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View Full Version : Is it a mistake not to do the autograph books?


dmank
01-19-2010, 10:09 AM
We've been 4 times now, and have never done the autograph books. It just seems like a lot to carry, long wait times to meet characters, and something the kids won't care about anyway.

But am I missing something? Do any kids actually look through these books after the trips?

Tristen79
01-19-2010, 10:15 AM
Although we havent done it yet b/c DD is only 2.5 we were going thru old boxes last night and my DW found her old book from about 20 years ago and she got so caught up in it and stories of how she got them that we are planning our next trip.

Also if youre concerned with wait times great easy places to get autographs is character meals, and the spot in Epcot where you shuffle thru the most pop characters (mickey, goofy, minnie, donald) are all there

micheleq
01-19-2010, 10:26 AM
My DD does like to look at hers once in a while, so it is a nice momento. On the other hand, when we were at Chef Mickey's, it seemed that most of the characters were focused on signing the book and getting the picture taken, then they were off to the next table. Very little interaction otherwise. I guess it depends on the situation. My kids loved just goofing off with some of the characters (like Pooh, Tigger and Eyoyre at AK) and weren't overly concerned about autographs.

We'll def. bring the book on our next trip, but won't be all consumed by it. Just not our style! Other kids we know (friends and family), all they want to do is collect autographs, so it really depends on your kids. If they aren't into it, then ther are lots of other ways to create momentos of your trip and memories with the characters.

disykat
01-19-2010, 10:59 AM
I didn't want to mess with autograph books. I took some index cards to use. They fit easily in a pocket of the small pack we carried our water bottles in. We stuck the autographs that the kids got into our trip photo album. They enjoyed getting a few autographs, but didn't feel pressure to fill a book.

littlbugmom
01-19-2010, 12:25 PM
My kids like to look at their books when we plan for the next trip. They want to meet the characters we haven't seen yet. Daisy is a big one for our next trip.....and villians. We haven't met any villians!


I don't know if the books will be cherished items for the kids for years and years but they enjoy them and it doesn't seem to be a big deal to carry them. I carry a small bag anyway, so they aren't in the way.


My kids are not fond of waiting in lines for characters, though. We do a few character meals and we run into some at the parks but we don't do long line meet and greets. If the line is huge, we assume we'll see that character another time. No pressure.

FlightlessDuck
01-19-2010, 12:30 PM
My two kids never really cared.

margiemc
01-19-2010, 12:40 PM
I would say yes to the autograph books!

For my DD's first trip at 3.5, we had gone to Chef Mickey's the first night for dinner. I didn't get her a book because I thought she would be too young. Wrong! She saw other kids with them and asked what they were, etc. Yes, we purchased one right after dinner. She didn't like a lot of dark and/or noisy rides when she was younger, but she loved meeting the characters. DD is almost 13 now and she has a lot of memories about different characters when they were signing her book, etc.

monkey30
01-19-2010, 12:46 PM
Oh I like the index card idea. For our first trip I found a book of white cardstock, it worked awesome, I have taken the autographs out and as I am scrapbooking added them to the pages.

DisneyFamily123
01-19-2010, 01:09 PM
Why autographs? Well, it's not just the autograph... it's the photo opportunity too, and the interaction between child and character that all adds to the fun. The way Donald insists he is #1, how Goofy signs behind his head, how Chip signs his name and Dale's but writes "stinks" with an arrow pointing to Dale's name and then laughs. Just don't ask them if they are squirrels.

We did autograph books for my son when he was age 3 and again at age 4. We filled one book the first time.... and in 2009, we filled three books (sixty or so autographs!). We also had characters sign t-shirts and Disney baseball caps (clothing cannot be worn while being signed).

Autographs from "non-characters" and photos with them can be fun too -- the waiter, the chef, the bus driver, the bell hop at Tower of Terror, etc..

These are are favorite photos. Our son likes to show his pre-school friends where Pluto, Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch signed his shirt. He also looks at his autograph books and talks about the experience. We also made a photo book (shutterfly) that has these and other park photos with captions that tell a story. So, my son has his own hardcover story book called "My Trip to Disney World" with his name used as the main character. It all helps to preserve memories and build language skills.

