Cheap Autograph Books turned into memory book.

Turn an autograph book into a memory book.

I knew from my research that autographs were something that I wanted to collect at the parks on our trip. I wasn't sure if the girls would even want to get them, so I didn't want to buy a super expensive book. I looked at a few on the Disneystore website and some had hardly any pages. There are people selling books homemade on Etsy. But I would hate to loose that book or accidentally spill or get something on it. I went the cheap route - I admit it. I'm glad I did too! The books I chose for each girl had 100 pages each and I bought on sale through The DisneyStore.com site. I thought at first that they would both get an autograph of the same person each time, but my little one wasn't too keen on some of the characters who weren't human form, if ya know what I mean... She warmed up by the end of the trip, but it was also more convenient to keep track of one book, rather than two. We ended up filling up 2 books almost! The second book has maybe 15 blank pages, but we completely filled one of the books and almost the second! We stopped every time there was a character, but didn't do any of them twice, meaning if we saw Snow White at Akerhaus for breakfast and then again in Germany, we still got her autograph. But we didn't go to any character spot twice. My oldest loved the character interactions - so I was pleasantly surprised! I had done research before our trip to familiarize myself with where to find the characters and I was so glad I did! I was able to figure out a few new things too!
1. Look for people standing in a random line... ask! Why are you in line? I found that people would start the line before the character was even there signing autographs. Sometimes this was from the character having been there and they took a break and planned to be back in 10-15 min. The people who were in line and didn't get the characters autograph would stay and wait!
2. Only so many people in the character line get the autograph or pic. The characters get hot in their gear and need breaks. Every character has a CM (cast member) who is their escort. On our trip they were wearing a light blue button down shirt and they move the character around and escort them to the break area and monitor the line. They will also take pics for you if there is no Photopass person around. The CM will count people in line and sometimes rope off the end of the line. We found ourselves a few times in line to meet a character only to be told that the character needed a break and we could either wait or not. So lining up before the character gets there isn't a bad idea!
3. Interact with the characters! Prompt your child in the line to ask a question or wonder about something? It will increase your time with the character and sometimes get you fun memories in itself! My 4 yr old asked Lady Tremaine why she ripped Cinderella's dress and her answer was spot on! They are so fun in character and it shows how much they know about the character they are playing. Some of the characters don't speak, but they still have ways to say an answer or be surprised and what not!
4. Write your name and address in your book!! I have seen many stories on blogs where Disney returned memory books to guests after they were lost on vacation. I think that Disney goes above and beyond to make sure their guests are taken care of, for the most part I'll say... I know that if we had lost one of our books, I would have been so sad! We worked hard to get those signatures and spent a good deal of time collecting them!
5. Make your book into a memory book! Don't just let the book sit on a shelf, never to be looked at again! My child can't read, so in order for her to know which character went with each signature, I did a simple thing. I glued a pic of her with that character on the opposite side of the book. So easy to print off the pic, put on some scrap booking glue squares on the back and have an instant scrapbook. Some characters we met and didn't have our book, so I glued those pics onto the empty pages, some character couples like Aladdin and Jasmine signed on two pages, so I just left one signature with a pic. I found that doing this simple step to their autograph books also alleviated me having to use those 150-180 pics that I took of characters interaction in my family memory book. I used a few of my favorites, but not all. I love how they turned out and I put them with my scrapbooks and we look at them together so little sister doesn't rip the pages...
How do you collect autographs? Or do you? I have seen pillowcase ideas, etc. but this worked for on our last trip and might work for you too!

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