Our 2018 Christmas gift guide for Disney fans features cool travel gadgets, theme park books, hot toys, and other holiday must-haves to make you the hero of Christmas. Don’t worry, dear hero, as you’ll also find plenty of inspiration for your Christmas list, so your family doesn’t get you yet another sweater…well, besides the ones this list.
Over the last couple years, we’ve finely-tuned our Ultimate Disney Fan Christmas List with tried and true favorites, as well as some fun 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.
As the serious Disney dorks we are, we’ve combed the internet to find these awesome items that will make perfect holiday gifts for Disney enthusiasts. This list also may or may not contain mostly things that are one point (either in the past or at this very moment) have been on my Amazon Wish List. It may sound lazy to just copy and paste that into a holiday buying guide, but there’s more to this Disney Christmas Gift Guide than that, and in fairness, I put a ton of effort into my Amazon Wish List! 😉
For our 2018 updates to this Disney Christmas Gift Guide, we’ve added a bunch of “slick” travel gadgets like the Asobu Coldbrew Coffee Maker. Even though we love things like this that enhance and improve the travel experience, we’ve previously resisted because these items aren’t overtly Disney. This year, we set that aside, figuring that pretty much everyone going to Walt Disney World needs their caffeine fix (and if not, are you doing the parks right?!) and could use a bit of ‘enhancement’ to the whirlwind pace of visiting the parks.
Anyway, here are my picks, loosely organized by category…
Disney Household Goods
Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker – We’ve recommended a few different options for enjoying Mickey Waffles at home, and this year, this option happens to be the cheapest (under $15!). 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 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. The price is great!
Hidden Minnie Polka Dot Blanket– A soft, cozy, and tasteful polka dot blanket that features Minnie Mouse as some of the dots. Nice size for the couch, and not something that screams Disney, making it a good option if you’re lowkey about your obsession. 😉
Thomas Kinkade 2019 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!
Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse Partners Ornament – No, this is not the scary one that Walt Disney World and Disneyland have (apparently) been selling for a couple of years now. This is a Hallmark exclusive that looks exceptional, and is under $20.
Tsum Tsum Wreath Ornament– To be honest, we didn’t totally get the Tsum Tsum craze…until seeing this Hallmark ornament. So cute.
Slinky Dog in Retro Packaging– Okay, so perhaps not really a ‘household’ item, but what stairs couldn’t use a Slinky Dog on them?! It’s not “Disney” per se, but when I found this, I thought it was about the coolest thing ever. It reminded me instantly of the Slinky Dog Dash queue.
Tervis Mickey’s 90th Birthday Tumbler– A more ‘high-roller’ version of the water bottle above, this is a high-quality cup that showcases Mickey through the years. If you haven’t yet boarded the Tervis hype train, this is a great way to hop aboard.
Mickey Mouse Chocolate Fountain– Owning a chocolate fountain is pretty impractical, but isn’t Christmas all about impractical gifts? 😉 Seriously though, it looks super cute, and who doesn’t need more chocolate in their life?!
Travel Accessories & Gadgets for Disney
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!
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.
Trtl “Non-Dorky” Travel Pillow– While comfort trumps style when it comes to traveling, this travel pillow offers the best of both worlds. Instead of looking like a bulky butt donut, this looks like a scarf, and is scientifically-proven to provide support. (It’s also easier to pack away.)
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.
Asobu Coldbrew Portable Cold Brew Coffee Maker – Not particularly keen on Joffrey’s, Starbucks, or the instant coffees we recommend in our packing list? This is a perfect travel option for coffee connoisseurs who want something delicious to start their day. We think cold brew is also nice for the practical realities of Florida and California weather, and the included 40 ounce stainless steel carafe should get you through rope drop and at least the first ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
Lavender Essential Oil– Sarah has been using essential oils for a while now to help her relax before flights and at first I was…skeptical. I’ve since come around, and think this is a great way to decompress before bed after a long day in the parks, or before a flight to Walt Disney World (and beyond). Makes a great stocking stuffer!
