Search Results for: Autograph book

DIY Disney: Autograph Books 2

preschoolears: DIYDisney

My first DIY Disney post on making your own autograph books was such a big hit, I wanted to do another post with my most recent creations. We are gearing up for our next Disney World trip, and I wanted to make autograph books again. My first books were so much more functional and personal than the ones you can buy at the parks, and I’ve bought plenty of those so I can compare. This time, I let each of my kids choose what theme/character they would like their book designed around. Here are the front and back covers for each of them.

MickeyCovers

Mickey Mouse & Pluto covers

Buzz Lightyear theme covers

Buzz Lightyear theme covers

Ariel theme covers

Wreck it Ralph & Vanellope theme covers

Wreck it Ralph & Vanellope theme covers

Inside the front cover, I added something different this year. I took a picture of each child in their Mickey ears and then I asked them a few questions:

1. What is your favorite character?
2. What is your favorite ride?
3. What is your favorite park?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. What are you most looking forward to on this trip?

I put their answers next to their picture, as something they can look back on years from now.

Inside

As you can see, I have the covers laminated at an office supply store. At home, I trim them down with space around each edge, but the left edge is the closest to the paper. For the inside pages, I bought OfficeMax 5″x8″ blank index cards.

IndexCards

I print on the corners of the pages little images to go with each theme. Here is what I did for these books:

MickeyInsideRalphInsideBuzzInsideArielInside

On the backs on these cards, I print “PHOTO” to make sure I save a spot for the picture with that character.

Photo

Once I have them put together, and this trip I put 50 cards in each book, I take them back to OfficeMax and have them spiral bind them. The spiral bind makes them so easy to open at the parks. Here are the final books!

GirlsBooks

BoysBooks

Open

If you would like the file to make the inside pages yourself, I have included the file for you to use. Hope this inspires you to DIY Disney for your next trip!

AutographInsides2

If you would like to see my original post on making your own autograph books, here is the link. Also, here is the digital file for those inside cards as well.

AutographInsides1

DIY Disney: Autograph Books

preschoolears: DIYDisney

On our Disney trips, I have always purchased Disney autograph books for each of my kiddos so they can get each character’s signature and a picture with them, and it makes a great souvenir from the trip. Well now that our family has grown to four kids, buying four Disney autograph books each trip is expensive! So our last Disney trip, I tried making my own. It was actually easier than I thought and I liked them better than the Disney ones because I was able to make them the way I like them. If you are interested in trying some DIY Disney and making your own for your next trip, here is what I did.

I purchased packs of index cards at OfficeMax in size 5×8 inch. This size allows me to put a 4×6 photo on every other page, which is the way I like the autograph books.

IndexCards

I then made covers for each of my kids. The girls both love the movie “Brave” and Princess Merida, so I made them both a Merida themed book. I found her image online, printed it and cut it out for the cover. My older son loves “Cars” and since we were visiting Disneyland to see Cars Land, I made his Lightning McQueen with some scrapbooking paper. My youngest loves Mickey Mouse, so his cover was just Mickey themed. I made matching back covers with “Disneyland 2012”. Each book also had each child’s name on them.

preschoolears: Cars Cover

preschoolears: Brave cover

preschoolears: Mickey cover

I then took my covers to OfficeMax to have them laminate them, as they have a much heavier duty laminating machine than my home machine. This is how they came out:

preschoolears: Laminated cover

I cut them and trimmed the corners to be round – they are pretty sharp if you don’t! Then I worked on the inside cards. How we like our autograph books are a signature page on one side, and then a photo with the character on the other that we add after our trip. I decorated the corners of the autograph pages to go with each book theme. The girls had hearts in the corners, the Cars book had lightning bolts, and the Mickey book had mickey ears.

LightningBolt

InsideMickeyHead

I wanted to make sure that no designated photo page ended up getting a signature, so I printed “PHOTO” on half the cards. That way I saved a spot for the picture.

