Are your kids excited to collect Disney character autographs during your Walt Disney World vacation? Or are you just curious what all the fuss is about? Disney shares a few examples of adorable character autographs on their blog. As our kids get older, they really look forward to collecting signatures from Mickey, Donald, Goofy and friends.
Increase your chances of having great character interactions with short wait times by following the tips below!
1. Have Your Kids Bring Little Gifts for Their Favorite Characters
Characters are allowed to accept small gifts, drawing and letters. If your child is desperate to meet their favorite friends, but tends to freeze up, having something to share may help them relax. Discuss who they’d like to meet in advance and draw pictures for characters they’re looking forward to meeting.
We’re totally going to try this next time with Chewbacca. Our little guy is obsessed, but was too intimidated to interact last time. Months later, he still asks why he hid from “Bacca” and begs to go see him again.
2. Pick Up an Autograph Book
You may find them silly, but chances are your kid will think they’re great. And having something for the characters to sign helps shy kids feel a bit braver during meet and greets.
Disney sells autograph books in the parks, but I prefer ordering one of their official ones with Amazon Prime – check out this adorable design! While the books are a few dollars cheaper in the parks, we don’t risk meeting our first characters before we have a chance to track a book down. And while I love to explore the Disney shops, it’s easier not to do so with busy toddlers in tow.
3. Explore Unique Character Autograph Book Alternatives
If a traditional autograph book doesn’t appeal to you, there are still a ton of options. Characters can sign things like bags, t-shirts, hats, pillowcases and photographs. Picture frame mats are an adorable autograph book alternative. And I’ve also seen characters signing postcards, which can be made into a cute flip book after your Disney vacation.
4. Prepare for Disney Character Autographs While You’re In Line
Help the characters out by turning to the right page in your autograph book while you’re in line. The characters have a hard time manipulating them and would much rather sign quickly and spend time interacting with your little ones.
5. Bring a Good Sized Marker
Many characters have really big hands. They struggle with tiny pens, pencils, and mini sharpies. Bring along a big marker for them to use and they’ll be very grateful. And it’s helpful to uncap any markers for them but try to make sure it’s facing you, so they don’t get ink on their paws.
6. You Can Ask a Character to Personalize a Signature with a Name
Characters are happy to personalize their signatures! But help them out a little by spelling the name slowly for them while they write. It’ll ensure you get just the message you’re looking for, without spelling mistakes.
7. Line Up Early if Character Autographs are a Priority
Lines for character meet & greets are often negligible when the majority of guests are rushing to rope drop a thrill attraction. Our little ones have gotten so much one on one attention from their favorite characters when we headed to meet and greets first thing in the morning.
We love to hit up the princesses in Magic Kingdom during extra magic hours – often we’ll walk into the first meet & great and knock out the second with a 10-minute wait immediately after. Our kids are thrilled to meet some of their favorite princess and it sets the sweetest tone for the rest of the morning.
8. Keep a Close Eye on Babies and Toddlers
Characters try their hardest, but they don’t always have the best vision. Little ones who move quick can be a challenge. As much as you may want to take your own photos, bring a second adult or let the Disney photographer capture a few with your camera. It’s so much more fun to experience the moment with your child anyway and you’ll avoid any little fingers getting accidentally squished.
9. Follow Your Child’s Lead
Don’t try to force picture perfect moments. If your child is scared, let them skip the meet and greet, or approach the character on their own terms. Sometimes kids who are overwhelmed by the speed of the meet & greet interactions will do better at a character meal. Our little guy loved the characters one visit, but found them intimidating 6 months later. But he happily interacted from the safety of a high chair.
And don’t be afraid to let the cast members know if your little one is feeling a bit cautious. The characters have seen it all and are great at adapting. Many will offer a high five instead of a hug, or stand for photos so that you’re between them and a nervous toddler.
