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Thanksgiving 2021 at Universal Orlando – complete guide

NOTE: 2021’s info has yet to be released. Until it is, please enjoy 2020’s to whet your appetite (no pun intended).

It’s been a strange year, what with the COVID-19 pandemic, and, as such, it’s something of a strange year for Thanksgiving at Universal Orlando Resort.

None of this, of course, is surprising – but what is surprising is just how much of a normal holiday Universal is managing to deliver. In addition to Universal Orlando’s hotels offering up one type of meal or another, just like they normally do, both of the theme parks (and part of CityWalk) are still getting in on the action, too. That’s right – that means you can expect some more-or-less traditional turkey bites at Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Bigfire, Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites.

Let’s check out the full lineup, starting with the parks!

Skip to: The theme parks | Hard Rock Hotel | Royal Pacific Resort | Cabana Bay Beach Resort | Surfside Inn and Suites

Thanksgiving at the theme parks (and CityWalk)

Universal Orlando's quick-service Thanksgiving dinner
Universal Orlando’s quick-service Thanksgiving dinner 2018

NOTE: 2021’s info has yet to be released. Until it is, please enjoy 2020’s to whet your appetite (no pun intended).

For 2018 and ’19, Universal started up a new holiday tradition: serving Thanksgiving feasts at both of its theme parks. While offering just a meal or two at select restaurants may not seem like that big of a deal, it represented the very first time that the company (officially) acknowledged the turkey-heavy holiday at any place outside of its hotels.

What’s on hand for the unusual year that is ’20? An exclusive three-course meal, available on Thanksgiving day only, that will take on a slightly different form depending upon which venue you enjoy it at:

Bigfire (CityWalk)

First course:

  • Fall Harvest Salad – mixed greens, herbed goat cheese smear, figs, poached pears, prosciutto, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, meyer lemon vinaigrette

Second course:

  • Dutch oven turkey breast and thigh meat, roasted sweet potato with cinnamon butter, wood-charred maple brussels sprouts with pork belly, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy

Third course:

  • Dutch apple pie served with bourbon ice cream

Confisco Grille (Islands of Adventure)

First course:

  • Butternut squash soup, sage brown butter, crème fraiche, and toasted pepitas

or

  • Spring mix and spinach salad with anjou pears, toasted pecans, brie cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette

Second course:

  • Herb-roasted turkey breast, wild mushroom stuffing, buttered Yukon gold mash, haricots verts almandine, turkey-sage gravy, candied acorn squash, and cranberry sauce

Third course:

  • Pumpkin and dulce de leche cheesecake

Lombard’s Seafood Grille – Universal Studios Florida

First course:

  • Butternut squash soup, parsley puree, crème fraiche, and toasted pepitas

or

  • Mixed greens salad with anjou pears, pistachios, buttermilk blue cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette

Second course:

  • Herb-roasted turkey breast, wild mushroom stuffing, buttered Yukon gold mash, crispy bacon bourbon Brussels sprouts, sage-infused gravy, sweet potato fritters, and cranberry sauce

Third course:

  • Pumpkin and dulce de leche cheesecake

or

  • Pumpkin spice latte crème brulee

Thunder Falls Terrace – Islands of Adventure

First course:

  • Mixed greens salad with carrots, cherry tomatoes, garlic croutons, and pomegranate vinaigrette

Second course:

  • Herb-roasted turkey breast, roasted root vegetables, wild mushroom stuffing, turkey-sage gravy, sweet plantains, garlic mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce

Third course:

  • Pumpkin and dulce de leche cheesecake

Hard Rock Hotel

NOTE: 2021’s info has yet to be released. Until it is, please enjoy 2020’s to whet your appetite (no pun intended).

This is the second of three premier hotels at Universal Orlando. You can read more about it here.

