Posted on March 15, 2014

How to Get a BUNCH of Character Autographs on a Disney Cruise… Without Standing in a SINGLE LINE!

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but as of mid-August 2015, DCL is discontinuing their magical “Mickey Mail” service because it has become so popular the characters are having trouble keeping up with the demand. Understandable, but disappointing.

how to get character autographs on a disney cruise

I’m thrilled with how many of you enjoyed my Disney Cruise review from our recent trip.  My head is literally spinning from all of the cool tips and tricks that we picked up throughout our travels and this post is one of my favorites.  A Disney vacation (cruise or parks, doesn’t matter) is a trip that I truly believe pays to do some research before you leave.  There is just so much to see, do and experience, that the more of a plan you have, the more you will get out of your valuable time.

I can’t count how many cumulative hours we have waited in lines for Lily to meet various characters over the years.  She loves getting to pose with them and a highlight is to see how many of their signatures she can get in her coveted autograph book.

When you go on a Disney Cruise you can actually drop off items for characters to sign (up to 2 per cabin though they will make exceptions if you have more than 2 children).  That’s right – the characters will sign whatever object(s) you drop off without you ever once having to wait in a line.

Simply take your objects to the Guest Services desk on your ship.  We literally walked on the ship and marched right over to Guest Services and handed over our items.  I made sure everything was labeled and all of our markers were returned to us, no problems.  You will fill out a form and specify which set of characters you’d like to sign… though it seems if you choose “Mickey and the Gang” you will get any or all characters on the ship.  If you choose “Princesses” you will ONLY get the princesses on your ship.

disney cruise autographed pillowcase form

You can drop off anything to be signed, from pictures to shirts.  You do not need to drop off markers, although we did because I wanted to make our items as colorful as possible.  We also included a “thank you” treat (Starbursts!) in each bag because I read that while not at all expected or required, it is a very appreciated gesture.  We had a pillowcase and a photo mat signed.  I washed the pillowcase before we left home and we sent fabric markers instead of Sharpies in that bag because I wasn’t sure if the Sharpies would bleed through.

disney cruise autograph pillowcase wm

disney cruise autograph pack pillowcase

Here’s the final product (which Lily has slept on every night since we’ve been home):

disney cruise autographed pillowcase

We took an 8×10 white photo mat that was cut for a 5×7 print.   The plan was to take a picture of the kids during the cruise and use that in the mat.  It turned out we bought a print of the kids and Mickey from pirate night – it looks fantastic!

disney cruise autograph photo mat

disney cruise autograph pack photo mat

disney cruise autographed frame

disney cruise autographed with kids pic

Two extremely unique souvenirs that didn’t cost us a second of our precious time on board.  (Unless you count the 5 minutes or so that we spent filling out the form at Guest Services!)

On the last night of your cruise, your autographed items are hand delivered right to your cabin.

Perfect!

2015 update – fresh off our 2nd Disney Cruise and I wanted to share our newly autographed souvenirs!!

This year we dropped off two items again.  We dropped off a personalized Disney photo matte and here is the final result, along with the picture that we are planning to frame with it.

personalized disney photo matte

Then I made this shirt for Lily using heat transfer vinyl cut by my Silhouette Portrait Machine.  I dropped it off at Guest Services with some colorful fabric markers and take a look at the end result!  I have to admit, I think I love it as much as she does!

disney cruise ship autographed shirt

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  • Tonya Spurrier

    I’ve done this twice. The last cruise, in 2012, they used theirs markers. BIG MISTAKE! They ruined my customized cases. The markers they used while colorful, did bleed!

    • Oh no! Good to know, thanks! I was momentarily worried that I wouldn’t get my markers back, but I put our name and cabin # on them and hoped for the best. They were returned in perfect condition.

  • Jen

    We got all our markers back. Last summer there was not a form.

    I found cheap FRAMES and MT sets at ACMoore, so we were able to display as soon as I printed a picture.

    • We have gotten our markers back both times. Great tips on the frames – AC Moore and Michaels frequently run good frame sales too.

  • Elizabeth Connor

    I was wondering exactly how many signatures you got. I’ve been looking online and most have either 27 or 28 I want to maker an autograph book and have each character sign their own page.

    • We didn’t get nearly close to 30. When you turn your items in to be signed, they ask if you want princesses or Mickey and the gang. Last year when we chose the princesses for a pillowcase we only got 4 autographs as there were only 4 princesses on our sailing. Last year we asked for Mickey and the gang on a photo matte and got regular characters AND princesses. Last year’s matte got 11 signatures. This year we opted for Mickey and the gang on both of our items and received 7 signatures on each item, no princesses. So I don’t really think there’s a way to predict how many you’ll get or which ones you’ll get – it seems to vary by sailing.

  • Rosanne

    Can you tell me where you got the personalized photo matte

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  • Stephanie

    I’m wondering if I should just drop off two pillowcases for my daughter, one for Princesses and one for Mickey and Friends?? I’d rather just get them all on one, but if not do you think that would be the best way?

    • That’s what I would do. When I dropped our items off, I did ask if we could get both groups on each item and she told me that I could only pick one group per item.

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