Fun Ways to Enjoy Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando Resort 2019

If your idea of Thanksgiving Day is spending time in Orlando with family at a Universal Orlando Resort, then you’ve chosen the perfect place.

Among the coasters, magic, and fairy-tales are some of the best fall festival feasts right here in the theme park capital of the world. 

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Universal Orlando Resort

Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando with Family Around Dinner Table with Food

Loews Portofino Bay Resort – Thanksgiving Day Buffet

Escape away at the Portofino-inspired Thanksgiving Day feast in Trattoria del Porto™ complete with Universal Orlando™ characters, kids holiday crafts and activities table, face painter, and a balloonist.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Universal Orlando Resort
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: Noon – 7 p.m.
  • Location: Trattoria del Porto
  • Price: $67* adult; $25* child (ages 3 – 9); complimentary under age 3

Hard Rock Hotel – Thanksgiving Day Breakfast Buffet

  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Location: Avalon Ballroom
  • Price: $25* adult; $17* child (ages 10 – 14); $13* child (ages 3 – 9); complimentary under age 3
Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando Resort
Hard Rock Hotel Photo Cred. Universal Orlando Resort

Thanksgiving Day Buffet at The Kitchen

The Kitchen Thanksgiving Buffet will have Universal Orlando™ characters, Magic Man and kid’s cookie decorating activities.

  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Location: The Kitchen in the Hard Rock Hotel
  • Price: $67* adult; $24* child (ages 3 – 9); complimentary under age 3

Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Thanksgiving Day Breakfast Buffet

Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando Friends Making Toast

This holiday meal not only includes a dash of a tropical feel, but you’ll get appearances by Universal Orlando™ characters, face painters, balloonists, and more!

  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Location: Jake’s American Bar
  • Price: $23.99* adult; $13.99* child (ages 3 – 9); complimentary under age 3
Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando

Islands Dining Room – Thanksgiving Day Buffet

  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Location: Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort
  • Price: $59* adult; $27* child (ages 3 – 9); complimentary under age 3

Adults (ages 21+) can add all-you-care-to-enjoy mimosa and Bloody Mary cocktails for just $15 more at both Jake’s American Bar and Islands Dining Room.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Thanksgiving Day Breakfast Buffet

Loews Sapphire Falls Water Taxi
Loews Sapphire Falls Water Taxi Photo Cred: Universal Orlando

In the Amatista Cookhouse, you’ll get appearances by Universal Orlando™ characters, face painters and balloonists.

  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Location: Amatista Cookhouse
  • Price: $22.99* adult; $12.99* child (ages 3 – 9); complimentary under age 3
Loews Sapphire Falls Amatista Cookhouse for Thanksgiving Dinner
Amatista Cookhouse at Loews Sapphire Falls Photo Cred: Universal Orlando

Amatista Thanksgiving Day Dinner Buffet

  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Location: Amatista Cookhouse at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
  • Price: $59* adult; $27* child (ages 3 – 9); complimentary under age 3

Adults (ages 21+) can add all-you-care-to-enjoy mimosa and Cubanita cocktails for just $15 more for both breakfast and dinner.

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Thanksgiving Day Meal Special

Enjoy a Thanksgiving special at Bayliner Diner with traditional fall festival favorites including turkey, stuffing, cranberry compote, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams and biscuits.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Universal Orlando’s fourth on-site hotel – Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort – features a total of 1,800 moderate and value priced rooms that evoke the classic, retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 60’s. Photo Cred: Universal Orlando
  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: Noon – 11 p.m.
  • Location: Bayliner Diner
  • Price: $18.99* adult; $9.99* child (ages 3 – 9)

Universal’s Aventura Hotel – Thanksgiving Day Meal

Aventura Hotel URBAN PANTRY
Aventura Hotel URBAN PANTRY Photo Cred: Universal Orlando
  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: Noon – 11 p.m.
  • Location: Urban Pantry
  • Price: $24* adult; $12* child (ages 3 – 9)

Surfside Inn and Suites – Thanksgiving Day Meal

Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando Delicious Golden Pumpkin Pie
  • Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Time: Noon – 11pm
  • Location: Beach Break Cafe
  • Price: $13.99* adult; $7.99* child (ages 3 – 9)

*Please remember that tax and gratuity is not included in the prices. You can make your Thanksgiving reservations at Universal Orlando Resort by calling 407-503-DINE.