Ginger Organic Essential Oil– Sarah gets pretty severe motion sickness, to the point that cruising is difficult. A great option for Disney Cruise Line, Expedition Everest, and other ‘Disney things’ where motion sickness might be an issue.
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 more 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!
Books, Video & Media
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 is truly heartwarming. It goes through the history of the Disney Christmas card designs through the years with lavish artwork of the cards, which evolve and change over the years. 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. As an added bonus, you also receive a set of actual Christmas cards!
Travels with Walt Disney– “There’s always a Disney connection.” That’s what we find ourselves saying whenever we travel, no matter where we go. This is for good reason, as Walt Disney was a world traveler, and this book chronicles his adventures and how they influenced his movies and parks. Lots of original photos, and it’s unique to have a profile of Walt’s life through the lens of travel.
Speaking of which, if you don’t mind saving a bit of money on older books, we have dozens of other recommendations in My Disney Theme Parks Library post. Many of those books are now out-of-print, but are available used.
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.
Poster Art of the Disney Parks– If you have to choose between the ‘Maps’ book above or the ‘Poster Art’ book, this is the better one, hands down. It features posters from around the world, including a ton you’ve never seen before. This book was curated by Walt Disney Imagineering, and it shows–the design and artwork is fantastic.
Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation – This book is an overdue celebration of the women who played a pivotal role in the early years of Walt Disney’s animation department. The result is a beautiful, informative book that’s shockingly large (at least, its size surprised us). Thoroughly researched and infinitely fascinating, this is a must-have new release.
Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food – Thankfully, this is NOT A COOKBOOK. It’s a book about historical stories through the lens of food. With tons of original photos, it feels like taking steps back in time to the early days of Disneyland. It’s an excellent history book and features a ton of striking photos we had never seen before. We highly recommend it–just don’t expect much in the way of recipes! 😉
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 less than $2 on Amazon, making it a great stocking stuffer.
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.
Wonder Forge Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game – An interesting, objective-driven game featuring the various villains, each of whom pursues their own goals. Definitely a different and more elaborate game, but one that’s easy enough to pick up on!
Read This If You Want To Be Instagram Famous– The title of this book is off-putting to me, but I recently picked it up at the bookstore, anyway. Turns out that it’s as much about photography basics for Instagram as it is a ‘how-to’ guide for becoming an influencer. If you’re a photography newbie and are primarily interested in taking better photos (and improving your visibility on the platform), it’s a short but interesting option.
Disney Clothing & Accessories
Disney Spirit Jerseys– These throwback shirts have been all the rage for the last couple of years, and their popularity only seems to be growing. At one point during the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party I attended in November, I counted over two dozen spirit jerseys being worn on Main Street–and that was just what I could easily see!
Unquestionably, the most popular ones right now are the various holiday designs, like the Disneyland ones above. The new attraction-specific styles are a close runner up. Based upon our observations, it seems that the Tiki Room Spirit Jersey is most popular (surprising considering the attraction), with other new colors and textures also being common, and of course, the “Millennial Pink” Spirit Jersey being a perennial favorite.
Minnie & Mickey Wallets– This is a recent discovery by Sarah, who is absolutely enamored with little Disney neck purses, wallets, or whatever you call them. She says this is “definitely the coolest thing on the list” and while I’m not sure I agree with that assessment, I’m also not the target audience.
Disney apparently agrees, as they’ve released a handful of styles in the parks this year (there are some pretty cool designs…but they are about double the price of these ones from Amazon!). The one pictured above is actually from Macy’s, and is currently 58% off for Black Friday!
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.
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 cheaper than other American Tourister Disney bags, for some reason!
Vintage Mickey Mouse Watch – This style of watch is iconic and for years, variants of it were hot sellers in the parks. I love the look, but not the in-park cost. Well, this watch solves that dilemma, as it’s super cheap and looks great!
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!