Disney Cruise Line Discontinuing Onboard Mickey Mail Character Autograph Service in August

Disney Cruise Line will soon phase out their onboard character autograph request (Mickey Mail), a popular and unadvertised service offered via Guest Services across the fleet. For those unfamiliar with the service passengers could bring a pillow case, photo matting, autograph book or any other item along with markers to Guest Services. A request could be made to have specific characters sign the items during the sailings. On the last night of the cruise the items would magically be returned signed to your stateroom during turn down service.DCL Mickey Mail Autographed Picture Frame

Discontinuation of the Mickey Mail character autograph request service will begin on all new Disney Cruise sailings embarking after August 7, 2015. The ship by ship discontinuation is as follows:

  • Disney Dream – August 7, 20153-Night Bahamian Cruise – Itinerary A from Port Canaveral
  • Disney Fantasy – August 8, 20157-Night Western Caribbean Cruise – Itinerary C from Port Canaveral
  • Disney Magic – August 10, 2015 | 5-Night Mediterranean Cruise – Itinerary B from Barcelona
  • Disney Wonder – August 10, 2015 | 7-Night Alaskan Cruise – Itinerary A from Vancouver

Additionally, it is being reported by those calling into DCL that only autograph books will be signed during character meet and greets.

It appears DCL is not prohibiting these items from being signed during character meet and greets. However, this could change without notice.

A reason for the change was not provided, but I would suspect demand has grown to a point where this previously little known service is becoming a common tip on blogs, message boards, Facebook and Pintrest that it is taking up too much of the hard working characters‘ free time. This was never an advertised service and for all intents and purposes was being done behind the scenes as a courtesy. Based on the feedback so far I can see this has been quite popular. I just ask that you put yourself in the character’s shoes and realize how much time they spend working to bring us a memorable cruise experience.

I would like to thank Sue from SmallWorldVacations.com for passing along this information.

UPDATE: It appears that the Disney Parks Moms Panel acknowledged the Micky Mail service in a January 2015 Q&A.

193 thoughts on “Disney Cruise Line Discontinuing Onboard Mickey Mail Character Autograph Service in August

  1. Never Say Never

    Is there a process by which those already booked can still get there items signed? So many of us who are sailing this year right after the August cut-off have already ordered specialty items. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    1. KM

      Yes! Each character will have a meeting time where you can wait in line, and have your item autographed! You can even meet the character, and have you picture taken with them!

      Reply
      1. Bee

        But many people gave the items to guest services to be signed instead of greeting the characters. Is there really time for several hundred more people to join the meet and greets, especially if they’re getting items signed?

        Reply
        1. Wes

          This will also allow the characters to have more set times that they are out. Think of it this way, would you rather have the characters signing things backstage for hours while there are people complaining that they haven’t seen characters out, or would you rather those hours be spent by having Belle pulling your child close to tell them about what the Beast has been up to? Believe it or not, Mickey Mouse has the same amount of hours in the day as we do.

          Reply
          1. PA123

            You don’t seriously think that “Characters” are sitting in a back room signing t-shirts or photo frames do you? I pretty sure it’s just regular cast member who knows the writing and who get’s paid for it.

          2. corgimommy

            Do you really think it’s ONLY the characters that sign items? Anyone trained to do it can do it, not just the people that wear the costumes. In fat, I highly doubt the people wearing the costumes do more than a few of them if any behind the scenes.

          3. Alicia

            I ask you to trust that I know from DCL crew members that the characters, and ONLY the characters sign your Mickey Mail. And there are certainly not any people getting paid any extra to sign 3,000 pillowcases per cruise- it was a free service after all.

          4. ND30

            I am “very good friends” with the characters, both face and fur, on DCL, and I can assure you that, yes, only the characters are the ones signing the items, and no, they do not get paid for it. Thank you for understanding. There is simply not enough time now that the service is so widely known.

      2. Mayhew

        I’ve worked on DCL back in 2012. I can tell you with absolute certainty that princess Belle signs every single one. No she isn’t sitting around in her ball gown, but it is her. Not a dish washer picking up overtime. Each character signs every. single. one. Back in 2012 it kept them busy between shows. But from what Ive heard recently, they are literally signing thousands on thousands, keeping characters well pass midnight.
        Please consider that Mickey starts as early as 7am for character breakfast or activities in the kids clubs, followed by a full day. 7days a week of that is asking a lot of anyone. Let’s give the little guy a break.

        Reply
    2. Jennifer Cardillo

      We just got off the Dream on the 28th. I brought pillow cases (2 total for the 3 rooms occupied) and got NO LUCK with trying to have guest services get the characters to sign pillowcases as a surprise. This was an owners cruise so I thought that would help… we are gold and Platinum members…. that didn’t help.. I tried the grandma sprained her ankle which is why she is in a scooter this week card… NOPE… so my husband got to wait for every character and take his picture with every character he could and got them all to sign…. The did ALL sign the pillow cases with no issues either but still – didn’t feel it was very Disney to be told “sorry we can no longer help with that request”. Then I gave myself a reality check and realized I’m NOT entitled, was just being lazy about it…. I will say that I did wait longer for characters this cruise than any other owners cruise thus far but…. times are a changing!!!!

      Reply
  2. Liz

    More notice would have been appreciated, especially for those of us cruising in the next couple of months and already bought our new items to be signed.

    Reply
  3. Jennifer Cardillo

    THAT IS AWFUL… we are booked on the DVC Owners cruise on 8/24… this is ridiculous.. I’m not letting it go either…

    Reply
  4. Elisabeth Rollo

    I am so disappointed. I always thought this service made the cruise meet and greets go so much smoother as characters weren’t having to autograph a lot of stuff, and could spend more time interacting with the passengers and kids.

    Reply
  5. Jan

    Disappointing. I was looking forward to this on my cruise. Already had what I wanted signed in my suitcase for my January 2016 cruise.

    Reply
  6. Amy

    What a disappointment. Another way Disney is taking away more and more these days. Just not the Disney we use to know anymore!!

    Reply
    1. A

      It’s because recently too many guests have taken advantage of this free service by sending in a ridiculous amount of things to be signed,or things that are very difficult to be signed, even when there is a stateroom limit. There are only so many days in a cruise and so many free hours in the day for these items to be signed.

      Reply
  7. Liz

    So sad. We loved this service, as our sons are young and don’t have the patience to stand in lines to meet and get autographs for all of their favorite characters. This was a nice way to get the signatures for them. 🙁

    Reply
  8. Paul Thompson

    Nice of them to cancel the program in alphabetical order. 🙂 I would actually pay for that service. I love my pillowcases – wanted two more.

