Our updated for 2019 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 set of socks or a boring tie.
Over the last couple years, we’ve fine-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 2019 updates to this Disney Christmas Gift Guide, we’ve added a bunch of new books, including Disney CEO Bob Iger’s new memoir and titles by Imagineering Legends, plus the must-have Disney LEGO train and travel gadgets that will improve the quality of your Walt Disney World vacations.
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!
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. (There’s also this Huge Set of Star Wars Ice Molds.)
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.
Thomas Kinkade 2020 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!
Thomas Kinkade The Disney Collection 4 in 1 Multipack Puzzles – 4 puzzles in 1 package, with 500 pieces per puzzle! This is a new set with Cinderella, Lion King, Mickey & Minnie Mouse, and The Little Mermaid all in dreamy landscape scenery!
LEGO Disney Train & Station (with FREE Christmas Tree) – This also makes our list of 2019 Black Friday Deals as the best LEGO deal we’ve found thus far, but be warned that LEGO.com is having server issues, so checking out might be a frustrating ordeal.
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.
Autograph Book Substitute – Even though this is technically a book, it makes the toys section because this Junior Character Encyclopedia of Disney Characters is a brilliant substitute for an autograph book at Walt Disney World. Instead of having characters sign a blank page, have them sign this actual book about 150+ Disney characters. After the trip, it’ll be a treasured keepsake.
Disney Travel Accessories
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.
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.
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!
The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company – I’m about halfway through Disney CEO Bob Iger’s memoir, and it’s shockingly candid and compelling. Iger is clearly a smart and interesting guy, but all of his interviews are played fairly close to the vest and feel meticulously scripted. This is a sharp and fascinating departure from that. Highly recommended!
Travels with Figment On the Road in Search of Disney Dreams – The last title by Imagineering Legend Marty Sklar, published posthumously in November 2019. I have yet to start this (it’s next on my list after Iger’s memoir), but every other book by Marty Sklar has been excellent. Plus, it has Figment right in the title!
Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks – I have been excited about this for two full years, since first learning about it at the last D23 Expo. It’s by Pixar director Pete Docter and Imagineer Christopher Merritt, and it’s a passion project about one of the true Walt-era Imagineering heavyweights who is behind a bunch of iconic attractions, including Country Bear Jamboree!!!
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.
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.
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.
Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real – This huge book by WDI is hardly new at this point, but it is so good that we can’t resist including it. This beautiful title is actually a sequel to another excellent book that’s now out of print (that we’d also highly recommend).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 😉
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? 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!