12 Totally Cool Ideas to Replace Your Usual Disney Character Autograph Books

ideas for Disney character signatures besides autograph booksUpdated for 2016!

Disney Character autograph books have been around as far back as I can remember. The fun of collecting character signatures, other than the fun of just meeting the character, is that each character has a distinct signature, so they are very recognizable. And thus collectible.

But what if you already have the standard issue (purchase) Disney autograph book filled up? Do you just buy another for your next trip?

We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans what they took to Disney World besides Disney autograph books. Some of these ideas can be pulled off for cheap, probably less expensive than the actual autograph books. We can always count on our fans for great ideas on making the most of your vacation time and money!

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 1. Picture Frames

Erin, “We did a white picture frame from Hobby Lobby last time we went. We have a nice picture in the middle from our time there and autographs on the side.”

Disney World Character Autograph Picture Frame

2. Picture Frame Mat

Melissa, “Pillowcase and white picture frame mat!”

Rachel“White picture frame mat!

Kiersten, “Yes, we love our white picture frame mat! We had so many people stop us and ask if we bought it at Disney! Make sure it’s a thick frame if you plan on getting many autographs.”

Brea“Photo mats. We love having all the autographs surrounding our favorite family picture.”

Brittany, “I found this idea on Pinterest, and we bought the frames BOGO half-off from Fred Meyer’s. I’ll be putting a family photo in them from the entrance at Disneyland!”  Brittany sent us this photo. 

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Disney World Character Autograph Photo Matte

 3. Mickey Apron & Chef Hat

Lori, “We brought a kid apron and chef hat for the Chef Mickey’s breakfast.”

how to get Disney character autographs, where to get unusual Disney character autographs

4. Post Cards

Jennifer,I picked up postcards one year and the characters signed the back of their postcard. I’ve also printed off pictures at home on photo paper and had the characters sign the back of those. When we got back home I put them in a photo album so that the front and back were see-through, so you could see both the picture and the autograph.”

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Disney Princess post card for autographs

5. Pillow Case

Melissa, “We did a pillowcase this year; it came out awesome.”

Micheal, “Personalized Pillowcases! I ordered some very cheaply that have my daughters names, a Mickey head, and the year of our trip. We plan on using a sharpie to have all of our favorite characters sign. Voila! Instant usable keepsake!”

Disney Pillow case for Character autographs

6. Large Vinylmation

Victoria, “My daughter has a nine-inch pink Vinylmation that is signed. She also had a cast on her wrist one visit that was signed (that I don’t recommend!)”

Missy, “A 9-inch Vinyl, definitely. My sister,Victoria, and I sent each of our kiddos with one on their trip with their grandparents. Very cool, especially the glow-in-the-dark one!”

Mayra, “On my next trip I’m taking a 9 inch white Vinylmation with different colored sharpies.”

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Vinylmation for Disney Character autographs

7. Backpack

Michelle, “We have done a backpack with Mickey applique and only have Mickey sign it. We have done children’s story books and calendars. Love all of them!”

Stephanie, “My kids had string bags signed. I made them for them. The bags were a basic beige canvas and had their names with the year and ‘Disney” written on them in the Disney font. They were able to carry what they wanted around the parks and then get the bags signed. They were a big hit!


8. Disney Character Book

Molly, “We bought a Disney encyclopedia of characters book and had each characters sign on their page. Many of the characters know the page they were on.”

Lindsay, “We buy the little books from the dollar store. They quite often have each princess and lots of character stories.”

Jennifer, “Coloring books and story books. I brought the A.A. Milne books to the Pooh Character Meal.”

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Disney books for character autographs

9. Posters

Kim, “I bought a small princess poster that all the princesses signed and we have hanging in my daughter’s room.”

Disney character poster for autographs

10. Christmas Ornaments

Lindsay,We have bought Christmas ball ornaments from the Dollar Store or Wal-mart in the most relevant color and brought them for the characters to sign.”


 11. Disney Princess Dolls

Lindsay, “We also have some of the Barbie-style Disney Princesses still in the box signed for displaying in the house and in bedrooms. These also make great gifts to send to children’s hospitals.”

