So you’ve made it to Disneyworld! You’re excited, your kids are excited, and look what’s that there! It’s a character! You’ve watched their movie a hundred times, you know all the songs, and your kid is dressed just like this character. You hop in line to meet them.
One of the many things guests enjoy doing when meeting characters is getting their autograph. This post is to give you some general tips for autographs!
1. Limit your autographs. If you show up with 18 autograph books, 4 pillowcases, a shirt, and the urn you someday want your ashes to be placed in, the character you meet will do their best to sign everything. However, the more items you bring in, the less time a character will have to genuinely interact with you. The character may do their best to keep interacting while signing, but if you bring in something tricky, such as an item that is awkward to sign, their attention will be focused on that. Choose one or two things and focus on actually having an experience with the character. A single autograph will mean much more if you also had time to dance with the character, or talk about the crazy morning the character had because it will link to a meaningful memory.
2. Have your autograph books out and open to a blank page. If you have multiple books, stack them open to a blank page. This step saves valuable time. Like above, if a character has to spend time searching for a blank page, that’s time they spend not entirely focused on you. Super ditto if you have to spend time looking for your books, because you’ll be digging through your bag instead of talking to the character.
3. Also have your pen ready. Attendants often have a spare pen, but not always. The absolute best pens for autographs, in my opinion, are the thick sharpie clicky markers. Thicker pens are easier for furry friends to hold on to, and for characters that wear gloves. The clicky aspect means you’ll never lose the cap and a character won’t have to fumble to remove one. Characters also often tuck the pen into the book when done and hide it behind someone’s back for a photo, if all they have to do is click the pen closed it’s less likely someone will accidentally get marker on their outfit.
4. T-shirts and pillow cases are popular items to get signed. That’s great! Make sure you don’t just use a sharpie though! Sharpies can sometimes bleed on fabric when they get wet. Get specialty fabric markers and your autographs will be guaranteed to last. Also, learn the number one simple trick to signing on fabric; stretch the fabric tightly between two people, each person pulling one side like the fabric is a square.
5. Attendants often have blank cards for signatures. If you don’t have a book or something specific but would like an autograph, ask for a card. Please don’t dig through your purse and pull out something completely random like a dollar bill, a receipt, or a brochure for the Holocaust Museum. The item may be something inappropriate for the character to sign (or you know actually illegal as defacing US currency is in fact a crime…).
6. PRO BONUS TIP: Your child does not have to be the one to hand their book to the character. Please do not get out the book while the character is standing right there and hand a book to your child telling them to give their book to the character. I don’t understand why this is the impulse, but it happens all the time. Skip the middleman, hand your child’s books straight to the character, and since you’re now a pro, hand the books to the character stacked and open to a blank page!
When in doubt, ask an attendant, and remember that the memories you make are more important than any autograph you can get so don’t stress over them!
Stay magical, readers!