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Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

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Launceston...
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Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

Hi Everyone,

Doing some research for my sister. Her and her fiancé will be in LA 26th November to 30th November. They are staying in Hollywood and wish to hire a car for two of these days to go to Santa Monica Pier / Venice beach etc one day and the other day to go to Disneyland.

My questions are regarding the 28th November being Thanksgiving. Please excuse my ignorance, I understand Thanksgiving is a large holiday in the States so wondering what they should actually do on Thanksgiving.

- Will the theme parks be busy on Thanksgiving (they wish to visit Disneyland and Universal during their stay)? Or will families more likely to be at home celebrating than at the parks?

- Also is it just the one day that’s a public holiday or will kids be on school holidays etc (to visit the other park on another day)?

- Would they be better to go for thanksgiving day and visit Santa Monica Pier / Venice Beach – or will nothing be open / happening down there?

As I understand the hire car places wont be open on thanksgiving so if they hire a car the day before (to do either SM or Disneyland) they will more thank likely still have it for the whole Thanksgiving day.

Any Advice is greatly appreciated!!!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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1. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

Yes, Disneyland will be busy. All Schools in the U.S. Take off at least the 4 day weekend of Thurs-Sunday for Thanksgiving, so that time is busy. Its not likely to matter when you would visit for that time period, I would just pick the day that suites them best for Disneyland.

Santa Monica...
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2. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

Shops and restaurants will be closed on Thanksgiving in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica, CA
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3. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

Thanksgiving is a huge US holiday. It's one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. The worst of it will be the Wednesday before the holiday and the Sunday after, as they will be travel days and freeways and airports will be overwhelmed.

Because of the large number of people who live here, there is no real quiet time of the day. I know plenty of people who don't have Thanksgiving dinner until 7:00 pm. My family tradition is dinner mid-afternoon. So, you won't have a big downtime at any time of day; instead you'll find many people taking their out-of-town guests around for a drive sightseeing, Disneyland, Universal, hiking, strolling the beach, etc. Instead of just our visitors out sightseeing, we will be joining you!

Most shopping centers will be closed, at least until Thanksgiving night, when the Christmas kickoff for shopping begins. Lots of stores open Thanksgiving night, sometimes staying open all night with huge, crowds trying to get those special bargains!

If you planned to go to Disneyland on Thanksgiving, I say go ahead. They can manage the crowds pretty well.

Launceston...
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4. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

Awesome thanks so much for the replies!! And a BIG THANKS to ddffpp - i really appreciate the explaination. I'll let them know to go ahead with Disneyland on Thanksgiving and enjoy and embrace it (and ill explain the fastpass system to them!!!).

And thanks for the heads up about the shopping - ill be sure to let her know!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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5. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

If they decide to visit Disneyland on Thanksgiving, options are limited as far as a Thanksgiving Dinner goes, as alot of places will be closed on that day. But, you can look at this recent thread on the subject to see what may be available in the area around Disneyland.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29092-i65-k681481…

Yucaipa, California
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6. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

There is an advantage for them driving out to Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day in that, for much of the way, traffic should be very light in the morning. As they near Anaheim, traffic will probably become heavier, so they might want to anticipate that. They will still need to start out early, though, under the assumption there will be many cars heading into the parking lots. Plus morning right near opening is the best time to enter the park. Hope they are only planning Disneyland Park, as adding in park hopping will be too much for that day.

Our traditional Thanksgiving meal is turkey (the day is nicknamed Turkey Day), cranberry sauce on the side, stuffing, potato (mashed or baked or both choices), corn, veggies such as carrots, and often candied yams. Traditional dessert is pumpkin pie. Your traditional Christmas dinner is probably similar. This listing is not actually complete, as some restaurants serve buffets and in some homes family members make their special dish or dessert to bring to the big gathering. My family also must have wine and champagne for the adults and sparkling cider for the children.

If you sister and fiance are not interested in the traditional Thanksgiving meal, that is an advantage as they won't need to worry about booking into a restaurant ahead of time and taking time away from the park. Inside Disneyland Park, my favorite meal is the jambalaya at the French Market, which is distinctly American as well. Disneyland does have wagons that sell very large turkey legs all year round and they may see people walking around eating those.

I usually spend my Thanksgiving morning watching the telivised Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade from New York, a very big tradition for many Americans. My favorite part is the pre-parade show with the Broadway casts performing in the street in front of the store. I usually watch the annual dog show in one room while others watch football. We eat around 5 or so. It takes awhile to cook a turkey! Not to mention getting everyone together. I have had years when we went out to eat, usually just my mother and I, but never went to a theme park in THE day.

Edited: 10 September 2013, 04:01
Yucaipa, California
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7. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

Let them know about Single Rider Pass too.

Launceston...
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8. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

Thanks again guys for the additional information. They're not interested in having a thanksgiving lunch or dinner so thats easy. They will just be doing the touristy visit to disneyland and more than likely just grab some food on the go.

RelandsRedhead thanks for the information re thanks giving - i love travelling and am find it so interesting learning about other countries traditions! Sounds a lot like our Christmas lunches here.

9. Re: Disneyland / Santa Monica and Thanksgiving Questions

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