    Reply
  9. Tom

    I’m suprised that they didn’t offer it as a paid service before just dropping it… who wouldn’t pay $25-30 to have something like that signed and delivered?

    Reply
      1. Cat

        This will make the lines that much longer. And it would be harder to sign a pillowcase while standing…

        Reply
    1. Rebecca

      I just did the exact same thing! This November we will be going on our first cruise and I just received my kids custom pillowcases on Saturday as well. I feel like that was 60 bucks wasted. I could have just as easily carried around an autograph book, but wanted the pillowcases for my kids to keep. Who wants to carry pillowcases around to each meet and greet? Very disappointed.

      Reply
      1. James

        It will literally take you TWO minutes to run these items back to your stateroom, if not carry a bag with you! Character lines are generally not long, and the cast members working with the characters keep the line moving at a quick pace.

        Reply
    2. Kayce

      This isn’t an advertised service, you have no idea how much work and how time consuming this is. Keeping track of everything, the way people treat you if the signature is just a little off, or if an item gets ruined by mistake.

      Reply
  10. Maryke Morales

    This is sad. I had my special needs daughter so excited about this and even ler her pick out what she wanted to have autographed, now I will ptobably have to deal with a meltdown

    Reply
    1. B

      She can still get an autograph from the characters in person. And it’s more fun in person anyway. They can fuss over her.

      Reply
    2. Katherine

      As an ADA guest. You may be able to circumvent this notice. Contact DCL directly, as a Guest Assistance Request. Disney works with the Exceptional Children on all levels, to make sure that their visits are memorable.

      Reply
  11. Hannah

    This is so upsetting. My family is doing our first Disney Cruise in September and this was promising to be one of the great aspects of cruising Disney. Another one of those things that everyone claims to set Disney apart from the others is being taken away. The lines for the character meet and greets will likely be outrageous now. *sigh*

    Reply
  12. Christy

    Very disappointing, I already ordered the item we planned to have signed for our cruise later this year. This is going to make the meet and greet lines much longer since people no longer have the option of dropping off an item at Guest Services.

    Reply
  13. Ann other

    Someone has to sign these. My thoughts are less time backstage signing, more time onstage and creating memories!!

    Reply
  14. Debbie Fisher

    Going on cruise #5 in Sept and had got something to be signed (for the first time). Too bad they can’t just limit it to 1 item per cabin since the demand is so high. Disappointed!!

    Reply
  15. Patti

    Bet the character meet and greet lines will be extra long now!! Ugh! We miss this great opportunity since our Dream Cruise leaves the 21st! 🙁

    Reply
    1. Dave F.

      Meet and greets are more about the photo than the autograph anyway. Anyone can force these signatures with some practice. But getting the signature in person is better. And some meet and greets require tickets. I had to get tickets for Elsa & Anna as well as one with Snow White, Tiana and Rapunzel.

      Reply
  16. Carol

    So sad to hear this. I have already purchased items for our October cruise as well. I wish I would have known sooner so I wouldn’t have wasted the money.

    Reply
  17. Wes

    Won’t it be a better experience to actually have your children ask the character for an autograph? And hey- maybe this means the characters will be out more often for you to have an individual magical moment with your family. It’s a good idea.

    Reply
  18. Mike Pegg

    Very upset over this…We are celebrating our youngest sons 6th birthday on our Dec 14th cruise aboard the dream, we were hoping to have something signed to commemorate the trip…

    Reply
  19. Jo

    It’s a shame, but understandable, as they deserve their free time to do what they desire. As an aside, I believe in stead of “all intensive purposes,” you mean to say, “all intents and purposes.” Just thought you might like to know. 🙂

    Reply
  20. Kelly

    This is like the Dive Mickey signs at Epcot; take a fun free thing, add the Internet, throw in a dash of entitlement… and the free thing goes away.

    Reply
  21. steve

    Here’s an idea everyone……read your navigator…..get in line……bring your items and get them signed IN PERSON!!!

    Reply
    1. David

      Yeah it seems like people are forgetting that you can actually see your favorite character do it in person…

      Reply
      1. Cristin

        The only issue I could see with this (because it was an issue for us) is that the puffy handed characters like Dug and Pluto really struggled signing DD’s autograph card and smeared ink all over the place even though we were using Sharpies. We opted to have each autograph done in person because we wanted it to feel real…but a few of them were definitely smeared and if someone was having a frame mat, ornament, pillowcase etc. done, it could be a bit hard for those characters to sign “neatly” while in costume.

        Reply
        1. Susanne

          Not sure what the issue may have been, but I see the characters (including Dug and Pluto at DAK) do it hundreds of times a day without a problem. ( A Photopass Photographer who works with these characters at DAK).

          Reply
  22. Marcia

    Everyone is acting like this is the end of the world! I promise it’s not. If that is all you were expecting to make your cruise magical then that is just sad. I love DCL and getting rid of this service isn’t going to change that.

    Reply
  23. Terri M

    Obviously many people didn’t read the part where this was NEVER an advertised or promised feature. In that case, they’re not taking any thing away from the cruise you purchased. Get over yourselves.

    Reply
    1. corgimommy

      While I’m not complaining at all, in fact, I find it humorous people actually think the characters themselves are the only ones that sign things behind the scenes, things that aren’t advertised and promised are almost the definition of what makes Disney, DISNEY. It’s the special touches. The intangibles. The extras that add to the magic of Disney. It’s a systemic dissolving of that magic that has been going on for years now. More and more of the magic is going away. THAT is what is working on making Disney less and else set apart from the “others”, and that should be alarming to Disney lovers.

      Reply
      1. Alicia

        I know from a friend of a friend that in fact it is the world famous Walt Disney characters, and ONLY the characters who sign your Mickey Mail and send it back to your stateroom. Can you blame them for wanting to spend more time having fun on set with your family rather than stuck in a room with a sharpie in hand?

        Reply
      2. Alice

        The characters ARE the ones signing everything. I used to be one. How would you like to have your precious down time eaten up due to all of these requests?

        Reply
      3. Former Character

        You find it humorous that people think the characters sign these items themselves? THEY DO. I used to be one. It is slave labor. Do you understand how many HOURS of down time are lost due to this free service? How tired they are? Have some compassion. If you care THAT much, look the signatures up online and sign the items for your children yourself if you don’t want to wait in line to meet the characters and get your signatures that way.

        Reply
  24. Lisa Rogers

    Please reconsider, Disney! This is such a cool feature of the cruise. My girls were really looking forward to having their photo border signed. ?

