Wondering what gifts to get the Disney fan in your life? Our 2016 Christmas gift guide features the coolest travel gadgets, best books, hottest toys, and other must-have items to make you the true hero of Christmas, or to put on your own Christmas list so your family doesn’t get you yet another sweater (well, besides the sweater on the list).
This Ultimate Disney Fan Christmas List has been scientifically engineered with precision lasers, fancy algorithms, and state of the art technology not even Tony Stark knows about. (That’s how you know it’s the ultimate one.) I’d explain it to you, but it’s all top secret stuff that would literally blow your mind. 😉
The point being, this list isn’t just a bunch of obvious things like the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray. Obviously you should buy that. It’s currently on sale ($20!) and is an all-time classic. Instead, like the dork that I am, I’ve combed the internet and stumbled upon these awesome items that will make perfect gifts.
Here are my picks, loosely organized by category…
Disney Media & Bric-A-Brac
Maps of the Disney Parks – We covered this one last week in our Top 10 Disney Park Books list, but it bears mentioning again, as the newest book about Disney is also one of the best. You can buy this in the parks for $40…or $25 online.
Poster Art of the Disney Parks – I’ve recommended this one time and time again, so if you’re a regular reader, I might sound like a broken record at this point. It’s a great, relatively inexpensive (as far as hardcover coffee table books go) gift that looks great. For those curious as to how the sausage is made, so to speak, I highly recommend this Walt Disney Imagineering book. I have dozens of other recommendations in My Disney Theme Parks Library post, but for many of those, you’ll be buying used (totally worth it, in my opinion, as you can save money and find rare books).
The Art of Moana – Disney’s latest animated film is a beautiful one, and this book will give you a much greater appreciation for the level of detail–including authentic details and their real-world inspiration–for the effort the animators put into the film. (Another good option is The Art of Finding Dory, which is currently only $7!)
The Complete Toy Story Collection 1, 2, 3 [Blu-ray Box Set] – Individually, each of these Blu-rays cost more than the entire box set. Suffice to say, this is one hot deal if you don’t already own these films!
LEGO Star Wars AT-AT – There have been a lot of good deals on LEGO Star Wars sets recently, and this is yet another. The AT-AT Walker is pretty cool, and this is a great gift option.
DisneyWar – Another title that I recommend constantly, this real account of a battle within Disney reads like a soap opera, except it’s all true. Few non-fiction titles qualify as page-turners, but this definitely is. Even those in your family who aren’t Disney fans–but are generally interested in business or Hollywood–will enjoy DisneyWar. You can purchase used hardcover copies for $.01 on Amazon, so there’s really no risk–great stocking stuffer.
One Little Spark: Ten Commandments of Imagineering – This is the story of Marty Sklar, head of Walt Disney Imagineering, and the principles he created to drive design and decisions during his tenure leading the creative organization. If you’re an aspiring Imagineer, or you just want to instill creative ideas into what you do, this is a great read.
Thomas Kinkade 2017 Disney Calendar – Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve seen Kinkade’s work if you’ve ever been in an Art of Disney store. It’s the dreamy, improbably-lit paintings that you want to step inside. With their mix of artistry and impressionism, Kinkade’s Disney designs are mesmerizing, and this calendar is a great way to look at them all year long…without spending $1,000+ on a painting!
Disney Villains Adult Coloring Book – These are all the rage for adults right now, as a way to relax and reduce stress. While I can’t say I’ve jumped aboard the hype train for this, I did page through this book the other day and thought it looked cool. Plus, under $10 for a hardcover book? Tough to go wrong.
Cranium: Disney Edition – Cranium is one of our favorite games of all time, and the Disney edition improves on a classic!
Disney Eye Found It! – If you have younger kids, this game is a fun option that also teaches the ever-important skills of cooperation and teamwork.
Disney Legacy Collection 3 CD Set: Disneyland – An excellent mix of original source audio from classic and modern Disneyland attractions, this is a great set.
Walt Disney World Magical Racing Tour – You might be wondering why I’m suggesting a circa-2000 Playstation original flavor game. Two words: backwards compatibility. A few more: this is one of the best Disney Parks games ever created, and was totally overlooked when it came out, so you’ve probably never heard of it. You really should fix that. It’s no Mario Cart, but this game is the sole reason I still own a Sega Dreamcast. It’s a ton of fun for Walt Disney World fans.
Walt Disney Family Museum Membership – Even if you can’t visit in person, a fully tax-deductible membership to the WDFM is a great way to show support for this excellent museum. Note that this museum is not run by The Walt Disney Company–it’s an independent museum by the family–so don’t scratch your head wondering why a multi-billion dollar corporate behemoth needs your money. If you’d rather have a tactile gift, the WDFM Book is a great way to show your support and “tour” the exhibits from afar.
Baby Sven Reindeer Plush – He’s cute, comfy and inexpensive. Perfect gift for your kids (…or in our case, for our dachshund to cuddle with.)
Disney Household Goods
Mickey Mouse Waffle Iron – Enjoy Mickey Waffles at home. Pocket the money you’d otherwise spend on those Chef Mickey’s or Crystal Palace breakfast reservations. 😉
Mickey Mug Warmer – This is something I stumbled upon today while searching for a solution to the problem of my coffee getting cold too quickly. I didn’t even realize something like this existed, let alone a Disney version of it. My mind was blown…and the price is great!
Mickey Mouse Water Bottle – A really fun “Mickeyfied” water bottle that looks awesome.
Mickey Glove Utensils – For $2, you can’t really go wrong. These look like a fun stocking stuffer or neat gift for kids.
Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutters – If you want to get scientific about it, Mickey Mouse head-shaped foods taste better by at least 23.78%. A cheap stocking stuffer that improves the taste of food? How can you possibly go wrong?!
