Joy and Sadness

Many guests queue up in long lines for character meet and greets only to find that they don’t really know what to do once they’re there. You only have a few minutes to grab an autograph, exchange a few words, and snap your picture, so it’s important to make the most of it.

Take Something Besides an Autograph Book

Autographed shirt

Grab your autographs on a shirt instead of in a bookImage: Ethan Ableman, Flickr (license)

You don’t always have to turn to the traditional autograph book to get characters’ signatures. They’ll sign just about anything provided that it’s big enough. Think about what you want to do with your autographs once you return from you vacation. An autograph book isn’t really the best way to display them if you’d like something you can use or show off as part of your home decor. Consider trying some of these creative alternatives instead:

  • Printed photos of each character that they can sign, celebrity-style
  • Matted photo frame that you can later add a picture to
  • Postcards or greeting cards for friends and family at home
  • Birthday or wedding cards if you have someone with a special event coming up
  • Tee-shirts
  • Story books featuring the character in question
  • Fabric swatches for use in a quilt or other item later
  • Wooden wall décor, such as a castle silhouette
  • A pillowcase
  • An ear hat, using a silver sharpie for dark colored hats
  • A plate or serving platter
  • A baseball cap
  • A large blank Vinylmation
  • A scrapbook or scrapbook-size pages
  • Plain white mugs
  • Clean white canvas shoes
  • A tote bag
  • Throw pillow cases

Think outside the box with your items and make sure you’re getting an autograph on something that you’ll really treasure.

Try Creative Poses

Strike a pose with Merida

Draw your arrow with MeridaImage: Jennie Park, Flickr (license)

Are you tired of pictures where you put your arm around the character and smile? Make sure you’re snapping really creative shots that you’ll want to share, print, and display. It helps to think ahead a bit so you have something in mind by the time you make it to the front of the line. There’s not a lot of time for improvisation or discussion once you’re with the character.

One easy option is to mimic the character’s signature pose. If you’re not sure what that is, a quick Google search will give you some good ideas. In many character lines, you’ll also have a chance to watch those before you for an idea of how that character poses. Most have a few classic moves. For example, Peter Pan crosses his arms over his chest, Sully might hold up his paws in a scare pose, and green Army men often salute. If you adopt a particular pose, the characters will be quick to follow along.

If you’re a man, you can show off your muscles for the princesses. Women can woo over Gaston. If you’re in a photo with other members of your party, brainstorm together so you can coordinate your pose. You may have one sister with an arm around Aladdin while the other crosses her arms angrily. Have fun with your poses to get shots that you’re truly treasure.

Bring Along a Prop

Give Snow an apple

An apple is ripe for Snow WhiteImage: Kim Slever, Flickr (license)

Props offer a playful way to take your themed photos to a new level. While you don’t want to cart a giant bag of extras with you around the park, you can easily stick a few small items in your bag to add more charm to a photo with your favorite princess or other character. Consider these ideas.

  • Take a dinglehopper to Ariel
  • Bring your favorite book to Belle
  • Offer an apple to Snow White
  • Grab a toy archery set to meet with Merida
  • Take a lasso to Jesse
  • Wrap up in a scarf to pose with Elsa
  • Pull out a play teacup with Alice


All great ideas! My daughter is 3 and a little shy. We took little stuffed versions of each princess to each meet and greet. She loved showing them off to the "real" princess and all of them made such a big deal over the stuffed version of themselves. 6 months after our trip and all she can talk about is going back to show the ones we missed!

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