I didn't see any long lines, the longest wait was about 20 minutes. Most of the time, less than 5 minutes... but we were at Disney during non-busy times of year.

Character meals are an easy place to meet characters and get autographs without waiting. In Animal Kingdom, the Mickey and Minnie greeting trail has several (almost no wait time) and also throughout the park and at the entrance. Hollywood Studios also had lots of characters and no or minimal waits - Animation Studios had several, also by Toy Story mania. The one place I have seen longer lines are for the Pooh characters by the Pooh ride in Magic Kingdom.

mousebymarriage
01-19-2010, 01:19 PM
My kids have used autograph books on all of their trips (not on trips as infants but, starting at about 2 or 3 years old). They love showing the autographs to their friends and classmates when we return from our trips. We usually don't wait in long lines for characters, we tend to do quite a few character meals so we get most of our autographs then but, if the kids see a character and they want to get the autograph we wait if not we move on.

This year I put more of a journal type book in my DD13 Christmas stocking thinking she could use it as an autograph book, it is hot pink & lime green (her favorite colors) and it has no characters on it. I thought it she would feel too old for a regular autograph book, WRONG. When discussing the trip the other day I said don't forget to pack your book and she said "I'm not using that for autographs, I want a Disney autograph book with characters on it." I asked if she was sure or if she felt too old for one of those books, she said "I'm not too old, it's Disney"!:laughing:

Heidijs
01-19-2010, 01:24 PM
I wasn't going to get one for DD4 but then I found those mini sharpies with the carabiner key ring deal on them so I can hook them to my lanyard...I figure we'll pick up an autograph book at a gift shop and I'll take a marker with me and if it's convenient we'll get an autograph. We have a few character meals booked but I won't go stand in lines to get one either unless DD4 absolutely wants to...it'll be up to her or the size of the lines...but I won't go nuts trying to get autographs either...

Can I get a book at our resort? POFQ?

mrsmarilyn
01-19-2010, 04:19 PM
TBH, I think the autograph books are absolutely stupid. They tie up the characters (I've had my kids shut out of meet-and-greets because too many autographs seekers tied them up). A quick photo says a LOT more and has more memories than a meaningless signature in a book by some actor.

I loathe the whole autograph book crapola. We never do it nor do my kids care. They just want to meet the person and get a photo, which then goes into our scrapbooks.

2 big thumbs DOWN on autograph books and line hoggers that use 'em.

DisneyFamily123
01-19-2010, 04:53 PM
Somebody here needs a hug.....

Cinderella's step sisters hogged us up. At the MK Halloween Party, we headed to a character greeting spot on the side of the castle. Line was average (?)... and the sisters asked DS4 where was his costume...he only had half his costume on because he didn't want to wear it (it was hot). Well, the step sisters just carried on and on about it - whining "I don't want to wear my costume..." We and DS4 were laughing non-stop.

I admit that I am a character hog. We met sixty characters this last 9 day trip but I don't think I held anyone up.

I really don't think it takes long for a character to write their name. I want more than a quick photo... I like the character interaction with my child -- that's what I photograph/video. Getting the autograph is part of that interaction.

We did character meals and we usually saw the characters twice (or more) within an hour meal time.... even when the restaurant was busy. At the parks, we got the times schedule for character greetings and asked CMs who would tell you which character was going to be where.. and when... so we were often one of the first in line.

pianogirl73
01-19-2010, 05:50 PM
I vote yes for the autograph books. We went 2 years ago when my kids were 5 and 3 and got the ones that you can put a picture in as well. My kids were just looking at them last night and love them!

hmacmahony
01-19-2010, 08:07 PM
I tend to agree, I HATE the autograph books! Our first two trips with kids we did books, the second two we did not. I would NEVER EVER do them again. Between dragging them around, the cost, finding pens, walking up to a character getting 3 autographs, a quick picture that was it.
So the last two trips we said NO to autograph books (but we did get into pin trading, which is SO SO much fun). I personally feel that my kids get better character experiences than those who walk up and shove those stupid books into their faces. The characters all spent time with my kids, and played games, and it was really nice and relaxing and fun. With the books it felt like one big rush, get the book, sign the book, smile quick, move on.
I just know, with us personally we have noticed a huge difference in our character experience (and a huge improvement), since we did away with those silly books!