Death Star Ice Ball Maker – If you want a no-calorie alternative to cookies, try this instead. Simultaneously hilarious and awesome, this is a must-buy for the Star Wars fan on your list.
Dignovel Studios Disney Watercolors – Some really cool, vibrant Disney designs that have a chic, almost minimalist look to them. I’m eyeing the castle ones…
Main Street Bakery Candle – I’m a sucker for Anthology Candles’ Disney scents, but I think this is the first candle I’ve actually wanted to eat. (Maybe I shouldn’t admit that? I mean, I wouldn’t actually eat a candle…although this one is made of soy, so it’s probably edible.)
Disney Clothing & Accessories
“I Am [Insert Disney Character]” Dresses – Think of these as like a far more literal version of Disneybounding for those who don’t want to spend more on assembling subtle outfits. Before our last Walt Disney World trip, Sarah bought several of these low-cost dresses (about which she subsequently wrote in this blog post) and she got tons of compliments in the parks.
Disney Princess No-Show Socks – This pack of socks is a cute, understated way to accessorize your Disney outfit…and the pack of socks is relatively inexpensive, making it a great stocking stuffer.
Vintage Mickey Mouse Watch – This style of watch is iconic and for years, variants of it were hot sellers in the parks (I distinctly remember my dad spending big bucks on one during Walt Disney World’s 25th Anniversary in 1996). I love the look, but not the cost. I have had no desire to spend $100+ on a watch I would only wear in the parks. Well, this solves that dilemma, as it’s super cheap and looks great!
Minnie Mouse Polka Dot Luggage – No one will mistake this suitcase for their own. Actually, despite the obvious Minnie Mouse style, this is a pretty nice piece of luggage. It’s also about $30 cheaper than other American Tourister Disney bags, for some reason!
Vans Disney Shoes – From a style perspective, I love these. The busy designs work because the shoes themselves are so simple, so there’s not too much going on. The best part is that several pairs are under $20!
Mickey Christmas Sweater – I’m a sucker for fair isle or other classic sweater styles that the kids these day refer to as “Ugly Christmas Sweaters.” I wear these styles totally unironically. I think they are actually very tasteful and a nice, classic look. This is another one I really like.
Haunted Mansion Leggings – Okay, so the very idea of this might sound odd (it does to me, at least), but Sarah has these, and gets compliments all the time–even outside the parks! (There’s also this Haunted Mansion dress, if you want something less casual or for the summer months.)
Disney “Home” Castle Hoodie – This simple, blunt statement shirt has become a hot item of late, and it’s easy to see the appeal. The design is clean, and the sentiment rings true for a lot of Disney fans. T-shirts are also available, but we prefer the hoodie.
Mickey Ears Kids’ Hoodie – If you have children, this Mickey Mouse hooded “ears” sweatshirt is simply irresistible.
Custom Mouse Ears & Apparel – Custom apparel and mouse ears have been big for a couple of years now, and there are several fan stores, particularly on Etsy, offering some really cool designs. One of Sarah’s favorites is Oh Yeah Apparel.
Match Accessories – Here’s another Etsy shop that has some great Disney designs. Some stuff that’s on the subtle side, and work appropriate.
Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad – By far the most popular item on our Unique Disney Parks Packing List, Chilly Pads use some sort of space-age science material to be “cool and dry.” After wetting and wringing out the towel, it becomes than the outside air, providing cooling relief without the wet mess. Essential for those unbearably hot days in Walt Disney World or Disneyland!
Compact External Charger – Don’t be one of those chumps who wastes precious parks time sitting in a corner charging their phone. A day in the parks is a real drain on a phone battery; this very small battery backup will get you through the day, doesn’t take up much space, and is approximately 3 full phone charges. Another small option with double the juice is this backup.
10-Pack of Ponchos – Two words: stocking stuffers. That is, if you don’t want to spend a small fortune on throw-away ponchos during those daily afternoon showers at Walt Disney World.
Parade Blanket – A great alternative to sitting on the ground while you wait for parades at Disney. This has weighted corners, is pocket-size, and puncture-resistant. It’s also water-resistant, so you can use it as a poncho in a pinch. It’s really versatile, so you’ll be using it in lots of places outside of Disney.
USB Wall Charger – Nowadays, we find ourselves charging devices via USB than actual plugs. Whether it’s our phones, external batteries, or even cameras, etc. This is great because it’s very compact, with a space-saving design that makes it easy to pack.
Brita Water Filter Bottle – Disney drinking fountain water tastes nasty. If you want it to taste palatable, make sure to pick up these before your trip. This is actually a 2-pack, but is exactly the same price as a single water bottle…one to give and one to keep!
Caffeine Mints – These mints are so powerful that they are already banned in 7 states! (Not really.) They have about as much caffeine as coffee or an energy drink, so they will give you the energy to get through evening Extra Magic Hours, but won’t give you coffee breath or make you have to run to the restroom while in line for Toy Story Mania. Win-win!
Nikon D3300 – This is Nikon’s best-selling DSLR, and it’s a really impressive little camera. If you or someone on your list wants to get more serious about photography, this is a great starting place. Of course, if you want to get even more serious, check out my Ultimate Disney Parks Photography Guide, as that will really help take your theme park photography to the next level, with equipment recommendations and tips for learning more about photography.
For comprehensive tips to plan your Christmas-time vacation to Walt Disney World, check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World. If you are planning a Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacation, check out our planning resources! The best place to start is our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide or Disneyland Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience!
What from this Disney Christmas Gift Guide is a must-have for you? Any clever gift ideas for Disney fans (or travelers) you’d add to the list? If you have other ideas, questions, or thoughts, please share in the comments!