Our holiday gift guide and Christmas shopping list features the best new Walt Disney World books, fun games, travel gadgets, and other must-haves to make you a holiday hero. Plus, inspiration for your wishlist, so your family doesn’t get you more socks or ties.
The latest update to the list of things to buy for Disney fans brings with it a ton of cool new stuff, including several items that are new for Christmas. From books to ornaments to tech gadgets that’ll help “power” Genie+ and Lightning Lanes and otherwise improve your trip to Walt Disney World, there are some great new finds.
Over the last few years, we’ve fine-tuned our Ultimate Disney Fan Christmas List with tried and true favorites, as well as some fun and new surprises that you never knew you needed. It’s not just a bunch of obvious things like the top-sellers on Amazon with the word “Disney” in their titles. This is serious stuff forDisney dorks. 😉
Another important point worth sharing is that some of these items are already on sale–Black Friday is no longer reserved for the day after Thanksgiving. We’re seeing early Black Friday savings, but expect even bigger discounts as the holiday shopping season heats up, so consider waiting if the item you see isn’t showing up as on sale. There’s a good chance it’ll be cheaper on Black Friday or Cyber Monday!
When it comes to these Christmas items, we receive a small commission from your purchases, so buying through these links helps support the site. However, neither the price you pay nor our recommendations are impacted by that. With that said, here are our recommendations, loosely organized by category–starting with our top picks…
Top Picks for 2024 Holiday Disney Gifts
Thomas Kinkade 2024 Disney Calendar – 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!
Christmas Mickey Mouse Santa Red Graphic T-Shirt — I love the vintage look of this shirt, featuring pie-eyed Mickey Mouse as Santa Claus. This would be great with a simple “Walt Disney World” or “Disneyland” script below it; all of this year’s park Christmas clothes have way too much going on.
Crocs Women’s LiteRide 360 Sandals – The sandal version of the same type of Crocs. Note that this is not the version Sarah wears–hers are the beach stretch variety, with fabric straps.
Disney Munchlings Advent Calendar– We don’t necessarily recommend this Advent calendar due to the high price, but if you’re looking for something with actual collectible keepsakes rather than throwaway items…this is a great option. The Munchlings are adorable!
Funko Pop! Disney Advent Calendar – We don’t love the look of Funko Pop figures, but it’s impossible to deny their quality. It’s with that in mind that we recommend this, as we’ve had many Advent Calendars that end up being a waste of money with disposable prizes.
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:
Disney100 Little Golden Book Box Set – This collector’s edition boxed set contains 12 iconic Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm Little Golden Books, brought together for the first time to celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary! This is new, and already significantly discounted from the full price.
Ultimate Princess Boxed Set of 12 Little Golden Books – One year ago, we wouldn’t have guessed we’d be buying this, but such is life. Couldn’t be more excited to start reading these, and guess we’ll ‘review’ them down the road. But not sure how necessary that is, given that these 12 titles are classics from the last 75 years.
Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk Deluxe 21 Piece – As the new parent of a future princess, I’m guess I’ll be learning about things like this all too soon. For now, we’ve heard great things and know that this is a good deal that’s very popular among Disney fans as an inexpensive alternative to doing Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Disney Princess Moana Dress Up Trunk – Similar to the other trunk above, but specifically for Moana. With Journey of Water now open and more Moana likely coming to the parks over time, a fitting and fun option for Walt Disney World.
The Imagineering Story: The Official Biography of Walt Disney Imagineering – The companion book to the highly acclaimed Disney+ documentary series, The Imagineering Story. This title greatly expands on award-winning filmmaker Leslie Iwerks’ narrative of the fascinating history of Walt Disney Imagineering. If you’ve watched the Imagineering Story on Disney+, that’s likely all you need to know to make this book a must-own. If you haven’t watched the Imagineering Story…well, remedy that immediately!
Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia — This is a re-release of the definitive Disney encyclopedia for Disney100, but it’s been updated with almost a decade’s worth of changes and additions. (It was a busy decade for Disney!)
Poster Art of the Disney Parks, Second Edition – This new title is an expanded and updated edition of the beloved book that ranks highly in our library. The second edition renders the first obsolete, as the 85+ new posters and behind-the-scenes development info nearly doubles the book in length. It’s worth it for all of the awesome new posters made for EPCOT’s reimagining alone.
Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real – Quite simply, it will change the way you look at the Disney theme parks. It covers the design process, why certain details are significant, and how things in the parks came to be (or didn’t come to be). Had I found this back before going to college, I might’ve pursued a different career path. It’s incredibly inspiring, and will make you appreciate the parks more. Every Disney theme park fan should own this book.
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. This is Shakespearean melodrama–a real page turner. Even those in your family who aren’t Disney fans will enjoy DisneyWar. You can purchase used hardcover copies for only a few dollars on Amazon, making it a great stocking stuffer. (This is one of many older books that we recommend in Our Disney Theme Parks Library post. Several of those books are now out-of-print, but are available used.)
