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  1. #1

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    Thumbs down Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    Just overall i have started to see the trend of Characters starting to loose their autographing power, for example we have seen at all of the Long Lost Friend Events, characters wont sign and they are given cards instead, as well as at the Unleash the Villians Event. Now i know that these measures were mainly to keep wait times down since they are special events.

    However, Character meets such as wreck-it-ralph and vanellope, have also given autograph cards. Now i know that it is impossible for ralph to sign something, but i think it is very possible for vanellope to sign for both of them, much like how Mary Poppins or Bert will sign for any of their penguins when they are out.

    And one more that comes to mind is Jack and Sally's new meet at WDW on main street, apparently they also have autograph cards..

    So that leaves me with this question, Do you believe that this will be an eventual measure to cut back on training performers how to sign elaborate signatures in costume, and continue in generic, bulk, costco brand DisneyParks Magic?

  2. #2

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    Maybe in the interest of speeding things up they do the cards? I wonder if people were complaining about the wait times? Ive never waited for a character signature before, do you think that some people might be getting too overzealous with custom personalization for their autographs? By handing out a simple pre-signed card all the time it takes to spell out an childs name, or to insert a special message is eliminated. Im just taking a shot in the dark here.

  3. #3

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    Quote Originally Posted by moregumboplease View Post
    By handing out a simple pre-signed card all the time it takes to spell out an childs name, or to insert a special message is elimininated.
    But wouldn't you say that's part of what makes the moment special for the child?
    I feel like they would be disappointed if they went in expecting an actual autograph, but instead was just handed a card.
    It seems kinda tacky to me, but lines do get pretty long, so I can understand why they would do it. I hope they still keep the one on one interactions, though, even if it's just a few seconds, and it's not just like, "Hi. Okay. Picture. Card. Done. Next!"

    I've heard characters really don't like autographs, though.

  4. #4

    • Minion
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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    If they start selling "autograph card books" then the writing's on the wall (or on the card). Are the cards "certified" in any way -- special paper, seal, or otherwise making it a new type of collectible?

  5. #5

    • Johnny and Me!
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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    They are not "certified". They are low-quality photocopies with colored borders.

  6. #6

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcatrik View Post
    If they start selling "autograph card books" then the writing's on the wall (or on the card). Are the cards "certified" in any way -- special paper, seal, or otherwise making it a new type of collectible?
    This. Unless they did make the cards special and turned it into a "collect them all!" thing, I don't think character autographs will go away. Disney makes a lot of money selling those autograph books to little kids, and they know that the autographs are important to children.

    With the Long Lost Friends/Villains/etc. I do think it is only a time-saving measure. To be fair, a lot of those characters appeal more to adults (for whom autographs aren't really a thing) than kids, and they're very in-demand characters. They probably figure that the time saved by the characters in writing out the autographs can be better spent meeting more guests.
    Merida looks like this. Not a Barbie doll!

  7. #7

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    This. Unless they did make the cards special and turned it into a "collect them all!" thing, I don't think character autographs will go away. Disney makes a lot of money selling those autograph books to little kids, and they know that the autographs are important to children.

    With the Long Lost Friends/Villains/etc. I do think it is only a time-saving measure. To be fair, a lot of those characters appeal more to adults (for whom autographs aren't really a thing) than kids, and they're very in-demand characters. They probably figure that the time saved by the characters in writing out the autographs can be better spent meeting more guests.
    That sounds reasonable.




  8. #8

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    When ever I see the Penguins I always get them to sign there name Mary or Bert has never done that when there out. Maybe they they do that at WDW but not at Disneyland.

  9. #9

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    I really wouldn't like to see ALL character loose their autograph signing ability.

    You mention Long Lost Friends (which I did attend, during August) and Unleash the Villains (which I did not attend). One other area where the characters have lost their signing ability (and DO NOT hand out cards, either) is "Dance with Disney".

    I can understand "cards" in only a VERY FEW limited circumstances - Primarily where Characters are photographed in large groups (three or more characters in a group), such as Long Lost Friends. But I still do not like that these "long lost friends" that seldom offer a chance for photo opps, still do not offer "real" signature. In other words, I can understand, but think the guest experience could be improved by offering real signature, which are more personal.

    For Dance with Disney, neither signatures nor cards are offered. I understand, there would be a lot less dancing, if characters were allowed to offer autographs, however not even a good enough chance to get photos with these characters is being offered. Even though kids get a little interaction with characters, it is missing out on the more personal visits/photo opps that are offered at other place. It's rather shortsighted to see this as an acceptable character interaction.

