I think we can all agree that the last thing anyone needs this year is stress about holiday shopping. Luckily, if you have a Disneyphile on your list, we’re here to make things a bit easier. From home to tech and toys to books, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel gifts of the year, guaranteed to add some extra magic to your favorite Disney fan’s new year.
2020 has been a heartbreaking year for Disney employees—with sand planned layoffs as a result of the pandemic expected to total 32,000. During this giving season, in addition to shopping for your loved ones, consider also supporting the organizations committed to providing relief to furloughed and laid-off Cast Members during this challenging time.
Accept no imitations. This is the closest you’ll ever get in your own kitchen to the real-deal Mickey waffles they serve at Disney’s parks and resorts. To be really authentic, make them with Carbon’s Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour Mix — the same kind Disney uses! This waffle iron makes six waffles at a time and we like to make extras to freeze and reheat in the toaster.
No need to relegate your pop culture paraphernalia to the basement. Ruggable’s machine washable collection of non-slip rugs comes in a range of Star Wars- and Disney-themed designs that run the gamut from muted to vibrant, traditional to contemporary. These rugs have character — literally. Fandom never looked so sophisticated.
Starting at $124, ruggable.com
This is the way — to cook. Prepare your meal in light speed with this 7-function kitchen powerhouse: a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker and warmer all in one. Choose from Star Wars Instant Pot designs including R2-D2, Darth Vader, and of course, Baby Yoda.
We’re all having a lot more movie nights lately, and after all this time away from the theater, sometimes microwave popcorn just doesn’t cut it. This Mickey Mouse kettle-style popper makes eight cups of fresh popcorn in one batch, perfect for those long winter nights in with Disney+.
Mickey Mouse Bronze Kitchen Cart
Sure, 2020 hasn’t exactly been the year of entertaining, so let’s call this one an aspirational piece and hope for a better 2021. Turn on “Be Our Guest” and wheel out this whimsical bar cart for a magical evening with family and friends.
Vivofit Jr. 3
With most indoor activities off limits, keeping kids active will only get tougher as the weather gets colder. Help them set and reach fitness goals and even track sleep with a Marvel- or Disney-themed fitness tracker that also features games and interactive experiences.
A godsend for frazzled parents relying on devices to bridge the gap between school and childcare, this is one program that will make want to see your kid on the computer all day. 125 interactive web-based lessons teach game development, web design, media art, and four core programming languages. Created by heavy hitters from the game and comic book industries, Codeillusion blends education with entertainment, teaching coding with the help of Disney characters and stories. Codeillusion Prime gives lifetime access to the online lessons featuring 14 original Disney movie scenes. For more of a splurge, Codeillusion Enchanted also includes an acclaimed role-playing game and story narrative plus an offline experience that includes a magic book, mystery puzzles, postcards and more.
Enchanted Package, $899
Prime package, $499
LEGO Star Wars Resistance I-TS Transport
Even if you haven’t yet had the chance to experience the epic new attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, within the Star Wars-themed Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at Walt Disney World or Disneyland (currently closed), you can still get a piece of it in brick form. No spoilers here—the Resistance I-TS Transport is just one of multiple ride systems in the mind-blowing attraction, and this 932-piece LEGO set is a great way to recreate part of the incredible experience.
Everyone’s favorite old-school wooden train set just got more magical. Compatible with all other Brio train components, the Mickey Mouse Battery Train comes with a battery-powered steam engine, travel wagon, and Mickey Mouse figurine. Pair with the Mickey Mouse Record & Play Station ($49.99) for even more mouseke-fun.
Before Baby Yoda stole our hearts, there was Baby Groot, and he doesn’t want you forgetting about him. This adorable, interactive figure reacts to 20 spoken phrases with sounds, music and movement. With a third Guardians of the Galaxy film on the horizon and a new roller coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, under construction at EPCOT at Walt Disney World, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Groot in the coming years.
This season’s answer to the ever-popular bubble wand will have kids singing “Let it snoap.” Refillable with regular bubbles, the Mickey Mouse shaped wand lights up and looks it makes snow instead of garden-variety bubbles.
