Day 74- Thanksgiving at Magic Kingdom and Liberty Tree Tavern

Today is Thanksgiving Day. My giving of thanks started last year at Magic Kingdom. Last Thanksgiving, we had an early brunch at Liberty Tree Tavern and we were going to have a late dinner at The Crystal Palace. As our day went on, we needed a light snack to hold us over, and my nephew was famished again. That does seem to happen with kids, they love to eat! So, we thought that a quick snack at Columbia Harbor House would tide us over, and they do have gluten free choices. We ordered his meal, and as I was waiting for our gluten free meal, I had a moment that would change my life forever.

There were a few minutes that no one was ordering, so the young cast member was nice and asked about my kids and me. She had taken our order and knew it that it usually takes a few minutes to prepare allergy meals. The cast member began to tell me about the college programs; she was so excited, and loved working here at Disney. Then she said, “They even have programs for people your age!” That made me laugh, but it got me to thinking, I would love to work for Disney after being home with my children for all of these wonderful years. After that moment, our journey to Florida began, and here we are…Thanksgiving Day, one year later!

Today, we arrive at the Ticket and Transportation Center and get to park fairly close, in the Zurg parking lot. That is encouraging since it is a holiday afternoon and I expected to parking lot to be nearly full. We arrive at the Monorail and it is busy, but nice. As we travel around the Seven Seas Lagoon, I see how blue the waters are and how pretty the sky looks; it is a most beautiful day. Once we arrive at Magic Kingdom, it is busy, but it is a steady walk to the front entrance. There are plenty of tables open for bag check, be sure to use both sides of the tables since they check the bags on both the left and the right, alternating sides makes the line(s) go faster. It is a nice setup and keeps the line moving at a good pace.

Main Street USA is always beautiful. It is like you step back in time with the beautiful Victorian era buildings. Love it!

We planned weeks ahead of time for our Thanksgiving dinner reservations. We got reservations for Liberty Tree Tavern at 4:30, so we have plenty of time to get there. (Be sure to allow extra time on holidays, since the parks tend to be busier on these days.)

On the way to the ride, we saw one of Santa’s friends!

Our first FastPass+ is for It’s A Small World. This ride is pretty busy today, but only a 40-minute wait if you walk up for the standby line. We see the Small World Cuckoo Clock sounding for 3:15. It is cool to see the trumpeters emerge and play their tune as the doors open on the clock front and sides.

Our next FastPass+ is in about 45 minutes, and we debate whether or not to go as we are walking. If we go on Pirates of the Caribbean we could be late for our Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, since we were close to Liberty Tree Tavern, we thought we might see if we could check in early. If not, we would browse the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. Tooti checked with the hostess at Liberty Tree Tavern, they were glad to take us early and we were seated quickly.

This is my favorite place to eat on holidays. It reminds me of Grandma’s home. She was a really fun grandmother-in-law and her home looked very much like this restaurant. I feel like I am at home, even in the middle of Magic Kingdom.

Quickly, our server greets us, and soon the chef is at our table advising us on our gluten free options. He is so pleased to let us know that he has made a very special gluten free stuffing for our turkey dinner. Chef Alfonso shares that he created his own gluten free stuffing recipe just a couple of months ago! He says that it is very good! Chef Alfonso will be one of my favorite chefs; he has a great personality, is enthusiastic, kind, and is courteous and conscientious with food allergies. His newly designed gluten free stuffing is a perfect match to the perfect turkey and gravy.

The Washington Room that we sat in is like walking back in time. There are just a few families in this nice large room, making it a nice, quiet place to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Yummy!

After our wonderful meal, we browse Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe on our way to the front of the park. Oh, look! We need a picture in the sleigh out front! What a beautiful Thanksgiving day!

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