Collecting Disney Character autographs is one of my family’s favorite things to do at Disney World. I marvel at these works of mini-art, the strokes of genius behind the autographs truly show each character’s own authentic flair. My father does Japanese calligraphy, and in a sense, I feel that Disney Character autographs has it’s own type of Mastery since every character must convey through the pen (or marker) their role.
|As you can see – the Disney Theme Parks autograph book (in pink)
creates that “head turning thing” Disney Diva talks about in her article
When we first went to Walt Disney World, we made the mistake that MANY newbies make. We showed up without an autograph book. We proceeded to scramble to buy one at the Theme Park souvenir stores. It does cost a lot of money, especially if you have more than one child. On top of this, you need to buy one of the Disney Theme Park’s expensive pens.
Read Disney Diva’s gripe about the Disney Park’s autograph book here.
I couldn’t find a nice photo book like Budget Diva or the Disney Diva did for their DIY books. Instead, I saw these ring bound art books that I picked up at a Goodwill store for only 50 cents each. I bought two of them. My daughter and I had fun designing the inside covers (the outer layer is a plastic see through) and since it was ring-bounded, we added texture to it. We added things like raised stickers and fabric decorations. You can find similar ring bound books at your local craft store. They contain thick card stock paper, so markings do not show through. (I tested mine, by drawing small hidden Mickey’s in the corner)
After decorating the cover of our books, we tied a permanent marker onto the “ring” of the book. I’ve seen other DIY sites use ribbon for their autograph books, but since I’m a knitter, I thought I would put my leftover yarn to use. To make the yarn stronger and hold up throughout our trip, I braided the yarn before tying it on. By attaching the marker this way, it made it easy to carry as I can place the marker inside the rings as shown in this photo. The books also fits inside a large Ziploc bag, so this kept it waterproof and safe.
Regarding Disney Diva’s gripe about the Theme Parks’ autograph books: they only fit photos horizontally. If you have a vertical photo, you will have to place it sideways making it look weird. I made sure to have the measurements of the books I bought, fit photos that can be placed horizontally OR vertically. The autographs will be on one page while the corresponding photo would be placed on the page beside it. The measurements for the particular books I used are (in inches): 8.5 x 7.5 and less than 1/2 an inch thick each. One book had 40 pages while the other one only had 24 pages (being from the Goodwill store, they were most likely used and pages were taken out but they were in pretty good condition when I bought them)
I placed a “sticky-note”, on each page, showing which side is “up” as well as the page the photo would be on. This helped the characters to know where to sign, on which side and direction. I actually forgot to place the sticky note one time and Prince Phillip (Aurora’s lovely Prince) was trying to figure out which way to write! Oops.
When the characters have a larger “canvas” to work with, they tend to be more creative. Some characters added extra messages with their signature. As seen above, Peter Pan wrote to us, “Never Grow UP”.
|Baloo also wrote a “fun” message, which made us laugh!!|
|Princess Belle’s signature: Can you see the rose?|
Here you can see the difference between the two autograph books and signature. Both autographs are from Princess Belle. The book on the bottom, in pink, is the Disney Theme Park standard autograph book. Belle wrote her name beautifully, yet above is our DIY book in blue. If you notice, Belle cleverly added an abstracted rose to her signature. Now that, was creative!
With a bit of a bigger area to write, you can easily have 2 characters sign on one page. This was especially useful when we had either best friends (like Russell and Dug) or a Princess and her Prince sign together. Left, is Princess Jasmine’s signature with, “loves” and then Aladdin signed. We also have autographs with both Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip professing their love for each other. So sweet!
- Use a Black Permanent Marker, like a Sharpie. We used the Bic “Mark It”. The thickness of the marker makes it easier for Characters to hold. In my opinion a regular pen does not have the “artistic” flair that a marker does. Bring extras, just in case. NOTE: DO NOT USE GREEN MARKERS! (it will stain the Character’s clothes)
- While waiting in line for Character Meet and Greets, gauge to see how the Character handlers are running each session. Who do they go to first if there are multiple characters. Decide then, if you want everyone’s signature on one page or on separate pages, this also will affect how you take photos, in a big group or with individual characters? However, be mindful of time and others waiting in line as well.
- For LARGE groups of characters during special events, like meeting the 7 Dwarfs, they DO NOT sign autograph books. They just take photos in one big group with you.
- Also in line, see how the handlers and characters are doing things and in which order. When we met Merida, we made the mistake of trying to give her our autograph to sign first, she was about to give my daughter a hug but my daughter stopped her because she had her marker, opened in her hand and didn’t want to “mark” Merida’s dress. See ahead and make sure to either take the photo first or sign first.
- If you are doing a Character Meal, the servers and Character handlers at all Character Meals are pretty good at ensuring each of the characters make the appropriate rounds to see everyone. Have your autograph books ready to sign.
- If you already had a signature of a Character from before and the same Character will be at your next Character Meal, politely say, for example, “Oh Cinderella, you already signed for us last night at the Magic Kingdom!”
- Tech savvy? Disney Diva did a ground breaking article on getting signatures right (or write!) on your iPad. See this article about this new and innovative app
Here are some fantastic articles on meeting various characters at Walt Disney World…
- “Disney Movies to Watch and Where to Meet Characters” by Disney Diva
- “Character Greetings” by Food Diva
- “Best Places to Get Autographs at Disney World” by Disney Diva
- (New) “Phineas and Ferb Meet and Greet” by Memory Maker Diva
- “Magician Mickey’s Meet and Greet” by Disney Diva
- “Epcot Character Spot” by Canadian Diva
- “Pixar, Toy Story Meet and Greet” by Canadian Diva
The Tips from the Disney Diva also has many wonderful Character Dining Reviews. Character meals are a perfect place to have Characters sign autographs for you. To read all our Dining Reviews, please scroll over on the Walt Disney World bar above and scroll down to WDW Dining.
Visiting Disneyland? These tips will help you with getting autographs from your favorite Disney Characters at Disneyland as well. For more tips from Disneyland, search on the bar above and scroll down to the topic you are searching for.
|Have FUN collecting autographs!!|