    Reply
  25. jill chambless

    So incredibly sad over this! It was by far my favorite souvenir!! It is one thing to carry around my kiddos autograph book in my bag but quite another to carry around a photo mat. We just got back in July and had two signed – one for my parents and one for us. We are giving the signed mat to my dad for his birthday with a picture of all of us on the cruise!! It is perfect surprise gift and I would never have been able to pull it off if I had to carry it around with me or run back to the cabin every time I wanted it!! Please reconsider Disney!!! I have no problem with two items per cabin – so incredibly worth it!!

    Reply
  26. r0binb

    Disappointing, YES. End of the world, NO. There’s still the option to take your special items to the character meet & greets to get them signed. They haven’t said only autograph books for that. And even though it may be a pain to carry around a photo mat or pillow case to get signed, it’s not like you’d have to lug it around with you all day trying to keep whatever it is clean and safe like you would in a park. Your stateroom is just a minute or two away at all times so the item can be signed then taken back to your cabin for safe keeping until the next time there’s are characters out for autographs.

    Reply
  27. Kristi McCormick

    People are in an uproar over this. Yes it was a nice thing that DCL did but it was never an official thing. There is someone on Facebook that wants to start a petition. Really??? Why can’t people just be happy that they are going on a cruise??

    Reply
    1. Bee

      I’m not sure why people are saying it was never an official thing. It wasn’t advertised, but they had guidelines, forms printed for people to fill out, set procedures, and was done on all four ships.

      Reply
  28. Diedre

    Are those sail dates the last time that this service is offered or the first time where it won’t be? My family is scheduled for the Wonder on Aug 10.

    Reply
  29. Jeffrey

    Oh Disney I DEMAND you give us something for free that was not advertised and was overly abused! Seriously people? Your demands and outrage sound pathetic, there are more important things in life.

    Reply
    1. corgimommy

      You’re missing the point. Disney sets itself apart with the “extras”. Most of what makes Disney, DISNEY, is in the unadvertised, the magic. Fewer and fewer magical things that are considered “extra magic” are happening these days, and that’s exactly what is making long time (over 20+ years) Disney fans like me and my family, start looking to vacation elsewhere (we’re primarily WDW goers, w/ a few cruises under our belts).

      Reply
      1. B

        But that’s exactly the thing, corgimommy. It’s the internet.
        Before the internet Disney had all these special extras they did and it just felt magical.
        Now, with people able to share information so easily and across such a wide distance, all of a sudden people post about when they got special pixie dust and all of a sudden everybody knows about it and feels upset when they didn’t get it.
        Eventually too many people are asking for special things (that were previously somewhat secret and were just given out like special surprises).

        Reply
  30. Kristi

    Take your children to meet the actual character and have them sign whatever your item may be. Not only will you still get your signature, your child will have a magical moment with the character as well.

    Reply
  31. ralloyd

    People have the right to their opinions and feelings. For some, this was one of the “extras” that made DCL worth the extra $$. As an adult with grown kids, I’ve never left an item to be signed by the characters. This Nov however, I had planned to get a Disney dinner plate signed for a very special little girl. Now it looks like I will be stalking the characters at the Meet &Greets to get it signed. I hope those of you who say “what’s the big deal, get over it” remember that when the lines get longer and you or your child can’t meet their favorite character. Each of us has their favorite little thing they love about DCL and if we found out it had been eliminated, I’m sure we would each have a similar reaction.

    Reply
  32. Laura

    Not much of a head’s up for people cruising later this year! We sail early September and I’ve already purchased a rather expensive item to have signed – and no, I can no longer return it. I understand if you want to phase out this service, but you should have given a longer window. People do prepare early.

    Reply
    1. Melissa

      If DCL announced they would phase it out, instead of 3,000 items to sign in a cruise, they would end up with 6,000 because everyone would bring things for their friends and get extra things signed before it goes away.

      Reply
  33. Used to work in the cruise line

    I don’t understand why people like to complain so much, that you are paying a lot of money to cruise it’s true but that doesn’t mean that the crew become your slaves. Do you have any idea of how many hours a crew member works, how tiring it is physically and emotionally; they give their best to make your experience as magical as possible; so also considerate that they are human beings that deserve to rest on the super short rest hours that they get. So making a line to get autographs from the characters should not be a big deal, that the lines are long, etc. it’s true but if you are smart and you plan and schedule yourself you can get it done fast. There are sooooo many many character sets even during the short day cruises, that if you don’t meet the them it’s simply because you don’t want too…

    Reply
  34. Crystal Connors

    While I understand those who are disappointed as I am too, I also understand those who think that we should not behave like children because we lost something that is not promised to us.

    I too like most and am little disappointed that this added bonus is gone, not because my DCL experience is now and forever more ruined, or because I think I am entitled to this service, but more so, I am disappointed because it is little extras like this that make Disney extra magical.

    I also understand the intent and comment on the original post that we should put ourselves in the characters shoes and be empathic with the work, dedication, and time that goes into bringing us this extra magic. While I respect and completely agree that the service aboard Disney is excellent, and comes at a great cost and dedication of it’s employee’s, I also think it is equally important to realize that we pay Disney prices for Disney Magic.

    Is Disney Magic worth the price….. absolutely,…… but would we continue to pay Disney prices if the small free magic like “BYOB, all inclusive fountain drinks, free room service, or character autographs start being taken away. We all have our “thing”.. that one thing that would change our Disney experience…..we should understand this little piece of magic may have been someone’s “thing”…

    I think those who had something pre-purchased, you should get creative and think of another fun way to create a new souvenir and new memory with your item. Often the best idea’s come from a change in plans. If you are really unhappy remember Disney more than any other organization loves to hear your feedback so leave a comment, offer suggestions as it maybe becoming a paid service, or having more character presence on the ship to make up for a possible in flux in people getting character autographs, but above all enjoy your cruise.

    Reply
    1. Walt S.

      Crystal Connors. Lengthy, but well said. Never have I seen so many negative responses. Please friends keep in mind it was an unadvertised service offered via Guest Services. UNADVERTISED……………Enjoy your cruise. I lost out on it too. Get over it. It’s not going to change unless you raise your voices to DCL, not Scott Sander’s Blog.

      Reply
  35. Tracey

    This is so disappointing. Disney needs to change the phase out date. With many people ordering custom items to have signed for cruises happening soon this is too short of notice. Consider 2016 which would give more time.

    Reply
  36. KH

    I do believe being upset or angry about this is the very definition of a first world problem. Let’s put things in perspective here, guys.