TBH, I think the autograph books are absolutely stupid. They tie up the characters (I've had my kids shut out of meet-and-greets because too many autographs seekers tied them up). A quick photo says a LOT more and has more memories than a meaningless signature in a book by some actor.

I loathe the whole autograph book crapola. We never do it nor do my kids care. They just want to meet the person and get a photo, which then goes into our scrapbooks.

2 big thumbs DOWN on autograph books and line hoggers that use 'em.

YYC_Mommy
01-19-2010, 10:57 PM
I have taken storybooks with us to Disneyland and had the characters sign that. I took one with princesses to the Princess breakfast and I had another one with Mickey and Friends that we took to a Goofy's breakfast.

My kids (age 3 and 5) like to read the books and then remember back to who signed them. For us it worked better than an autograph book. They were very thin books and we get to read them all the time.

I plan on doing the same when we go to Disneyworld in March!

mrsmarilyn
01-20-2010, 12:24 AM
Somebody here needs a hug.....


Always :-)

I think I've been down on the autograph stuff since we were waiting to meet Snow White one time, and my DD SO wanted to meet her--and the autograph people just had endless books to have signed, and i do mean endless. Finally the handler hauled Snow White off about 2 people before our turn. DD was absolutely crushed and it left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I think hi, and a hug, and some interaction and a photo are great. But the time that writing there name adds, a good 30 seconds to 1 minute, really cuts in to the time for the other kids waiting (multiply that by 50 kids and you see why it eats up time). I want ALL the kids to get face time. The signing thing, it just bugs me.

We haven't gotten into the pin thing although I'm tempted. But this trip already costs so much, I don't think i want to add yet another expense.

kwitcherkicken99
01-20-2010, 07:03 AM
Having an autograph book helped my DS to warm up to the characters. He didn't just have to go say hi when he met Mickey and friends. It gave him something to hold (he can get shy around people he doesn't know) and to use as a buffer until he warmed up. He wanted to meet the characters and I wanted it to be enjoyable for him.

His book is only 4x6" so it was super easy to carry (and nice and thick for the characters to grab). When we get home, I'll put his autographs in a scrapbook with a picture of the character and he will tell the story of meeting whomever is in the book.

Autograph "hunting" isn't a requirement to enjoy your trip AND it really slows down the amount of stuff you can do in a day. If your goal is to cover as much ground as possible, skip the autographs. If you have time to spend, why not?

micheleq
01-20-2010, 08:30 AM
I also forgot to add that when I took DD4 to NYC to see The Princess and The Frog, we also had the opportunity to attend a princess meet and greet after the movie.

All nine princesses were in one large venue, and NO autographs were allowed. Each person (child and adult if they wanted it) was given a nice oversized card with all nine autographs on it.

I have to say, everything went so smoothly. DD and her friend had beautiful, genuine interactions with every princess, and no one was left waiting long in line. The pictures and memories of that are priceless.

xbatman
01-20-2010, 08:37 AM
We took blank bookmarks for them to sign.

I put the signed bookmark on the same page as the photo in DD's scrapbook along with some stickers, etc. We think it's much more fun to look at a scrapbook than just an autograph book.

MichelleVW
01-20-2010, 08:53 AM
Why autographs? Well, it's not just the autograph... it's the photo opportunity too, and the interaction between child and character that all adds to the fun. The way Donald insists he is #1, how Goofy signs behind his head, how Chip signs his name and Dale's but writes "stinks" with an arrow pointing to Dale's name and then laughs. Just don't ask them if they are squirrels.

We did autograph books for my son when he was age 3 and again at age 4. We filled one book the first time.... and in 2009, we filled three books (sixty or so autographs!). We also had characters sign t-shirts and Disney baseball caps (clothing cannot be worn while being signed).

Autographs from "non-characters" and photos with them can be fun too -- the waiter, the chef, the bus driver, the bell hop at Tower of Terror, etc..

These are are favorite photos. Our son likes to show his pre-school friends where Pluto, Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch signed his shirt. He also looks at his autograph books and talks about the experience. We also made a photo book (shutterfly) that has these and other park photos with captions that tell a story. So, my son has his own hardcover story book called "My Trip to Disney World" with his name used as the main character. It all helps to preserve memories and build language skills.

