Saturday, February 8, 2014

11 creative things to get autographed at Disney parks

PhotoPass photo
My husband and I only discovered the thrill of the Mickey Mouse autograph last year, when Mickey offered to sign my husband's well-worn Disney World baseball cap. And it was, I admit, a real thrill.

That got me to thinking about what other things could be autographed.

For us, it's because it would look a little silly for grown adults to hand Mickey Mouse an autograph book. But these ideas would also work for a parent whose kids already have a shelf crammed with old autograph books. Many of these ideas can be proudly displayed when you get home.

A word of caution: Be sure to go prepared. Although the characters' helpers always have pens on hand, you may want to take fabric markers with you, or a gold or silver Sharpie if you want to have a black ear hat signed.

And if you don't want to carry any of the bigger items on the plane, you can mail them to and from your resort.

Here are the 11 ideas we think would be easiest to pull off. Others proved to be great ideas, but not so practical -- like asking Rapunzel or Ariel to sign a comb. Let us know if you see a comb big enough for that.
  • Your hat: You can present your baseball cap, like my husband did, or have your name embroidered on a pair of Mickey Mouse ears.  
  • Mickey Mitts: Mickey's hands are almost as iconic as his ears. Buy a pair ($22) and give one to each of your kids, or keep them as a pair and have them framed when you get home. 
  • A picture mat: You know you'll have at least one picture suitable for framing when your vacation is over. Look for an oversize mat frame so you'll have plenty of room for artful autographs. 
  • Your favorite book: Have Belle and Beast sign your favorite book, even if it is "Anna Karenina." You also could take a collection of small character storybooks and have each character sign their own book.  
  • Postcards: Send them home to friends, or collect them to add to a photo album or scrapbook when you get home. 
  • Canvas tote bag: Who doesn't need an extra bag when they head home from Disney World? And when it's autographed, you have a souvenir to carry your souvenirs in. These totes, on sale for $3.50 each, measure 19 inches by 12 inches high and come in a variety of colors. 
  • Large blank Vinylmation: You can find these at the parks, but they're not easy to find in advance of your trip (try eBay). But with Disney releasing a "Blank" Vinylmation short movie this month, they're sure to come back in vogue. The 9-inch Vinylmations are expensive -- about $60 -- but they'll last forever. 
  • White or light-colored t-shirt: You can buy it at the parks or bring one from home, but don't wear it on the day you want to have it signed. Have it ready when you meet the characters. And be sure you take a fabric marker with you; a Sharpie will bleed in the wash. 
  • A pair of white Keds sneakers: The only downside is, you may never want to wear them again.
  • A large wooden letter: Buy a 12-inch wooden letter -- say, the first letter of your child's name -- and paint it white or a light color. At you can buy a pre-painted letter in your choice of color, typeface, material and size. Pick a blocky type like Helvetica Black to get the most surface area. A 12-inch capital letter will run you less than $25. Order six to eight weeks in advance of your trip. CraftCuts also sells a variety of other shapes, so you could pick almost anything your heart desires (including a heart). 
  • Painted canvas: Looking for wall art? Buy a canvas in whatever size you desire, paint it white or a light color and add a Mickey Mouse silhouette in the corner. You need almost no artistic skill to pull this off. 
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