Clothing and Accessories
Never underestimate the power of a cozy pair of slippers. Little Dark Siders can keep toes warm with these adorable Darth Vader plush slippers with a rubber grip sole.
A great all-ages stocking stuffer, Lokai bracelets are infused with elements from the highest and lowest points on earth: water from Mt. Everest and mud from the Dead Sea. Waterproof, unbreakable, and available in sizes for kids and adults, Lokai bracelets come in Marvel, Disney, and Star Wars designs and $1 from each bracelet sold is donated to Make-A-Wish.
Star Wars Crop Top and Leggings
Star Wars—but make it fashion. Goldsheep’s Star Wars collection puts iconic characters on high-quality, uber-flattering leggings, sports bras and crop tops. Handmade in Orange County, California, Goldsheep’s colorful prints and patterns are emblazoned with Darth Vader, Baby Yoda, stormtroopers, and more.
Starting at $60; goldsheep.com
Michael Does Crafts
When Chicagoan and diehard Disney fan Michael was laid off from his job as a senior recruiter at a digital agency as a result of the pandemic, he did a quick and creative pivot to producing tie-dyed masks and custom clothing. Customize pajamas, sweats, shirts and masks with your choice of colors and Disney patches. Available in kids and adult sizes.
$55, michaeldoescrafts.com; use code BETTER15 for 15% off your order
Columbia has released their annual Star Wars collection and — shocker — it’s inspired “The Mandalorian.” Adults can channel their inner bounty hunter in a lightweight vest and jacket combo inspired by the Beskar armor worn by the Mando in the Disney+ series, now in its second season. Babies will stay warm and cozy in The Child Bunting, and bigger kids get their own version — The Child Jacket, featuring a water-resistant shell, Omni-Heat lining, and sherpa hood.
Starting at $50; columbia.com
By Graham Allan, Rebecca Cline, and Charlie Price
This behemoth coffee table tome is packed with more than 1,900 stunning photos showcasing the holidays at Disney parks and resorts across the globe. Get a behind-the-scenes look at all that’s gone into conceptualizing and executing Disney’s holiday offerings through the years, from the first Christmas at Disneyland in 1955, to a look back at retired favorites like the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, to present-day seasonal overlays. A must-have for Disney parks history buffs.
By Susan Veness
Now in its third edition, this behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney World’s theme parks is a bit like having a tour guide in your back pocket. With more than 600 secrets and hidden details, even the most expert among parkgoers will find plenty new to learn.
The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky
By Jeff Kurtti, Vanessa Hunt and Paul Wolski
A great gift not just for Disney fans, but for any transit enthusiast, this beautiful hardcover book tells the story of Walt Disney’s imagining and development of the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere. Beautiful photographs and concept art help tell the storied history of the Disney monorail since its launch in 1959.
The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook
By Ashley Craft
If there’s one activity that’s been keeping nearly everyone busy during the pandemic, it’s cooking. Disney copycat recipes have always been popular but this year, more than ever, Disney fans who’ve been missing the parks have been hard at work recreating their favorite Disney dishes at home. From turkey legs and Ronto Wraps to churros and Mickey beignets, this Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook helps keep the magic alive in your kitchen.
A Gift That Gives Back
Gift a piece of history and help support the restoration and preservation of Walt Disney’s childhood home in Chicago. Purchase a paver stone and you’ll be contributing to the establishment of a new museum and Center for Early Childhood Creativity and Innovation in the home where Walt was born.
Brooke Geiger McDonald is a Chicago native who has worked for O, The Oprah Magazine and Shape magazine in New York and for various book publishers in London. Back home in Chicago, she’s outnumbered by her husband and two sons, and the four of them are certifiable Disney and Star Wars fanatics, always counting down the days to their next Disney vacation. Her favorite nonprofits to support include The Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago and organizations focused on environmental conservation and combatting climate change, such as the Environmental Defense Fund and Shedd Aquarium. Follow her on Instagram @brookegmcdonald and Twitter @BrookeGMcDonald.