Whether you’ve been to Disney multiple times or it’s your very first trip, character meet and greets can be the highlight of your trip. Autograph books are perfect for some people. Others prefer alternatives to autograph books. If that’s you, collect the signatures of all of your favorite characters on these items instead!
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Alternatives to Autograph Books
1. Christmas ornaments – There are so many different kinds of Christmas ornaments you could ask characters to sign; wooden ornaments, ball-shaped ornaments, even Disney character ornaments. Every time you decorate for Christmas, all of your vacation memories will come rushing back.
2. White Cotton Standard Pillowcase– An autographed pillowcase is a souvenir you will use again and again. Autographs in multiple colors may make the pillowcase more visually appealing.
How To: A white or light-colored cotton pillowcase is best. If you are only having one character sign it (or several characters from the same movie), you could look for a pillowcase with that character on it. You will need a clipboard or some other hard surface. This not only gives the characters a way to sign the pillowcase, it also prevents the writing instrument from bleeding through to the other side. This is especially important when you want both sides of the pillowcase to have characters’ signatures. Fabric Markers may be a better option than traditional markers, though Sharpies should do the trick as well. It is important to wait at least 24 hours after the last signature to wash the pillowcase. This gives the ink plenty of time to dry.
3. Picture Frame – I love the idea of characters signing a white or lightly stained wooden frame. Combined with a family picture at one of Disney’s iconic spots, this would make a magical souvenir. Looking at it on the wall would bring back so many happy memories. Consider using a thick frame to maximize the autograph space.
4. White T-Shirt – Having characters signatures on a t-shirt is a fun and practical souvenir. As with the pillowcase, a white or light-colored cotton shirt is best for many signatures. A shirt with a specific character on it would be made extra special with that character’s signature on it.
How To: You will need a clipboard or some other hard surface. This will allow the characters to sign the shirt without the colors from the writing instrument bleeding through to the other side. This is especially important when you want both sides of the shirt to have characters’ signatures. Fabric markers may be a better option than traditional markers, though sharpies should do the trick as well. It is important to wait at least 24 hours after the last signature to wash the shirt. This gives the ink plenty of time to dry.
5. Disney book of characters: Instead of having the characters sign the blank pages of an autograph book, you could have them sign the pages of an actual book. It’s especially fun when you have a page with that particular character on it. Disney Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters is a great book for this. The only downside to this alternative is that it is heavier to carry around than the traditional autograph book.
6. Pre-printed photos of characters – If you have been to Disney before and met some of the characters, you could print out those photos and have them signed. Otherwise, print photos of the characters on their own. These autographed photos could go into a photo album by themselves or interspersed with all of your photos of your trip.
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7. 11×14 White Picture Mats – A large, wide and lightly colored (or white) photo frame matte is best for this alternative to an autograph book. The wider the matte, the more signatures you will be able to collect.
8. Backpack – This sounds like a great idea; carry around everything you need in your backpack and have characters sign it too! However, it could be difficult for the characters to hold and sign a full backpack. If you choose to have a backpack autographed while in Disney, an empty one would be best. This makes it easier for characters to sign. Their signatures will also look better when written on a smooth surface, so make sure you have a clipboard or some other hard surface that you can place inside your backpack.
9. Baseball hat – A baseball hat is one of the easiest autograph alternatives to carry around! As with other fabrics, a white or lighter colored hat would work well. If you have a dark hat, having the characters use Metallic Sharpies when they sign their names will make them really pop! This is another souvenir that can be used frequently.
10. Calendars – Looking at signatures from your Disney trip every day of the year is one way to relive memories of your trip. Bring your own calendar and choose which characters sign each month. Maybe have your favorite character sign your birthday month. Any calendar will do, though a Disney calendar would be fun. Even, better, create your own on a site like Shutterfly!
11. Apron and chef hat – Any aspiring chef would love a customized apron and chef’s hat. This would be especially fun if you’re going to Chef Mickey’s! This alternative to an autograph book does require a clipboard or other hard surface.
12. Index Cards – You could have characters sign index cards. When you get home, place the index cards in a photo album or scrapbook. Then add pictures taken at the meet and greets so you have the photo with the character and the character’s signature next to each other.
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What won’t they sign?
Characters will sign many items. They are prohibited from signing any body part or anything that you are wearing. If you would like them to sign an article of clothing, you must be carrying the article of clothing and hand it to them.
Keep in mind that whichever writing instrument you choose should be easy for all characters (such as Mickey or Eeyore) to hold. Sharpies are considered a good choice. Some people like to bring multiple Sharpies of varying colors, especially when all autographs will be on one surface, like the front of a pillowcase. Autographs in different colors are easier to see. Also, the characters really appreciate when you’re prepared, so getting the autograph surface and writing instrument ready while there are still a few people ahead of you in line is key!
Also, be sure your name and address is printed on whatever you choose to have characters sign. This ensures a better chance of it finding its way back to you in case it is lost.
When looking for alternatives to autograph books, the sky is the limit. Use your creativity and choose something that will help you relive all of your amazing Disney memories over and over again!
What is your favorite item to have characters sign?
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