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Opening Magic Kingdom

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Will Disney Guests Get a Character Card Instead of An Autograph?



Are character autograph cards the way of the future at Disney parks?  Will guests no longer get to have Disney characters autograph their books?  Will collecting character autographs mean collecting character autograph cards?

I pose these questions as when we met Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (click here to read more), we were given their card—no autograph signing.  I assumed it was due to Ralph’s hands/arms that would make it difficult if not impossible for him to sign.  Same as The Beast and then Belle does the signing for him.  Mike and Sully don’t sign autographs, they used to have a stamp which was themed as punching your time card at work, but that stamp hasn’t worked in a while.  So, I wasn’t too surprised that we got the autograph card.

Then I read more about how Disney is handling special character appearances for many of the Limited Time Magic themed weeks so far this year.  When the Prince/Princess combinations were greeting guests during True Romance week, they were not signing autographs, but instead their handlers were passing out autograph cards.  Hmmm. . . .

There are pros and cons to the autograph cards and Disney enthusiasts are often vocal about changes to their beloved parks including character greetings.  Here are the pros that come to mind:
  • Character interactions with guests would take less time and therefore characters could visit more guests during the same amount of time.  We have personally seen how long it takes for a family of 4 with 2 children each with their own autograph book to meet a set of characters—the more characters the time expands dramatically.  There is some “down time” while one character signs and the other waits unless the handler is more hands on and aids in efficiency.  And, then the handler could get in the way of Photopass photos.
  • Speaking of Photopass, more guests meeting characters means potentially more photo sales.  And, with only autograph cards, no character autographs, adding character autographs to photos through Photopass editing may be a perk guests will want to use.
  • Collecting the characters autograph cards may become the new “pin trading” or Vinylmation collecting/trading.  When the husband first saw the character card  that is what he thought. And, the autograph cards are the size of baseball cards.

Some cons:
  • Disney would no longer be able to sell autograph books and pens if there is a complete movement to character autograph cards.
  • We would no longer be able to have other items signed by characters such as pillow cases and picture frames.

On the back of our character autograph cards that we received there was a special code for Photopass.  I didn’t enter the number into our account as I forgot.  Our Photopass photos taken during the character meet and greet were already included in our account, so would the code given us access to bonus photos of our characters?  And, we received more than one card, each with a different number.  Would all the numbers give us the same photo content?  I wasn’t sensing that our Photopass photos taken at the character meet and greet were connected to the number on the back of the card and the handler did not bring our attention to the code either.  I’m curious about this.

So, are autograph cards the way of the future for Disney character interactions just like indoor meet and greet locations? (Click here to read more.)  Well, time will certainly tell on this one and we will keep you posted as we learn more.

8 comments:

  1. Sending you some of that Disney Magic from where else the magical place on earth Disney World!!!!!

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    1. Michael,
      Thank you for the dose of Disney Magic! You made my day! Hope you are having a wonderful Disney vacation and safe travels back home!

      Delete
  2. Oh I do NOT like this idea! I have such special memories as a child collecting those autographs. It would sadden me if my young boys couldn't experience that.

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    Replies
    1. Carolyn,
      I agree, yet am seeing this as a possible trend for the future.

      Delete
  3. Love the picture of the autograph pillow with photos, can you PLEASE tell me how you were able to get the photos on the pillowcase? We have a cloth autograph book and I would love to put some pictures of my girls in there
    Thanks!!!

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    Replies
    1. Heather,
      We had the autograph pillowcase customized at inkgarden.com. I uploaded pictures from a previous trip and then had the characters sign. Here's the story: http://toddjodybrent.blogspot.com/2012/07/customized-pillowcase-for-autographs.html
      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  4. I really like the character autograph cards. I think it will be fun trying to collect them. They come in all shapes and sizes. So far, I have about 65. If anyone out there has extras, I would be willing to pay for them. Looking for:
    Easter Spring Fling
    Long Lost Friends Chicken Little
    Sinister Soiree.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete