I know what you're thinking.....
"Say 'no' to autograph books??? But little Timmy loves seeing the characters."
Yes, but, how often does little Timmy look at that autograph book? Maybe once, twice over the course of the year (if that often)? And the rest of the year? It's sitting around collecting dust. Exactly.
My suggestion: Get something a little more creative signed. I've seen (or done) a lot of these, and I'm sure they get a lot more use than that autograph book.
1. A canvas bag - This one is my personal favorite. Get a blank canvas bag, a pack of Sharpies, a small piece of cardboard, and you're good to go. This one is fun because you can select colors that match the characters, instead of just having black for everyone. Plus, the cast members and the characters always love it. They get a huge kick out of seeing how many of their friends you've met. And, it can be used multiple trips until you run out of space.
2. Vinylmation - Large white Mickey shaped Vinylmations cost about $20 now, which is more than the cost of an autograph book. However, it's much easier to display and, similar to the canvas bag, color can be used to add variety to the signatures.
3. Tshirts/Pillow Cases - Again, very similar to the canvas bag, but in this case, use the new fabric Sharpies so that they are safe to wash.
4. Visor/Hat - This one is especially good for character hats, such as the long-billed Pluto or Goofy hats. Even though a thousand other people may have the same hat as you, yours is special because its signed ;)
5. Photo Borders - By this, I mean the white borders that you put in front of a picture when you frame a picture. I've seen this done two ways. One is to get all the characters you see in a trip to sign it, then put any picture from your trip that you want in the frame. I've also seen people get each character to sign their own border, so that they could put specific character pictures in the frames.
6. Postcards - I did this for a friend once, and she absolutely loved it. Have a favorite character sign a postcard and mail it to a friend back home (or, mail it to yourself for some extra pixie dust when you get back). Your friends will be happy to see that you thought of them while you were on vacation.
- Note: If you are asking a furry friend (ie, Mickey or Minnie) to sign a postcard, only expect them to be able to sign their names. It doesn't hurt to ask them to write "Congrats," "Happy Birthday" or some other simple message, but be understanding if they cannot oblige. Face characters (such as the princesses) are much more likely to be able to write special messages.