But unlike the turkeys reprieved over the past 15 years, this year's bird will not be sent to Frying Pan Park, an animal farm in the Washington suburbs, to gobble to his heart's content for the rest of his days.
This afternoon, minutes after his life is spared, the 35-pound presidential turkey - along with a backup bird - is going to Disneyland. On United Flight 197. First class.
Frying Pan Park thinks the federation recognized all the good ink it could get by sending the turkey to media-rich California. And Disneyland is sure it won the bird to help the park celebrate its 50th anniversary.
"It's very exciting," said Disneyland's Valarie Sukovaty.
All sides seem to agree that Disneyland is a wonderful grazing ground for turkeys that might otherwise have landed as breast meat on the Thanksgiving groaning board.
"We wish them all well," said Pedersen. "They've been with us for 15 years, a rich tradition at Frying Pan Park. And if they're ever looking for a place near the White House, the presidential suite doors remain open."
PETA, which put in calls to the White House and to Disneyland to make sure "the turkey is not shoved into the cargo hold of an airplane, where thousands of animals die every year," expressed a certain Happiest Place on Earth sentiment.
"It's hard to imagine a nicer place for anyone than Disneyland," said Friedrich.
The presidential pardon is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. today. Then, like the Super Bowl MVP who within moments of victory declares that he's going to Disney World, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, accompanied by the alternate, will be whisked in a van and a motorcade - all at Disneyland's expense - to a 2:40 p.m. flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles.
On Thursday, the turkeys will be honored as grand marshals of Disneyland's Thanksgiving Day Parade, sitting on a float. Afterward, they will become perhaps the most celebrated residents of Santa's Reindeer Ranch, in Frontierland.