Spend Thanksgiving Screaming? No, Not Around the Family Table…

We're cheered by all the restaurants whipping up fancy dinners on Thanksgiving day for those of us who can't be bothered to locate the dank kitchen crevice in which our baster has spent the last year wedged. But we're even more cheered by those people who say, nuts to all that, the turkey and the potatoes, let's go hit some scream-our-heads-off roller coasters.

Our family is king, and we adore the holiday, right down to the wiggly cranberry mold. But visiting one of the big theme parks on Thanksgiving is a special Southern California kinda treat. Consider that the parks -- including Six Flags Magic MountainDisneyland and Disney's California Adventure, Universal Studios and Knott's Berry Farm -- are some of the only places open that day, and that word-of-mouth says they're a bit emptier given the fact that everyone is staying home stuffing themselves.

We don't know about that. We've done a theme park on Turkey Day, and can attest that, while the morning was lighter on crowds, by 2ish the usual throngs were returning. Still though. Having a hot dog and cotton candy on Thanksgiving feels decadent -- even wrong -- so we must recommend trying it at least once.

But the foodstuffs at the parks go beyond hot dogs -- mmm, Monte Cristos at Blue Bayou -- and if you want a traditional Thanksgiving, the cozy-quaint Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant is doing a lavish buffet, complete with spiral ham and boysenberry pie. Smack smack.

And if you have relatives visiting -- people you don't know all that well, and have little to talk about with -- laughing your way off a heart-stopping coaster creates an instant bond. Past sleights are forgotten as you decide what freakin' rad ride to take on next. Can passing a gravy boat do that?

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