    As for the Unleash the Villains event, again, it seems rather shortsighted of Disney to give the impression that a meet and greet with villains would be available, and say that 13 Villains would be appearing, and not offer photos with all these character. I did not attend this event, but, from what I have read, Disney certainly botched up this event, by NOT setting up enough meet and greet locations, AND by only offering these from 8pm to 1am. And WHY place only of the main location at the Main Street Train Station, instead of a special stage in Front of the Castle, like they do for many New Years Eve. And by offering it for only the evening, the GUARANTEED CONGESTION for the later hours, when they EASILY COULD have offered this ALL DAY, to help spread out the crowds. And even though it was Specifically for Friday the 13th, they could have EASILY done this for the ENTIRE opening weekend of Halloweentime.

    And I DO need to mention one other thing regarding signature card, rather than REAL Autographs, Disney DOES have a limited number of characters that simply do not have Autograph Authority, due to the limitations of their "costumes". WHY isn't Disney offering autograph cards for these few limited characters. The very first time I noticed this type of limitation was seeing a little kid hold up their autograph book to Llama Kuzko in front of DCA's Animation building - Llama Kuzko only has hooves, and no fingers, and could only show the hooves to the kid, hoping they understood that they wouldn't be able to sign the book. More recently, both Mike and Sulley from the Monsters movies face the same kind of "challenge". Why not have autograph cards available for them, also? Quite frankly, these are the ONLY types of characters that should be allowed to hand out "Signature Cards".

  10. #10

    • A Suitcase & A Dream
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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    I don't think autographs will ever be phased out, I think the randomness of characters roaming the park will. It's easier for them to build places like Fantasy Faire to have characters housed in.

    Im not against the cards in situations like Long Lost Friends or when the character is incapable of signing their name, helps things move faster and no one is disappointed about not getting a signature.

    i think they should have a better variety of characters and not just for special "Limited Time" events.

  11. #11

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Hook View Post
    When ever I see the Penguins I always get them to sign there name Mary or Bert has never done that when there out. Maybe they they do that at WDW but not at Disneyland.
    Ok I'm totally lost on what you're trying to say here. But... when I met one of the penguins back in the 80s at Disneyland, I remember he DID sign his name in my autograph book and that his name was Arthur.

    And the reason for the cards for these events is simple. Each character has a distinct signature that each character perfomer portraying that character would have to learn so that all signatures are consistent. Every Mickey Mouse signature has to look the same, every Minnie Mouse one, Donald Duck, Chip & Dale, every Cinderella, every Princess Aurora, etc. Learning that stuff takes time. For a one-time event, it's really not necessary, so the cards take their place because they're most likely putting performers in the costumes who normally play other characters. They don't know how to do the signatures.

    And in some cases, some character costumes are in a way they can't sign (Sulley, Mike W, Wreck-It Ralph for example). Over in Japan at TDS, Duffy doesn't sign autographs, but he does in the States, but seeing how his paws are, it's VERY difficult for him to hold a pen to sign, which is most likely why he doesn't sign in Japan (photos only).

    When I met Princess Tiana at WDW last month, Prince Naveen was with her (he only meets & greets with her in the afternoon after the parade... in the morning she's out by herself), but Tiana took care of both names by signing "Princess Tiana 's Naveen".

    Plus... considering how much $$$ Disney makes selling autograph books and pens... yeah they're not going to phase out those moneymakers anytime soon.

  12. #12

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    The only way autographs will ever be phased out is if they stopped selling autograph books and just handed out the cards.

    Personally, I'd like to see the practice go away. Lines would go faster and the characters would be able to meet more people and that's what is most important.

    I guess I remember back when I was a kid, meeting them and getting your photo with them was enough. I never once thought about wanting their signatures. It's something Disney came up with to make money and once the seed was planted by selling autograph books, every kid needed autographs.

    Personally, I don't think if the practice were phased out, it would make the experience any less 'magical' for the little ones. Most kids wouldn't even know to ask for an autograph if a parent didn't put a autograph book in their hand to ask for one.

  13. #13

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    I hope not, when I was a kid I loved getting autographs! I think my old autograph books are still somewhere at my parents' house.

  14. #14

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    Even the characters have been vocal about autograph books....Or maybe it's just Mr. Hatter

  15. #15

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    Re: Will Character Autographs be phased out?

    Before I had kids you could count me among those that thought most m&g's and autographs where at best cheesy and at worst congesting the park unnecessarily. But then.... I saw my child light up like a Christmas tree when she got to take her autograph book around to her favorites and give them the pen. It's a nice icebreaker for little ones that aren't at first too sure about these giant characters.

    If they start handing out cards most (or all) of the time, who's going to want to buy their autograph books? Another example of seriously flawed thinking here.

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