by Jane Stanley
(York, United Kingdom)
We are traveling from the UK in just over 3 weeks time! My two children, who are 8 & 6, will, no doubt, want to get lots of character autographs. Are there any places to buy an autograph book at Walt Disney World or is it better to purchase one before we leave home? I have my plan for each park organised, so I didn’t want to be wasting time shopping for them on the first day, when we need to be getting on the busy rides first (as you recommend).
Just like to say I have found your website and emails really informative and helpful and we are all really excited that our holiday is nearly here. Many thanks.
Mad Hatter and Alice signing autographs – Photo by Conspiracy of Happiness
Dad’s Make Time For Memories Answer
Dad’s so glad to be able to help families like yours from all over the world to plan their Perfect Vacation to Walt Disney World! I know that here at Dad’s Guide I focus a lot on how to make the most of your time in the parks, and getting up early, making a bee-line to the FASTPASS machines, and heading straight to the e-ticket rides, and I’m glad you’ve listened. But the most important thing about a trip to WDW isn’t to rush around from ride to ride, it’s about quality time with your family – and autograph books are a great way to do just that.
Many family’s do buy autograph books before leaving home, but Dad’s a big fan of getting these at the park on your first day. It’s a special moment for the kids to pick out their very first Disney souvenir, and they can pick whichever book and pen they like to show off who their favorite characters are. It’s also low-cost and it will get used over an over on your trip (and maybe even on the next trip if you’re lucky enough to go back!).
In terms of “wasting time” on your first morning in the park, all you need to do is arrive 20 minutes earlier than you were planning! All the shops at the front gates sell the books and you can pick them up as soon as you’re through the turnstiles. Or, if you’re staying in a Disney Resort Hotel – grab one at the gift shop!
If you’re worried about spending time simply picking up the books, you should know that actually securing the autographs is a lengthy production. All the characters have a queue and you might wait from 2-60 minutes to meet your child’s favorite! When Rapunzel and Flynn were at the Magic Kingdom, waits could be as much as 4 hours. It will be important to consult your times guide each morning to see where and when specific characters will be out and about.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Jane, as much as you want to see and do everything Walt Disney World has to offer, don’t forget that one of the best memories your child may have is of meeting their favorite characters in real life! It will be special for you too – I promise. Don’t forget your camera!