    Reply
  37. James

    Maybe everyone should focus on family time and quality time together then worrying about autographs. This process took away from the guest expirence since only the handful of “friends” could do it. A photo with a character goes a longer way then a pillow case you will wash at some point and loose the autographs. There was also a huge risk as clear directions sometimes were never provided, odd items delivered, breakables etc.

    Reply
  38. Apparently the only real adult here

    What really bugs me about all this is the sense of entitlement that all you grown adults are spitting out. Please re-read your comments and understand how spoiled you all sound. The internet has literally ruined Magical Moments on DCL as well as in the Parks. Things that were meant to be special have now be blogged about and advertised on forums and Pinterest to the point where Disney has no choice but to retire them. Even little things like free ice cream on your birthday or a Fastpass for finding the Tom Sawyer paint brushes were discontinued because of how popular it became. This UNADVERTISED service is no different. If you really like this character, ask when they’ll be out and make a point to actually interact with them and get your item signed. I mean, that’s the whole point of a Disney Cruise right? That’s why you spend the extra money. To enjoy experiences that you can’t find anywhere else in the convenience of a cruise.

    Reply
  39. Beth.

    Definitely too bad. Wish they would just charge for it. We bought pillowcases and took them with us on the Wonder last Christmas but completely forgot to take them to guest services to be signed until the last day and did not want to drop them off so late. We were planning on doing it this December. We have a child who is very very difficult and also did not try to stand in any lines to get autographs signed. We do not like to impose him on other people!

    Reply
  40. Melanie Boyer

    While I understand everyone’s disappointment and can understand Disney’s reasoning let me suggest this…take a cruise…on another cruise line…as we just did….NEVER AGAIN! Disney was our very first cruise to take. We just finished Alaskan cruise on another line and we were SOOOO disappointed. DCL goes ABOVE & BEYOND in customer service, quality, cleanliness, food, personability. Even my husband who was more the reason wanting to try a different line has said “Never. Again!!” We also just figured out that the Disney Cruise would’ve been cheaper in long run because this line nickel & dimes like crazy!

    We are looking forward to booking our next DISNEY cruise out of Galveston in 2016!

    Reply
  41. Mary Robinson

    Seems like they could do a first come first serve and limit it. Maybe put it on the Cruise Activities list and not release it for booking until first time everyone could book. That woould make it fair and still not overtax the castmembers’
    time. But that’s not going to happen 🙁

    Reply
  42. A

    This was a free, unadvertised unofficial service. Never promised. I’m sure the characters have worked very very hard making sure to sign every single 1,000+ mickey mail item they’ve received every single week. Do not be angry or upset at Disney. Be upset at the guests who took advantage and ruined it for everyone!

    Reply
  43. Walt S.

    Never have I seen so many negative responses. Please friends keep in mind it was an unadvertised service offered via Guest Services. UNADVERTISED……………Enjoy your cruise. I lost out on it too. Get over it. It’s not going to change unless you raise your voices to DCL, not Scott Sander’s Blog.

    Reply
  44. Beverly Brice

    This is so sad as we sail in September I am taking four grandchildren! I now see the lines longer to meet characters and for them to sign then. I think if Disney is going to do this they needed to give more noticed many people have purchased items for characters to sign. Why not start on January 1 of 2016???? Not two weeks notice please ????

    Reply
  45. Steven King

    I would have appreciated a longer notice of this! We just spent $50 on 2 wooden Disney anchors to take on our upcoming cruise in late September. I feel that 4 months notice would have been fair and sufficient. Please reconsider!

    Reply
  46. Luna

    Wow seriously people?!? All of these negative comments show exactly why special extras get taken away. What began as a magical thing that the cast members would do to help create the magic on their own on their break time has turned into a nasty expectation. I bet more and more people began to ‘demand’ this extra magic too much. So please go and create actual memories with your families and if Pluto smears his signature a little, atleast your child can remember and cherish that magical smear.

    Reply
  47. Former Crew Member

    Has anyone considered other reasons they may have made this decision? Maybe it’s not so much a time issue for the characters, but keep in mind how many hands your special items go through for this unadvertised bonus. If you give the items to Guest Services, they pass it off to the characters, who then return the items to Guest Services who finally distribute them to Housekeeping to leave in your staterooms.
    Returning cruisers know how small most of those stateroom are and likely realize there’s not a lot of empty space on a cruise ship. Where should Guest Services keep even 300 signed personal items? They are not paid enough to maintain that unadvertised expectation.
    Even if only one item per stateroom is specially signed, that’s still hundreds of items to store and keep organized until delivery on the final night. How would you feel if your specially ordered keepsake accidentally went to the wrong stateroom or somehow got lost in this process?
    Again, I’m just imaging the bigger picture.

    Reply
    1. Melissa

      I completely agree. We’re taking our 10th cruise in a couple months and have never had anything signed. It got completely out of control. It started with photo mats and pillow cases and spread to plates and anchors. I even saw a post where someone asked if they could bring a lamp to have autographed. No!

      Reply
      1. Laurie

        I know…seriously big anchors and lamps!! It is those things that probably contributed to this decision!

        Reply
  48. Mike

    I certainly understand and respect everybody’s opinion on this matter. Perhaps everybody that is upset and convinced that this change will ruin their DCL experience should cancel the cruise and book with somebody else.

    Won’t upset me to have a few less entitled people on my next cruise

    Reply
  49. Jess

    I completely agree with you Mike! In my opinion it’s not Disney that destroys the classic magic, it’s the guests… Having to put up with certain guests is always the only thing that ever has me have a negative Disney experience!

    Reply
  50. K

    Please keep in mind firstly, those who are generally upset their items won’t be signed at their leisure this time around have already had items signed before. If you haven’t, more often than not you heard about the complimentary service from a blog or post that gives “tips” on things to get for free from Disney. I’m not discrediting the magic of it all, I am saying that those blogs are your main problem because the information has been saturated so much that it becomes a wildly known “expectation” from guests who abuse something that used to be magical to the point it can no longer exist because of the overpopulation of the demand.

    Princess Cinderella is there ready to greet the day with all the children on board before you wake up everyday on your cruise which can be 6 or 7am and she’s there saying goodnights past the time you all go to bed which can be midnight or later, consider for a moment that every single one of the characters has this same schedule every single day as they don’t disembark the ship after a week and they are just as bright and bustley for the next group of guests to come aboard. I am tired of the idea that people are trying to spread around saying that it’s not actually the characters signing all of your absurd items you find to send in, because I can more than assure you it actually is. Consider how much Disney dedicates to character integrity and please keep that in mind. Now consider that you may wait a few extra minutes to get all 6 of your pillowcases signed by Cinderella in person but also, please keep in mind how difficult it is to have Cinderella sign all 6 of those pillowcases while you’re the reason the whole line is waiting longer because people bring an absurd amount of items, much of them very difficult to sign in the first place to be signed while there is a whole line waiting behind you. At that point do not have the audacity to complain about the wait times because you’re also not waiting in the hour long lines in the parks to have something signed instead.

