Orlando Thanksgiving: 17 Best Things to Do

Ready to shake up your traditional Turkey Day plans? Switch out your stuffing and football for palm trees, theme parks, and more when you celebrate Thanksgiving in Orlando.

Thanks to sunny skies and adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters, Central Florida tops our list as one of the most fun places to visit for Thanksgiving. Follow along to uncover the 17 best things to do for your Orlando Thanksgiving.

From cozying up to Mickey in pilgrim attire to thrilling live music and luscious pumpkin cheesecake, we’ve covered every way to celebrate Thanksgiving in Orlando.

Lace up those sneakers for a heart-pumping Turkey Trot in Avalon Park, or treat yourself to creamy mashed potatoes and duck fat roasties at the Raglan Road Irish Pub.

No matter if you are craving a traditional Thanksgiving feast of roasted turkey and stuffing or want to see what the holiday season offers at Disney World, Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to explore O-town.

Whether your heart is set on mingling with Minions or a sophisticated prix fixe menu, the City Beautiful brings the magic to this festive weekend of gratitude and gravy.

Things to Do in Orlando Thanksgiving Week

Still worried you won’t be entertained by Orlando’s Thanksgiving week offerings? Never fear as this Central Florida city is brimming with fun and festivities. Don’t waste your time searching for ‘attractions open on Thanksgiving’ because most premier theme parks will remain open on Thanksgiving.

Whether you are hunting for ‘things to do Thanksgiving weekend near me’ or ‘things to do in Orlando Thanksgiving week’ simply consult our list of top-tier activities, events, and dinners.

Make sure you’re fully rested for hours of parades and pumpkin pie when you book a cozy stay at any of our Orlando hotels and resorts.

Thanksgiving Activities in Orlando

Walt Disney World

Want to give thanks with Goofy, Minnie, and Moana? Celebrate the spirit of giving in the Most Magical Place on Earth. Walt Disney World will be open on Thanksgiving Day, and you and your family can enjoy hoards of classic rides such as Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain.

Those feeling particularly festive can even make reservations to indulge in a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings at the Liberty Tree Tavern or the Le Cellier Steakhouse at EPCOT. For a full rundown on Disney World Thanksgiving parades, meal options, and entertainment, check out our Disney World Thanksgiving guide to discover what you need to know before you go. 

mickey mouse with thanksgiving turkeysSeaWorld Orlando

Looking for a splashing good time? Inject your Thanksgiving with some saltwater-infused fun when you spend Turkey Day uncovering the wonders of the sea. SeaWorld Orlando will remain open on Thanksgiving Day and is the perfect distraction for little minnows of all ages.

Scream yourself silly on the thrilling Mako coaster, encounter an Orca, or get wild with Big Bird in Sesame Street Land. Don’t forget to seek out the cheery decorations, lights, and decadent holiday treats that will be part of SeaWorld’s ongoing Christmas Celebration at this time. 

Universal Orlando Resort

Wondering what there is to do at Universal Studios during Thanksgiving? Fortunately, your favorite superheroes and Simpson characters will be ready and waiting for you.

Unlock the excitement and entertainment of Hollywood when you spend the day riding the Hogwarts Express, dodging dinosaur beasts, and making mischief with Minions. Usher in the holly jolly season early, when you cheer along to Universal’s Holiday Parade or gather for a very green Christmas with the Grinch

*Please note that the Holidays at Universal Orlando will be available at the park on select days throughout the winter.

Disney + Universal Studios? Sounds like an enchanting combination. Get the best of both theme park worlds when you reserve a sizzling Walt Disney World® & Universal Orlando Hotel Package.

Close up photo of Optimus Prime at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort via Facebook

WonderWorks Orlando

Hands-on, immersive learning, and an opportunity to burn off those extra Turkey Day calories? Yes, please! Hightail it to WonderWorks Orlando for an educational adventure like no other. This wacky upside-down icon can be found on International Drive and features a glow-in-the-dark indoor ropes course, a backlit laser-tag arena, a 4-D XD motion theater, and six wonder zones.

Experience the incredible power of an earthquake, or discover what it takes to be an astronaut. Test your balance as you battle the ropes or become a human lightning rod. WonderWorks promises hours of fun for the whole family. 