Disney princess dolls for autographs

12. T-shirts

Georgia, “I’m taking a t-shirt with us on our next trip. I’m also going to take one of those hoops craft things to make sure the material is stretched tight. My 6-year-old daughter thought a t-shirt would be fun to wear at home.”

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Disney characters sign a t-shirt

So if you’ve been there and done that with the usual Disney Character autograph books, why not try something a little unusual on your next vacation?

Given how many traditional autograph books the characters sign each day, handing them something different just might earn your child a little extra attention. Creating memories with those extra seconds or minutes could be priceless…

Disney character autograph craft ideas

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you standing in line for a character, something unusual in hand to sign…

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Amanda Major Cheapskate PrincessAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel Elizabeth, Julie, and Erin. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.


  1. jacki says:

    I dont think they will sign tshirts. I tried one year and they are afraid of where the autograph will land when the person wheres the shirt.

    • Minno says:

      They do sign t-shirts; they just won’t sign them if you’re wearing them.

    • Katie says:

      I went to Epcot once with my school. We had a cast member from each country sign the shirts as we were wearing them. This was a looong time ago, so maybe that changed.

  2. Sara says:

    Oh how fun! I love the Christmas ornament idea

  3. tonia says:

    Thanks so much for all these great ideas.

  4. Michelle Tegenkamp says:

    These are fantastic ideas!! Thank you for the great ideas! Love it! My kids will appreciate a frame or shirt in future instead just a book.

  5. Becky says:

    These are great ideas. Love it!

  6. Elizabeth Moreno says:

    I saw someone with a white Jansport backpack covered in signatures on our last trip and we will definitely be borrowing the idea for our next trip!

  7. Kathryn Najarian says:

    Def doing the t shirt idea next time!!!

  8. Vickie says:

    What size ornament do you suggest?

    • Amanda says:

      My suggestion, having never done the ornaments myself, is whatever size you think you can haul around in a backpack without getting smashed. I’m thinking 2 or 3 inch size in a thicker plastic to avoid getting crushed. Let me know if you try it!! And thanks for reading…~A.

  9. Christine says:

    Could someone who’s done the t-shirts, pillow cases, etc tell me how you “set’ the ink so that it doesn’t come out in the wash?

    • Amanda says:

      This was an excellent question! I’ll do a little more research, but I found this on thriftyfun.com. I’ll add some ideas into the article when I get a chance.

      “Here are the exact full proof way on how to set ink into clothes. Items needed- Salt, Iron, White Cloth. These instructions included in the link are very simply. ***Always wash in cold water as less as possible or dry clean. You must place the item of clothing with ink on it onto ironing board. Place the white cloth over the area where you’d like the ink to to set, Iron over the cloth on med-high heat setting. After waiting 24 hours after ironing every area. Place 1/2 cup salt into washer with cold water, no detergent. Wash item. Then dry in dryer.”

      Thanks for asking, and thanks for reading!

      • Christine says:

        Thanks Amanda! Did the site mention any fabrics specifically? I have a polyester hockey jersey which is signed and one of the article comments indicated that a bag was made of canvas. Obviously cotton would make the most sense, but trying to be thorough. =0)

        • Crystal says:

          We always have just used Sharpies on our kids shirts and never had a problem with the ink coming off. I will say we never washed the shirts until after we were home from our trip.

  10. jeanne says:

    We did the pillow cases and had characters autograph with sharpies in many colors. I did not do anything to “set” the ink and have washed them many times and they still look great!!! Also, I had a mickey fleece blanket made with white fabric on one side and had characters sign it for my infant. That turned out awesome! I ordered personalized pillowcases and the blanket from etsy.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Maybe a silly question, but for those who have done the picture frame mat thing before, do you carry that around the park with you all day or just take it to a character meal? It seems kind of cumbersome (sp?) to carry all day, but I am in love with this idea!!

