Turkey with presidential pardon not going to Disneyland

Each year just before Thanksgiving, the president pardons a turkey in a ceremony at the White House, saving that turkey from its likely fate atop a dining table. But this year, that turkey is not going to Disneyland.

Disney started flying the pardoned turkeys to California in 2005, when Disneyland was celebrating its 50th anniversary. The turkey has served as grand marshal of the the Disneyland Thanksgiving Day Parade (“The Happiest Turkey on Earth”) each year since, except for 2007, when the bird went to Walt Disney World instead.

Disney officials told the Orange County Register that this year, the lucky bird just doesn’t fit into its theme parks’ new promotion, “Let the Memories Begin.”

So the turkey that President Obama pardons this Wednesday will live out its life at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, rather than Mickey Mouse’s house.

Three previously pardoned turkeys still live in a coop at Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo.

[Image credit: Flickr user Myrna Litt]