I’ve been to Disney World a few times with my extended family, including with my son and three nieces. Around the time they were in the four- to seven-year-old age range, getting character autographs was a Very Big Deal. We did what every other parent of that age group seemed to be doing: We bought a Disney autograph book and they systematically worked their way through the parks, autograph books clutched in their hands.
Although that was fun, when I look back now, I think I could’ve gotten a little more creative with how we collected autographs and photos of the kids with their favorite characters.
Have them sign blank greeting cards
If you want to extend the Disney magic beyond your trip, one mom had the genius idea of bringing a stack of cards along with her for the characters to sign. She called into the One Bad Mother podcast last week to describe this next-level parenting move:
“We just went to Disney World for a family trip and before we got (there), I bought a stack of blank cards—some birthday cards but some just blank cards. And I had the characters, as we were leaving, sign the bottom of the cards. So intermittently throughout the year or whenever I remember or for other kids’ birthday parties, we can just write in a note and have it be signed by Aurora or Mickey Mouse or one of the Frozen characters. And then my kids can have special birthday cards all year long and I’m really maximizing our Disney World trip.”
Bring a ‘yearbook’ for them to sign
One member of our Offspring Facebook Parenting Group suggested bringing a book with pictures of the characters, like this Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters, so the characters can sign their names on their individual pages.
“I read elsewhere online with this idea that many characters know this book well and will even write silly things on their story’s rival characters’ pages,” group member Erica said.
Have them sign something that isn’t a book
Autograph books and yearbooks are classic choices, but the characters aren’t limited just to autographing books. Instead, you might bring one item for all the characters to autograph that your kids can wear, use or display later, such as a Disney T-shirt, a pillowcase or a poster.
Let them interact with a favorite toy
Standing and posing with Tigger or Buzz Lightyear or Chip and Dale is cute; getting photos of the characters being silly and interacting with your kid and their favorite stuffed animal or toy is even cuter.
Have your kid pick out a small toy to hand over to the character before you start snapping photos. You’ll end up with a sweet, themed collection of photos that features something meaningful for your kid and showcases the characters’ personalities.
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