    • Anonymous says:

      We had a friend suggest the picture mat for our family because I have 4 girls going, and I’m worried about what keeping track of 4 separate autograph books (along with the rest of our park bag stuff). Sthis friend said they only took the mats to character meals (Chef Mickey’s to be specific), then the concierge can have that delivered to your resort (assuming you’re staying in the World) to pick up at the end of your park day. Now, this was with a warning that it’s been several years, so I would call to ask if they can still do that. Or else plan a character meal during an “off” day, so you’re only out for the character meal, and can easily return to your resort.

  12. Amy says:

    Great article! Got some new ideas!

    For those of you thinking of doing a pillowcase or t-shirt…we have done both several times and they turn out great! MAKE SURE TO USE FABRIC MARKERS!!!!! Do not use sharpies as they will not last. We always use white shirts or pillowcases and rotate out using the colored fabric makers. They always turn out awesome. To set the ink, you just have to heat set with an iron (no steam).

  13. Sarah says:

    We are replicating the photo autograph book with a $2 small photo album with the princesses on it. We cut 4.x6 card stock for the characters to sign and then we will put my daughter’s pic side by side in the album. Saves us ten dollars from purchasing one at disney store dot com!

  14. Stephanie says:

    Characters are NOT allowed to sign vinylmations!!! Even though they are sold within the Disney parks, they are not specifically licensed with Disney. Therefore, characters are not allowed to sign them.

  15. Brandi says:

    As a recent college graduate, I am looking forward to taking my Disney-inspired graduation cap and having the characters sign the top of it where I left open space for autographs!

  16. amilee says:

    My mom when we were kids and teens made sashes that we wore everyday. We brought mini sharpies with us. It worked great cuase we had the characters sign all over it and we had pins to wear and trade. We STILL have the sashes 🙂 I’m going to use the same idea with my kids this Christmas when we go.

  17. Patti says:

    My Mom and I had on basic white canvas visors on our last trip that we didn’t plan to use for autographs but ended up getting Tinkerbell and another fairy’s autograph on it and other character’s for the rest if our visit. Turned out to be perfect just took it off to sign with sharpies and it was stiff enough to sign and easily fit in backpack when not wearing and non breakable. We got visor from walmart for like 2 or 3 dollars.

  18. Hope says:

    I just got back from WDW today. I took the Instax Mini 8 instant camera with me and had the characters sign the bottom of the picture once it printed out. The characters were so amazed by the picture coming out of the top and the pictures turned out great. I bought my camera and film pack from Amazon! They’re so cute and perfect to display. 🙂

    • Alyssa says:

      I plan on doing this exact thing for our trip in May! Did you ever run into characters not being able to sign in the little space? Thanks!

  19. gwen says:

    we will be bringing 5×5 inch fabric squares for each one to sign, then we will make a quilt. if you or a family member can sew, this is a good idea. just bring a clip board and fabric markers.

  20. Lauren Anderson says:

    I had Peter Pan sign the cover of my DVD case. I don’t have kids yet but the thought that I’ll have his autograph on my copy of the movie is something I’m excited to present my future kids if I have any. Plus it’s just fun for me to look at and remember my meet and greet! One of my favorite ideas and one I’ll do again for other characters.

    I bought a “Dinglehopper” brush (available in the parks) and had Ariel sign the handle.

  21. Amanda says:

    Another very cool idea is to buy a Disney World/Land photo album and then go to Walmart or target etc. and get the corresponding size flash cards. Have the characters sign them and put them in one slot with a picture of you and the character together in the other slot.

  22. Mickey Mouse says:

    If I bought a plain white shirt, would the characters be able to sign it?

  23. Jennifer Trevino says:

    My husband and I bought a disney Christmas tree skirt at the Christmas store and have the characters sign it. When we get home, I embroider over the signatures so they really pop! We’ve taken it on 4 trips and it looks amazing!

  24. charla1959 says:

    “When we got back home I put them in a photo album so that the front and back were see-through, so you could see both the picture and the autograph.””
    I do not agree

  25. Tarah says:

    My kids and I LOVE the Vinalmation idea! BUT just so everyone knows, I have searched high and low for them and you can only buy them on eBay for $100 a piece. I have three kids, so that won’t be happening!

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