I didn't see any long lines, the longest wait was about 20 minutes. Most of the time, less than 5 minutes... but we were at Disney during non-busy times of year.

Character meals are an easy place to meet characters and get autographs without waiting. In Animal Kingdom, the Mickey and Minnie greeting trail has several (almost no wait time) and also throughout the park and at the entrance. Hollywood Studios also had lots of characters and no or minimal waits - Animation Studios had several, also by Toy Story mania. The one place I have seen longer lines are for the Pooh characters by the Pooh ride in Magic Kingdom.

I agree with the added fun!! My girls are teenagers and I still go to that Walmart near Disney and get them cheap autograph books. I thought they were too old for them, but they like meeting the characters. DD18 also carries her Stitch stuffed animal with her for added character fun. The real Stitch always gets excited when he sees him, and Snow White's step mother said she loved Stitch because he wrecked Cinderella's castle!! :rotfl:

TBH, I think the autograph books are absolutely stupid. They tie up the characters (I've had my kids shut out of meet-and-greets because too many autographs seekers tied them up). A quick photo says a LOT more and has more memories than a meaningless signature in a book by some actor.

I loathe the whole autograph book crapola. We never do it nor do my kids care. They just want to meet the person and get a photo, which then goes into our scrapbooks.

2 big thumbs DOWN on autograph books and line hoggers that use 'em.

sorry you had a bad experience, but I don't think they take that much longer and it's fun!

happymommy
01-20-2010, 09:10 AM
In all our trips, my kids have never once wanted to do autographs. I think honestly the majority of visitors don't do them.

I never had much patience to wait in a long line just for an autograph or photo. If there is a short line (just a couple of people) and my kids wanted a photo with a character, we did that, but never really wanted to do the autographs.

tzolkin
01-20-2010, 10:08 AM
My kids (now 11, almost 6, and 3) have never expressed an interest in meeting characters and really do not care to get autographs. This works out well because DH and I aren't really thrilled at the thought of standing in a line in the sun to snap a picture and get an autograph.

Even when there have been short lines, we've offered and the kids have refused. Once my youngest met Handy Manny, but my middle DD hid behind my legs while DH took her brother. They will stop and look for a few seconds and maybe wave, but that's about it.


The only character meet we do is the Disney Visa one. We go every time we're in Epcot during the times it's open (3 per trip). For some reason my kids are thrilled to meet the characters here-- they run in and hug them and their little faces light up. I think it's a combination of the surprise and the privacy-- you aren't out in a park with people walking by while you interact with the characters so they feel more comfortable.


We don't like to be tied to ADRs, so we've stayed out of the character meals (we may try one next trip). My sister did the deluxe dining in Sept for her daughter's first trip though. They did a character meal every day and she made a nice scrapbook with the autographs and photos from all of the characters. They felt the meals were a nice break from the parks/heat for them (they didn't return to the resort for a nap) and she is a person who would have waited in lines for autographs, so the meals saved them time as well.

tlh0726
01-20-2010, 06:42 PM
We did an autograph book last trip (one book that the kids shared) and we will be doing another one for our next trip.
I had autograph cards (created by the DISigners :worship:) printed as 4x6 photos and the characters signed them with sharpies.
We had an amazing time with that book.
The characters made over their pictures when signing, especially the ones that normally are not featured in the regular autograph books. It definitely added something to our interaction with them. We even had CM's stop us later in the week and ask us about the book. Several actually paged through looking at all the autographs.
DD had 2 older ladies in total awe showing them our book while waiting for the next country bear jamboree. Telling them who she got, who she still needed, what happened while they were meeting them, etc etc.
When we got home, I put the autograph cards and a picture of the kids and character into a 2 picture per page photo album. The kids still show everyone that comes to our house that book.

summerrluvv
01-20-2010, 07:38 PM
We always do them. I put a pic of the character and the autograph on the same page in our albums.

