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Should We Try World Showcase on Thanksgiving Weekend?

by Karen

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Your website is fantastic and has been very helpful to me in planning our first vacation to WDW and USF. Our vacation is scheduled for 11/26-12/5/15.

My current plan is to fly in on Thanksgiving and take the first Friday to do a hotel/resort tour and see the gingerbread houses. I’m trying to maximize our time and avoid the crowds. I know that first Saturday is still pretty crazy, so I wondered if planning to just do World Showcase that day at EPCOT would be wise, thereby leaving the less crowded days the following week at other parks more for rides etc.

Can you share your opinion on this? Thanks!


Illuminations is a great way to end a day in World Showcase – Photo by Mike Billick

Dad’s Short and Long Answer

Karen, thanks so much for visiting the site, I’m thrilled to help you research and plan your Perfect Vacation! You’ve picked up a lot if this is your first trip and you’ve already figured out how to be sneaky and avoid the crowds! Your World Showcase plan is a good one, but is it the right one? There’s a long answer and a short answer – which do you want first?

Alright, alright. I’ll give you the short answer first. Spending Saturday November 28 at EPCOT in World Showcase is a pretty good idea to avoid crowds at the rides in Future World or in the other parks. If you’re planning another day at EPCOT to see Future World this plan might be ideal, particularly if you want to participate in Holidays Around the World and see the Candlelight Processional (if you get a dining package that night, all the better!).

But the long answer has a few more factors to consider:

While it’s exciting that the Christmas festivities at EPCOT will have just begun, that also means larger crowds – especially locals who have been waiting all year for them and find it easy to swing by the parks on a weekend. While Future World usually has much larger crowds, some of that will spill over to World Showcase in honor of the celebrations. If you focus on world Showcase and are ready to do a little bit of waiting, this is a solid plan.

American Adventure at Christmas

Christmas Time at the American Adventure Pavilion – Photo by Mike Billick

If you’re looking for the lowest crowds at Disney, Dad thinks Animal Kingdom is the way to go on November 28. Generally, it’s the least crowded park and nothing “special” will be happening at this time of year (that we know of yet!). So touring the full park will be a breeze, and you’ll even have time to head to Downtown Disney for the evening if you choose.

If you’re planning to head over to Universal Studios Florida and/or Islands of Adventure, this is probably an ideal day to do it. While Disney gets overrun during the holidays, Universal hasn’t quite reached that level of popularity. If you go to the least crowded park (Univeral) on the busiest day (Saturday) you can do the busier Disney parks on their less crowded days. (Please, don’t tell Uncle Walt I sent you there!).

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

Karen, you’re plan to spend the day in World Showcase is a good once – you’ll have a great time and see lots of great holiday entertainment and decorations, you might even learn something new! Just weight your options carefully and decide if that’s the best day to visit World Showcase when you look at the rest of your PLAN. And have a magical trip!

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