Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Jun 26, 2012
    Michael from MO Asked

    We are returning to WDW in August. The last time we went as a family in 2009 I was told that the characters would only autograph bound pages, not single sheets of scrapbook pages. Is this still accurate? They still need a chunky style pen correct? TY

    Hi there, Michael!

    A character will normally sign a single sheet of paper; the trick is to have something hard beneath the paper for the character to press on. Normally, they are writing literally in mid-air, and that's why the autograph books are so helpful: the spine, cover, and other pages, provide a built-in surface.

    Consider carrying with you a clipboard. While sizeable (as compared to the autograph books available at Walt Disney World), the clipboard is slender and will fit in a daybag with minimal effort. It provides a nice, smooth writing surface for the character, too.

    I have used a clipboard as a writing surface when I have created customized T-shirts: just stretch the fabric over the clipboard (making sure the board is between the front and back of the shirt to avoid bleed-through) and have the character sign.

    The best writing implements are, as you note, wide-barreled pens; Sharpies work very well, but the ink will typically bleed through. If you're O.K. with a "single-sided" autograph book, that's a great way to go. Standard ballpoint or gel pens will be very difficult for a character's thick gloved fingers to manipulate dextrously.

    Be advised, though, that the character's handler/s will reserve the right to restrict whatever the character signs. Mostly, this is done in the interest of time, but if the handler feels that the signature will be replicated poorly in a given medium, s/he can ask for you to use something else as your writing surface.

    Have a great time!

    See you later, celebrator,
    -Deborah B.

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Meet the Panelist: Deborah, Florida

As a Florida native, my life has always included Walt Disney World. Now I share that magic with my husband and my sons, ages seven and eight. In between trips to the World, I teach for the Department of English at the University of South Florida. Learn More About Deborah

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