DisneyBamaFan
01-20-2010, 08:06 PM
We went through a few autograph books. Our boys didn't care enough about them to take care of them. But they love/loved the hugs and pictures with the characters...

karapp75
01-20-2010, 08:18 PM
When my son, who has a PDD, was 3 we got him the autograph book and it was HUGE in helping him interact with the characters. Any social interaction was a big deal back then and it was wonderful for him. When he was 4 he didn't want to do it which was fine, however my twin 3 year old girls LOVED them. We bought the ones where you sign on one side and put the picture on the other side so it was like a mini scrap book. My girls still look through theirs often and it's been a year and a half. This year we are considering penny smashers for my son so he has something to collect. I love the pin idea but just seems like so much money. :)

AirGoofy
01-20-2010, 08:40 PM
We have done autograph books on 3 of our trips and not on 2 of our trips. They were a pain for us to keep up with - pens, pages, keeping dry in the rain, etc. But, the girls really enjoy having them now and showing them to friends.

MSMomTJ
01-20-2010, 09:05 PM
I plan for my kids to get autographs -- or at least I'm going to give them the option to do so. I am going to get each of them The Disney Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters to look at on the way to WDW, and if they want to get autographs, they can have the characters to sign their pages. (Gotta figure out what to do about the non-animated characters we might run into!)

My kids are shy, so I think the autographs will be a good way to break the ice...at least until they get used to talking to the characters.

canfield77
01-20-2010, 09:34 PM
I still look through my autograph book every now and then, and I'm 25! I think my mom got me one when they first came up with the idea of selling them in the parks, and I took it with me for every subsequent vacation. I have A LOT of autographs, and yes, I'll admit it, I'm pretty proud of my collection :laughing:. It is a nice keepsake for me, and I say Yes go ahead and do it!

DisneyFamily123
01-20-2010, 10:14 PM
That would be crushing! So sorry. When there was a line, I always felt a need to not take long with the character -- sign, hug, snap some photos...next!

Most of our autographs were from character meals and short lines and standard greeting stations at AK, Epcot, and HS. Standard meaning that the characters were there at regular times. For some reason, it seems like the characters at MK appear unexpectedly, other than Mickey and Minnie at Toon Town, and then they are gone.

The Pin trading does seem like a big expense... haven't started that one either but will probably be looking for something other than autograph books next trip.

Always :-)

I think I've been down on the autograph stuff since we were waiting to meet Snow White one time, and my DD SO wanted to meet her--and the autograph people just had endless books to have signed, and i do mean endless. Finally the handler hauled Snow White off about 2 people before our turn. DD was absolutely crushed and it left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I think hi, and a hug, and some interaction and a photo are great. But the time that writing there name adds, a good 30 seconds to 1 minute, really cuts in to the time for the other kids waiting (multiply that by 50 kids and you see why it eats up time). I want ALL the kids to get face time. The signing thing, it just bugs me.

We haven't gotten into the pin thing although I'm tempted. But this trip already costs so much, I don't think i want to add yet another expense.

aussietravellers
01-21-2010, 06:20 AM
We've been 4 times now, and have never done the autograph books. It just seems like a lot to carry, long wait times to meet characters, and something the kids won't care about anyway.

But am I missing something? Do any kids actually look through these books after the trips?

Yes my son does go through his autograph books, not everyday, but from time to time. We have always done the one with the photo and autograph pages. I think they are a great souvenir and memoir of the trip. That being said, he is not past the autograph book and would not have one on our Disneyland trip last month. I was quite sad, it became a joke, every time we would walk into a shop I would say, "so... how about an autograph book" he would just look at me and say "ah, no" :rotfl2:

Scrubba2
01-21-2010, 10:12 AM
Although we usually visit during value season when the character lines aren't crazy, our DS LOVES getting the autographs. He looks them over at the end of the day and the end of the trip, but that is it.

It is inexpensive fun IMO. The cute autograph books are only about $7, and you can bring your own larger pen from home.

It is ALL about the character interaction. The characters are wonderful to the kids and it makes the kids feel special for a minute as they sign the book and usually have a bit of conversation.