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Ready to brush up on your brick building? Craft impressive creations, pal around with Peppa the Pig, or blast off in Benny’s Play Ship when you visit LEGOLAND, Florida, this November. The LEGOLAND Florida Resort will be open until 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day, allowing you plenty of time to tackle the Coastersaurus and Merlin’s Challenge before you tuck into your cornbread and stuffing.

Visiting on Black Friday? Be sure to whip out that camera to document their spectacular giant LEGO® Christmas tree, holiday-dressed characters, twinkling lights, and more.

Three LEGO NINJAGO characters at LEGOLAND Florida for NINJAGO Days in Orlando, Florida USA
photo credit: LEGOLAND Florida via Facebook

Orlando Thanksgiving Events

Avalon Park’s Turkey Trot

Warm up those hamstrings, as you’ll want to pull on your sneakers for this noble cause. The Turkey Trot is set to kick off at the Avalon Park Community in this 5k charity run for both adults and children. All proceeds will go towards local community programming, outreach, and activities. 

Need some Mickey-worthy accommodations to go with your Disney Turkey Day getaway? Settle in at any of our Disney Springs Hotels for an awesome array of entertainment, retail, and restaurant options.

runners at starting line at Avalon Parks Turkey Trot under arch of balloons in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Avalon Park Orlando via Facebook

Rooterville Animal Sanctuary’s Thanksgiving on the Farm

Calling all animal lovers! Revel in the refuge of pigs, chickens, goats, and more when you swing by the Rooterville Animal Sanctuary on Thanksgiving Day. This amazing haven for pawed and hoofed creatures will be open until 2 p.m. Guests can enjoy serene self-guided tours and quiet time with the animals.

For over 16 years, this humble sanctuary has become a haven for abandoned and/or unwanted animals. Today, Rooterville is home to dozens of friendly farm animals. 

Thanksgiving Dinners in Orlando

Reunion Resort

Planning on practicing gratitude with your nearest and dearest at Kissimmee’s Reunion Resort? Settle in for a Thanksgiving feast* of epic proportions when you dine at the 7593 Chophouse. Available from 1 –8 p.m, this mouthwatering meal begins at $70+ for adults and features a wide array of appetizers, a la carte offerings, and more.

Tuck into creamy roasted butternut squash soup, oven-roasted turkey, and slow-cooked prime rib. Save a smidge of room for their intoxicating bourbon pecan pie topped with whipped cream for dessert. 

*Please be aware this information is based on last year’s offerings and exact price points and menu offerings for ths year’s Thanksgiving have yet to be confirmed.

top view of various dishes on table with white cloth for Thanksgiving Meal at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Orlando Date Night Guide via Facebook

Raglan Road Irish Pub

Take a detour from Disney World and soak in some live entertainment with your garlicky mashed potatoes when you break bread at Disney Springs. The Raglan Road Irish Pub Thanksgiving Day dinner is back and promising quite a spread. Tantalize your taste buds with duck fat roasties, butter and herb-basted turkey, honey-glazed carrots, and sausage and walnut stuffing.

After your generous eating and imbibing, stay put, so you don’t miss a second of Celtic-inspired music and dance. 

Entertain more than your palate when you pause your dinner plans and take in an enthralling Orlando Show


Feeling like a more elevated Turkey Day affair? Pay homage to your inner gourmand when you plan to dine at Primo. On Thanksgiving Day, lucky diners here can enjoy elegant farm-to-table cuisine when they sample a fall-inspired a la carte menu.

Mia’s Italian Kitchen

Mama Mia! Daydreaming about a slightly more unique dining experience? Relish toasted turkey with touches of Mediterranean flair, or opt for some crave-worthy chicken cacciatore pappardelle at Mia’s. Got your heart set on some Chicken Parm or roasted mushroom lasagna? Guests can also feel free to order a la carte off their regular menu.

spread of various italian dishes on wooden table at Mia's Italian Kitchen in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Mia’s Italian Kitchen Orlando via Facebook

Knife & Spoon

Escape to your happy place when you devour the Thanksgiving offerings of Knife & Spoon. This Michelin-starred surf and turf eatery will offer an elegant pre-fixe three-course Thanksgiving Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. Tuck into your steak and seafood paintings with pleasure as you dine in an atmosphere of upscale luxury. 

