Okay, if you read this title and clicked it, you totally know the one person we’re talking about! It’s the one who SWEARS that no ride will ever come close to the amazingness that was Horizons at EPCOT Center, or the one who still weeps about the loss of The Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (all the feels).
If you’ve got a friend or family member who just loves to remember the “good old days” of Disney World (or maybe YOU are this person), have we got the gift list for you!
Alright, get in your time machine and buckle up — there’s some serious nostalgia headed your way!
Walt Disney World
If your friend or relative LOVES talking about their favorite Disney World extinct attractions, they’ll absolutely adore this book called “Secret Stories of Extinct Walt Disney World: The World That Disappeared.” The book was released just this year by Disney Historian and author Jim Korkis.
It goes through ALL kinds of stories about things that have disappeared from Disney World including ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, Cranium Command, Fort Wilderness Railroad, DisneyQuest and dozens of other attractions, shows, and more.
The chapters are full of quotes from Imagineers, lots of facts, and cool behind-the-scenes stories every Disney fan needs to know. You can grab this book for $17.95, and there’s also a Kindle version available for $4.99.
Ready to celebrate the future hand in hand? Know someone who doesn’t STOP singing Promise? Then, you’ve got to check out this Millennium Celebration CD! We know, a CD may seem totally out of fashion right now, but this is a retro list right? And, if you’re buying this for a relative who maybe prefers their CD player to all these new-fangled gadgets, this may be a great gift. The CD has some awesome songs on it including Reflections of Earth, We Go On, the music for Tapestry of Nations, and more that you’ll LOVE to sing along to. (We Go On is a bop. Period.)
Being an out of print CD, right now, there’s one “new” CD on Amazon listed for $57.99, but there are several used versions available for MUCH less (including as low was around $4).
If you know someone who is a big fan of old park maps and want to package a whole bunch of nostalgia in just one gift, you can grab this set of three 1980’s Park Maps! The set comes with artwork representing the retro-style Magic Kingdom map…
…the early EPCOT Center map…
…and a Disney-MGM Studios Map!
Keep in mind, these are not actual retro maps themselves, but are pieces of art printed on matte paper meant to look like the old maps. The frames and matting aren’t included but you could totally get a set for a reasonable price somewhere and hang up these beauties in your home or office. The set is priced at $42 (plus shipping).
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Of course, we HAD to include something on this list for a very recent departure that is still near and dear to so many people — The Great Movie Ride from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Even if you LOVE Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (SO CUTE), which has taken over The Great Movie Ride’s spot, you can still miss the uniqueness of this classic attraction, which took all of us into the fantastic worlds of some of our favorite movies. Well, if you’re still wishing that you could step under its signature neon sign, now you can bring some of that some fun back home with this AMAZING Great Movie Ride Sign from shopDisney!
The sign is a screen art print on composite wood backing and can be yours for $150. Make way for Hollywood!
We’ll fully admit, quite a few gifts on this list that we’ll go through now are for the retro EPCOT (or, should we say, EPCOT Center) fan. There’s just so much to love about this park! We’ll start with some merch that’s inspired by those awesome, retro pavilion logos — it’s our own DFB Retro EPCOT mask collection! This series includes masks inspired by Horizons…
…World of Motion…
…Journey Into Imagination…
and more. There’s even one themed to Living With the Land! You can get these masks right now at the DFB Store.
We definitely had to add a few items on this gift list to celebrate a true classic — Horizons! Whether you (or your family member or friend) always wanted to visit Mesa Verde or the Sea Castle, this Horizons Composition Notebook is sure to be the perfect gift.
You can write all about your dreams of the future in here, and make them come true! This notebook is available on Amazon for $8.99.
You can keep that Horizons fun going with these awesome Posters featuring Mesa Verde, Sea Castle, and Brava Centauri (if you’re too young to remember this ride then first of all, we’re sorry. It was awesome. Secondly, there was a portion of the ride where you selected which scene you wanted to experience from these three choices!). These don’t come framed, but you can totally pick up a few frames somewhere and turn them into some epic home art.
You can get them in a variety of sizes. A set of these posters sized 16″ x 9″ is priced at $27.99.
But wait, there’s more! We also found this AWESOME Horizons Butler T-Shirt online designed by Fantastical Art. You can get this design on a variety of different style shirts for men, women, toddlers, and more, or even get the design placed on dog clothes, a tote bag, an apron, or a ton of other things!
The men’s shirt we looked at was priced at $22.75.
