A Disney vacation – either the theme parks or a cruise – is on many families’ travel bucket list. And if you’ve ever planned one yourself you know how time-consuming can be – and can sometimes end up being very costly.
Thinking about what gifts are good to give a family heading to Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise vacation in the near future?
Here are a few gift ideas that will not only make Disney family vacations more memorable but also reduce some of out of pocket expenses.
Disney Princess Dress Pajamas
Little Disney Princess fans will love these comfy and lightweight princess dress pajamas.
Our daughter never really liked the princess dresses or costumes you see in stores. They were too itchy she said and the glitter would end up everywhere – on the floor, in the car, and on our furniture.
So one year we decided to purchase a Snow White nightgown dress and took it to WDW and on a Disney cruise. She wore it almost daily – for Princess Meet & Greets, character breakfasts and she even wore it to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
These PJs dresses are a fraction of what the costume dresses sell for and are less messy (glitter be gone!). If you know of a little princess fan heading on a Disney vacation, I’d highly recommend purchasing one of these dresses over the costumes. Just remember to purchase one size bigger so it can be worn on top of their regular play clothes.
Autograph Book & Markers
Meeting characters and collecting autographs is a big part of any Disney vacation. Consider buying an Autograph Book before the trip – there are a lot more options available online than what you’ll see in store.
Make sure to include some easy to use markers or pens for the characters to sign with. These Sharpie Retractable Permanent Markers and fabric markers are what we bring on our Disney trips.
Other Items for Collecting Autographs
Blank pillowcases, t-shirts and picture mats are also a good way to collect Disney character autographs.
They make great souvenirs and are less likely to be ruined after the trip. Because you know, sometimes kids like to rip out pages of their autograph book or draw over the signatures. OK, maybe that’s just my kids 😉
Sharpie Stained Fabric Markers are good for things like pillowcases, bags, and t-shirts. Remember to bring something stiff to put under the item (like a clipboard or piece of cardboard) for a sturdier writing surface.
If you’re headed to Walt Disney World in Florida, you most likely will experience some rain – anything from drizzle to light showers to heavy downpours. Make sure you have rain ponchos (Clear/Lime) with you when you’re out at the parks.
You can purchase them at the theme parks and resort hotel gift shops but they are pricey (for what they are) and sizes are limited – they sell out quickly during heavy rain days.
Planning to head to Disney World, Disneyland or a Caribbean Disney Cruise? Instead of buying a misting fan while you’re on vacation, pack one of these travel-friendly Frogg Toggs Cooling Towels into your suitcase.
You will definitely need it when the temperatures begin to rise and it’s not bulky like the fans they sell at the parks or gift shops.
Guidebooks and other Disney related books can help with planning and get kids excited about their upcoming trip.
Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters – you can also use this as an autograph book!
Park days (Disney World and Disneyland) and port days (Disney Cruise Line) can be long. Kids and sometimes adults can get cranky when hungry or thirsty.
Bringing a lightweight cooler bag and refillable water bottles can minimize the meltdowns and also reduce food and drink costs.
We always have at least two travel mugs – Contigo Travel Mugs are our water bottle of choice – and a small insulated cooler bag filled with finger foods like Goldfish, pretzels, squeezable fruit pouches and granola bars when we’re headed for the parks or a port of call.
Special Activities and Experiences
If you want to spend a bit more, you can splurge on Disney activities and experiences like Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a Safari experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Grand Circle Tour at Disneyland Park and Royal Court Royal Tea onboard Disney cruise ships.
You may be able to make reservations and pay directly on the phone or you might have to use a Disney Gift Card to pay for the experience (read more about Disney Gift Cards below).
You can find out more about special events, activities, and tours on the following pages:
Disney Gift Cards
Help offset some of the cost of the vacation by giving your favorite family a Disney gift card. You can find that at grocery stores, Target, Wal Mart, Disney stores in the U.S, select locations at Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California, as well as DisneyStore.com.
Disney Gift Cards are great for teaching kids about how to stay on budget and also reduces the amount of cash you need to carry with you. Just make sure you keep the cards in a safe place until you’re ready to make a purchase.
Where you can use Disney Gift Cards:
- Disney World Resort – resort hotels and theme parks (Florida)
- Disneyland Resort – resort hotels and theme parks (California)
- Disney Aulani Resort & Spa (Hawaii)
- Disney stores
- Disney Cruise Line
All Disney Gift Cards are reloadable and do not expire (there’s no service fee for unused balances).
If you’d like to purchase a Disney Gift Card online head to DisneyGiftCard.com and allow 10-15 business days for delivery (or 24 hours for electronic gift cards). Gift card holders can check their balance on this page as well.