If you’re anything like me, you’ve already been bombarded with dozens–maybe hundreds–of emails and alerts about early Black Friday deals and ‘sneak peek’ sales. Many of these are nothing but marketing, but others are actually good–better and earlier than the last few years. This post rounds up the best deals on clothes, books, tech, toys, and travel accessories for your Walt Disney World vacations, plus products that will make great gifts for yourself or others.
If you feel like you’re having deal déjà vu (déljàvu?), that’s because this follows a trend that started earlier this year. A little over a month ago, Amazon added a second Prime Day in October to go along with its annual sale in July. The company spun it as “early access” to Christmas shopping so you could beat the rush. However, that also opened the floodgates for other retailers to follow suit and start their own season of holiday sales well before Thanksgiving–or even Halloween.
The real reason for this wasn’t retailers being generous to consumers. Rather, it was a phenomenon we’ve discussed quite frequently (especially for a blog ostensibly about vacation planning!) known as the bullwhip effect. For two years, retailers could barely keep items in stock due to record consumer spending and supply chain disruptions. That resulted in businesses ordering more inventory, much of which wasn’t arriving in a timely manner. Many of those excess orders arrived late and warehouses filled up this year…right as consumer spending started to shift to services.
Countless companies–including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Nike, and more–have reported record levels of product on hand, which they are now trying to unload to clear space for new arrivals. Compounding matters (for them), pulled-forward demand for certain goods and inflation have decreased consumer interest in certain products as their inventory levels surge.
Understanding the economic side of this is unnecessary, but interesting (I think). In a sense, it’s a lot like what’s happening with pent-up demand at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, but in reverse. Retailers experienced that back in 2020 and early 2021, and have now seen a steep drop-off. (Perhaps this is a sneak peek of what things will look like at the parks once pent-up demand exhausts itself?) Regardless of the underlying causes, the end result is tons of great deals as companies look to unload excess inventory. In short, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022 are starting earlier than ever before–and should feature some of the best deals since at least 2019.
This post aggregates the best early Black Friday 2022 deals likely to be of interest to Disney fans and travelers. Some items are Disney-specific, others are travel gadgets that are not exclusively Disney-related. The former are fun items for collectors, parents, people doing gift shopping, and so on. The latter are practical items that would be useful for Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacations.
If you want a broader selection of the current deals, check out Amazon’s Early Black Friday Sale page for the biggest savings and most popular deals. Even then, the options can be overwhelming, as there are literally tens of thousands of items on sale. Additionally, you might want to check out the following:
Home Depot Black Friday Page – I have no concept of good v. bad deals on a lot of this stuff, but there appear to be substantial savings on a lot of Christmas decorations. We plan on stocking up!
shopDisney Early Black Friday – Through Friday, shopDisney is offering 30% off site-wide, plus free shipping. If past precedent is any indication, Cyber Monday savings will be superior–it’s just a question of whether what you want will sell out. (We’re eyeing a few items, but waiting until next week, FWIW.)
Below, we’ve combed through the various deals on Amazon’s Early Black Friday Sale page and are sharing only those we deem good. 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.
We’ve purchased many of these items ourselves, have friends who recommend them, or are debating the purchase. It should be clear from each item’s description how we feel about a particular product. On with the list of the Best Amazon Early Black Friday Sale deals for 2022…
Funko Pop! Disney Advent Calendar – We don’t love the look of Funko Pop figures, but it’s impossible to deny their quality…and even I am really tempted by this at 42% off as part of Amazon’s early Black Friday sale! It’s with that in mind that we recommend this Funko Pop Advent Calendar–quality, non-disposable prizes at a good price.
Christmas Mickey Mouse Santa Red Graphic T-Shirt — This is one of my go-tos for wearing underneath Christmas sweaters (since the weather isn’t usually right for those until the sun goes down). It’s cheap and looks far nicer than you’d expect for a shirt that costs for $10. (Just don’t wear it to the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in December if the weather ends up being warm–unless you want to inadvertently “twin” with me!)
Mickey Mouse Christmas Cups – Technically, these are stemless wine glasses. As someone who doesn’t drink wine, they sure look like Christmas cups to me! At 54% off, they’re great for wine connoisseurs or cup enthusiasts!
Lionel Christmas Express Train– A staple for circling the Christmas tree, this is 20% off–plus another 5% off if you spend $100. With that said, I’m almost positive I’ve seen better prices for this on past Cyber Mondays, so consider waiting until then.
Disney Books (3 for Price of 2)
Amazon has an early Black Friday promo offering one book FREE when you purchase 2 eligible titles. To take advantage, simply add 3 items from the books on this page to your Shopping Basket via the “Add to Basket” button. The offer will be automatically applied to your total at checkout and you’ll get one of the titles for free (so in other words, 3 for the price of 2 books. Here are our recommended titles from this offer:
A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of The Most Magical Place on Earth – The best Walt Disney World coffee table book ever. In style, structure, and quality, this is unrivaled. Truly the best thing to come out of the 50th Anniversary celebration, this covers everything from development to the evolution of Walt Disney World, with tons of rare photos and concept art. You can read our full review if you want, but the bottom line is that this is the best book about Walt Disney World. The difficulty here is going to be finding 2 other books that are similarly-priced in order to max out your savings, but this is a MUST-OWN, so figure it out–even if that means buying non-Disney titles.
Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World– This is a cookbook, with recipes for iconic dishes like the Grey Stuff, Tonga Toast, Kungaloosh, Ronto Wrap, Hollywood Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake, and Le Cellier Steakhouse Cheese Soup. However, it’s also so much more. You’ll also find rare restaurant concept art, history (my favorite is “Walt Loved Fried Chicken”), and old menu scans.
Thomas Kinkade Disney Coloring Books– Mentioning this because there are a lot of Kinkade-Disney fans. We love his studio’s actual art, but are not huge fans of the coloring books. (Isn’t the whole point of Kinkade the color and light?!) Still a great deal.
The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge– This offers an inside look at the magic behind the Disneyland and Walt Disney World lands, documenting the art and innovations that led to the creation of Galaxy’s Edge. Featuring hundreds of full-color concept artworks, sketches, blueprints, photographs, and more, the book reveals Walt Disney Imagineering’s creative process.
The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky — If you’re a fan of Disney’s monorails (who isn’t?!), you’ll love this. There’s a ton of concept art and photos, as the authors take readers on a historical ride the Highway in the Sky. From Walt Disney’s Progress City ambitions to the future of this innovative transportation system.
One Day at Disney– I don’t like this book, but it’s a popular one and the price is right at 55% off before the 3 for 2 deal.
Santa Stops at Disneyland (Little Golden Book) – The Disney Parks Little Golden Books released thus far have been fantastic, with gorgeous art and cute stories. While we definitely aren’t the target audience for the stories, we absolutely adore the art and style—they’re great for anyone with kids, theme park fans, or anyone who was a kid and has fond memories of Little Golden Book. Here are other recommended titles, which are also part of the promo:
Disney Baby “My First Christmas”– I guess the idea here is introducing babies to Christmas vocabulary? As someone with a limited lexicon, I couldn’t tell you anything about that. I just love the art direction of this book and would recommend it on that basis alone!
Disney 5-Minute Christmas Stories— Join in the festivities of the season as Mike and Sully race to light the big Christmas tree, Alice finds the Red Queen’s present, Peter Pan brings Christmas to Never Land, and more!
Disney Storybook Collection— A large, 300+ page hardcover book retelling several classic Disney stories complete with 250 pieces of artwork from the Disney Archives.
Disney Eats: More than 150 Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Inspired Fun – From healthy snacks like a Minnie Mouse-inspired crudité platter and savory dinners such as Mulan’s Blossom Stir-Fry to Disney-character-themed bento box lunches and easy-prep treats such as Frozen Banana Dalmatian Pops, author Joy Howard shows that the creative possibilities are endless.
Walt Disney’s Disneyland— This is NOT part of the 3 for 2 deal, but bears mentioning as one of my favorite Disney books of all-time at a crazy-good price. Anyone who has owned or even held a TASCHEN book knows why this is something special. By clipping the coupon, you’re getting this for OVER 66% off, which is an insane deal. Seriously, this is an incredibly high-quality coffee table book…at under $20?!?!
Disney Travel Accessories
Gonex Compression Packing Cubes– They key here is that these are compression packing cubes, which normally cost more and will save you even more space when packing. If you need the suitcase space, we recommend this set over the one below. Be sure to clip the coupon on the product page for even greater savings. (Note that there are a variety of Gonex compression cube sets on sale–our personal favorite is this 4 piece set, but the 6 piece one arguably offers better bang for buck via the early Black Friday sale.)
16-Pack Roll-Up Compression Travel Bags for Packing – We have never used these as we prefer something more durable since we travel frequently, but reviews are positive. It sounds like they save even more space, but for that you give up a bit of reusability. Totally a matter of personal preference.
Mickey Vacation Countdown Calendar – Not so much a vacation accessory as a pre-trip excitement-builder, this is a 14 day countdown calendar that’ll have kids (even more) anxiously awaiting trips to Walt Disney World, with the prizes doubling as a playset. 41% off for early Black Friday, making it a great gift!
Apple AirTags– We use these to “track” our car (good for rental cars that can get lost in the sea of the TTC), checked baggage (good for peace of mind), and much more that isn’t relevant to travel (our cat). The best potential use of all that we have not tried is tracking strollers. In a recent article about Walt Disney World’s new strollers, several readers complained that Cast Members relocate parked strollers, making them difficult to find. AirTags should offer a great solution to this problem!
Personal Neck Fan– This is shockingly effective. It’s like that refreshing feeling you get when walking past an open doorway of an air-conditioned building. It’s not perfect, but it’s a really fantastic idea, and is a breath of fresh air during hot and humid days in Florida (which is ~10 months of the year). Be sure to clip the 20% off coupon, otherwise this isn’t actually much of a deal!
