Thanksgiving celebrations in Orlando include Thanksgiving dinner buffets at the major hotels and resorts, Fall festivals at the theme parks and special events throughout the city. Whether you’re a Mickey fan or want to enjoy the warm climate in sunny Florida, you can make the most of Thanksgiving season in Orlando. When you’re planning to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando, here are some of the top events to add to your itinerary:
2009 UCA/UDA Thanksgiving Tour at the Walt Disney World Resort
This cheerleading event attracts thousands of youth, junior high, and junior varsity cheer teams to the Walt Disney World Resort for an exclusive All-American event. Only a handful of cheerleaders from each school are selected to perform at the UCA/DA Thanksgiving Tour at Walt Disney World each year, and they will march in a holiday parade over Thanksgiving weekend. Visit UCA.varisty.com for more information.
Thanksgiving Day at Leu Gardens
The Harry P. Leu Gardens are among the Orlando attractions open on Thanksgiving Day 2009, and you can head out for an afternoon stroll to see the exotic flowers and plants. Leu Gardens hosts a special holiday themed event starting November 9, 2009 called the Leu’s Holiday House. 11 rooms in the historic home are decorated with a different theme for the holidays. Leu Gardens is located at 1920 North Forest Avenue; call (407) 246-2620 for more information.
Thanksgiving Day Sales at the Prime Outlets
If you’re in the mood to shop before Black Friday hits Orlando, make your way to the Prime Outlets shopping center near Universal Studios theme park. This outlet center houses designer stores including Ed Hardy, Gucci, Coach, BCBG MAX AZRIA factory store and the Brooks Brothers Factory store amongst dozens of others. The Prime Outlets of Orlando is located at 4951 International Drive. Call (407) 352-9600 for more information about store hours on Thanksgiving Day and events taking place on Thanksgiving weekend.
Thanksgiving Day Sales at the Orlando Premium Outlets
Another place to shop on Thanksgiving Day and over Thanksgiving weekend is the Orlando Premium Outlets located at 8200 Vineland Avenue. This outlet mall is open on Thanksgiving Day and is the closet outlet mall to the Disney theme parks. You’ll find stores including the Nike Factory Store, House of Carrington, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Roberto Cavalli and Perry Ellis amongst hundreds of others.
ICE at Gaylord Palms
The annual ICE! Spectacular at the Gaylord Palms kicks off nearly two weeks before Thanksgiving Day and you can purchase at ticket for Thanksgiving weekend. Head to the Gaylord Palms resort to see the decorated trees, enjoy the holiday lights show and play in the ice cold caves scattered throughout the resort. The Gaylord Palms is located at 6000 W. Osceola Parkway in Kissimmee; call (407) 586-2000 for your Thanksgiving reservations or visit the GaylordHotels.com website.
Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney is open on Thanksgiving Day and over Thanksgiving weekend, and is a great place to enjoy the Festival of the Seasons. The stores in the Downtown Disney Marketplace will be decorated with holiday lights and decorations, the entire park will feature holiday displays from different cultures. Admission is free, and you can get your picture taken with Santa Claus from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. over Thanksgiving weekend.