Is it a mistake not to do the autograph books?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by dmank, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. dmank

    dmank Mouseketeer

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    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?
     
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  3. Tristen79

    Tristen79 Earning My Ears

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    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
     
  4. micheleq

    micheleq DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  5. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  6. littlbugmom

    littlbugmom DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  7. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Pluto's personal nose scratcher

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    My two kids never really cared.
     
  8. margiemc

    margiemc Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  9. monkey30

    monkey30 Dreaming of my next vacation!

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    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.
     
  10. DisneyFamily123

    DisneyFamily123 Use the Force, Luke!

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    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.
     
  11. mousebymarriage

    mousebymarriage DIS Veteran

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    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:
     
  12. Heidijs

    Heidijs DIS Veteran

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    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?
     
  13. mrsmarilyn

    mrsmarilyn Mouse Junkie

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    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.
     
  14. DisneyFamily123

    DisneyFamily123 Use the Force, Luke!

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    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.
     
  15. pianogirl73

    pianogirl73 Mouseketeer

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    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!
     
  16. hmacmahony

    hmacmahony Mouseketeer

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    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!


     
  17. YYC_Mommy

    YYC_Mommy Mouseketeer

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    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!
     
  18. mrsmarilyn

    mrsmarilyn Mouse Junkie

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    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.
     
  19. kwitcherkicken99

    kwitcherkicken99 <font color=deeppink>Sleep keeps me pretty. CAFFEI

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    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?
     
  20. micheleq

    micheleq DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  21. xbatman

    xbatman Mouseketeer

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    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.
     

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