The Kitchen restaurant

In lieu of the usual Thanksgiving Day buffet, a feast will instead be had from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, serving “traditional Thanksgiving items” family-style at each table. A live acoustic guitarist will provide the entertainment (from 12:00 to 10:00 pm).

Adults: $59.99, children (ages 3-9): $24.00.

See the menu.

For reservations, call 407-503-DINE (3463) or book online.

Also on Thanksgiving, and also offered as a family-style meal, will be a breakfast in The Kitchen, from 7:00 to 11:00 am.

Adults: $29.99, children (ages 3-9): $15.00.

See the menu.

For reservations, call 407-503-DINE (3463) or book online.

The Kitchen restaurant at Hard Rock Hotel.
The Kitchen restaurant at Hard Rock Hotel

The image above was shared with us by Dana Trivino. After having Thanksgiving at Hard Rock Hotel in 2012, it instantly became a family tradition.

Royal Pacific Resort

NOTE: 2021’s info has yet to be released. Until it is, please enjoy 2020’s to whet your appetite (no pun intended).

This is the third of three premier hotels at Universal Orlando. You can read more about it here.

Islands Dining Room

A holiday buffet will be served from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day, featuring smoked fish, sushi, and more. (Please note that safety measures will be implemented, including plexiglass barriers around the food and having salads and desserts be pre-packaged and served market-style. In addition, some grab-and-go Thanksgiving dinner options will be on-hand, as well.)

Adults: $59, children (ages 3-9): $27.00.
Add-on all-you-can-drink Mimosas and Bloody Marys: $15.00.

See the menu.

For reservations, call 407-503-DINE (3463) or book online.

Islands Dining Room at Royal Pacific Resort.

Islands Dining Room at Royal Pacific Resort. (Source)

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

NOTE: 2021’s info has yet to be released. Until it is, please enjoy 2020’s to whet your appetite (no pun intended).

This is the first of two prime value hotels at Universal Orlando. You can read more about it here.

Bayliner Diner

On Thanksgiving Day, from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm, there will be a Special Thanksgiving Day Meal featuring all your holiday favorites, including turkey, stuffing, cranberry compote, broccoli, mashed potatoes, gravy, and biscuits. (Add-on dessert options include pecan and/or pumpkin pie, of course.) If you stop by at 9:00 am, you can even catch the Macy’s Day Parade on Bayliner’s jumbo screens.

Adults: $18.99, children (ages 3-9): $9.99.
Add-on dessert: $3.50.

See the menu.

Galaxy Bowl

For only the second time, Galaxy Bowl will host Thanksgiving Day Turkey Bowling. A turkey in bowling parlance, for those unaware, is when a player gets three strikes in a row – and all those guests who nab a turkey on Thanksgiving will win a Galaxy Bowl shirt of their choice (one per player).

The hours are from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am, and there is no additional charge above and beyond the normal cost of bowling.

Bayliner Diner – Cabana Bay Beach Resort.
Bayliner Diner at Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites

NOTE: 2021’s info has yet to be released. Until it is, please enjoy 2020’s to whet your appetite (no pun intended).

This is the first of two (eventual) value hotels at Universal Orlando. You can read more about it here.

Beach Break Cafe

Surfside Inn and Suites will be hosting a Traditional Thanksgiving Day Meal which isn’t too dissimilar from what’s available above at Cabana Bay Beach Resort: oven-roasted turkey, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, green beans, and cranberry compote. (There will also be a carving station.)

Adults: $15.99, children (ages 3-9): $8.99.

See the menu.

Beach Break Cafe at Surfside Inn and Suites
Beach Break Cafe at Surfside Inn and Suites

For contact information covering Universal’s restaurants not mentioned in this guide (in case you want to ask what, if anything, they might be serving on Thanksgiving), visit our dining reservations page.

To learn so much more about Universal Orlando’s hotels – even the closed ones – click here.

We have an entire community of Universal fans discussing Thanksgiving right now! When you’re done here, join us for vacation planning and more in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.

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