PhotoInserts

I assembled the books and covers together in the order I wanted, and took them back to OfficeMax to have them spiral bound. Spiral bound allows the pages to move very easily, compared with a comb bind. I even got to choose the color of spiral to match my theme. Here is how they came out.

preschoolears: Autograph Books

InsideFull

They worked great in the park and were always easy to flip to the right page. I recommend having one chubby pen to use for all books instead of having each child have a pen for their book. And don’t tie the pen to your book as it might make it hard for the character to grab. Here is how they came out with signatures and photos (photos simply attached with photo adhesive squares from the craft store):

Final

Pretty good, huh?

On this same trip, we went to the Halloween party and I made separate books for that evening. Here is what they looked like (cute polka dot Halloween paper was from Archiver’s):

preschoolears: Halloween covers

Halloween autograph book covers

preschoolears: halloween books

Halloween autograph book inside pages

preschoolears: LaminatedCover

Halloween autograph books

Final Halloween Autograph books

And here is how they came out with pictures and autographs:

FinalBook

If you are interested in having the inside pages to print, I’ve made a download with extra hearts and stars and Mickey ear pages. Just click on the link below.

Download Autograph Book Inside pages

If you have tried making your own autograph books or are planning to make some for your next trip, leave me a comment and tell me about it! And Happy DIY!

15 Tips for MagicBand and FastPass+ at Disney World

PreschoolearsMagicBandTips

Disney World has turned high tech with MagicBands, FastPass+ and the My Disney Experience app. Their new system is designed to make your visit to the happiest place on earth as easy and simple as possible! While it is quite slick, you have to get to know the system a bit to make it truly easy and seamless. We were newbies on our last trip to the world with the new system, but after two weeks, we consider ourselves pros on it now. We would like to share our 15 top tips and advice for using the MagicBands, FastPass+ and the My Disney Experience app for families.

Keep in mind that MagicBands are free for guests staying on Disney property with purchased park tickets. If you are staying off property, you can still purchase a MagicBand if you have park tickets or use paper tickets for FastPasses.

PreschoolearsMagicBands1PreschoolearsMagicBand2

  1. On the My Disney Experience website, make sure all family members in your party are linked together. This will make it simple for one person to make all the FastPass choices and reservations for everyone.
  2. Customize your MagicBands on My Disney Experience by color and name. Each person can have their own color and their name is printed on the underside of the band. Also, the bands come in one size BUT you can remove the gray surround to make the overall band smaller for kids. They are meant to be adjustable this way.
  3. Wear them all the time. They can go swimming with you and get wet – no biggy! Get used to having them on so that you are never without them. They are your key to your room as well as your pass to the park as well as your FP for your next ride as well as linking your photos to your Memory Maker. And you can charge things at dining and shopping from your band. So with all that linked to one band, you better keep it on ALL THE TIME!
  4. Schedule your FastPass+ right when your window opens. Don’t wait on this one because times are being taken quickly especially during busier times of year. And the hottest FastPasses go really fast.
  5. To open the door to your room, you have to give it a hard tap. This may seem like an odd tip but all other places in the park, you hold your band on the scan for a few seconds. But on their hotel doors, you have to give it a hard tap on the sensor for the door to open. This little tip will save you some time fighting with your room door late at night. Your welcome.
  6. Pre-purchase Memory Maker and link it to your band. When you are on attractions with ride photos (i.e. Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, Buzz Lightyear…) the ride will automatically load those photos onto your account by reading your band on the ride. Yep, you don’t do anything but wear the band. See tip #3 for a reminder of wearing your band all the time! And PhotoPass photographers just scan your bands when they take pictures. Easy pleasy.
  7. You are given three FastPass+ options each day at one park, but once you are done with those three, you can visit one of the FP+ kiosks to add more one at a time. Only one person from your party needs to go to the kiosk (since you did tip #1 and linked everyone’s bands) and then they can get another FP. Cast Members are standing next to each kiosk to help you through the process although it is really simple.
  8. Use the My Disney Experience app in the parks to check your scheduled dining,  and FastPasses as well as attraction wait times. You can make some changes to FastPasses from this app but the kiosks are a bit easier. Also, keep in mind that the app is dependent on signal and number of users at the park so it has times it doesn’t load. Wait times were fairly accurate on the app within each park. It is a great tool while at the parks.
  9. Want to bling out your band? You can get Disney Band-its to add to your MagicBand. They are similar to the Jibbitz that you could put into your Croc shoes–they simply stick into the empty holes on the band, and there are lots of choices. There are also LOTS of choices of special MagicBands you can buy that are available at select locations in the parks.
  10. Know where the kiosks are in each park. All parks have three locations and Magic Kingdom has four. So there aren’t a huge amount of spots, which means when crowds are high, the lines are long. It is very, very important that you know where these locations are at each park – memorize it! Bring a list with you! Trust me – this little tip will save you lots of wasted time.
  11. When you all use a FP, make sure every child/person swipes their band BOTH times through the line so that the computer logs it at used and you can add additional FP. Once a FP window has passed, you can add more as well.
  12. Remember the grace periods on your FP window. Five minutes early is fine, and fifteen minutes late is fine. Anything outside those times and you won’t be let on the attraction or show. If you miss your FP, its gone.
  13. When you schedule a FP for a show and they give you a window of time to return, for the best seat, arrive at the beginning of that window. If you arrive at the end of that window, you are basically the same as the standby line. If you have a FP for an attraction and you have an hour window to return, anytime in that window is good–it won’t matter when you arrive in that window.
  14. Anyone with a band on your account can use it for photos, park passes and opening your resort door. You have to authorize who can use it for purchases and a pin is required when you scan it. It could be “dangerous” at Disney for kids to have authorization for purchases depending on the age. But using the band for quick snacks and meals was so great and easy.
  15. Finally, to make sure you don’t forget a band each day (see tip #3 again!) make a Park Packing List that you check off every morning to make sure you have it all. Sunglasses, sunblock. autograph books, snacks AND MagicBands! You won’t forget necessary items as well as those marvelous bands.