10. Encourage Your Kids to Ask Characters About Their World
The characters love to interact with children. One visit, our three-year-old spontaneously asked Ariel where Flounder was and they had the most adorable conversation. Another time, he was very concerned about Winnie the Pooh’s honey after a frightening experience on the Pooh ride. He was so reassured that Pooh bear was happy and smiling when we saw him over lunch at Crystal Palace a few days later. (Though he still asks us months later why the Hephalumps were so mean! You never know what’s going to stick in their minds.)
11. Check the My Disney Experience App for Times and Locations for Rarer Characters
Characters like Alice in Wonderland, Princess Jasmine, and Mary Poppins are available, but they only come out at specific times of day. If you really want to meet one, line up a little early if possible. The character attendants will cut off the line at some point during the meet and greet window. I’ve seen so many families arrive after the line has been closed and it’s tough to explain to little ones why they can’t meet their favorite princess when they can see that she’s steps away.
12. Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Little Silly
Photos smiling for the camera are nice, but they’ll get a little repetitive when you go to put together your photo album. My husband and I attended a Disney Vacation Club event where the character handlers encouraged us to act scared of Jafar and to cast a spell with the Evil Queen. While we felt ridiculous in the moment, those are now some of our favorite character photos.
13. Book a Character Meal if You Can
Character meals are a great way to check off a bunch of characters without waiting in lines. They’re also a softer introduction to character interactions for kids who are a bit nervous. They can see the characters coming well in advance and view lots of other children interacting with them. This helps to calm nerves and build excitement for their own chance to say hello. And at some venues, like Chef Mickey’s and Crystal Palace, characters come out for a special song or little parade during the course of your meal.
Most character meal interactions also feel a lot less rushed than the typical meet and greet. And all the excitement keeps kids entertained and gives mom and dad a chance to rest and eat a bit.
14. Consider Signing Up for a Disney Visa Credit Card
If you have a Disney Visa Card, one of the perks is exclusive character meet and greet locations at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You never know which characters will be present, though it’s often members of the fab five. Sometimes you can even meet more than one, the lines are rarely long, and there’s a Disney PhotoPass Photographer on site.
15. Book a FastPass+ for the Epcot Character Spot
I rarely recommend using FastPass+ for characters, but this one is often worth it if you have toddlers or little kids eager to meet characters. There aren’t many Tier 2 attractions worth using a fast pass for in Epcot anyway and the lines at this meet and greet can get long.
After waiting in line you’ll have three separate character meet and greets, so it’s a great way to check off a few favorites. (Our last visit we met Goofy, Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse. They were all in adorable outfits with great backdrops).
Miscellaneous Disney Character Autograph FAQs
How much does an album/autograph book cost at Disney?
In park pricing for the cheapest autograph book is currently $7.95. Though as always, prices are subject to change.
Can adults get autographs at Disney World?
Yes, of course! At Walt Disney World adults are always welcome to join in the fun. While it’s less common to see adults with the standard autograph books, many adults find cool ways display their favorite character’s signatures.
Can Disney characters sign anything?
Within some limits. Characters cannot sign your body. They also will not sign currency, receipts, legal documents, flags, or clothing that you are wearing. Essentially, bringing along an extra t-shirt or extra magic band for them to sign is fine, but they won’t touch it if it’s on your person.
Are there Disney characters who don’t sign autographs in Disney World?
While most characters will sign an autograph when asked nicely, there are a few characters that only do photographs.
- If you participate in Enchanted Tales with Belle at the Magic Kingdom, she typically does not sign autographs, though one will be included on the photopass card you receive
- Buzz Lightyear typically doesn’t sign autographs in Hollywood Studios, but sometimes he has a stamp
- Baymax can be met in Epcot, but he does not sign autographs
- Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, and the Stormtroopers do not sign autographs in Hollywood Studios
- Characters at the Disney Jr. Dance Party in Hollywood Studios do not sign
- The 7 Dwarfs are available for photos at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but they do not sign autographs
- King Louie does not sign autographs in Animal Kingdom, but occasionally Baloo will sign for him if you ask nicely
What Disney character autographs are your children most excited to collect? Is there a favorite character they’re dying to meet?