Personal Neck Fan— The little device is shockingly effective. You know that refreshing feeling when briefly hit by a burst of air-conditioning while walking in front of an open door on Main Street? This is like that, but constant. The technology isn’t perfect yet and battery life could be better, but it’s great for hot days in the parks. If you want to splurge on a nicer and more effective model, check out the TORRAS Coolify Portable Air Conditioner Neck Fan. (I think that’s too much to spend on one of these, but to each their own.)
Anker Slimline Phone Charger 10000mAh 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. Now, it’s downright necessary. This one has great capacity (ideal for more than one person) and the fastest charging capabilities (it can power iPhones to 50% in under 30 minutes).
Packing Cubes — These are perfect for organizing, and make it easier to to manage your luggage. I love this 4-piece set as they’re the perfect size for organizing a carry-on size suitcase.
Compression Cubes— There are two great options here—I’ve moved on to these compression cubes, as I find they save more space in my luggage, which is huge for me. Below is the cheaper alternative, if you’re simply looking to stay organized.
Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad — By far the most popular item on our Unique Disney Parks Packing List (which is where the things in this section are from, so skip down to ‘Disney Media’ if you’ve already read that list), Chilly Pads use some sort of space-age science material to be “cool and dry.” Essential for those unbearably hot days in Walt Disney World or Disneyland!
Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker – We’ve recommended this for the last few years, and have actually bought it multiple times for ourselves (got lost in a move) and given it as gifts to family and friends. (It helps that it’s really cheap!) Pocket the money you’d otherwise spend on those Chef Mickey’s or Crystal Palace breakfast reservations.
2-Pack of “Pro” Ponchos — These are a thicker and higher quality material than most ponchos, making them easy to reuse. This makes them more environmentally–and budget–friendly. They’re also just flat out superior to disposable ponchos, and will keep you drier as a result. Great as stocking stuffers!
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. It’s durable, BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and uses a 2-stage activated carbon filter reduces odor, chlorine and leaves zero aftertaste!
Brita Filter Water Bottles – Same idea, but much more economical than Life Straw. This is our second-favorite option–the cheaper bottle that I carry since I’ve lost one of the more expensive ones. It’s a great option, and with more and more bottle refilling stations around the parks, far more efficient than going up to counter service restaurants requesting cups of ice water.
Apple AirTags– Another addition, we’ve been using AirTags ourselves 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 (Yossarian the Cat, among other things). The best potential use of all that we have not tried is tracking strollers. Cast Members relocate parked strollers, making them difficult to find. AirTags offers a solution to this problem! There are tons of great non-Disney uses for AirTags, or their non-Apple counterpart, Tile Pro Tracker.
Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition – Features motorized movements, including a head that moves up and down, ears that move back and forth, eyes that open and close, and more. (Maybe they’ll add this toy to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!)
LEGO Disney and Pixar ‘Up’ House for Disney 100 – This 598-piece LEGO Disney toy set includes a partial house built with balloons, different rooms and functions, plus Carl Fredricksen and Russell LEGO minifigures, and a Dug LEGO dog figure for dog lovers. According to LEGO, the set is “made for unlimited adventures on land or floating through the clouds.”
LEGO Star Wars AT-AT Walker – Celebrate the iconic series with this Star Wars 40th Anniversary set, a LEGO brick version of the iconic AT-AT Walker Star Wars building toy; includes 6 LEGO Star Wars minifigures – Luke Skywalker, General Veers, 2 AT-AT Drivers and 2 Snowtroopers, all with weapons.
Space Mountain Game: All Systems Go – This board game features players racing rockets to see who can complete their missions and visit all 5 Starports first. Avoid cosmic events and keep an eye on your fuel levels to leave opponents in your space dust!
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.
Gargoyles: Awakening Game– This cooperative strategy game is based on the 1990’s Disney cartoon Gargoyles, with players battling Xanatos and Demona on a 3D cityscape board featuring Manhattan as it was depicted in the cartoon. I vaguely remember watching this as a kid, but I don’t have the same nostalgia for it as other Disney Afternoon shows
Funko Disney Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Game – Another ride-specific game from Funko, this one released for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. It features a sculpted mountain peak and mine tray that capture the iconic old west setting of the attraction. Simple, fast-paced introduction to deck-building—one of the most popular styles of card games. Features dynamite and dinosaur discoveries…what’s not to love?!
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. Our one warning here is that the instructions are a bit confusing, but there are several superior YouTube videos that break it down in easy-to-understand terms. Highly recommended.
Jungle Cruise Adventure Board Game– Same goes with this, although it’s not as “deep” as the Haunted Mansion game. The goal here is to transport passengers and cargo, while avoiding perils and delivering the trademark dry wit of the Jungle Cruise skippers.
Disney’s A Goofy Movie Game– Make the most memories with Goofy and score the best seats at the Powerline concert. You’ll travel across the road map game board with card art and 90’s design that depicts locations and moments from the movie.
