This Thanksgiving, I am going with the crowd to Orlando for 7 days. It will be my first Thanksgiving in Orlando. Unfortunately, the planning of it has had some ups and downs.
I started planning this trip in July. I followed all the sage advice from other articles that it was best to book a flight close to Labor Day. So, I booked the flight in early September and paid $250 for each seat from JFK to MCO on Delta. I watched the cost of flights stay basically the same before I purchased them. Today, mid-October, I can get a flight for $188 at a better time on JetBlue. JetBlue added another direct flight.
There is absolutely no reason to buy Theme Park tickets super early. Waiting worked out, as I recently received a coupon discount for tickets purchased through Working Advantage.
2-day Park to Park tickets at Universal + 2-day Parkhopper to Disney will cost around $1000 for 2 people. You need a Park to Park ticket at Universal to ride the Hogwarts Express.
Thanksgiving in Orlando is so popular that reservations for dinner were closed for Victoria and Albert in July. I was lucky to get a reservation on Thanksgiving Day to Jiko – The Cooking Place. According to Zagat and TripAdvisor, it is a top place to eat on Thanksgiving. There are no longer reservations available for Jiko on Thanksgiving day.
I also made reservations for Highway in the Sky Dine Around. It is a progressive dining experience that uses the Walt Disney World Monorail for a culinary journey where each destination, a Disney Resort, offers a different experience. Disney asks for your credit card when you book either dining experience. For the Highway in the Sky Dine Around, they charge you the full amount including gratuity. It costs approximately $350 for two people.
I have estimated that this trip may cost $1500 a person, not including hotel. However, it is really the choices I am making. This is not a budget trip. I will let you know how much it actually costs when I return.