Okay, okay, we’ll move on to another Future World classic — the original Figment and Dreamfinder from Journey Into Imagination. If you’ve got a friend or relative who loves the Dreamfinder, the Disney Kingdoms “Figment” graphic novel released by Disney and Marvel would be the perfect gift! The comic book follows Figment and a very steampunk-style Dreamfinder as they “explore the realms of imagination, finding friends and foes alike — while back on Earth, a clockwork army assembles under the command of the frightening force known only as the Singular!” And, ultimately, it will be up to Dreamfinder, Figment, and their friends to save the day.
You can grab a copy of this cool book for $10.62. This is the first volume, but there are also a number of other books in this series, so be sure to check those out too.
But, Dreamfinder and Horizons aren’t the only things we miss from the old EPCOT Center Imagination Pavilion. There’s also the amazing Captain EO. This epic 4-D musical adventure directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring none other than Michael Jackson was a WILD time. Right now, you can bring home an EPIC poster of this show featuring tons of characters including Fuzzball (more on Fuzzball in a second), from Amazon.
The 12″ x 18″ sized poster is priced at $19.50, but you can get it in some bigger sizes as well.
Okay, as promised, there’s MORE on our cute, little buddy Fuzzball. If you’re searching for a gift for a serious Fuzzball fan (those totally exist, right?), this adorable plush may be just the thing!
But, this cutie doesn’t come cheap! Right now there are only a few available on Amazon and this one is priced at $79.99. But, if a Fuzzball plush would totally make your relative’s holiday season, then it may be worth it to add it to your cart and bring it home.
If you (or your friend/family member) were a little less than pleased when Maelstrom got replaced by Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion, you can snag this “Maelstrom Never Forget” shirt, with artwork designed by KarenMBlain, to keep that Maelstrom love alive. You’ll totally fit the part as you recite the entire attraction while wearing this tee. Say it with us, “Back! Back! Over the falls!”
The adult shirt we looked at was priced at $25.70, but you can customize it and get this print on a whole bunch of different shirt sizes and shirt colors as well.
Now, be honest with us — were you forced to listen to the Tapestry of Dreams music a million times growing up? Or told time and time again how this was such an incredible parade and EPCOT should bring it back? Well, then your friend or family member who loves all the old EPCOT things will truly enjoy this Illuminations Reflections of Earth/Tapestry of Dreams CD.
This CD has many of the same songs that are on the Millennium Celebration CD we talked about above, except this one has the Tapestry of Dreams music, but it’s is missing “Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand.” You can get it online right now for $22.95.
And finally, rounding out the portion of this list dedicated to retro EPCOT fans, we’ve got another park map poster — this one just of EPCOT Center, with some beautiful colors and details on it.
You can get this poster as an 8″ x 10″ for $18, or you can opt for some larger sizes.
Alright, moving on to Magic Kingdom, we do have a few gifts for those who miss some of the older rides from this park including one that took guests merrily on their way to nowhere at all. Of course, we’re talking about Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride! While the attraction has left Magic Kingdom in Disney World, it’s still a fan-favorite in Disneyland. To celebrate Disneyland’s 65th Anniversary, a number of Funko Pop! Figures have been released, including this one, where Mr. Toad invites you to take a wild ride with him and his (somewhat frightening) spinning eyes!
It’s a must-buy for any big Mr. Toad fan who misses his presence in Disney World. You can grab this Pop! figure online right now for $14.95.
If you want to give your friend or relative a smaller version of Mr. Toad that can travel with them wherever they go (or if you don’t necessarily love those spinning eyes from the first figure), you can snatch up this Mr. Toad keychain also by Funko Pop!
This cutie is available right now for $7.99.
Finishing up our list of gifts, in terms of those referencing Magic Kingdom attractions from the past, is this fun 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Nautilus patch that you can sew onto a jean jacket, or maybe even a shirt, bag, pillow, or other thing to create a unique and customized gift for your friend or family member.
The patch is sure to remind them of their many trips “under the sea” in the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage attraction that used to be in Magic Kingdom. You could even pair it with other Disney patches to make one epic creation. You can grab this 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea patch right now for $6.99.
Finally, our gift list concludes with the park that started it all — Disneyland. While some of Disneyland’s classic attractions remain, several have said their last goodbyes. You can read ALL about the shows, attractions, and more that have left Disneyland in another great book by Disney historian Jim Korkis entitled “Secret Stories of Extinct Disneyland: Memories of the Original Park.”
In this book you’ll get to read facts and quotes about how Disneyland has changed over the years including stories about live mermaids swimming in the Submarine Lagoon, Fantasyland’s Pirate Ship restaurant, and much more. No matter how much your relative knows about all the retro Disneyland things, they’re sure to learn even more by reading this book!