To those who say that autograph books clog up the characters line...bah humbug. RELAX!! This is what the THEME PARK vacation is ALL about!! That is WHY they sell autograph books to begin with!! It's not about your vacation photo as proof you saw the character for your scrapbook...it is about the character interaction! IMHO the whole vacation is to RELAX and have fun with it!!! We do not have to worry whatsoever about limiting our time with the characters. It is NOT our worry...that is why there is a CM there. To keep the line moving at a fair pace. Disney is doing that for us :love: We are busy having our fun with the character! And believe it or not, it is often fun watching the folks ahead of us in line enjoying their time with the characters!!

momof3Disneykids
01-21-2010, 10:33 AM
Instead of getting a book for all 3 of my kids, I will carry 1 smallish sketch pad for the autographs and when we get home Im going to make a scrapbook of our trip and cut out the autographs, and put on the pages with corresponding pictures (Mickey pics with Mickey Signature etc.)

kohlby
01-21-2010, 11:10 AM
We're not doing the autograph books. But we don't stand in line for characters or take a slew of character photos. My kids just aren't that in for characters. Since DH and I would rather do things other than characters, we don't encourage it! We will ask our kids if they want to go talk to a character if there's no line and they'll occassionally want to, but usually they don't.

LaneOT
01-21-2010, 11:25 AM
TBH, I think the autograph books are absolutely stupid. They tie up the characters (I've had my kids shut out of meet-and-greets because too many autographs seekers tied them up). A quick photo says a LOT more and has more memories than a meaningless signature in a book by some actor.

I loathe the whole autograph book crapola. We never do it nor do my kids care. They just want to meet the person and get a photo, which then goes into our scrapbooks.

2 big thumbs DOWN on autograph books and line hoggers that use 'em.

In all honesty, I totally agree!!! We've been doing Disney for 5 years, since my dtr was 5 and we had a horrible experience with autograph-toting-kid shoving parents on line to meet characters. My dtr wanted a picture with mary poppins... not a princess..just MP.. so we got on line and the people in front of us were pushing the books into their kids hand and telling them what to say...for crying out loud one kids didnt even want an autograph. The best part was that the child was crying and wasnt interested in MP, she just wanted to go, but NOOOO the parents made sure the girl took the picture, and autograph and then whipped out 2...count em 2...more autograph books for their other kids, ASLEEP IN THE CARRIAGE!!!! ergo, my disdain for books.

tartemis
01-21-2010, 11:34 AM
As a general rule, I think autographs are assinine, so it is not something that I would ever encourage my kids to do. Of course, if somehow they came up with the idea on their own, I would let them, but I really don't see how a kid comes up with the idea that autographs are cool unless the parent encourages it.

excitedtraveler
01-21-2010, 11:59 AM
On my dd's first trip there I got a small clipboard and 4x4 pieces of cardstock. We had the character sign the cardtock and I took her picture with the character. I then put them all together in a small photo album...the pictures with their corresponding siggies. We haven't done it again, once was really enough. The autograph books themselves don't so much for me. I really prefer pictures with the characters.

Ericandjenng
01-21-2010, 12:19 PM
Alot of you are right about this being about interaction with the characters. On my son's first trip (he was only 13 months), we took him up to the characters in his stroller so he had his comfort zone. He wanted to touch all of their noses and they were absolutely wonderful about it. We have pictures of him and every character he met touching their nose. We also have pictures from his 3rd birthday trip with Mickey helping him blow out the candle on his cupcake and Donald playing cars with him in Chef Mickey's. How can you replace memories like that?

But now that he is getting older, we're autograph collectors, but we try to do different things each trip. We have done the book and my son still likes to look at his. We also did a t-shirt for his 3rd bday trip. And once I did white cotton triangles with fabric markers from which I made a quilted wall-hanging for my best friend who is a Disney fanatic.

Also if you skip the lines and character meals, you never know who you might miss. We met Abby Mallard shortly after "Chicken Little" was released at the end of the line after meeting Goofy, Pluto and Donald down in Toontown. We got to see and meet Launchpad McQuack at Chef Mickey's. Along with other assorted characters at odd times and places. But some of that's the fun.

Everyone enjoys Disney their way and that's what makes it so magical!

Jenn

DisneyFamily123
01-21-2010, 12:19 PM
As a general rule, I think autographs are assinine, so it is not something that I would ever encourage my kids to do. Of course, if somehow they came up with the idea on their own, I would let them, but I really don't see how a kid comes up with the idea that autographs are cool unless the parent encourages it.

To each his own..... I don't understand why people who don't get autographs feel so strongly negative about it. There's nothing harmful about it.

