No matter where the destination, one essential tool for each Disney vacation is something for your favorite characters to sign. While the gift stores offer many standard autograph books, I found myself trying to think of something different so we didn’t have an entire shelf devoted to them. So like many Moms I went to my two favorite sites: Etsy and Pinterest and here are few ideas we’ve personally tried!
- Picture frame mat I purchased at our local Hobby Lobby. Because it is stiff the characters had no problem holding and signing it, just make sure you get a wider edge that way you have more room for signatures. I found an 11 x 14 mat that holds a 4 x 6 picture, shown below, works the best. In order to keep the frame clean and dry during our trips around the park I purchased some XXL Ziploc bags as well as fine point Sharpie’s in primary and bright colors. I also put our name and phone number on the back on the chance we might accidently loose them.
- Pillowcases – I picked up at our local Wal-Mart and had embroidered before leaving. These turned out so cute, but are a bit tricky to handle while getting signatures. I initially tried a clipboard with binder clips, but it was a LOT of trouble and a cast member finally suggested just stretching it out while the characters signed it and that worked best. You could even put some thick paper inside the pillowcase to ensure no bleed through, but I didn’t really have this problem. It does take two people to stretch the pillowcase and most cast members will be willing to help and there is generally one with each character.
- Drawstring backpack – On a more recent trip I purchased a Ronald McDonald cinch bag from 31 gifts and then took it to a local lady to have Minnie ears and monogram added. I have to say this and the next item are my favorites so far and I even had a lady ask me to purchase my bag already signed one day in the parks.
- Wood Monograms – As a Southern lady there are few things I love more than my family, sweet tea and a monogram. So of course I thought this would be perfect the perfect addition and it looks even better hanging in my kids’ rooms. Before our next trip I’m going to order my daughter one of the interlocking three initial types to hang above her bed.
- Wooden Specialty Shapes – For our most recent trip I asked the owner of a local boutique to cut me a castle and pirate ship out of wood and include my children’s first initial and then paint so they could be signed at the parks. Ya’ll they turned out amazing and while in the parks so many people including the cast members inquired about them. I will say I was glad I had a stroller because they are on the heavy side. I used metallic sharpies on my son’s and then bright colors for my daughters’. If you want the information for the boutique please comment below or send an email as I will be glad to share and she will ship them.
Lastly, I have two ideas that are on the smaller side. If your child is a sports fan, Disney has small basketballs for purchase that are usually dated or you could bring one from home. For a gift one year we purchased the basketball and had just The Fab Five sign it. The basketballs are miniature so you will be limited in space for the amount of characters to be able to sign. Also because of the texture you may have to retrace the signature to make sure it’s clear. Additionally as part of a birthday gift to bring home one trip, I bought a stuffed Minnie and had her sign the bottom of the shoes.
If you are on limited time or maybe won’t be doing a lot of character dining, you can stop by Guest Relations in the morning and ask to leave an item (please know there is no guarantee they will do this) and then return that evening and magically you will have your item mostly completed, please know this not a guarantee and will strongly depend on how busy the park is. However, this is may result in getting some of the rare characters like the Fairy Godmother, Dopey, Lilo, Stitch, Sebastian and Marie.
If you have other ideas, please feel free to share them with me and don’t forget to send a picture too! Are you ready to plan a visit? I’m here to help and as always my services are free, to get started planning contact me via Facebook, Pinterest, email or phone at 1-800-670-4312 Extension 144 or click here to request a quote.
As always I hope to hear from you real soon, chEARS!