2013 Disney Fan Holiday Gift Guide

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Features, The Disney Review

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Published on November 30, 2013 at 12:01 am with 2 Comments


George: We’ve had a few emails and messages about doing an end-of-year wrapup for The Disney Review. There have been plenty of great book and blu-ray releases this year as well as quite a few duds. We’ve decided present a list of our favorites from the past year for those of you looking for some holiday gifts for your favorite Disney fan (or yourself, even). So, does this make us the ghost of Christmas Past?

Jeff: Past, present, AND future, depending on how you look at it, I think. But like George said, we want to make sure you don’t have any pieces of coal under your Holiday tree this year, so allow us to do all the heavy lifting for you and pick what presents are the best.


Probably the best present you can give yourself and anyone else is a slot on the CommuniTOUR (shamless plug). This is a week-long tour of some of the most amazing Disney-related spots, including private tours of:

  • Imagineering
  • The Disney Studios
  • The Jim Henson Studios
  • Walt’s Apartment at Disneyland

We’re also offering some special Communicore Weekly-only events that you won’t find anywhere else:

  • Dinner with Disney Legends
  • Recording of a live show
  • Communicore Weekly SWAG

For more information, the full itinerary, and to request a quote, be sure to visitĀ Fairy Godmother Travel!



This year saw the release of quite a few films on Blu-Ray and DVD. Not all of them were great, but there are a handful that are worth picking up!


Iron Man 3 was a fantastic film, and really showed that Marvel doesn’t pull any punches, even when they are 3 films into a series. Definitely a must have for the super hero fan in your life.


Monster’s University was another check mark in the “win” category for Pixar. In some ways, it beats out the original film, and it’s definitely a great film the whole family can enjoy.


Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel is another treat for Phineas and Ferb fans and non-fans alike. This was a filmĀ  many folks had been waiting for since it was announced over a year ago, and it certainly did not disappoint! The boys are as clever as ever, and adding some Marvel heroes into the mix just makes it even better.


Gravity Falls is one of those rare Disney Channel shows that really hits the mark, every single time. It’s hilarious, it’s well-written, and it’s got jokes for adults as well. This is Phineas and Ferb meets the X-Files, and it’s worth checking out!


The Little Mermaid is one of the best animated Disney films of all time. This recently released blu-ray just cements that fact. It looks gorgeous and sounds better than other.


The Muppet Movie continues to move right along to be one of the best movies, let alone Muppet movie, ever. The original classic film looks and sounds great on this blu-ray transfer, and still holds up after all these years.


Teen Beach Movie is one that Jeff got a lot of flack for in his review. But, give it a chance, and it WILL win you over. Trust us. Definitely worth checking out with the little ones, as they will love the catchy tunes and you will love the 50s/60s throw back!


My Neighbor Totoro is one of those movies that we don’t know what else to say about. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out. Just watch it already. It’s a modern day masterpiece!


Howl’s Moving Castle falls into the same category as Totoro. Studio Ghibli knocks it out of the park with this one as well.


Lincoln is not a Disney film, but they are the ones releasing it on blu-ray. Not to mention the fact that Lincoln plays a pretty integral part of the history of Disney. The film itself is also fantastic, and may be a good way to introduce your kids to the 16th President (after spending some Great Moments with him at Disneyland!).


Wreck-It Ralph amazed audiences with its sweet story, fantastic characters, and great video game tie-ins. What’s not to love?!


There weren’t as many books published this year, but there were some stunners out there.

Hollow World by Nick Pobursky blew us a way! It’s a fast-paced and hair-raising novel set at Walt Disney World. By far, one of our favorite books of the year.

Disneylanders by Kate Abbott is a tween novel set at the Most Magical Place on Earth and rightly so! Don’t let the fact that this is a book about a young girl turn you away. Kate loves Disneyland and it comes through in her novel.

Tinker Belle: an Evolution by Mindy Johnson is an extremely comprehensive look at our favorite Pixie. Mindy starts with the initial concepts my JM Barrie and goes up to the current CGI films. In between we get amazing insight into the history and development of our favorite pixie. A must have for animation fans!

Florida Theme Parks: a Guide by Alex Miller

Alex is an Imagineer and avid theme park fan. In his book on Florida theme parks, Aex takes us all over the Sunshine State to see the parks that make up the rich history and current offerings of Florida. Visually, it’s extremely appealing and is a great book for anyone wanting to explore parks other than Disney and Universal (although they are covered).

The publisher is offering a great deal on this book and Alex’s other title

Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdom by Marty Sklar

Marty releases a book about his more than 50 years at Disney. With a career as storied as Marty, you would hope for a multi-volume set. Still, Marty recounts some amazing anecdotes of working with Walt, Roy, John Hench and many others. What’s interesting is that Marty lets loose a couple times and takes of his rose-colored mouse ears. It’s surprisingly refreshing at times.

Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men: the Flipbooks by Pete Docter

This is a 2012 release but we did review it this year. This is a 9-volume set (with a small guidebook) that offers a look at a key scene from an animated film that represents the talent and artistry of one of Disney’s Nine Old Men. This book truly is a must have for any animation fan.


Disneyland Story: the Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey

Sam’s book is a fresh and comprehensive look at the history of Disneyland. Sam tackles more than just the physical space at Disneyland by delving into the political fronts that Walt and the Disney Company had to navigate. Sam offers a truly unique perspective and this book is one that all Disneyland (and theme park) fans should own.



More Cute Stories Vol 1: Disneyland History features more stories from Rolly Crump, this time about the early days of Disneyland. There is nothing quite like hearing the stories directly from a Disney Legend, and Rolly does not disappoint!


More Cute Stories Vol 2: Animators & Imagineers features even more new stories from Rolly, this time centering on the folks he used to work with in Animation and at WED. A little more risque this go-round, but just as hilarious!


DuckTales Remastered shows you that you CAN re-live your past and it can be just as much fun as you remember it. An update on the classic NES game, Ducktales Remastered does NOT disappoint.


The Walt Disney World Map Reprint is for true WDW nerds. The map used to hang on the walls of WDW resorts when it first opened, and is a great throw-back to the past. It comes in quite a few sizes and looks great on any wall!


Of course, Communicore Weekly shirts have to make the list as well. Be the coolest Cadet on your block with one (or more!) of our awesome designs! Show your love for a Full Day Park or just how much of a Nerd you are!

About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    That WDW map is on my Christmas wish list. Awesome!

  • danyoung

    Thanks for the roundup, guys. But shame on you for making one critical error. Disneyland is NOT “The Most Magical Place On Earth” – that’s the Magic Kingdom. Disneyland is “The Happiest Place On Earth!”