My family just came back from a magical trip to Walt Disney World Resort. I had planned the trip down to the smallest of details. However, what I never counted on, were my two young boys, ages 2 and 3, to want to get autograph books for the Disney Characters to sign during their meet-and-greets (what Walt Disney World officially calls “Character Experiences”). I figured I had at least a couple of more years before they showed any interest in autograph books. So when my eldest son asked me what an autograph book was and why he saw some of the kids around the parks had them, I explained to him that some kids liked to have the Disney Characters sign their names in a book so that they could always remember the moment and have a souvenir to take home. He immediately declared that he wanted one.
So I sent my husband with the kids to the resort gift shop to buy an official autograph book before we went to Animal Kingdom that morning while I took care of some things at the front desk. They came back with not only one, but TWO, autograph books. My husband said that once my 2 year old son saw my eldest pick out an autograph book, he instantly wanted one too. So we ended up with the two 2014 official Disney autograph books that were offered in the parks this year and this is what they looked like:
So ready for some sticker shock? The larger red one that you see above was $17.95! The blue one was $7.95, which is as little easier to swallow, but you’re still paying $7.95 for 100 blank 4 1/2 x 6 inch pages. The red one is actually a photo book (see picture below), which I was really excited about, but I was extremely disappointed that it only had 15 photo sleeves. We ran out of pages on the last day we went to the park so my sons had to share the blue autograph book (which had lots of pages), which my eldest was fine with, but I was a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to have one photo book that had pictures inserted of all of the Character meet-and-greets during that trip since it was our first time doing them. However, it did come with the nicest gel pen ever! The blue autograph book did not come with a pen. If you’re going to bring your own autograph book, I would suggest investing in a good quality pen or marker. In fact, bring a couple, and include a bigger one for the Characters with larger hands as they have difficulties with gripping the smaller ones.
On our vacation, we saw lots of Guests getting autographs on all sorts of items, including backpacks, hats, canvas bags, t-shirts and pillow cases. So planning for our next Disney trip, I decided to do some research on other autograph book ideas and found a lot of great, creative and budget friendly ideas from others online. I’ve decided to share some of my favourite ones here on this blog post. Enjoy!
1. Passport Autograph Book
I fell in love with these FREE downloadable autograph pages when I came across them from Design Disney Raoul. You can download each Character’s “passport page”.
Like in real Disney fashion, there is even a story to it that goes like this:
Courtesy of Design Disney Raoul, here is the download information:
Use password “DesignDisneyRaoul”
Here are the links.
20 x 15 cm: contains cover and back, intropage and characterpages for 184 characters (Disneyland version):
A5 format: contains cover and back, intropage and characterpages for 187 characters (Disneyland version and WDW version)
2. Wearable Character Autograph Shoes
TouringPlans.com posted an interesting idea. They suggested getting Characters to sign a pair of white canvas shoes with colourful Sharpies.
3. Character Autographs on a Smart Phone or Tablet
In this day and age, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone came up with this idea! Check out this great how-to-do blog from Capturing Magic on how to get Characters to sign on your smart phone or tablet. It does require some downloading steps but seems fairly easy to follow. The blog also posts some great videos capturing some of the Characters actually signing the smart phone.
4. Downloadable Autograph Cards
You can find many FREE downloadable autograph cards designed by DIY Disney fans online. My favourite source is Pinterest. Here are some of my favourite designs. Simply click on the photo to be taken to the source to download the files. Once downloaded, use your creativity to create an autograph book. I would suggest adding space to be able to add photos after your trip.
5. Photo Frame Mats
We saw a few Guests pull out some photo frame mats to get signatures at the parks. The idea is to get Characters to sign the mat and you would put it into a frame along with a vacation photo. While I love this idea in theory, practically, I am not sure I would be able to keep the photo mat in pristine condition by the time I got home. Take precautions to protect the mat if you’re going to try this.
6. Buy the Disney Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters book and turn it into an autograph book.
I came across this great idea from WDW Hints. It requires a bit more work and money but I think the project turned out so cute! The idea is to buy the book and then take it to a place like Staples and have them laminate the covers and bind the book for you. Get them to insert a few blank pages in case you meet Characters that do not have a page in the book. Note that the 2014 edition of the book is a hardcover which makes the above conversion process more difficult and expensive, but technically, you could just use the book as it is.
7. Buy a hand-crafted custom autograph book from Etsy
I love the idea of supporting small business owners and Etsy is a great place for finding talented vendors who are willing to ship you your very own custom autograph book for your vacation. This is definitely appealing to people like me who is not a DIY kind of person. Check out these adorable ones from seller ThreePaperTullips. Click on the photos to get taken to the seller’s page on Etsy.
8. Buy a sticker book and use it as an autograph book
I came up with this idea when I saw my sons’ stickers books that I had purchased from our local dollar store. It has cute themed pages for the Characters to sign and the glossy pages will last longer than the paper ones. Bring colourful sharpies instead of regular ballpoint pens. I believe we paid about $2 per sticker book.
Please subscribe to my blog or join my Facebook page to be alerted of more new blog posts like this.