If the music playing in my local grocery store is any indication, the holidays are right around the corner. (What the heck is a calling bird, anyway?) And that means lots of folks will be taking a family trip to the Disney parks or giving a Disney trip as a holiday gift.
In addition to the big “Ta Daaaa” of Disney trip gift, there are many smaller items that can serve as an adjunct tangible under-the-tree present to enhance the vacation and make you a hero to the Disney travelers in your life. You might also consider using some of these items as part of a scavenger hunt surprise trip reveal or combining several of the smaller items into a Mickey-tastic gift basket.
Any of the things below would make a great gift for someone planning a Disney vacation.
Happy shopping …
- Luggage: You’re going to need a suitcase or two for almost every Disney vacation. My go-to travel bags are from the LL Bean Quickload Luggage collection, mostly because their soft sides are quite forgiving when I have to squeeze in just one more souvenir. But there are plenty of options if you’re looking for Disney-themed suitcases or totes.
- Disney Gift Cards: Disney gift cards can be used to pay for everything from your hotel room to a cupcake. They’re accepted at the vast majority of resort, retail, and restaurant locations at Walt Disney World (as well as at other Disney related locations). A little mad money would surely be appreciated.
- An iTunes gift card: Use it to purchase Disney films or movies to get in the mood for your visit.
- A power strip: There are never enough outlets in the hotel rooms. A power strip is a modern day travel necessity.
- A portable phone charger: Much like a power strip for your room, an ancillary charger for your cell phone is a must-have. With Wifi in the parks, you’re going to be using your phone non-stop to check Lines, update your FastPass+ reservations, and Instagram photos of Mickey to your friends. Mophie and Zagg are popular brands, but there are many others.
- Gum: You can’t buy it at Walt Disney World or Orlando International Airport. A few packs of a favorite chew makes a great stocking stuffer.
- A Mist & Sip water bottle: I have to give a shout out to my friend Michelle for introducing me to this nifty device. It’s a water bottle, plus a cooling mister. Fill it with free ice water at any Disney quick service restaurant for fast refreshment.
- A travel childproofing kit: If you’re traveling with little ones, a simple safety kit can make your hotel room a better place for your child. Outlet covers and the like will help make sure that the exploration of a new environment doesn’t turn dangerous.
- Soft headphones: Soft headphones make it much more comfortable for mom or dad to watch a movie on the iPad while the kiddos are falling asleep – since they’ll inevitably fall asleep as well.
- A travel size personal care kit: A care package of travel-sized containers of favorite toiletries brands makes a useful gift.
- Trading pins: A starter pack of trading pins can serve as an introduction to an in-park trading hobby. Bonus points if you can score some cheap on eBay.
- Memory cards: You can never have enough memory for photos of your family having fun.
- A cooling scarf or bandana: It’s hot out there. Give a tool to keep the cool.
- A pocket umbrella: Rain is all but inevitable at Walt Disney World. To keep dry, I find that umbrellas work better than ponchos: they’re less messy when wet and more useful in other real-world locations.
- Slingbox: The television situation at Walt Disney World has gotten better in recent years, but it’s still not exactly what you’ll find at home. If you can’t fall asleep without Steven Colbert, then a Slingbox can be a lifeline. Plug it in at home and watch all your favorite shows on your laptop while on vacation.
- Personalized tee shirts: If you’ve got a big group heading to WDW, a custom tees for the gang can help build excitement, as well as provide practical help finding each other in the parks.
- Sunglasses: Protect your eyes and look cool in the Florida sun.
- Costumes: Lots of little ones like to dress up as pirates or princesses, particularly for a character dining experience. An eye patch or princess dress makes a great gift for a child, and buying in advance will likely save quite a bit of money over getting one at the parks.
- A specialty camera: Sure you’ve got a camera on your phone, plus maybe a point-and-shoot or even a DSLR, but there are lots of fun specialty cameras that can make your vacation shots even more entertaining. Try a water-safe camera in the pool or on the slide at Blizzard Beach, a Go-Pro for taking action shots from the front of Expedition Everest, or place a time lapse camera on your resort balcony for a look at what happens at the hotel while you’re out at the parks.
And of course we can’t forget:
- The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World: Don’t leave home without it.
Are you going on a Disney vacation this winter? What would you like to get to go with it? Let us know in the comments below.