In general, we loved the MagicBands. Our kids thought they were so much fun! I must confess I loved how slick it all was and we didn’t have to think about too many things. And we didn’t have to carry as much. The system itself still has some glitches but I believe it is getting better and I think it is a revolutionary idea. If you are heading to the parks this year, have fun with the MagicBands and the My Disney Experience system! And take our tips and advice to make it even better!

**Last little tip: If you also wear a FitBit or electronic exercise band, wear your MagicBand on the opposite hand as the signals can compete with the scan. Always wear your MagicBand on the same hand you use for the finger scan at the gates each time.**

Disney Goodies Giveaway!

GiveawayHeader

We have a fun giveaway for our readers, just because we love Disney! We have collected some fun Disney parks souvenirs, as well as some our our favorite travel products that we have been featuring the last few weeks. We would love to share this fun basket of goodies with you!

We have some fun Disney parks souvenirs: a Mickey tumbler, a Walt Disney World autograph book and Mickey Mouse jelly beans.

DisneyPark

We also have a set of our favorite lunchbox containers – Easy Lunchboxes – 4 containers in all, plus a great cooler that they fit perfectly into. They are a great addition to a day at the parks.

Lunchboxes

If you missed our post on The Mommy Hook as a great travel product at Disney parks, you can read it here. But we love it so much, we want you to have one too!

MommyHook

A commemorative Disney Parks growth chart that is so adorable! It has elements from all the parks on it and it is very cute. This is a special treat for our goody basket.

GrowthChart1 GrowthChart2

We also wanted to add some cuteness, so we are giving away this adorable Tigger Tsum. He is just so cute!

Tsum

The package includes:

  • Easy Lunchboxes set and cooler
  • Mommy Hook
  • Walt Disney World autograph book
  • Mickey tumbler
  • Mickey Mouse jelly beans
  • Tigger Tsum-small
  • Disney Parks growth chart
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique bag
  • Minnie coloring book
  • “Frozen” pen
  • Disney Fairies stickers

Lots of fun Disney goodies! Please use the entry form below to enter. Giveaway begins today, October 27 and it will end in a week on Monday, November 3. You can earn extra entries by commenting on this blog post about what your favorite Disney souvenir has been. We love to hear about what people like to buy at Disney parks!

