If you’re searching for a last-minute holiday gift or a little something special to add to your own holiday wish list, TouringPlans is here to help! I compiled a list of what I think are some of the best gifts for those planning to visit the parks soon. And while holidays present the perfect gifting opportunity, most of these will work year-round for other celebrations like birthdays or anniversaries too.
Wearable Gifts – For a truly impressive gift, put your knowledge of their favorite character, attraction, or movie to good use. From custom t-shirts and mouse ears to lanyards and pins, there is an endless supply of fun things they can wear to the parks. Even better, there is an endless supply of online or local stores that sell these too, so finding something perfect while staying on budget shouldn’t be too hard.
Gear – There are certain items that almost every theme park vacationer likes to pack: poncho, day bag for the park, refillable water bottle, portable phone charger, hand sanitizer, and so on. Other items, like a toiletries bag, suitcase, or travel friendly snacks, are great ideas for travelers in general. Depending on the budget, you could pick just one item or put them together into a gift basket that will please any theme park vacationer.
Photo Package – Both Disney and Universal offer photo packages to capture those special vacation memories. Plenty of vacationers on tight budgets question whether the package is worth it, but receiving it as a gift can alleviate those worries. The price is discounted when purchased in advance, and they receive photo memories to cherish for years to come. It’s a definite win-win.
Gift Baskets – Through Disney Floral and Gifts, gift baskets or even entire room celebrations can be prepared for those staying on-site at a Disney resort. Universal on-site resorts offer gift options as well through the concierge at each hotel. And for guests staying off-site, shipping a homemade gift basket would be a great surprise, but keep in mind some resorts (including Disney) charge a fee for shipped packages delivered to the resort.
Tour/Party/Show – This one requires some knowledge about the plans of the travelers. After all, you don’t want to send them to a dessert party in Magic Kingdom on a night they planned to eat at Victoria and Albert’s (unless you’re trying to snag their reservation, then go for it!). With some tours like Behind the Seeds priced at only $20 per person, you really can’t go wrong. And though they’re a bit pricier, shows like Cirque Du Soleil or Blue Man Group would make an incredibly awesome gift too.
Special Meal – Here we have another one that relies on knowledge of the giftee’s plans. At some restaurants that encourage or require reservations, you could call ahead and provide your credit card information for the cost of the meal. Other restaurants may require pre-payment at time of booking, so you could make the reservation on their behalf and pay in advance. Or if you’re worried about everything that could go wrong with the two options above, a simple card with cash to be opened on the night of the meal should make anyone’s night.
Spa – Who wouldn’t want to be pampered on their vacation? Both Disney and Universal offer spa services at specific resorts. If you know they’ll have some free time, scheduling and paying for a massage at one of those resorts would be a thoughtful way to add some extra relaxation to their trip.
Tickets/Extra Day – Depending on the length of stay and gifting budget, tickets or an additional day of park admission could be a welcome surprise. This is an especially great idea if someone is arriving or departing with a partial day that they could spend at the parks. Instead of wondering whether it’s in their budget to pay for an extra day that they may not be able to use fully, they can simply enjoy some extra time in the parks without scrutinizing the cost. During holidays, admission to specially ticketed events like Halloween or Christmas parties is another option worth considering.
Gift Cards – I know some people dislike providing gift cards as a gift, but aside from cash, it’s easily the most versatile. You could do specific gift cards if you know they’ll be visiting a particular restaurant, store, or spa for example. Personally, I love Starbucks gift cards for this reason. However, generic Disney or Universal gift cards would work just as easily for most places. Guests can typically charge purchases back to their resort rooms when staying on-site and pay with a gift card, which means those gift cards could be used to purchase whatever their heart desires.
That’s it for my list! Did I miss anything? Have you given or received any of these, and if so, how did it go? Tell me all about it in the comments below and happy holidays everyone!