I have written in the past about saving money on Disney souvenirs, since we all know that the souvenir thing may very well be one of the hardest costs to control on vacation. I’ve become its victim, and I’m sure you have too! “Oh-my-gosh, that is the cutest <fill-in-the-blank> ever, I just have to have it!”
Gulp…. You know you’ve said it too, admit it….
OK, so now that we have that out of the way, lets talk today about character autographs.
One really fun way to make this more affordable, is with a do-it-yourself autograph book. I love this idea, because it combines two things very near and dear to my heart: creativity, and saving money.
Now you can buy the generic Disney World autograph book when you get to the parks, or even at home before you leave. Cost will be between $7 and $11. But here’s the thing: you can easily help your child to make one for less than half the cost. Buy a small spiral or post-bound book, and cut out Disney pictures that your child can glue on, use some letter stickers to say whatever you want it to say (or print out from your computer and cut them out if you want), give your child markers, glitter pens, whatever you have at home, and allow them to decorate as they like. Add anything you have at home: tie ribbons to the spirals, add buttons, stickers, gems, you name it. Voila. A Disney masterpiece.
There are two keys here to making this successful:
- Use items you have at home. Yes, you can buy all kinds of fantastic items in the scrapbooking aisle of your local craft store….but that is not likely to save you money here. It will look great, and be a lot of fun, but it will not be cheaper. Just sayin’. (The autograph book shown in this photo is pretty elaborate too…but it gives you some ideas, right?)
- Allow your child to be creative. There is no right or wrong way to do this. As I used to tell my preschool art classes (and their parents) it’s about the process, NOT the product. It really doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. Really. Does your child like it and are they proud of it? Then it IS perfect.
Now, you may want to invest in some sort of fixative to protect pictures on the cover, if your child uses a lot of these. Be sure to read the label of what you are buying, or talk to a craft store associate FIRST, to make sure that the fixative will protect the pictures, and not destroy them.
But other than the notebook, and maybe fixative if you need it, there really is no other cost. Isn’t that awesome?
Beyond that, the thing I absolutely love about this kind of project, is it channels all that “when are we going?” energy that kids have into something that helps them get ready to go to Disney too. Of course, moms and dads have come up with all kinds of other ways to do this too (countdown calendars being a big favorite) and they’re all great ideas. But creating your own autograph book is something that your child is bringing to Walt Disney World with them. Imagine how proud he/she will be when giving it to Mickey to autograph?
Now that right there is a Kodak moment.