    All those points being said, the cast members on the ships break their backs to make your trip as magical and problem free as much as possible without this adding to their lives. I promise that many guests who are upset about this will take the time to complain the the cast members and characters on the ships where in reality it’s out of their control. There was something special on the ships and due to the abuse brought on by the guests, it can no longer be around anymore. This is the reality.

    You aren’t losing the opportunity to have your items signed, you’re having to wait for the characters now just like you would in the parks, you just don’t have to wait as long and you don’t have to carry everything around with you all day long.

    Reply
    1. Nikki Lee

      Good that’s when my family’s going and we wouldn’t want to share the ship with your spoiled entitled ass.

      Reply
  51. Joann Ready

    Why such short notice? I am sailing on the member’s cruise and already purchased my 2 items to have signed. I sail in less than a month!! I can’t return the items.
    Has DCL thought about maybe as a last resort to charge a minimal fee to have an item signed?
    I think someone needs to rethink the timing of this. What happened to the Disney magic??

    Reply
    1. JM

      Entitled, demanding guests happened to the Disney Magic. This is not Disney’s fault. They are doing their best to keep up with more and more people thinking they are the center of the universe.

      Reply
    2. B

      The Disney magic goes away when too many people know about -and start asking for- special extras that used to be surprises, not expected.

      Also, the reason for the timing makes sense. If they give too much notice, people are going to start rushing to get items in before the deadline so they can make sure they get their stuff done before it goes away. Disney would end up with at least twice as much stuff to sign.

      Reply
  52. Misty

    So very disappointed in this decision. This will make the character lines that much longer. Already on our last cruise there were few character lines we waited in due to length. This is such a bad decision.

    Reply
  53. BigRed

    In future news, the Cruise Lines will be offering this as a paid service for $25 per autograph requested. They will also only do this on Disney approved merchandise that is conveniently available in one of the stores for $50 or more.

    Reply
  54. Bill B.

    We finally used this service on our Alaskan trip last month. I am so happy we did it now. At least we got 2 pillow cases signed before they discontinued it. They are really nice

    Reply
  55. Car f.

    Wow I can’t believe how upset everyone is getting. Disney thrives on positive guest service, so I am sure they gave this a lot of thought before making the decision to discontinue this service and had very valid reasons to do so.

    Reply
  56. Elle

    It stops being “magic” when people start demanding it. I don’t understand the outrage with Disney over this. It wasn’t Disney that ruined anything, it was the people that shared this service all over the Internet and the idiots that insisted on sending in multiple items to be signed by some cast member sitting below deck like a third world country factory worker.

    Reply
  57. Susan

    So all of you voicing your disappointment because you spent $$$$ on items to be signed, you aren’t planning on still getting them signed by standing in line? Just curious.

    Reply
  58. Luna

    If everyone is so upset just because DCL is ending a free service that cast members began on their own to help create magic and are upset about having to wait in long lines to actually meet the character for their signatures, then maybe Disney should begin a seperate service where you can just pay for signatures. I know for a fact that the characters would rather not sign autographs anyways for their entire sets and would instead like to actually be able to animate and create magical moments with your families. What used to be amazing moments has now turned into an assembly line of just just autugraphs and non magical photos. Such a shame how society is now with nothing but expectations and non appreciation.

    Reply
  59. Laurie

    It was getting crazy…people weren’t bringing only pillowcases and photo mats, but anchors and other big odd shaped items.

    Reply
  60. Griffin

    Ok. This should not be a game changer, it’s a free, unadvertised service that DCL was doing as a COURTESY. They don’t need to have a far advanced warning, they are taking away one of your listed/ adverstised perks like free soft drinks, soft serve etc. Employees already work REDICULOUS hours, and because of the Internet and tip boards they are working even more hours because of this courtesy service. I get it, it was a nice service, but lines at characters aren’t too bad. You can bring WHATEVER you want for them to sign, they would be happy to do it for you. Getting upset because employees were being swamped, and having trouble finding enough time to sign them all is crazy. DCL didn’t stop all autographs, they are still allowed, so think about the other side for once because the employees just couldn’t do it anymore. Think about others.

    Reply
  61. Shannon Beach

    Although I understand how this can be disappointing to some people, isn’t half the fun getting to meet the characters and having them sign it personally?

    Otherwise, why don’t you do a little research on the characters signatures and sign it for your kids yourself? They aren’t going to know the difference right?!

    Reply
  62. FellowCollector

    Maybe DCL will add a new stateroom decoration package. Like others they already sell, it could have a bed runner and a door magnet, but have a character-signed logo pillowcase. Cost would probably be $75, with additional cases added for about $25 each. But, that would provide an option for guests that really want it (and many are already spending that to get items to bring for signing anyway).It may sound costly, but it provides a potential solution, and might even create a new job if it is really popular! We purchased the holiday decotation package last year, and the runner was very nice; we rolled it up to decorate our hotel room after the cruise, and again when we got home for just one fee. And, the runner was the same material as a plasticized Disney reusuable bag, so we should have it for years to come!

    Reply
  63. Dave F.

    I offered this to my kids on our last Cruise (Disney Dream in January) and they refused, they said it was cheating. For them the fun was getting the autograph in person with a photo in their autograph book. Heck they competed with each other to see who could get more autographs.

    That said, has DCL ever heard of the auto-pen. Celebrities and Politicians use it all the time to mass produce their signatures for letters, requests and the like. Considering we’re dealing with Cartoon Characters, having an employee or two work an auto-pen every night doesn’t seem that complex.

    Reply
  64. Walt S.

    Scott. I think you hit a nerve here. some things are better left alone. I think this is a record breaking reply for you. Best part of it is that they will get over it. Enjoy.

    Reply
  65. Bibbidi Bobby

    It’s already been said a few times here, but is it really that hard to google the autographs, practice them a few times, sign the items yourself before (or overnight on) the trip and then “Magically” have the items land in your room for the kids?? You know exactly what you or your child want, and you could easily “collect” the autographs before your trip in the exact positions that you’re after.

    It’s not like the kids would have gotten them in person with the old system anyways.

