In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be an annual day of thanksgiving. This day tends to be full of traditions, and for most of us it includes parades, football, sharing what we are grateful for- and turkey. I remember as a child the wonderful aroma of the roasting turkey coming from the oven. We all knew who liked what kind of meat, where the giblets went, and I never really cared about who got the wishbone. However, the drumsticks were another story. I always wanted to have a whole turkey drumstick to myself, but since there were more kids in my house than the turkey had legs I knew that it would never happen. Imagine my delight when while visiting Disneyland one trip I discovered I could have my very own turkey leg. It would be all mine and I could share it, but only if I wanted to. It seems I am not alone in my love of drumsticks. It’s a fun Disney fact that between both Walt Disney World and Disneyland about 1.6 million turkey legs are consumed. I usually like to walk around the park while eating my delicious, juicy, turkey goodness, as it contains more than 1,000 calories.
One place I won’t walk by while eating my turkey leg is the Circle D Ranch. The ranch is home to the Happiest Turkeys on Earth. In 2005, the presidential pardoned turkey was sent to live at the Circle D Ranch. The tradition continued until 2010, with the exception of 2007, when that year’s lucky bird went to live at Walt Disney World. If you are lucky enough this year to enjoy Thanksgiving at Disneyland with the happiest turkeys there are several dining options other than drumsticks. This year you can join Chip, Dale, and other friends at the Disneyland Hotel for the Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast. If you can’t bear to leave the parks for your meal, there are special holiday offerings available at several places like Wine Country Trattoria and Ariel’s Grotto in Disney California Adventure. Café Orleans, French Market, Plaza Inn, and The Blue Bayou (one of my all time favorites) in Disneyland also have special seasonal items. My family and I will be spending Thanksgiving this year 378 miles away from Disneyland, at home, but we will still be enjoying parades, football, time with each other, and the deliciousness of turkey.
As Thanksgiving is a day to be grateful, I would like to give thanks to the man who thought it was “kind of fun to do the impossible.” He was a dreamer who persevered and turned his dreams into our new reality. This same man was also fascinated with the great man who, among many other amazing things, declared the last Thursday in November to be an annual day of thanksgiving. Of course I’m talking about Walt Disney. I’ve on occasion thought about who I would be if I didn’t have his influence in my life. He has touched my life in so many different ways, from long days spent in Disneyland as a child to lessons I learned in Disney movies to adventures at Walt Disney World, not to mention the wonderful friends I’ve met who, like me, have a great passion and love of Disney.
So I say thank you, Mr. Walter Elias Disney, thank you from the bottom of my drumstick-loving heart.
A big thanks to @IamPumpkinQueen for the great pictures accompanying this post.