Holiday Gifts for the Disney Traveler

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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.

Stuff their stockings with gum, because they won't find it at Disney World.
Stuff their stockings with gum, because they won’t find it at Disney World.

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.
  • Travel size toiletries in luxury brands let your loved ones pamper on the go.
    Travel size toiletries in luxury brands let your loved ones pamper on the go.
  • 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 compact power strip can make hotel room life more comfortable.
A compact power strip can make hotel room life more comfortable.
  • 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:

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.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

7 thoughts on “Holiday Gifts for the Disney Traveler

  • November 13, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I used one of those small purse umbrellas this year at WDW and loved it! It was so much nicer than wearing a poncho.

    • November 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      using an umbrella is so much nicer and you don’t smell like a wet dog or feel like you are in a sauna while wearing a poncho.

  • November 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

    We bought the refillable water bottles with a filter in the cap. (Not sure if they are Britta or Pur) They worked great. We put ice and water in them in the am and wrapped a bandana around them. We have cold fresh water and the damp bandana worked great when it got warmer in the day. You can refill all day and have fresh tasting water!

  • November 13, 2013 at 9:22 am

    For a gift idea, I would recommend a Disney park bag. One that fits the touring essentials while being comfortable. Bonus points if you fit some of those essentials in the bag as well.

  • November 13, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Last year my sisters bought me one of the Le Sport Sac It’s a Small World collection bags. It was a GREAT gift – something special I wouldn’t buy for myself, but was so psyched to receive as a surprise.

  • November 13, 2013 at 11:23 am

    These are great ideas. For fliers who “carry on,” a neck pillow and sample-sized luxury toiletries and sunscreen lotion also make a nice pre-Disney World gift. (For children, I’d recommend a kids’ camera, or an autograph book and Sharpie.)

  • November 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Another great gift would be Photopass Plus or one of the variations. They can trade in the voucher when they arrive at the park.


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