    Reply
  66. Louise A

    Wow! Maybe DCL should reconsider their decision…it appears from reading these replies that a Disney Cruise vacation is ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS without unless cruisers are given free autographs of “Characters”. It did occur to me that the pillow case thing could easily be a sham (pun intended:) but if the characters are really signing their own, then this is probably quite time consuming as they must write each signature carefully in their “neatest” handwriting…I sign 100-200 company checks every other week in one sitting and it is not something I look forward to. And I don’t even have to sign “neatly”. Maybe all the complainers should try sitting down and signing their neatest signature 100 times (or however many times they think the “characters” must sign these extra items per cruise, I have no idea…we have been on 12 cruises and have never done this so I didn’t know it was such BIG DEAL we have been missing out!) and repeat every 3, 4, 5 or 7 days (most Disney Cruises are one of these lengths). Then if anyone is still thinking they are being horribly wronged by this new policy, I would be happy to take your cruise for you 🙂

    Reply
  67. Sandy

    Thank you for posting and letting us know. I guess that I will not be needing to bring the Costco sized bag of candy for the cast as a thank you for they would not be able to enjoy it in costume. I just heard about it from a fellow traveler and it is my first cruise ever and traveling as an adult family. Well maybe after reading how hard they work I will anyway 🙂

    Reply
  68. JM

    “Well, good morning everybody! And welcome to day 255,642 aboard the Axium (or your chosen DCL vessel). As always, the weather is a balmy 72 degrees and sunny. And, uh. Oh, I see the ship’s log is showing that today is the 700th anniversary of our five year cruise. Well, I’m sure our forefathers would be proud to know that 700 years later we’d be doing the exact same thing they were doing. So, be sure next mealtime to ask for your free sep-tua-centennial cupcake in a cup (and your 47th autographed pillow case).”

    WALL-E

    Reply
  69. Suzie

    I’m not even 100% sure how I feel about the actual topic, but I do know I’m amused by how powerful the reactions are – and how numerous. This announcement has had more comments than the discussions about the Confederate flag, leaving children (and pets) in hot cars, etc. If Disney is doing this in order to treat Mickey and the gang more fairly, kudos to them. I’m sure they’ll find a way to replace the service, although they’ll likely charge for it, and hopefully that charge will go directly to the gang and their handlers, and the MAGIC will still be there for the children OF ALL AGES. Personally, my autographed surprise was one of my great memories and I admit I didn’t think that preparing it might have been burdensome for Mickey etc. Like so many of us,at the moment I received it was “all about me.” Now I’ll cherishit EVEN MORE! Please give a hug to Mickey and all of his (and my) friends for me. I trust they’ll still be smiling and making creative magic for many years to come. Yay for the continuation of fantasy and magic ( pun not intended….but …) In our lives. PLEASE….let go of your anger…enjoy your cruises…know that you are among a privileged few having them….don’t let your anger be passed to your children or other fans.

    Reply
  70. Louise A

    FYI you can google “Disney character signatures” images and tah-daaaah….all the eamples you could need to sign those items and create that magic for your kids (sort of like scheduling a pre-cruise character phone call? Helping Santa with delivering toys or Easter Bunny hide eggs?) The “Characters” must learn their signatures and you can see there is a bit of variation, but generally similar. I agree with the people who comment that the magic is really in getting your kids to meet the characters where they can have them sign “in person” and take a picture, that would be much more meaningful than something you drop off and pick back up at the end. Sounds like Disney could solve the problem by selling pre-signed pillow cases in their gift shop? You all could get them monogrammed later at home…or maybe they could offer monogramming service too? The people complaining the most seem to have done this before and are planning on doing it again…uh maybe if you people were not abusing the nice freebie they would not have to discontinue? Really how many pillow cases do you need and is it really magical to drop off and pick up? This is what happens when people get used to getting something for free, they start to expect it, then they feel entitled to it, then they are angry when it is no longer given to them. And this is just pillow cases! My goodness people are struggling to make ends meet in this world and you all are going on multiple Disney cruises…count your blessings! And if you have already got a signed item be happy with what you have! I hope you can find some other way to have a magical voyage…there are so many opportunities because Disney is the BEST!

    Reply
  71. Ashley

    I’m surprised so many are reacting negatively. I know people are disappointed though. We are sailing on the 5th of September and I was going to bring a birthday card to use in December for my son’s birthday. However, I completely get why they are pulling back. I think this tip was on every single blog or forum I read. Just too many people at this point. It’s a shame but an understandable one. AND certainly shouldn’t define your cruise….

    Reply
  72. Jenny

    August? Forget it, got turned down from customer service on my May 2015 wonder cruise. Soooooo disappointed!!!

    Reply
  73. Soitwouldseem

    First off…yes this is a first world problem. Will I cancel my cruise over it? No (but then again I am already paid in full). Am I allowed to voice my displeasure. Sure am. Because lets face it, we ALL have voiced displeasure over some first world problem.

    This will be our first Disney cruise (October 2015) and will also be our last. I have to agree that the magic of Disney is individual. I for one have to the say the magic for me would not be waiting in line, because really is there anything magical about waiting in line? Not to me. Certainly not with gobs of other people, bored children, etc….
    Not having to stand in line for these autographs was a really big bonus for me. I can think of many more ways to enjoy my time with my family than standing in line. Now if you like to stand in line, not saying that’s wrong, just not my thing ;-).

    Lets face it. Disney is not cheap. This cruise cost our family $2200 more than RC (for a lower room too!) and then $1200 airfare. $3400 is a lot of $$ I can do other things with and I will be doing so in the future (sorry Disney).

    The slow, but steady, decline in their customer service coupled with the slow removal of “magic” that used set them apart from other cruise lines will not allow me to push aside the cost difference. This is not the first piece of magic that has left – you can no longer the rice crispy mickey heads from room service (in fact you cannot get them at all apparently), again another big piece of magic for me.

    Now do I agree, it probably got out of hand? Obviously (LAMPS????). But the complete discontinuation coupled with the statement (read: dictatorship) hat the characters will ONLY sign autographs books ( n which I am willing to bet will eventually be limited to their ridiculously overpriced made in China autograph books) is disappointing.

    Got out of hand. OK. You modify it. Limit to one per stateroom. Put restrictions on the item (pillowcases, non breakable items, etc), with disclaimers that Disney is not responsible for the item once your drop it off. And certainly make exceptions for those with neurological problems which standing in long lines with gobs other people, noise, will not allow.