You can get the paperback version of this book on Amazon for $14.95, or you can get a digital, Kindle version for $4.99.
We end our list with another CD, this time full of Disneyland classics! The 3-disc compilation celebrates the 60th anniversary of Disneyland and has music from Disneyland Park as well as Disney California Adventure Park, including songs for attractions that are now gone like music from Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland, The Carousel of Progress (although it lives on at Disney World), A Bug’s Land, California Screamin’, and more.
If you listen to the songs and close your eyes, you can pretend that you’re back at the happiest place on earth experiencing all those rides you miss and all of the new ones you love. You can get this as a physical CD for $19.91, or you can get an MP3 album for $18.99.
Well, that’s our list of the top items for nostalgic Disney fans! Looking for more great gift ideas? Check out our ULTIMATE guide to Disney Black Friday deals and our list of the 50 Disney toys that NEED to be on your radar this holiday season. We’ve got even more gift guides on the way so be sure to come back for all the latest.
Which of the items on this list is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
A little time put into preparation makes for an enjoyable evening. Drinking cocktails should be a fun and relaxing experience, so take a while to think about ingredients in advance, to avoid any rushing around last minute.
One of the foundations of many cocktails is sugar syrup. This can be prepared in advance. Here’s my tip for easy to prepare simple syrup : Add 200 gm white sugar to 200 ml boiling water. Stir till sugar is dissolved, and liquid is clear. Allow to cool then bottle
If you mix lemon juice 50 : 50 with simple syrup, you should have a solid mid-line sweet-sour balance. But remember, every palate is different. tera find your own point of balance, mix 15ml fresh lemon juice with 15ml simple syrup, and then dilute the mix with up to 90ml water. Congratulations, you’ve just made fresh lemonade ! If this tastes too sweet or too sour, adjust by adding a little more citrus or syrup. Using this method of calibration, you can adjust any cocktail recipe to suit your own palate.
Ice is the single most over-looked ingredient at any home bar - you’ll be surprised how much you can go through. Cocktails need ice like baking needs ovens. If popping to the boutiques for ice isn’t an option right now, keeping a freezer bag topped up with ice will ensure you don’t run out unexpectedly. For best quality home-made ice, try using a silicone ice tray with a lid, to prevent your ice from absorbing unpleasant odours. And wash your ice tray after each use.
Where possible always go for de haute gamme spirits, the freshest herbs, and the best juices you can get your hands on. For instance, the taste difference between cheap juice and pressed juice is more than worth the small extra expense.
Try to use glassware appropriate to your drinks. It’s entirely possible to drink a martini from an old coffee mug, but that misses the point of drinking a martini !
If you can make a Whiskey Sour, you can make a Daiquiri. If you make a mean Negroni, you can riff on a Boulevardier. Once you’ve mastered the Manhattan, have some fun in Brooklyn on your way to Martinez. Cocktails exist in family trees. Once you are comfortable the basics of each category the world is your oyster !
You can pre-mix punches in advance - an old trick from the godfathers of bartending in the 19th century. You can bottle punch and store it in the fridge, ready to use on the day, or later that week. If done properly, quality and consistency are assured. If your punch has a fizzy ingredient, such as champagne, only add this your glass just before serving.
If you follow the Punch Ratio, you can’t go far wrong : 1 part sour ( citrus ) 2 parts sweet ( simple syrup ) 3 parts strong ( spirit ) 4 parts weak ( juices etc ) And don’t shy away from warm spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and mace, to make that punch really sing. Don’t have those spices to hand ? No problem, a few dashes of Angostura bitters will do the trick.
We all have a few unloved ingredients lying around that need using up. For instance, that last bit of red wine in the bottle ? Try drizzling it over your Whisky Sour, and voila, you’ve got yourself a delicious New York Sour ! Do you have some nice but neglected spice mix in the kitchen ? Try mixing a teaspoon or two into your simple syrup as it cools to give your next petit cocktail an added dimension. Seasonal fresh herbs make a wonderful aromatic cocktail garnish.
So now, you’ve hit your stride and you’re getting creative in your home bar. Great ! Our top tip for cocktail creation ? Write down the juste specifications as you are making it. It’s not always easy to perfectly recall the recipe for that killer petit cocktail the next day !
If all this sounds like a bit of a chore, then keep an eye open for delivery services available from many local petit cocktail parcs. After all, with the finer things in life, it’s nice to sit back, relax and let the professionals do all the work.