There’s plenty of awesome souvenirs you can bring home as a memory of your Walt Disney World vacation, and I personally prefer the unique, “one of a kind” items – like character autographs. Getting to meet characters at Disney is a great experience, and there are some great ways you can collect those autographs for an awesome Disney DIY Autograph Display!
Why not wear your collection? An autograph filled t-shirt would be the envy of all your friends, and it couldn’t be easier to pull off. Here’s what you’ll want to bring along to Disney for this DIY project:
-A plain t shirt – I recommend a light color so the autographs are easily visible on the finished product
-Different colored fabric markers/permanent markers
-A thick piece of cardboard – to place behind the portion of the shirt being autographed so it doesn’t bleed through to other parts of the shirt,
and also so the character has something hard to write against
-A large Ziploc baggie – to store it all in
This idea of having all the characters sign a Photo Frame Mat is great because it combines my two favorite Disney souvenirs – trip photos and autographs! The supplies for this one are easy – just the mat and some assorted colored markers/pens are really all you will need! One tricky thing is that the mat will probably be sort of large to carry around, but I know most people carry a backpack or large tote to the parks anyway, so you really just have to be careful you don’t bend it or get it wet. Putting it in a mailing envelope (the thick cardboard kind) and also encasing it in a large Ziploc baggie should help ensure it stays pristine during your days at the Park! And when you get it home, you can pick out your best trip photo (maybe one of you hugging your favorite character?) and frame it with the mat and hang it in a place where you can cherish it every day!
If you’re not sure you can safely carry around a photo mat, or just want something more compact to collect your autographs on, then you can head to the craft store and pick up some thick pages of scrapbook paper and cut them into index-card size pieces to bring along and have each character sign one. You can choose different colors or patterns too (just avoid ones that are too dark or busy as they would make the autograph hard to read!), and when you get home you have a bunch of individual autograph cards you can use in a scrapbook, photo album/frame, or other art project. What’s great about this is you can easily carry these around with some markers in a sandwich sized Ziploc baggie when you head to the Parks
A classic autograph book is always a good way to go too – you can buy them at the Parks and online, but why not make your own? Just pick up a small plain journal with a hard cover (a must for ease of signing by the characters!) – Bookstores or office supply stores are a great place to find these, and then get creative with your covers! Decoupage and old trip photos, Disney stickers, Glitter, markers – any and all of these would help you customize your autograph book. This is a great craft project for kids, and a great way to get them excited about the trip too!
The key with any of these is to make sure you have your item to autograph out and ready BEFORE you get to the character – including the marker/pen – it should be uncapped and ready to hand off, and make sure your camera is on/ready too! This ensures that you aren’t fumbling around when it’s your turn to meet and greet (and therefore causing everyone behind you to have to wait longer for their turn!)
If you aren’t sure where to find the characters, you can check with Cast Members when you arrive at the Parks, or check the My Disney Experience app, or my personal favorite way to meet them is to make sure you book some character meals – they’re a great way to get to meet several characters in one place, and at most of them the characters circulate the restaurant and come right to your table!
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