    Reply
    1. Luna

      Umm.. how can you post about how unhappy you are if you haven’t even been on the cruise yet? :/ Just strange…

      Reply
    2. JM

      This makes me so sad. The real magic is having those few precious moments with the actual character. Speaking with them. Having them sign your item in person. The wait is worth it. THAT is special. People avoiding that is the loss of magic. Having items shipped off to be signed in some hole on the ship “fast food” style by someone in sweat pants is the problem with the world these days.

      Reply
    3. Todd

      Please – stay home. Reserve with Royal Caribbean. Frankly, I don’t want to be standing in a line listening to you complain about how your trip is ruined because of your perceived entitlement being taken away. My family has been on eight Disney cruises, and we leave for the 9th in two days. We meet interesting people in line and make friends that last the week and beyond. The characters have fun with my daughter and I get great pictures for us all to remember. Signed pillowcases and anchors for which people are paying stupid prices? I’ll take a picture of my daughter smiling with Chip and Dale over that! That’s why I cruise Disney!

      Reply
    4. cindyseaburn

      Just curious…how can you speak to the decline in customer service on DCL when you have not even been on a Disney cruise yet? What are you comparing it to? Others comments? Honestly, there are Negative Nellies in our world who will find fault with just about anything…and those are the people who shout the loudest. Please do not form an opinion on a product you have yet to even experience yourself.

      Reply
  74. Louise A

    It is you “entitled” fanatical people who are making cruising less magical. You are obsessed with “getting free stuff” to the point that you will spend time and energy complaining about it getting taken away; but you complain anyway that it is not convenient for you to collect the freebies. I agree with the comment about not wanting to stand in line with a bunch of whiners for autographs, but I also don’t get how you can comment about declining “magic” without having taken a Disney Cruise? Personally, I don’t get the big obsession with autographs, and having someone who has been taught how sign the “Mickey Signature” on your $60 (!?!!! what! reallly?) embroidered pillowcase in a back room of the ship while on their break (which they really get very little downtime) really kinda defeats the purpose…isn’t collecting autographs about meeting the “person” and you have proof of it? If guest services getting autographs for you is all you have to look forward to on your Disney Cruise, again, I volunteer to take that horrible cruise off your hands. What “Characters” does RCL have to sign your stupid stuff? P.S. your kids would rather spend time with you in the pool than standing in line…they only care about autographs because you tell them to. And Character autographs are NOT going to be “valuable” someday…just so you know 🙂

    Reply
    1. rlopez2626

      Louise,

      I disagree with you! When I had Guest Services had the characters sign on her picture frame, it never crossed my mind that I would someday profit from the autographs. I believe the majority will agree that they will not be in any value but we are not stupid! Nonetheless, I loved the service of having the characters’ autographs. This service allowed us to be able to do other things than to wait in line for characters that often not are not around or the time slot is during my dinner! If I’m going to $6,000.00 for a family of four for a cruise trip, I better get the service that I deserve!

      Reply
  75. John

    We did this once. Last two cruises kids wanted the autograph books back. It turns out that the magic for them was standing in front of the character getting the item signed. That’s what they remember when they look at their autograph books. The pillow case we had signed for them doesn’t mean anywhere as much.

    For those complaining about the lamps or the anchor or the 50″ x 50″ mat they got just for this, well you’re the ones that need to look yourself in the mirror when you wonder who is to blame.

    For all those who complained after an item was signed, damaged or lost, you can join that line as well. At some point the liability gets too high.

    Pixie dust is only pixie dust when it happens unexpectedly and at random otherwise its just a service.

    Reply
  76. Tricia

    This is such a huge disappointment. As far as the cruise line industry goes, Disney Cruise Lines has always made every effort to exceede guests expectations in order to make those magical memories for their guests and this was truly one of the highlights. For the substantial amount of money we all pay above and beyond similar vacations on other cruise lines, it would seem to me that Disney would want to make every effort to ensure guests walk away feeling that extra special, magical touch that this brought us all on our very last day. It was the final impression and the one most of us see every day, that we look back on fondly and inspires us to book another manual cruise. Please rethink this DCL!!!

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Tricia, This has more to do with cast and crew members’ time than it does taking away a magical moment. Crew free time was being taken up by this unpaid work on a regular basis. This has been mentioned a few times in the comments already. The crew work long hours, 7-days a week and each and every moment they have scheduled off should be time for themselves.

      Mickey Mail transitioned from a special moment a long time ago when it became so widely known and at times abused. For those that are sad this is going away and mad at DCL, you all should be thanking them for allowing this go on for as long as it has.

      The memory of Belle sitting down and talking to my daughter about the book she was reading is a memory that will last forever. I for one would prefer Belle use her free time to do as she pleases so when she is out meeting with guests she is willing to make those interactions more meaningful and memorable.

      Reply
      1. rlopez2626

        Scott,

        Come’ on! Really!!! DCL needs to hire more workers to sign those autographs! Their stocks are going through the roof and they can’t hire extra help! Rather paying a worker $100.00/hr to carve fruits out and shape them into flowers, fish, animals, or sculpting the ice; hire more workers to make it more magical for customers!!!! And no, we are not guests, we are customers. If I were a guest then why am I paying to cruise!

        Reply
      2. Tricia

        I completely understand how difficult this must have been on each Cast Member so graciously providing this extra magical touch and I completely agree that it should not infringe on their time and that they should be paid for every hour worked….. However I still think that this was truly one precious memory that Disney created that helped set them far apart from other cruise lines.

        As much as I enjoyed every special moment standing in line with my little girl getting autographs, my boys did not. (They wanted to be on the Aqua Duck.) On our final day, when we walked in and the boys found those special gifts lying on their beds however, they were elated. What an incredible memory to take with and treasure forever.

        Everyone has that special something that truly makes their trip more magical, for my kids, this was one of theirs and as a result one of mine. I would love to see them stick to the limit of 2 per stateroom and continue to provide this extra part of the magic once they’ve hired more Cast Members to adequately meet the demand. I’ve sat on both sides of the fence on this one, I’m a former Cast Member and DCL guest & I truly appreciate the sacrifices each CM makes both on stage and off to make these memories so precious. When you have one that leaves such a long lasting and profound impact for so many, I just think it’d be a shame to loose it. I for one hope they’ll reconcider and make the necessary adjustments needed to continue this magical service.

        Reply
        1. rlopez2626

          Well said Tricia! Disney is a multi-billion dollar company right up there with Apple Inc.! They can hire more people to sign the picture frames! I agree, there should be a limit. For example, if you have one adult and three children in premium staterooms, there should be a limit to three. If you only have one child on the cruise, only that child will be given that “magical” experience that everyone is referring…. I call it, customer service at its finest!

