DIY Disney Autograph Book with Photos
Our DIY Disney autograph book with photos is one of our favorite (and least expensive) souvenirs from our trips to Disney World.
In preparing for our first Disney World trip in 2020, I knew my then 2- and 4-year olds would love meeting the characters. As I learned more about character meet and greets, I realized an autograph book was a must. Signing the book sets up an easy introduction and interaction between the child and character. Also, the autographs are a wonderful free souvenir.
While there are plenty of adorable autograph books for purchase, I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a keepsake to hold the autographs next to photos with the characters. To achieve my vision, I created a temporary autograph book using note cards, which I later combined with photos of my kiddos and characters into an autograph and photo book. I made a separate book for each kiddo, so each had a personalized souvenir. We made these books to get ready for our Disney World trip. Check out our other activities to prepare young kiddos for Disney World.
We made a new set of autograph books for our recent Disney World vacation. Once back home, the kids added their new signatures and photos to the albums. The books are readily accessible in our living room bookcase. Our kids love flipping through the autographs and photos and remembering their visits with the characters.
For Disney fans, check out some of our favorite Raya and Encanto inspired projects:
- Raya and the Last Dragon: Sisu-Themed Birthday
- Raya and the Last Dragon: Sisu-Inspired Dress
- Encanto: DIY Isabela Dress
- Encanto: Foam Board Casita
How to Make a DIY Disney Autograph Book With Photos
1. Prepare Autograph Cards for the Parks
Punch two holes along the short side of a blank note card. I did not measure, but if you are a measurer, I punched holes about 1” from the top and bottom edges and 1/4” from the side.
Using that card as a template, place on top of a small pile and punch through the stack. Repeat until you have more cards than you think you will need; it is nice to have a thick stack for the characters to write on. Hole punching can be tough for kids; they might need an adult hand to help squeeze.
Slide the punched cards onto binder rings and the autograph book is complete.
Make a book for each child.
Since the book is temporary, a fancy front cover is not necessary; however, kids may enjoy decorating the front card. This could be a fun pre-trip or plane activity. We took stickers and crayons on the flight and decorating en route provided a good way to eat up some travel time.
2. Supplies and Tips for the Parks
Don’t forget the:
- autograph book
- permanent markers
Look for characters at meet and greets and walking around the Parks. Use your eagle eyes to locate wandering characters, usually they are accompanied by castmembers directing traffic and crowds. The My Disney Experience app is very helpful. Go to the park map and change the drop-down menu to “Characters” (the default is usually “Wait Times”).
Don’t forget the castmembers at the Kidcot Fun Stops at Epcot – they wrote notes and doodles in our autograph book during our 2020 trip. When we returned in 2022, we didn’t have the same luck getting personalized notes at the Kidcot stations. At the Mexico pavilion, we waited in line to get the sticker and traveler’s card. In Germany, the castmember wrote us a note in German and translated a word.
Large Sharpies work well for autographs. They are easy for the characters to hold and produce thick, dark lines. We chose the click top version to avoid losing the cap.
When the child meets the character, they can hand the Sharpie and book, open to a blank note card, to the character. When our kiddos were little, we handed both books to the character at the same time. Older children may enjoy handing the book and pen to the character.
Consider removing the signed pages at the end of each day to avoid wrinkles, tears, and spills.
3. Assemble the DIY Disney Autograph Book With Photos
- 4×6 photo album (soft cover or hard cover)
- 4×6 photo prints of kids with characters
- signed note cards
Once back home, have the child help select photos for the autograph and photo book. Our kids love looking at photographs and enjoyed choosing the photos (truth be told, they chose every picture so I edited down their selections). Consider printing photos of each character you met, even those who did not sign autographs.
When the prints arrive, insert the photos and autograph cards into the photo album, with the autograph and corresponding character visible at the same time. Option to trim the hole-punched edge from each card.
Place photos of characters without autographs at the end, as well as the doodles, stickers, and traveler’s cards from the Kidcot Fun Stops.
Decorate the cover with a favorite photo of the child.
With our DIY character autograph and photo books, we captured a bit of Disney magic to bring back home. How do you gather character autographs at the parks?
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