School is almost over, and you’re ready to start the ‘waiting game’ for the trip to Disney. Waiting for a Disney vacation is tough on everyone, but especially parents! There is so much organizing, laundry, fast pass booking, sneaker shopping, and did I mention laundry? Well, you get the picture, there’s a lot for a grownup to do, and the kids just want to know, “How many more days ’til we leave?” On top of all of that, now you have to start budgeting for souvenirs.

Well, I have an idea that might get you some quiet time, and save you some money…DIY autograph books.  Depending on the age of your child, you can expect to pay anywhere from $6 – $25 on a Disney autograph book, the same kind everyone else in the parks will have.  But why be the same, when you can be different?

Our first trip was in 2004,  our girls were so excited, and it was just after school had ended, so they were already getting antsy.  So we took a trip to our local craft store, Michael’s, and bought some Disney craft supplies.  We started with a mini chipboard notebook, some inexpensive ($1-$3) stickers, and some scrapbook paper.

The girls began setting up pages for each of the special characters they knew we would be meeting at our character dinners.  Then they added some generic pages for any random opportunities we might have, and my youngest even made a little envelope to hold some extra blank cards, in case she ran out of space. 

When we got to the parks, the mini scrapbooks were a huge hit! Every princess commented on the beautiful page set aside for them, and Pluto was jumping up and down licking my daughter’s face because he had his own ‘special’ page to autograph! And the best part was that the notebooks were small enough to dangle from their lanyards, which meant one less thing I had to carry.

On rainy days,  when they got the “I’m bored” syndrome, I’d suggest they sit down and make another page for someone they’d like to meet.  The books lasted, and grew.  In fact, during our next trip, we were there for Earth Day, which is one of the rare days during which Jiminy Cricket makes an appearance.  We stood in a very long line, but my daughter finally for her autograph from Jiminy!

Here we are, fourteen years later, and my daughter has carefully preserved her autograph book, and the cherished memories of where, and when we met each Disney icon.  In addition, she remembers how excited she was when the characters complimented her book, or asked her who made it.

Trish Barker is an authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Main Street Adventures. She and her husband Bob welcome the chance to book your dream vacation, make your character dining reservations, and make all your wishes come true!  Remember, all of their planning services are free to you! Trish can be reached by email at: or you can call her at  (508) 681-0945. Bob can be reached by email at: or you can call him at (508) 681-0708