However, I'd say a parent should not feel guilty if they don't do autographs... but if we were greeting a character and my son saw other kids getting autographs, and he wanted to do that, I wouldn't say NO. I'd just go grab one of the blank autographs and a pen which can be bought anywhere for less than $10.

I know my son, and at age 3, I knew he would want to do autographs... he was already getting them from baseball players and our mascot from our professional team at home.

At Disney, he loved getting the autographs -- he carried his own book and was excited to hand it to the character and have that interaction. We had a set of colors and he liked picking out which color to use for each character. And we enjoyed watching his big smile while the character signed, gave him a "high five", a hug, etc......

We spent a ton of money on our Disney trips... not for the dining, or autographs, or rides........ we spent that money for the smiles and excitement on our DS's face -- that was the greatest joy and worth every dollar.

arcticdisneylovers
01-21-2010, 12:48 PM
We leave tomorrow and my DD5 is really looking forward to getting her first autograph book :banana: We have a character meal booked everyday so we won't be in the park line hogging character time;)

6disnuts
01-21-2010, 01:51 PM
We have done the autograph books several times. We have also bought caps at the World of Disney store and had them autographed, the kids seemed to like those better. The characters interacted with the kids because they could see who had signed their hat, e.g. Captain Hook and Peter Pan always made comments. We just gave each kid a sharpie and they were ready to roll. The kids got attention when they would wear their hats at home. The characters will sign any Disney Merchandise.

Goofy_Dad_24
01-21-2010, 03:00 PM
My son was 2.5 our last trip, and meeting the characters and getting autographs was BY FAR the highlight for him. We got the autographs on one side of the page only, and then on the facing side we glued a picture of him with the character in there. This trip was Jan 09, and he still looks through the book at least once a week.

dmank
02-08-2010, 03:39 PM
Well, the first night there right before dinner at 1900PF I bought the kids autograph books. The kids got into it. After the first two meet and greets I was sure to have the books open to a blank page to get it over with very quickly!!

DD4 has a book with a photo on one side/autograph on the other so we can add the pix. Cute idea, but space for less autographs. Anyway, it was pretty fun and lines moved fast. The kids like the pix with the characters so I think it was worth getting the books.

ginnymack
02-08-2010, 04:06 PM
I am another fan of index cards. We put them in a 4 x 6 photo book along side of their picture with the character. My girls love it and look at it frequently. (And my youngest knows exactly who's siggy it is thanks to the pic!)

lindsey
02-08-2010, 07:54 PM
I think some of it depends on the child. My oldest never cared about meeting the characters or autographs, but my younger enjoyed it. We are going with the grandchildren in September, and I think I'm going to try the index card idea.

mamaLori05
02-08-2010, 09:35 PM
I make scrapbooks for the kids out of their autograph books. We get the books in the park, but when we get home I tear out each autograph and place it by a picture of them with the character. They LOVE looking at them, and so do I. We've always had good luck with character interaction, and that is when I make sure to take the pics. Not of them getting the signature, but of them interacting with the kids. Such cute pics. One of my fav pics is when Pluto was trying to steal my dd's cupcake (when she was 3). The look on her face is priceless! She is giving him quite a look, like don't you DARE touch my cupcake. And then there is the picture of the "I can't believe I am actually meeting Belle" look. They are priceless!!!

cissy
02-08-2010, 10:05 PM
I did custom autograph pages for the characters and my two DD's had a blast getting them signed. They also got a ton of attention from the characters who LOVED the one of a kind pages. But we saw characters that spent extra time with lots of kids for different reasons. I never felt slighted when a character spent time extra time with any child. Kids who wore costumes always got extra time. Kids that were in wheelchairs got extra time. Kids that were twins got extra time. Crying kids often got lots and lots of time. So what? I saw parents taking WAY more time to figure out how to use their cameras than it takes to sign a page. Just relax, the characters know the drill and can sign a book in about three seconds. Just be courteous and have the page and pen ready for signing.

I also agree with the OP who went to character meals to get autographs. We did that as well. More time to enjoy the parks!! That said, we would not do it again unless the kids asked because once was enough for us.