A big thank you to EasyLunchboxes and Jenn at Mom Muggle Princess for some of the great treats! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Travel Products We Love Series:
PiggyBack Rider
EasyLunchboxes
Mommy Hook & Walk-Along Stroller Handle
The Shrunks

 

Disney Tsum Tsum

Top Disney Parks Interactive Experiences

WIldernessExplorer1

Disneyland and Disney World offer many fun attractions, shows and amazing dining for families during their vacations. But there are some interactive experiences at both parks that occastionally get overlooked and missed that we want to point out to our readers. We are calling them “interactive experiences” because your participation with them actually is the attraction. If you are visiting the parks for a short time, like 1-3 days, you will probably miss these and try to fit in as many attractions and characters and dining as you can. But for a longer stay at either coast, we think it is well worth finding some time to have a little fun with these great programs. It adds something unique and special for your kids, and they can make amazing memories. Here is our list of the Top Interactive Experiences that we think you shouldn’t miss! And they are all FREE with your park admission!

AnimationAc

1. Animation AcademyHollywood Studios, Walt Disney World AND Hollywood Land, California Adventure (Disneyland). This experience is one of our favorites and it is easily missed at the parks. At Disney World, it is located in the Magic of Animation and at Disneyland, it is in the Animation Building at California Adventure. Both experiences offer a drawing session with a Disney animator that teaches kids and adults how to draw a favorite Disney character. It is so much fun and you leave with your own drawing as a souvenir! Limited space in each session and sessions are at specific times.

JediWDW

DarthVaderDL

2. Jedi Training AcademyHollywood Studios, Walt Disney World AND Tomorrowland, Disneyland. Your future Jedi can signup to learn how to be a Jedi and then fight Darth Vader! This experience will provide (for the show) a Jedi robe and light saber for each child (these items are returned at the end of the show). At Disneyland, children are chosen from the audience to participate, and at Disney World, children must sign up before the show to participate. Space is very limited and shows are at specific times.

Sorcerers

3. Sorcerers of the Magic KingdomMagic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. This is a scavenger hunt style game with cards and keys that take you all around the Magic Kingdom to defeat the villains. There are multiple hidden screens all over the Magic Kingdom and it is so much fun to play! You can stop at anytime and start again the next day. The cards are great collectors and kids love trying to solve the mystery and fight the villains! See our post on Sorcerers for all the details.

WildernessExpDL

RedwoodCreekDL

WildernessExplorer2

4. Wilderness Explorers AdventureAnimal Kingdom, Walt Disney World AND California Adventure, Disneyland. Both experiences were born from the movie “Up” where Russell is earning his Wilderness Explorer badges. Kids can follow maps and earn badges as well throughout Animal Kingdom and the Redwood Creek Trail (Disneyland).

JackSparrowTutorial

5. Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate TutorialMagic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. Do you have a big pirate fan at home? In this show, kids are brought on stage and taught how to be a pirate by a group of Jack’s crew as well as Jack himself. Some kids dress as pirates for the occasion. Sign ups are done ahead of time at the park and shows are at specific times only.

PirateAdventure

6. A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven SeasMagic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. Similar to Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom, this treasure hunt involves helping Jack complete set missions and clues and treasures are collected throughout the park. This experience runs all day and night. Signups are in Adventureland.

AgentPEpcot

7. Agent P’s World Showcase AdventureEpcot, Walt Disney World. A scavenger hunt style experience through the countries of the World Showcase. Kids can sign up throughout the World Showcase and then they receive an electronic device to help them work through the clues and complete their mission. Kids who love Phineas and Ferb will love the hidden characters throughout the pavilions.

Kidcot2

Kidcot1

8. Kidcot Fun StopsEpcot, Walt Disney World. While these are the least flashy of all the interactive experiences, they are very interesting and fun. Kids can visit a stop in each country and get a stamp in their passport, autograph book or anything else they are using for souvenirs. They can color something at each stop – it used to be Duffy but recently has been Agent P. At each Kidcot Stop, there is a Cast Member from that country that usually writes or stamps something in that countries language for the child. It can be a fun learning experience for kids and they will enjoy collecting all the pavilions. You can purchase an Epcot Passport to put stamps in and keep as a souvenir.

There are other fun experiences at all the parks, but these are some of our favorites. If your family has time to take part in any of these, you won’t regret it as they can be so much fun. The scavenger hunt games are lots of fun for the kids and they can work on it alongside their parents.

Happy Travels!

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