Codenames: Disney Family Edition– Personally, I don’t like this as much as the two above games, which are specifically based upon theme park attractions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun game, but it can be challenging if you haven’t seen a particular film or blank on a given character’s name.
Hocus Pocus: The Game – Halloween might be over, but the sun never sets on the Sanderson sisters. Well, actually it does, and that’s sorta the point in this cooperative card game. Players work together to protect Salem’s children and stop the Sanderson sisters from completing their wicked potion before the sun rises. Play potion ingredients to the cauldron and match all the colors or ingredients.
Villainous Disney Strategy Board Game – A lot of Disney fans are really into all things villains. We are not. Consequently, we overlooked this when it came out, despite it being by Ravensburger and receiving rave reviews. After winning the prestigious ‘Game of the Year’ Award at the TOTY Awards, we remedied that and found it to be a very deep and satisfying game. We still don’t like it as much as the Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion games, but that’s a matter of taste.
Funko Pop! Chip ‘n’ Dale Christmas Treasures Game — As a huge fan of Pluto’s Christmas Tree, this was an “instant pre-order” for me. The fast-paced, easy-to-learn card game features beautiful illustrations inspired by the classic 1950’s Disney Christmas cartoons. I cannot wait.
Sorry! Disney Villains – This family game combines classic Sorry! gameplay with a Disney Villains-inspired board, spell cards, and pawns featuring favorite characters. This is more on the superficial side, but if you’re looking for a classic game with a Disney twist, you can’t go wrong here.
Disney Villains Monopoly— This is a fun twist on Monopoly, with Poison Apple and Power cards, plus players hiring infamous Disney villains, and buying and selling Villain Contracts instead of locations.
Mirabel Encanto Fashion Doll– All things Encanto still seem incredibly popular, and this Mirabel doll is high-quality and relatively inexpensive.
Princess Activity Tote– Pretty far from my area of expertise, but this playset looks fun and is another cheap gift option.
Maps of the Disney Parks– The next two books are staples of our gift-giving guides, and that’s in part because they are both titles that look really nice, making them eye-catching gifts. We covered this in our Top 10 Disney Park Books list, but it bears mentioning again. You can buy this in the parks for $40…or ~$25 online.
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.
Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food — This is neither a cookbook nor a phony attempt at sharing foods Walt Disney might’ve liked. Rather, it’s a look at the history of the parks with rare photos, all through the prism of food. Don’t let the title put you off–it’s actually more unique as a result of that premise, while still being approachable and interesting to all fans.
Travels with Figment On the Road in Search of Disney Dreams – The last title by Imagineering Legend Marty Sklar, published posthumously. It’s an interesting look at Sklar’s globe-trotting adventures in developing the Disney theme parks, with plenty of amusing and humorous anecdotes along the way.
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 Christmas Storybook Collection— Join Ralph and Vanellope as they throw a Christmas party just for the Bad Guys; trim the tree with Woody, Buzz and the rest of the Toy Story gang; follow Elsa as she tries to create the best holiday ever for her sister, Elsa; and more.
Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia – By the incomparable Disney Legend Dave Smith, this comprehensive encyclopedia covers everything you want to know about the Walt Disney Company, from theme park attractions to songs, and animators from Disney films and shows and so much more!
The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge— This new book about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offers an inside look at the creation of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World lands, documenting the art and innovations that led to the construction 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. Also, what could have been. (In some ways, that makes it a bit depressing–but that’s pretty common of Imagineering concept art books.)
Walt Disney’s Disneyland – The best theme park book to be released in years (read our full review of it here), this is a must-have for Disneyland fans. Even if you’re a more of a Florida person, there’s a good amount on Walt Disney here, making it a worthwhile option for WDW fans, too.
From All of Us to All of You: The Disney Christmas Card – This oversized coffee table book goes through the history of the Disney Christmas card designs with lavish artwork of the cards. It also serves as a history lesson on the Walt Disney Studios, as its most legendary artists created many of the card designs, and those artists are profiled throughout the book.
Boundless Realm: Deep Explorations In Haunted Mansion– Everything you could possibly want to know about Disney’s iconic Haunted Mansion, from history to artistic critique. It’s a truly comprehensive and deep dive, probing American history, popular culture, and folklore, to examine why Haunted Mansion is the definitive haunted house.
Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World– This is a cookbook, with recipes for iconic dishes like the Grey Stuff, Tonga Toast, Captain Jack’s Clam Dip, Kungaloosh, Ronto Wrap, Orange Bird Flip, Hoop-Dee-Doo Fried Chicken, Hollywood Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake, and Le Cellier Steakhouse Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. However, it’s also so much more. You’ll also find rare restaurant concept art (like that for Columbia Harbour House, Downtown Disney, and the Disney Inn), history (my favorite is “Walt Loved Fried Chicken”), and old menu scans.
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? 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!