Anker Slimline Phone Charger 10,000mAh External Battery Pack — Even before Genie+, we recommended bringing a backup battery pack to charge your phone while using My Disney Experience or social media at Walt Disney World. This one has great capacity and the fastest quick-charging capabilities. This is the battery pack we bring to the parks now—perfect for the two of us. Again, there’s a clippable coupon. (With that said, we’re hoping for *better* external battery charger deals on Cyber Monday, so consider holding off on this. It’s a good deal, but not a truly great one.)
Life Straw Go Filter Water Bottle — Florida water tastes awful straight from the tap, so it’s key to get a bottle with a filter. This bottle is the best option, hands down–what we take to the parks every day. It’s durable, BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and uses a 2-stage activated carbon filter reduces odor, chlorine and leaves zero aftertaste! This is a modestly good deal, but I’m hopeful there are better prices on Cyber Monday. (We need to purchase another one of these ourselves and are waiting, FWIW.)
New Outlander Packable Backpack— Takes up minimal room in your suitcase and more importantly is super lightweight. That minimizes the amount of back-sweat you’ll have to endure from the Florida heat and humidity. (Seriously, it makes a world of difference!) Be sure to clip the coupon for additional early Black Friday savings!
BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow – This is new-to-us travel pillow is incredibly popular, rating better than our favorite pillow (that had its design cheapened and no longer scores well). At 52% off, it’s worth checking out!
Villainous Disney Strategy Board Game – This game by Ravensburger has received rave reviews and won the prestigious ‘Game of the Year’ Award at the TOTY Awards. It’s made our past deal lists, but at 50% off for early Black Friday, I think this is the cheapest we’ve ever seen it.
Funko Disney Happiest Day Magic Kingdom Game– Visit exciting attractions, meet cherished characters, and experience magical moments throughout Magic Kingdom–a great way to relive the magic, complete with a 3D Cinderella Castle and day-to-night versions of the park.
Haunted Mansion: Call of The Spirits Board Game – I’m a total sucker for cheesy and cheeky board games, as well as Walt Disney World board games. This is the perfect intersection of those interests. It’s a fairly strategic game that’s easy enough for kids but also deep enough for adults. At 42% off, this one is a strong deal.
Funkoverse: Marvel 100 4-Pack Strategy Board Game – Four Avengers Funko Pop! movers made exclusively for this game. Each character is unique and has their own abilities, with game modes that include Scrimmage and Siege that allow you to explore the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and Shuri’s Wakanda Laboratory.
Funko The Rocketeer: Fate of The Future Game – A two-player strategy game that immerses the players into the events of the movie and the golden age of Hollywood. Play a game of cat-and-mouse with the rocket plans and keep them hidden from your opponent. Original illustrations and design that evokes the art deco style of the 1930s, and are inspired by the 1991 Disney film. (64% off!)
Disney-Pixar Monopoly— Another great Monopoly deal at 17% off. (I’m guessing there will be better deals on both Monopoly games on Cyber Monday, so you might want to hold off!)
Frozen Arendelle Castle – A relatively simple version of Elsa’s ice palace. At 55% off, it’s a good deal–just keep in mind that what you see is what you get.
LEGO Buzz Lightyear Planetary Mission Playset– There aren’t many Disney toys on sale for early Black Friday, but several that are on sale are from Lightyear. I think this looks like a knockoff version of the real Toy Story, but to each their own. Hopefully deals on the good “authentic” stuff come on Cyber Monday.
Mirabel Encanto Fashion Doll– All things Encanto still seem incredibly popular, so taking $10 off this with a $50 purchase is noteworthy. (The doll itself isn’t discounted.)
Princess Activity Tote– Pretty far from my area of expertise, but this playset looks fun (maybe?) and offers great savings.
Fire 8 HD Kids Tablet— An educational and entertainment tool for kids with parental controls, goal-setting, time limits, plus 1 FREE year of Amazon Kids+ with access to over 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, audiobooks, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more.
Okay, that’s it for right now. There are a bunch of other great deals that are irrelevant to Disney and travel (but also don’t appeal to me) on the Amazon Early Black Friday Sale homepage. We recommend browsing for yourself a bit, and checking back often, as new deals are regularly appearing–and disappearing. Just be mindful of the fact that some of these offers are time-sensitive, so you don’t want to spend too much time procrastinating and end up losing out!
Be sure to check back here throughout the coming days, as I’ll share new discounts and more Lightning Deals as they become available. Oh, and if you find anything that you think would be useful for other Disney fans, please share in the comments below!
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Any deals you’ve found on the best Disney or travel-related products discounted before the 2022 Black Friday sales kick off in full force? that we’ve missed? What have you scored thus far during the holiday shopping season? Will you be doing your holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, or holding off for potentially better deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Have any product recommendations (or dislike any of the items listed here)? Any questions? We love hearing from readers, so please share any other thoughts or questions you have in the comments below!