyme mashed potatoes, home-style gravy, veggies, cornbread and cranberry relish.
  • French Market Restaurant: Slow-roasted turkey breast with andouille sausage stuffing, Market potatoes, home-style gravy, veggies, artisan bread and cranberry relish. Also pumpkin pie.
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant: Slow-roasted turkey roulade with focaccia stuffing, roasted garlic, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, Cognac turkey gravy and cranberry relish.
  • Harbour Galley: Turkey tortilla soup simmered with roasted corn and black beans.
  • Café Orleans: Slow-roasted turkey breast with cornbread and giblet stuffing, red skin mashed potatoes, veggies, home-style gravy and cranberry relish.

Disney California Adventure Park

  • Mortimer’s Market: Turkey-shaped sourdough bread.
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant: Receive a voucher for “World of Color” preferred viewing with your choice of Carthay Circle Salad with heirloom apples, roasted walnuts, winter greens, bacon, dates and creamy citrus vinaigrette or Cinderella Pumpkin Broth with lemongrass-cilantro grilled chicken, caramelized onion and Tuscan kale. Entrée added: grilled Sierra free-range turkey with a Poblano chile and mushroom tamale, and creamed corn with turkey jus. Dessert, also a la carte, is crunchy butterscotch pie with cashews, holiday Chantilly and caramel.
  • Wine Country TrattoriaHerb-roasted turkey breast with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, herb focaccia stuffing, seasonal vegetables and orange-cranberry sauce. Also pumpkin pie.
  • Boudin Bread Cart at Pacific Wharf: Turkey-shaped sourdough bread
  • Pacific Wharf Café: Turkey pot pie soup in a bread bowl; pumpkin spice bread pudding.
  • Flo’s V8 Café: Rotisserie-roasted turkey breast with mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies and 0range-cranberry sauce.
  • Ariel’s Grotto: Slow-roasted turkey breast with turkey gravy, apple stuffing, orange-cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and veggies (includes voucher for “World of Color” preferred viewing).
  • Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta: Pumpkin pie.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  • Storytellers Café: Dinner buffet with salads and fresh fruit, roasted corn chowder, hand-carved turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, hand-carved beef, pan-seared salmon, pork loin, candied yams, sourdough bread stuffing, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, green beans. Also holiday desserts include pumpkin and pecan pies, bread pudding with vanilla sauce, chocolate pate, dulce de leche pot de crème.
  • Napa Rose: Chef Andrew Sutton’s Four-Course Wine Country Feast (wine flight also available); reservations and information, 714-300-7170.

Disneyland Hotel

  • Steakhouse 55: Starter course – butternut squash soup with crispy shredded skirt steak and maple clabbered cream; Entrée – roasted turkey Wellington, brioche stuffing, cranberry, Swiss chard, wild mushroom gravy; Dessert – trio of sweet potato mousse parfait, pecan cake pop and pumpkin whoopie pie. Wine pairings available. Also available in the Steakhouse 55 Lounge.
  • Goofy’s Kitchen: Turkey and herb stuffing will be added to the buffet brunch, along with turkey gravy, sweet potatoes and tortellini with pumpkin cream sauce.

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

  • Disney’s PCH Grill: Dinner Buffet – Cold selections include salads, heirloom tomato-mozzarella topped with creamy pesto & aged balsamic reduction, roasted potato salad with creamy mustard dressing. Hot selections include fried chicken, roasted sustainable fish, sausage and herb stuffing, roasted garden vegetables, mini smashed potatoes with cheddar cheese, spice-rubbed pork shoulder. On the carving station, herb-marinated roast and oven-roasted turkey breast are served with beef au jus, creamy horseradish, cranberry relish and brown gravy. Traditional holiday desserts include pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie, apple pie, chestnut-apricot flight, vanilla caramel and cranberry jelly, molten chocolate hazelnut crumb cake.

Note: Disney characters will not be in attendance for Thanksgiving meals served at Storytellers Café and Disney’s PCH Grill.

Additional Magic Kingdom Dining Options to be Open During Thanksgiving Week

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The Magic Kingdom will have additional dining options during the extremely busy Thanksgiving week 2014.

  • Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland will be open daily now from 11am to 3pm through to December 6 2014.
  • The Tomorrowland Terrace will be open 11am to 9pm from November 23 to November 29 2014.
  • The Diamond Horseshoe will be offering quick service dining 11am to 3pm, from November 23 to November 26, and November 28 to November 29 2014.
  • The Diamond Horseshoe will offer table service dining 3pm to 8:30pm, from November 23 to November 26, and November 28 to November 29 2014.
  • The Diamond Horseshoe will host a Thanksgiving family style buffet from 11:30am to 8:30pm on Thursday November 27.
  • Many kiosks will offer breakfast muffins and coffee.

Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom Opening Early Thanksgiving Week

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For those who will be at Walt Disney World around the Thanksgiving holiday the Magic Kingdom operating hours for the extremely busy Thanksgiving week have been extended with early park opening.

From November 22nd to November 29th, the Magic Kingdom will now be opening at 8 AM instead of the previously scheduled 9 AM. This of course means that Morning Extra Magic Hours move to beginning at 7 AM rather than 8 AM.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will now be opening at 8 AM instead of 9 AM November 23rd to November 28th.

A Feast of Disney Tastes Featured on Thanksgiving Day

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Walt Disney World Resort guests can indulge in a fresh take on an American tradition by enjoying their Thanksgiving feast Nov. 27, 2014 with a bounty of Disney tastes. With more than 30 different dining choices at Disney theme parks and resorts, families and friends can come together for a variety of Thanksgiving lunch and dinner offerings.

Special holiday menus include roasted turkey breast with all the trimmings plus traditional Norwegian meatballs and pan-seared salmon at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, poppy seed lavash, house-made naan, and apple-cranberry achar at Sanaa, roasted heirloom beets with candied walnuts and mulled apple cider at Artist Point, and other unique dishes to enjoy with the holiday classics.

At Epcot, guests can dine on Thanksgiving menus during lunch and dinner seatings at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Biergarten Restaurant, Coral Reef Restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse, and Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, as well as quick service at Sunshine Seasons.

Holiday menus also are offered at Be Our Guest Restaurant and Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in Magic Kingdom, Hollywood & Vine and The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Within the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, special Thanksgiving dining options are available at:

  • Artist Point and Whispering Canyon Café at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • California Grill and The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Captain’s Grille and Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • End Zone Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Flying Fish Café at Disney’s BoardWalk
  • Mickey’s Backyard Thanksgiving Feast and Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Grand Floridian Café, Narcoossee’s and Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Sanaa at Disney’s Kidani Village Resort
  • Shutters at Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Availability is limited and dining events are subject to change. For information and reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE.

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Aulani

Characters - Aulani

Family and food are two of the best things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, and what better way to celebrate than on a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? In fact, Sunset Magazine recently voted Aulani as one of the “top ten warm-weather Thanksgiving getaways.” So envision your ‘ohana spending November 27 floating down the Waikolohe Stream or exploring the Menehune Adventure Trail and then enjoying a delicious array of food and fun at the Aulani Thanksgiving Feast.

The Kaiona Ballroom will be transformed into a celebratory feast full of Hawaiian holiday traditions sprinkled with Disney magic. You’ll enjoy familiar Thanksgiving favorites … but with an island twist. For example, start with the heirloom tomato salad with Maui onion and micro basil and then follow that scrumptious starter with the longboard-braised boneless beef short ribs. Of course, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without turkey or ham – so be sure not to miss the guava- and pineapple-glazed ham and roasted turkey with sage stuffing, giblet gravy, and fresh cranberry-orange chutney. Also, live music from local entertainers will be featured, as well as a special Disney character greeting experiences exclusively for Aulani Thanksgiving Feast guests!

This “pumpkin pie” perfect feast will have two seatings: the first seating is from 4-6 p.m. and the second seating is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Aulani Thanksgiving Feast costs $84.99 for guests ages 10 and up; $42.99 for keiki ages 3 to 9. Please keep in mind that this event has limited seating, so be sure to call (808) 674-6200 to book your reservation today. Find more information and more menu details here.