Travelers Beware! MCO/AAA Just Issued A Warning For Travel to Disney World

travel advisory to Disney for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving crowds are coming to Disney World / Credit: Disney

Before planning your trip to Walt Disney World, most people will head to an online crowd calendar to determine the best time to go. But most “experts” will tell you the obvious: you should go to Disney World when kids are in school. That makes perfect sense unless you’re one of those people with kids in school. Then, your options are limited.

You will not be alone if you plan on spending your Thanksgiving break at Disney World. AAA and Orlando International Airport have issued travel alerts as the airport and the Florida roads expect record crowds this week. Between flying and driving, MCO and AAA expect a combined four million travelers in Central Florida over the Thanksgiving week.

Orlando International Airport expects its highest crowds on Saturday, November 25, and Saturday, November 18, with more than 186,000 air travelers. However, the number of passengers won’t diminish significantly at any point during the long week.

AAA Vice President of Travel Debbie Haas said in a statement:

Travel demand has been strong all year and that trend will continue with one of the busiest Thanksgivings on record. With more people taking to the roads, skies, rails and sea, travelers should expect congested roads and longer lines at transportation terminals.

AAA expects more than 3 million Floridians to travel more than 50 miles from home during Thanksgiving week. That is only 10,000 travelers shy of the record set in 2005. AAA also expects a nine percent increase in cruise, rail, and bus travel during the week. So, if you have a Disney Cruise planned, you won’t be alone there either.

If you plan on heading to Orlando International Airport, they advise you to check their website for security wait times and parking availability.

Crowds At Disney World

After Disney World crowds appeared to disappate over the summer, fall saw an uptick in attendance at the theme parks. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was completely sold out at the Magic Kingdom. Shortly after the Halloween season ended, Disney World transitioned into the Christmas season.

Walt Dreamer Statue

Walt Disney Dreamer Statue. Credit: Disney

The success of Halloween has continued right into Christmas for Disney World’s after-hours events. For your Thanksgiving trip to Disney World, you won’t be heading to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party unless you’ve already purchased tickets. Of the 12 dates for the event at Magic Kingdom in November, 10 have already sold out, including all during Thanksgiving week.

But fear not; there is still one more after-hours event that you can take advantage of. Disney’s Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios has one event during Thanksgiving week, on Monday, November 20. The tickets are $179. But the reviews for the first few Jollywood Nights have not been great, so be forewarned.

But you can expect that all of Disney’s Parks will be crowded throughout the week of Thanksgiving and that if your plan involves purchasing Disney Genie Plus, you should expect to pay top dollar for the Lightning Lane passes. And make sure that you get those dinner reservations, although it is probably too late if you don’t already have one. You may end up just snacking on a turkey leg.

But even if you don’t get a turkey dinner, you can wander around Disney World and enjoy the holiday offerings and the decorations. It is the most wonderful time of the year at the Happiest Place on Earth. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day at the Walt Disney World Resort. And enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner no matter where you are.

We will continue to update this story at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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