Walt Disney World/Where to stay
I really want to stay at Animal Kingdom over Thanksgiving, but am not sure it is worth the extra money. We have stayed at Caribbean Beach and the Polynesian and loved both, but want to stay somewhere different. Any suggestions?
Also, do you have any suggestions/thoughts on a good restuarant for Thanksgiving dinner?
Animal Kingdom Lodge is a wonderful resort with a lot to do on the property, in fact they tend to have more resort activities going on each day than practically any other resort on property especially at night so don't miss the chance to watch the animals with the nightvision goggles and take part in the evening story telling by the campfire. The staff is also unique in that many of them are cultural representatives and love to talk about life in Africa with guests make sure you get a chance to speak with them. My Client's either love or hate the food onsite as some of it is spiced with African spices especially at Boma's Buffet. It is on the edge of the Walt Disney World resort property and is the furthest resort from the Magic Kingdom so expect longer bus rides than you did in the past. You will also want to make sure that you book a Savannah view room, the big attraction at the lodge is of course the animals!
With Thanksgiving so close reservations will be an issue so I would recommend booking anything you can get! However, based on your previous stays I would recommend looking at the Wilderness lodge, it's the least expensive of the Magic Kingdom area resorts and just a short 5-10 min boat ride from the Magic Kingdom. In the Epcot/Hollywood Studios area The Beach and Yachtt club resorts and the Boardwalk Inn are all wonderful resorts and literally a 5-10 minute walk to Epcot and a short boat-ride to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios so I would definitely look into both of them.
Dinning on thanksgiving - Well after many, many Thanksgivings spent at Walt Disney World I have to say my favorites so far have been Liberty Tree tavern at the Magic Kingdom which of course has Turkey and Stuffing year round (and hence usually books up fast that week), and Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. That said most restaurants will have turkey in the menu that day in one form or another, especially the buffets which will typically have turkey on the carving station and stuffing and gravy nearby some will have other seasonal favorites as well. If your like me and like to indulge a bit on turkey day I would recommend you go for the all you can eat buffets. :-)
For an alternate destination that week you may also want to look at Universal Studios in Orlando (which is where I'm headed this year) since they will probably be less crowded during the holiday I tend to shy away from Disney on the major Holidays for two reasons, one the prices are higher during seasonal holiday times and two the the crowd levels are much higher. I find universal to be less busy, and when you stay on site you get the express passes for free, this is Universal's version of Disney's fast pass system, they help you skip the bulk of the lines and get on the rides faster, unlike Disney it's an instant pass, just a matter of showing your room key no time windows, etc.
Hope this helps and have a wonderful trip to Orlando this Thanksgiving!