An Autograph-ed Book

Frozen Signed Book

At every street cart, ride exit, and shop at any Disney Park, you will find the exclusive and official Autograph book, complete with matching pen.  The first time my daughter was old enough to appreciate getting the characters’ signatures, that’s exactly what we bought.  I even bought the one that had slots for 4×6 pictures so I could put her pictures with the characters in the book right next to their autographs (like I ever have pictures actually printed…).

Then we got home with it, and she wanted to play with it and draw in it.  At first, I was appalled – that’s our souvenir, how could I let her play with it after we worked so hard to get all those autographs?  I quickly got over that attitude, and realized it was just a book of names.  Much like the meaningless traditional guestbook at our wedding: “Please sign this blank book so I will never look at it again.”

I’ve seen other moms bring out scrapbook pages for the characters to sign.  But I don’t scrapbook – that takes too much time.  I wanted something different, yet simple.  So I came up with two different ideas…

One I’ve seen other park-goers doing, and that is the photo mat.  I got a simple, 5×7” opening white photo mat and had the characters sign with a fine-tip Sharpie.  I kept the photo mat a Ziploc gallon-size freezer bag to protect it while it was in my backpack all day.

Cinderella Signing Photo Mat

Snow White Signing Photo Mat

Ariel Signing Photo Mat

It’s still a work in progress…

Autographed Photo Mat

Anna Signing Book

I got the second idea while reading to my daughter one night.  She had hardcover Big Golden Books of all the classic Disney stories.  So, I decided to have the characters sign the covers of the books.  This takes a bit of planning, as I was not about to carry a bunch of books to the park with me.  We had fast passes to greet Anna and Elsa, so I knew we were going to see them that day.  The book actually didn’t weigh a thing in my backpack.  Anna was excited and had a little fun with the girls reading a page to them.

Anna Reading Book

I really love how it turned out!  And it’s a souvenir that didn’t cost me any extra money or time, yet something special that we talk about whenever we read it together.

One more important note:  After years of character greetings, and autograph sessions with all different kinds of writing instruments, I have found that all characters (gloved or not) prefer the Retractable Sharpie (yes, they even prefer it to the pens sold with the autograph books).  There is no cap to try to take off and hold, yet they still get a large tip on the pen, and it can write on anything – even book covers.  And, they come in all sorts of colors you can have fun with!  So, for even better character experiences, pick up one of these before your next trip.

Contact me to plan your magical Walt Disney World vacation – my services and advice are always free!

– Leann Shields