Getting autographs from the Disney characters at any of the Disney parks - Disney World, or Disneyland Paris - is a right of passage. If you're going with kids, they are absolutely going to want to do this. If you're not going with kids then you've already accepted the joy of Disney as an adult, so you'll want to do it too!
Disney Autograph Books: Take them with you!
So firstly - we suggest you take your autograph books with you, for numerous reasons.
- It will usually be cheaper to buy it in advance.
- Your Disney autograph book is going to be a forever keepsake, so you want to pick something good, not just what is available when you need it.
- You don't want to get caught short and miss a signature because you haven't got an autograph book right at the start.
- You will have much more choice if you shop around in the UK first.
- If you are buying several, getting a different design for each person makes it much easier when you're getting them signed - and that's much easier to do online here, than finding lots of different ones at the parks.
- If you are surprising the kids with a trip to Disney - giving them an autograph book is a great way to start the reveal!
- Don't buy an autograph book at all!! Read on...
Disney Autograph Books: Take this instead!
The main reason I'm writing this post is actually to tell you not to take an autograph book at all. Instead, gather your signatures in a book that you are far more likely to look at again in the future - an Encyclopedia of Disney characters. Have the character sign their names next to their 'slot' in the book and it creates a fantastic keepsake. You may find the odd character is not in the book, but you can find intro type pages, or inside covers to store any 'random' signatures.
Using a book like this instead of an autograph book provides some extra enjoyment in the parks too. You can make a game out of looking out for specific characters to find for autographs. You have something to read together when you're waiting in the queues to meet the characters. And for little ones, finding the right pages in the book, while you're waiting is also pretty fun.
Not only that but the kids are far more likely to spend time looking at the book again once you're home, and recalling those memories - which is really what it is all about.
There are a few of these Disney Encyclopedia's available, but the Disney Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters is our absolute favourite - it has 150 characters in, and is bright and cheery, with enough space to add in an autograph:
If that one doesn't float your boat, then this is also a winner:
And a top tip - keep the pages open after you've got your signature, until the ink has dried!
Our only caveat is that it is a little heavier than a standard autograph book, so we suggest that if you're taking more than one child, you let the kids share rather than have one each. Maybe establish some rules early about taking it in turns to hold it! This also frees up a bit of time and makes the photos a bit less rushed.
Disney Autograph Books: Which type?
Haven't convinced you on the Encyclopedia? If you'd still prefer a more traditional autograph book, then we'd advise having a think about which style you prefer. There are two main styles - the ones with lots of blank pages, and the ones that have a photo slot on one side, and a blank page on the other, for the autograph. The idea of the latter being that when you get home, you print the photo of you meeting the character and add it to the book. We'd suggest you have a think about what type of person you are before you buy this style. You may be really excited to complete your trip with that kind of momento. Anecdotally, we've heard that printing out and adding the photos at home afterwards, often gets forgotten!
Disney Autograph Books: What else you need
The other thing you need with an autograph book is a pen. Stating the obvious, right? But, ideally, you don't just want whatever you happen to have in your bag already. Firstly, you want something reasonably chunky, so that the characters that have large, gloved hands can hold it well. And secondly, we recommend taking a pack of sharpie-style pens with you - the metallic ones look great in the book, but it looks really effective to have a few different colours in your autograph book - whether you choose to use the encyclopaedia or the standard style.
Enjoy collecting those autographs!