Following today’s traditional Presidential pardon ceremony of the National Thanksgiving Turkey in the White House Rose Garden, “Pumpkin” and his alternate “Pecan” are heading to Disneyland. It all begins with a police escort to Dulles International Airport. Then the birds will “fly” First-Class on United Airlines Flight Turkey-1 to their new home at Disneyland Resort in Southern California.

The tradition of sparing a turkey from becoming someone’s Thanksgiving dinner dates back to Harry Truman’s presidency in 1947.

The trip from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles will mark the fourth consecutive year that the National Thanksgiving Turkey has celebrated his pardon at a Disney Resort.

Accompanied by National Turkey Federation Chairman Paul Hill of Ellsworth, Iowa, Pumpkin, the 20-week-old, 45-pound tom turkey, will be the grand marshal in a special Thanksgiving Day parade down Main Street U.S.A. Following the parade, Pumpkin and his alternate Pecan will find a home at Santa’s Reindeer Round-Up at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, where they’ll remain throughout the holidays and the rest of their lives. Lucky birds!

Americans nationwide will be able to share the celebration as the turkey enjoys his new Disneyland home. See photos of the National Thanksgiving Turkey and watch video of this year’s White House pardon at on Nov. 26 and 27. And, for the first time, watch the turkey LIVE from Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. PST (3 p.m.-7 p.m. EST). Go to, listen for the turkey’s gobble, and then click on the turkey face to access “Turkey Cam” LIVE from Disneyland.

President Bush pardons Thanksgiving Turkey

President George W. Bush (C) is joined by local area school children as he pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey, Pumpkin, in the Rose Garden at the The White House in Washington on November 26, 2008. Pumpkin will be flown to Disneyland later today where he will be an honorary grand marshal in the Disneyland Thanksgiving Day Parade. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch)


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