So you think collecting character autographs is just for kids? Think again! Plenty of adults like me will tell you that meeting a character and getting that autograph is akin to getting an autograph of a rock star or movie star, especially when it’s a rare character not often seen at Disney.
How do you get character autographs? First you’ll need something to autograph. Most people use autograph books, which you can purchase or make yourself. Why not use your imagination though? A Disney T-Shirt, hat, pillow case, or a poster makes a great keepsake filled with those awesome signatures. Keep in mind that a character will not sign anything you’re wearing. Also, bring something sturdy for lightweight objects to lean on for signing. You can use a paperback book, a piece of cardboard, or a clipboard.
Thick pens are also important so characters can hold them easily. Sharpies or fabric markers are important for shirt, caps, and pillow cases. What a shame to have those autographs disappear after a the laundry is done.
You may want to bring a camera along to take a photograph of you meet and greet with each character. To add some pizazz to your collection, place the photo next to the autograph. Use a photo album instead of an autograph book to be sure everything fits. At the parks, there is always a Disney photographer with characters. You can use a PhotoPass if you wish, but that can get expensive if you get lots of autographs and photos.
Remember your manners! You’ll be waiting in line with other eager fans. Wait your turn, have everything ready when it’s almost your turn, and always say thank you! If you see someone cuts in line, it may be someone from the Kid’s Wish Network. The family may be wearing buttons and have a Disney CM with them. Please be understanding and make your way for this special guest not just for autographs, but for all attractions.
Now comes the fun part – finding the characters! Every Disney park has specific times for character meet and greets. You can find that information from the guide maps, free with park attendance They also include the schedules for parades, shows, etc. If a specific character you want to meet isn’t listed, visit Guest Relations where you may get the information you’ve been hoping for.
Disney has an app for your Verizon phone, Mobile Magic. This app has the Character Finder, which allows you to search for characters in all of the parks and to find out which ones are nearby.
Attending Character meals is another option to getting up close and personal with characters. There’s a theme to each meal, and you have a good idea of which character will be there. Disney does state that “Characters are subject to change without notice,” but very rarely will the main ones not be present.
Special events at Disney bring out special characters. Go to Star Wars Weekends and look out for Darth Vader, C-3PO, etc. Look out for guests who are dressed up too. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to take a photo and give you an autograph! When a new Disney movie comes out, often the main character (and sometimes others) will be at the Disney parks. I was there with my family for the Disney Volunteer Weekend and my daughter met Adam Rush from Zeke and Luther and got his autograph. (I know he’s not your typical character, but this is one of her favorite autographs. Who am I to judge?) You can always keep up with this type of news from the Disney Blog and the Disney World site.
Visit during the holidays and see the characters in holiday dress or see obscure characters. For example at the Magic Kingdom during Easter time, you can meet and greet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny. For Christmas, especially during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party, you’ll see many characters wearing Christmas and winter clothing including obscure characters, too.
So learn the ropes about meeting characters and set your plan in action. Soon you’ll have a bunch of character autographs to collect and more to look for.
What are some of your best memories of getting autographs? What are the most unique characters you’ve met?