Holiday Activities for Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando

In addition to all of the delicious holiday food at Universal Orlando Resort, you’ll also be able to partake in yuletide activities.

Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando with red Christmas tree bulb.

Holiday Harbor Nights at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel – Nov. 24

Here you’ll be able to indulge in delicious food, tantalizing wine, and complete your night with a tree lighting ceremony on the Harbor Piazza from 6:30 p.m.– 9:00 p.m.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s Winter Wonderland — Nov. 24

Cabana Bay Lobby
Universal Orlando’s fourth on-site hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is now open! The retro-inspired hotel features incredible amenities for endless family fun including a 10,000 sq. ft. zero-entry pool with iconic dive tower waterslide, 10-lane bowling alley, the Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio, family suites that sleep up to six and much more. Photo Cred: Universal Orlando Resort.

At Cabana Bay Beach Resort, you’ll be able to participate in another Christmas tree light ceremony.

Also, inside Cabana Bay’s lobby you’ll enjoy live holiday music, hot chocolate and cookies, face painting and so much more from 4 p.m.– 8 p.m.!

Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando Christmas Tree Lighting

Feeding Children Everywhere — Nov. 25

This annual event hosted by Loews Hotels is your way to give back to the community. Here you and team members can come together to assemble meals for Feeding Children Everywhere.

This year’s goal is to make 375,000 meals across all five of Universal Orlando Resort. You can help out by signing up to volunteer there from 9 a.m.– 1 p.m.

Visit here to learn more about the Universal Orlando Resort hotel holiday activities.

Thanksgiving Day at Universal Studios Itinerary

Things to do at Universal Orlando

Now that you know all of the holiday happenings at Universal Orlando Resort, it’s time to jump into you’re your Thanksgiving Day itinerary.

How Crowded is it at Universal on Thanksgiving Day?

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Universal Studios Orlando Tips
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Universal Studios Orlando

Holiday peaks, crowd sizes, weather, and a few other factors have a lot to do with your Universal Orlando experience, including how long you’ll be waiting in line for your favorite rides.

Because of this, expect high crowds both on Thanksgiving Day and the weekend following the holiday.

Since this will be a major holiday, I recommend purchasing the Express Pass.

Depending on the time of year you go, you’ll may want to think about getting an Express Pass. Universal Studios has some of the most innovative rides with wait times to prove it.

Are the Universal Express Passes worth it?

It depends on a few factors.

For instance, if you’re only going to be at Universal Studios for a day and you came on a crowded daythen I’d say definitely get the Express Pass.

Universal Orlando on a budget. #universalstudios #universalorlando #themeparks
Sponge Bob Parade Universal Studios

On those peak days, it gets extremely hard to do and see each attraction available at the park.

If you’re not into the whole ride thing and you’re just fine doing a ride here-and-there, then pass on the Express Pass and spend that money on some theme park food and merchandise.

Hipster Power Tip: A cool Universal Orlando Express Pass hack is to check pricing online before your trip. Based on the price of the Pass, you can predict the crowd level of your day. The higher the price, the higher the crowd level expectation.

Stay at a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel

If you can make it work, then I recommend staying at a Universal Orlando Resort during the Thanksgiving holiday. Not only can you enter the parks early, but if you stay in a higher cost resort, you’ll be able to use your room key as an Express Pass.

Be sure to play with your budget to see if this tip can work in your favor.

Loews Portofino Bay Resort Nights
Loews Portofino Bay Resort Nights Photo Cred: Universal Orlando

Final Thoughts on Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando

Overall, you’re going to have an incredible Thanksgiving holiday at Universal Orlando Resort. Just make sure that you book your Thanksgiving dining reservations in advance by calling 407-503-DINE.

What are your Thanksgiving Day plans? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thanksgiving Day at Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure Entrances with Pumpkins.
Pin for Later!

If you enjoyed this Packing List for Universal Orlando article, then you’ll love these:

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving Hipsters!

NikkyJ

(Original article date November 2017/Update October 2, 2019)

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