This holiday season for us is all about creating new traditions. While we’ve done Advent calendars to count down to Christmas before, it was one thing when it was just the two of us. We didn’t always remember to open a window each day–it was more just a thing to do to get into the spirit of the season.
Now, the stakes are so much higher…but still pretty low given that this is only an Advent calendar we’re talking about. And sadly, the stakes can’t be that high since the powers that be keep refusing to make Country Bear Christmas or Figment (or, better yet, Country Bear Christmas and Figment) Advent calendars. Perhaps they’re worried that would sell out too quickly, or there would be stampedes in stores. That unprecedented level of awesome could be dangerous and have unforeseen consequences.
All joking aside, I actually have been doing a lot of Advent calendar research–probably too much–wanting to make Megatron’s first Christmas as special as possible. We know that it’s not like she’ll remember, but we will. Not only that, but we take tons of photos of every little thing she does, and opening Advent calendars seems like a modest milestone. (Admittedly, half of the motivation for this post is sharing the Advent calendars I’ve found…the other half is soliciting feedback from seasoned parents about which ones your kids love.)
The good news is that every possible Advent calendar you can possibly imagine, exists. Back in my day, they only made like one Advent calendar, and every kid had that. It was filled with little pieces of candy. If you didn’t like candy, too bad (every kid likes candy, so it worked out).
This isn’t entirely accurate. Advent calendars have been common in the United States since President Eisenhower popularized them while being photographed opening an Advent calendar with his grandchildren. In the ~70 years since, Advent calendars have proliferated, setting new Guinness World Records for price and size, among other things. (If you care, here’s an interesting history of Advent calendars.) Regardless, there are a lot more Advent calendars than there once were.
Nowadays, there’s an Advent calendar for every person and niche interest: coffee, jams, lipstick, cat/dog treats, jerky, “cheesemas,” wine, soap, and so forth. This is also the bad news. It can be difficult to find just the right Advent calendar, especially if you’re indecisiveness and spend inordinate amounts of time doing product research on the internet.
Anyway, here are the Disney-related Advent calendars I’ve found that are interesting and/or on sale ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Note that we receive a small commission from Amazon for your purchases, so buying through these links helps support the site. However, neither the price you pay nor our recommendations (or lack thereof) are impacted by that. Let’s dig into the list…
Funko Pop! Disney Advent Calendar – I won’t rehash my thoughts on the dead-eyed Funko Pops. (Suffice to say, we will not be buying this!) Setting aside personal aesthetic preferences, it’s impossible to deny the quality of the Funko figures. It’s with that in mind that we recommend this.
While we aren’t the target audience, we nevertheless think this looks like a better option than all of the Advent calendars with too many stickers and paper items. For only a few dollars more, the Funko option appears to be much, much nicer.
Star Wars Funko Pop Advent Calendar– Same idea as the above, but with a fun Star Wars-meets-Christmas Advent calendar. These aren’t the only Funko Advent calendars–here are other options that look cool:
The Funko style actually “works” pretty well with Nightmare Before Christmas! I’m not a fan of either brands, but if I were, that’d be the one I’d get.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse Plush Advent Calendar – As the name suggests, this is a plush Christmas tree Advent calendar that can be hung on the wall. It features a ruffled base with embroidered Mickey and Minnie art, and 25 pockets with embroidered numbers.
I love mid-century style of this Advent calendar, and would absolutely go for it if the price were lower. But even at the current discounted price on Amazon, it’s too much for me–especially without more clarity about what’s inside. Are all of the prizes little plushes? If, that makes it more appealing…but a mix of plushes and paper goods or other junk would not.
Marvel LEGO Advent Calendar – Now we’re speaking my language! The LEGO Advent calendars are my absolute favorite. Not necessarily this Marvel one, it just happens to be one of the few Christmas 2023 LEGO sets that isn’t sold out and is available at a deep discount (40% off).
Although not Disney-related or even theme parks-adjacent, I’m particularly partial to the LEGO City Advent Calendar series. This is actually the one I’m leaning towards buying. It seems to me like that’s the most practical option, as the LEGOs in the Advent calendar can be added to Megatron’s collection and used in the years to come. Maybe it’s kind of silly to buy LEGOs for a newborn, but I think of it as similar to savings bonds. Except way more fun, and arguably a better investment!
Here’s the description: Mickey’s 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar contains one 300 piece Christmas tree shaped puzzle and eleven 100 piece ornament shaped puzzles. Featuring your favorite Disney characters – Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Woody, Simba, Elsa, Moana, Buzz Lightyear, Tinker Bell, Tiana, Sulley, Lightning McQueen and more!
Mickey & Friends Advent Calendar Box – Family Christmas Traditions – This Disney Mickey & Friends Advent calendar celebrates family holiday traditions and features a large hardcover picture book with an all-new original story. Notations throughout the book will prompt the reader to join in the fun with their family as Mickey and the gang swap holiday stories and share their favorite Christmas traditions with one another.
Each of the 12 Advent calendar perforated windows holds a single ornament that correlates to a Christmas tradition discussed in the story. As each family tradition is completed, you can hang the included ornament to decorate your very own 3D Christmas tree. This one is tempting for us, probably in no small part due to “traditions” being right there in the name. But for that, this one probably wouldn’t be in the conversation, since it sounds like a bunch of paper.
Bluey’s Advent Calendar– I don’t know if this technically counts as Disney, but whatever, it’s on Disney+ and everyone seems to love Bluey. (We’ve watched a couple of episodes and are already fans–saving the rest for a little later.) This seems like a nice option in that it’s reasonably priced and has actual accessories and items…and, unfortunately, several stickers. Can’t win ’em all.
This countdown to Christmas features 24 books, each of which are 24-pages. Unwrap a new tale every day from December 1st through December 24. Includes both holiday-themed and everyday stories featuring beloved Disney and Pixar characters.
Disney Princess Storybook Collection Advent Calendar – Exact same idea, but with princesses instead of a wider range of animated characters. Reading a new bedtime story each night before Christmas sounds like a great tradition…but is it ideal or even necessary to combine that with the Advent calendar? I dunno.
Seriously, there is a reason this is over 50% off and “only” $9.99. Straight-up nightmare fuel. I’ve personally called my Congressional representative about getting this banned.
It hopefully goes without saying, but this is not an Advent calendar that we’re considering. (Maybe for when she’s a little older, and for Halloween, though?) But I had to see it, so I’m paying it forward and subjecting you to it.
Disney Munchlings Advent Calendar– I’d sooner buy that weird Olaf calendar than this despite the Munchlings being absolutely adorable. For us, it all comes down to price. There’s literally no Advent calendar that’s worth $150 to us…unless it’s one filled with $10 bills.
On the plus side, if you’re looking for something with actual collectible keepsakes rather than throwaway items…this is a great option. The Munchlings are cute and this calendar is huge–I saw it at Walt Disney World and was surprised by the size!
If you have experience with Advent calendars, are there any recommendations that you or your kids love? Have you already bought your Advent calendar to count down to Christmas? If so, which one did you buy? Anything on this list, or something else? Adding any to your Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping lists, hoping they go on sale? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!