Thanksgiving at Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando

Prefer to brunch it up on Turkey Day? Express your gratitude for the bounty of buffet eating when you go to town for the Thanksgiving Dinner, and Buffet offered at Rosen Shingle Creek. This heartwarming tradition is returning, and diners can expect to sample creative twists on traditional favorites.

Enjoy the festive holiday decor, and perhaps even book yourself in for a fall-themed spa facial or massage. Choose from the Thanksgiving Brunch at Cafe Osceola, featuring unlimited champagne and mimosas, or treat yourself to a day away from the kitchen with Thanksgiving Dinner at A Land Remembered.

close up of turkey with side dishes and glasses of wine and flowers in background for Thanksgiving at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Rosen Shingle Creek (Orlando, FL) via Facebook

Rosen Centre

Worked up an appetite after your day of theme park fun? Refuel with plenty of timeless classics and new exotic favorites when you hit up the smorgasbord of delights at the Rosen Centre. On Thanksgiving Day gather around and give grace as you load up garlic herb Boursin mashed potatoes, mussels from New Zealand, or crispy carnitas tacos from Mexico.

Your epic meal of international flavors will also include positively sinful sweets such as apple streusel pie and cinnamon cheesecake.*

*Please note these food offerings are based on last year’s menu as the upcoming Thanksgiving Day offerings have yet to be confirmed.

Pirates, Medieval knights, and Sherlock-worthy mysteries come together to create loads of drama in Orlando. Set your sights on the most entertaining dinner of your life when you snag tickets to an Orlando Dinner Show

Rosen Plaza Hotel

Can’t even boil water? Leave the kitchen prowess to the experts, and impress your guests when you snag a Thanksgiving reservation at the Rosen Plaza Hotel. This ever-popular dining experience is located on International Drive and features a cornucopia of classic dishes and unexpected flavors.

Swoon over melt-in-your-mouth cuts of swordfish or carbo load at the pasta station. Try steamed shumai, seafood salad, puttanesca sauce, and more. Seating begins at 11:30 am and runs through 4:30 pm. 

close up of Thanksgiving tablescape with pumpkin pie turkey soup and sunflowers

Plan Your Unforgettable Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando with Tripster

Orlando’s balmy weather and tropical beauty may not immediately conjure images of the holiday season, but on November 23rd, this Floridian oasis is overflowing with Thanksgiving pride.

Get your gobble on as you tackle the VelociCoaster, or admire the charm of Hogsmeade with Harry Potter.

Take a minute to cuddle up to a pot-bellied pig or cow at the Rooterville Animal Sanctuary, or brush up on the fundamentals of electricity at WonderWorks.

Devour generous portions of prime rib and cranberry sauce at Reunion, or melt over apple strudel pie at the Rosen Centre.

From chef-worthy dinners to dazzling brick-built adventures, the City Beautiful delivers countless things to do around Thanksgiving

Orlando Thanksgiving FAQs

Orlando, Florida is known to have a fairly moderate climate, even in November when autumn is in full swing in many parts of the country. Most days are usually hot with balmy evenings, making it comfortable to explore its many attractions. However, at night there’s a slight dip in temperature, although it doesn’t usually qualify as ‘cold’ in the typical sense, but light layering may be advantageous for those who find cooler temperatures less agreeable.

As you prepare to pack for your Florida vacation in November, your suitcase should certainly include light clothing that caters to warmer temperatures. It’s certainly shorts or 3/4 pants and t-shirt weather during the daytime, allowing you to relish the Sunshine State’s splendid heat. But as evening temperatures often drop, it’s recommended to also carry a cardi or jacket for those cool evenings, preserving your comfort while savoring Florida’s memorable vibrant nights.

Tell us, What Are Your Top Things to Do Around Orlando For Thanksgiving?

Did we miss any of your favorite things to do on Thanksgiving in Florida?

Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

1 comment about “Orlando Thanksgiving: 17 Best Things to Do”

Katherine Brown

October 12, 2023 at 11:20 am

Would like to add the Seniors First 34th Annual Turkey Trot 5k at Lake Eola on Thanksgiving morning. This is Orlando’s original Turkey Trot and will feature over 4,000 runners. Proceeds benefit Seniors First programs like Meals on Wheels in This Race to End Senior Hunger.

Can you please tell me the steps necessary to have this added to your calendar?

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