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It’s Not Too Late to Find Your Teen the Perfect Disney Gift

by Makena W.

Well, for those who celebrate Christmas, the countdown is on – less than a week to go to find the perfect gift.  For people who are obsessed with Disney, gifts are hard to find-no matter the age-but especially for teens.  Finding a gift for a teen with Disney on the brain all the time is almost as hard as finding some Hidden Mickeys.  They have everything they have ever wanted related to Disney, from books to pins to shelves full of memories.  Here are some ideas for teens that they may not have yet.

1.  Kingdom Keepers (The complete set)
Perfect for:  Teens
               Kingdom Keepers is a series of stories about 5 kids who Disney hires to be transformed into DHI’s, or holographic tour guides.  Things go haywire when the children realize that whenever they go to sleep, they not only wake up INSIDE the parks but the characters come to life (basically a take on Night at the Museum).  The villains, known as Overtakers in the book, want total rule of WDW and won’t stop at any cost.  Will Finn, Charlene, Willa, Philip and Maybeck have enough power or courage to stop the Overtakers?   This is my favorite book series EVER (books 1 through 5 have already been published while  book six, the final book, is due out in April 2013) and I recommend that everybody who loves Disney World as much as I do to read them.

2.  Disney Treasures
Perfect for:  All Ages
               Disney Treasures is the only historical book I can think of that is great for ALL ages.  This book tells the story of Walt Disney and his company but here is the cool part – in the book there are replicas of real artifacts (everything from letters to masks to original park tickets) located in pockets.  You can take out the replicas and hold them, read them, etc.  It is the COOLEST book ever!!!!!  I own one and some days I just sit down to read it, take out the letters (in Walt’s hand-writing) and read them.  The little ones will love to have an interactive experience with their own pieces of Disney history.  You get a better understanding of the Walt Disney Company’s past, and have fun doing (or should I say, reading it.)

3.  Celebrations Magazine
Perfect for:  All Ages
               Celebrations Magazine is a wonderful bimonthly publication.  Aside from a gorgeous cover on each issue, it is loaded with Disney fun.  You will find reviews on dining and attractions, travel tips, Disney secrets, photography tips, and even people in the news.  This is as close as many of us may get to “meeting” Disney Legends.  When you are done reading the magazine (it will take days because it is packed with a lot of great material) hand it to the younger kids.  They will love the puzzles and games in “Kids Corner”, a part of the magazine made especially for them.  It is definitely a magazine for everyone in your family.

4.  D23 Membership
Perfect for:  11 and up
               D23 is a club made for Disney lovers.  When you join you get a very nice membership certificate and a welcome gift.  You receive 4 magazines a year, filled with knowledge and interviews from famous Imagineers like Joe Rohde.  You also receive access to buy exclusive D23 merchandise and a discount on D23 expo tickets.  My only problem with D23 is that it might not be that interesting for the little Disney-Obsessed-In-Training.  In some cases, there are a lot of words to a page with very few pictures.  Also, I would prefer getting a magazine more that only four times a year, like maybe once every 2 months.  Since one perk is the D23 expo ticket discount, it can create a little tension when your parents won’t agree to fly to the other side of the country to attend however in 2012 D23 did go “on the road” and we were able to attend a Fanniversary event only a few hours from home (another is scheduled for 2013).

5.  Hidden Mickey:  Sometimes Dead Men DO Tell Tales!
Perfect For:  Teens
               This book is another action – packed tale, like the Kingdom Keepers.  Hidden Mickey:  Sometimes Dead Men DO Tell Tales tells the story of Adam & Lance who stumble across Walt Disney’s lost diary.  They discover clues that lead them to believe that treasure is hidden somewhere.  At one point, Adam’s girlfriend even gets fired for the snooping Adam has been doing to find the next clue.  The problem with this book is how slow it starts.  It doesn’t really kick off until you’re 20% into the book (I have it on my kindle, so no page numbers – just percentages).   I personally LOATHE books with slow starts, but once this one picks up, it flies all the way to infinity and beyond!

6.  Epic Mickey
Perfect For:  Teenage Boys, Oswald lovers, and gamers
               Epic Mickey (made for the Wii) is probably my favorite game out there right now.  All the old and forgotten characters appear again in Wasteland, a version of Disney World where Oswald is the star instead of his brother.  Mickey stole Oswald’s limelight a LONG time ago, and the brothers finally meet face-to-face in this video game.  I love just the concept and designing they put into making WDW look-well, evil. The only to powers you have in this game are painting (blue paint) and disappearing (green paint). Epic Mickey is a very fun and addictive game.

7.  Epic Mickey Two:  The Power Of Two
Perfect for:  Teenage Boys, Oswald lovers, and gamers
               This game just came out a month ago and I STILL do not have my hands on it.  Hopefully for Christmas I will see Oswald and Mickey together again for the sequel to Epic Mickey.  I know that there are some musical numbers involved, which might ruin some of the storyline for me.  I like how it was a dark approach to Disney, and I don’t want to see the evil villain singing about how he has become good or the hero trying to find a way to defeat the villain.  Since I have not played the game yet, I do not have an opinion but anyone who truly loves the “old” Disney characters has to enjoy seeing them again.

8.  Lou Mongello’s Audio Guides and Trivia Books
Perfect For:  All ages
               How could I have a list of great gift ideas without Lou’s products on it?  I own all of the audio guides and trivia books, and love them.  They are amazing resources to keep the magic alive when you are miles away from the happiest place on Earth.  The trivia books are great to use on the long car ride down to Walt Disney World or just hunting for an interesting fact to stump other people who think they know all there is to know about Walt Disney World.  Volume one and two have been published and I am anxiously awaiting Volume three which, hopefully, will be released soon.  Audio guides really transport you to the Magic Kingdom-but be warned!  Don’t use these while driving, as you might find yourself closing your eyes as your mind wanders.  They should really come with a warning label!  You can currently enjoy guides for Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Liberty Square, Frontierland and the now extinct Mickey’s Toontown Fair.  We all have to wait until early 2013 to travel through Tomorrowland with Lou.


Obviously there are many more things besides the ones I mentioned but if you’re looking for a gift that a teen will love that does not qualify as a “dust collector”, I’m hope there is an idea here for you.  Some you can pick up at a bookstore and some require ordering but, if express shipping is available, you may still get it in time.  What did you get your favorite Disney teen?  Let me know in the comment section below.

Last week’s Where in the World was not guessed correctly.  It was the dragon seen as a part of the New Fantasyland Celebration on December 5th.  It flew over the Magic Kingdom and hasn’t been seen again since.

Happy holidays to you all!

See ya REAL soon!

Quotes (yeah, that’s right – TWO!) of the Week:   “I told you, these are the shadows of the things that have been.  That they are what they are, do not blame me.”  ~Ghost of Christmas Past, The Muppet Christmas Carol

“Mother always taught me:  ‘Never eat singing food.’“  ~Rizzo, The Muppet Christmas Carol