In the season of giving, many of us find ourselves shopping for Disney themed gifts to share.This week we asked the Parenting Panel: What's the best Disney themed holiday gift that you're giving your kids this year? Shhh… don’t tell the kids, please?
Chris, also known as GusMan, is always planning his next family trip to the Walt Disney World Resort and loves to help others plan their trips, as well sharing his experiences. Chris writes:
I think it is safe to say that when it comes to holiday gift giving, there is a distinct Disney theme in our gifts. It seems to be that the gifts are either from Disney or are related to our vacation travels. Some may call it an obsession. We call it good present choices with very few returns.
This year, there is a twist. My wife became a seasonal cast member at our local Disney Store. And while that alone is worthy of its own set of stories, there was no doubt that we were going to have a Disney Christmas. It was something of an ongoing joke that she would never actually collect a paycheck, but get paid in Disney gift cards. Between her discounts at the store, as well as online, I knew we would be in trouble.
With the exception of a Wreck-It Ralph-themed race car, I think most of our gifts are going to be different types of clothing for the kids that they didn't know they were picking out. We also got a Goofy plush for my daughter since she is Goofy’s biggest fan. I also got my wife a couple nice Disney-themed cookie jars–one shaped like a Christmas tree and one other one that, to be honest, I forgot what it looks like. (It is still in the original shipping box.) I know she was looking forward to them because it is not something easily transported from the theme parks themselves.
While not directly Disney related, I got a wireless Bluetooth speaker for myself to put near our Monorail, which sits around our Christmas tree. Now, I can stream Disney music via Bluetooth while visiting with friends and family. Not to mention that some online Disney stations play the announcement track from the Monorail, which instantly takes you back to the last vacation. All you need from that point is that famous Monorail smell.
Also, since we found some slides from when I took my first Disney trip in the early 1980s (that’s right–I said slides) I found a side converter so I can digitize all those imprisoned vacation photos. Of course, now that I think about it, I really hope I don’t really embarrass myself by breaking open that time capsule.
To be honest, it might not seem like this is going to be a huge Disney holiday for us, but because of the cast member discounts, in conjunction with some of the great sales, we were able to stretch our dollars. Besides, it seems like the holidays are always warmer and more enjoyable wearing the new Mickey sweatshirt and hanging around the tree, whilelistening to Christmas Parade music and grabbing a cookie from the Mickey and Minnie cookie jar.
Elizabeth, who posts on our MousePad message board as eabaldwin, has been a Disneyland Annual Passholder since 2010. She and her husband have two daughters, ages 10 months and 2 1/2 years. Elizabeth writes:
We have several Disney gifts planned for our girls this year and I’m pretty excited about all of them. Katie, our 2 1/2 year old, is really into Disney princesses and Minnie Mouse. She has outgrown her old Rapunzel dress and has already asked Santa to bring her a new one, so she is getting one that we purchased at Disneyland. Also, a little Ariel and Cinderella from the Disney Store will join the menagerie of stuffed Disney characters in our house. Target had a cute Minnie Mouse outfit with ears and a bow on the hood that I couldn’t resist.
Our daughter Josie, who is 10 months old, really loves Mickey and Minnie, so I was thinking of giving her little stuffed ones that I already have. We are purchasing a Fisher Price Little People Disney Princess Castle for both girls. We pre-ordered Finding Nemo on Blu-ray at the Disney Store, so that will be a gift for the whole family. There may be more trips to the Disney Store before Christmas, and with another trip to Disneyland planned before the big day, it is likely that more Disney gifts will appear under our tree.
Sonya Malott is a stay-at-home mom to her 2-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. They await daddy's return from overseas orders in 2014. Sonya writes:
This year we are getting my daughter the Doc McStuffins doll with medical set and Lamby from the Disney Junior show. She is infatuated with the show and sings the songs all the time. As for my son, he's harder to buy for since he seems to want everything he sees. For him we are thinking about getting him some of the Wreck-It Ralph toys.
But, both of them will be receiving four days and three nights at Disneyland from December 18-21 as a surprise with Daddy visiting. They won't understand, until they are older, how special of a gift that will be, but I'm sure they will have fun! Hopefully, Santa will bring Brave in my daughter's stocking and the Wreck-It Ralph DS game into my son's.
It's your turn—keep the discussion flowing!
Visit the Parenting in the Parks forum on our MousePad discussion board, and share your opinions about this topic or many others, or send your suggestions via e-mail. Reader-submitted tips might be used in a future article, and you might be selected to participate in an upcoming panel discussion!
(Send an email to Adrienne Krock)
Adrienne gathered experience taking children to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she started her favorite job: being mom to her three boys. Adrienne, Matthew, Spencer, and Colin visit Disneyland frequently, usually with Dad, Kevin.