As for trading pins, I got some amazing deals on Ebay. I just bought a grab bag of them and the kids were thrilled. They loved the trading and could have cared less about which pins they gave away, so I was glad I did not spend a lot of money.

Finally, I made the passport books from the Dis Board and that was the one thing I could have skipped. My girls still love their autograph books and pins but could care less about the passport. I, however, loved having it for the scrapbook.

Have fun, whatever you decide!

Riviera510
02-09-2010, 07:24 AM
I wasn't planning on having my kids do the autographing or the Pins. I think I would probably be the one going up to the characters to do these things for them since they would be too shy to. I also didn't want 1 more(actually 3) thing to have to lug around Disney.

However after reading this thread I think I will buy a tshirt or ballcap for them to have signed by their *favorite* character if they want to.

Thanks for that idea!

clanmcculloch
02-09-2010, 10:01 AM
We skipped the autograph books on one of our trips because I thought they were just one more thing that sits around collecting dust in the house. The kids still wanted to go up to every character that didn't have a long line and we still did character meals. I realized though the my kids didn't know what to say to the characters. With the books, at least they could start off by handing over the book.

This past trip I used shutterfly to make books using pictures of my girls with the characters from past trips. It became a bit of a game to see which pages we could get signed. I made sure to add some extra blank pages at the end for characters we hadn't met which was a good thing since we did meet some new ones, and they liked using those pages for characters we met twice during the trip. This book made for some fun interactions with the characters. I always made sure the girls had their books open to the correct page while we were waiting. This allowed the characters to see that the girls had already met this character previously so they could say something like "it's so great to see you again" making it just a bit more magical because the character "remembered" them. Yes my girls are old enough to know that these are actors and actresses, but they love to get into the magic just as much as little kids. Some characters also enjoyed looking through the books a bit. Sorry that we took more than our 30 seconds that some seem to think we should have been allotted.

I just don't get pin trading. We tried it once by buying a huge lot on ebay. It occupied maybe 15 minutes of our whole trip (a minute per trade) and then they didn't want to trade the pins they traded for. They didn't have any idea of what they wanted so they just chose whatever was available on the first CM they encountered (they only traded 1 pin per CM, but they'd trade as soon as they'd see somebody regardless of what pins they had to offer).

To each their own. What works for one family won't necessarily work for the next. It's great that Disney offers so many different options. There's bound to be something for everybody. It is the most magical place on earth after all.

i'mfluffy
02-09-2010, 11:41 AM
My DS has had an autograph book for years. He rearely used it up until last year. All of a sudden he was all about getting autographs.

Mrs. Charming
02-09-2010, 12:40 PM
I think we're going to do a shirt for DD with fabric markers. She'll be 3.5 at that point, so I'm *hoping* just to do a quick "hey, can you sign this quick?" and not make a big production out of it. If not, no biggie. It'll get stuffed right back in the bag.
If the line is super long, we probably won't be in it anyway. :lmao:

paul_toria96
02-10-2010, 02:24 AM
I vote yes for the autograph books. We went 2 years ago when my kids were 5 and 3 and got the ones that you can put a picture in as well. My kids were just looking at them last night and love them!

I vote yes as well, my daughter got a very expensive one that you can put the photos in but ran out of space on the 2nd day so we went for a cheap option and just stuck the photos in ourselves. They can't wait to get more this year and the pin trading,

monorailsilver
02-10-2010, 07:16 PM
I used an autograph book once in the 3 trips I took my kids.

The last time I just got a large matte for a picture & had the fab 5 sign it at Chef Mickey's. This way I didn't have to deal with a book & finding a the pen at each location.

Then my kids got hats so we had a few characters sign their hats & they still wear them.

kwitt
02-11-2010, 08:55 AM
This will be our first Disney trip but I came up with something a little bit different for the autograph collecting. I'm making family t-shirts (one theme per day per park) and we will wear these while visiting the parks. I've also ordered OPAQUE iron-on transfer paper, created a design/space for character signatures on it, and will be taking a Sharpie marker (recommended by the manufacturer) for the characters to use to sign the transfer paper designs. The opaque paper does not require a mirror image of wording to be read properly. When we get back home, I'll iron on the autographed design to the back of the shirts for the kids. It will only have the characters from that park on it so we'll be able to remember who we met at which park.