          Reply
    2. Louise A

      Maybe you people need to keep your minds open to new magical things because there are sooooooo many on a Disney Cruise…I have taken 12 cruises and have NEVER been disappointed by a lack of magic. I also have never had guest services gather autographs for me and I was aware that they would do it, just never thought of it as being such a magical thing…the magic is meeting the characters and interacting and getting a picture of your kid’s smiling face! I think people try to force magic because they are afraid they will “miss out” on something? There is so much to do on a Disney Cruise you can’t possibly experience everything at once! I can’t believe all the people stuck in a rut on this one freebie…how many times have most of you complainers used this “service”? More than once? Then the newbie whiners can thank you for abusing it and getting it discontinued.

      Reply
      1. rlopez2626

        Louise,

        Which planet did you land on because its sounds like you are making an foul argument from the planet Kepler! Here’s the thing! Customers deserve the extra service! Who cares if you have been on DCL 12 times! What is your point?! The only person that is whining is you! As a stock shareholder of Disney, I expect superb services!!! Now, go pound sand Louise!

        Reply
        1. D

          I think you need to relax a bit. This was never a service that you purchased, you want an autograph from a FICTIONAL character, go stand in line and get it yourself.

          Reply
          1. rlopez2626

            D,

            I did stand in line! I stood in line at Guest Services…I mean customer service line and they took my picture frame to have the characters sign it! Now, that was magical!!!

        2. JM

          Do the characters deserve to be treated like slaves? Hell no. Get over yourself. I worked on the Disney ships. You DO get superb service. Constantly. We work our butts off for you. This service was extra and abusive to the people making that magic happen.

          Reply
        3. JM

          My “data” is my personal experience. My cramped hand and the pain killers I took when it began affecting my shoulder. The lack of sleep I experienced due to signing thousands of items early in the morning before my regular shifts began and after hours late into the night. Trying to keep up with the demand on our own time when the number of items became overwhelming and there was no other way to get them all done before debarkation. Guests requesting “all of the signatures” on ridiculous items like tiny pins and keychains. Please put yourself in our shoes. This was not an advertised service and it was taken advantage of. Don’t be cruel.

          Reply
          1. Jess

            I’m really happy this has come to an end. The last thing I want is for CMs to have to deal with this garbage. I’m sure when it came about it was intended to be a cute, secret thing, but goodness knows how the internet kills Disney secrets.

  77. Beth

    I am confused. Will characters sign a plain white pillowcase instead of an autograph book if we stand in line at meet and greet? Assuming we bring something hard like an autograph book to put under it?

    Reply
  78. Teri

    WOW! I cannot believe these comments! The majority of these crew members work 70+ hours a week, four or more months at a time, without one day off and for very little pay. They do it because they love Disney & they love being a part of making dreams come true. My daughter is a former cast member & would call home crying because she was exhausted from the long hours. She would also be upset because she was threatened by guests who demanded they should be given what ever they wanted because it was Disney & they were entitled to it. I for one am glad that DCL has removed this free service if it means that cast members will actually be able to get a few hours off during the day, instead of having to sit & sign 1000’s of items late into the night. I am taking my first cruise this month, full price, no discount. I will take the pillowcase (that my daughter gave my disabled son to take with us) out of my suitcase & bring that large bag of Costco candy instead to share with the crew who will go out of their way to make my vacation as magical as they possibly can.

    Reply
  79. Heidi

    That really sucks! I got my son and nephew a personalize pillowcase last august and its a great memento. And it allowed for us to get some of the autographs we weren’t able to stand in line for. With our pillowcase I also gave the cast an appreciation gift (a bag of mints) with a note stating “This mint so much to us that your signed our pillowcases”. My way of saying thank you for taking your time to do this for my son and nephew.
    I was planning to get a canvas signed next time to display an onboard family photo after our next trip. I mean I understand with the overwhelming demand for this extra magic has now gotten so well known that they feel it takes up more time than initially…and that may be true. But I think just cutting out the service is harsh. I mean, if its that’s popular Disney should make it an optional service for a fee; kind of like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I’m sure people wouldn’t mind paying. Its like buying a souvenir. And that fee could be split among the characters.

    Reply
    1. Walt S.

      Heidi. that is the best comment I read out of all these comments. Why not make it a paid service for those that demand it, instead of cancelling it altogether. That way they can hire someone to do the signatures only for those that do not want to stand in line. No one have to know who is doing the signing since it is being done behind close doors. In a small way it will help the economy if you give it someone from the USA. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Heidi

        Thank you Walt for agreeing with me. Now if Disney would just read the comment we might have a chance. It would be a win for everyone 🙂

        Reply
  80. Shelley

    Wow. I did use this service on my last cruise. First time in 10 cruises. Only time I had planned to – how many times do you need to get an object signed by characters? Do I think its unfortunate that its going away. Yes. Do I think Disney is taking away something I am entitled too? HECK NO! Do I wait in lines to see characters already? Yes. Just me. No kids. Could I get an autograph too? Yes. Will I complain about the line because the occasional person wants an autograph? No. People are constantly getting them already. Am I horrified to hear about the hours spent doing this by the cast? Yes – I didn’t realize the volume and now I feel bad for having done it.

    I really don’t see this as the big problem people are making it out to be. Given the tone of all the comments upset about the change, I’m honestly surprised Disney didn’t put a stop to this earlier. Its not losing this unadvertised, unpaid service that is removing magic from people’s vacations, its the entitled attitudes of the guests.

    Reply
    1. R.S. 2

      Wanna know why? Because 90% of the upset people on this board will take revenge by bringing all of their crap items through the line instead. Don’t think it will happen? Oh…it would. Guaranteed. They sell a picture frame with the Disney Character’s Signatures on it. What’s the difference? I’m sure you can find a pillowcase with signatures on it as well…sans black Sharpie marker that is probably on the characters hands long after they retire for the night. It was never a promised service (or one you paid for) or in your cruise contract.

      Reply
  81. Westcliffe Courtland

    We have just returned from a Disney Cruise and it is interesting to see this explosion about this. I didn’t know about this until this cruise and it was an interesting revelation. The cruise was a gift to my borther (who is quareplegic with a terminal muscle wasting disease) and my mom who has devoted her life to looking after him. I wanted to get some character autographs on a picture frame with a picture of our embarkation picture in it to celebrate is birthday (which was on the cruise). An amazing, amazing cast member arranged to get all the signatures for me when she found out what I was trying to do and created an incredible Magical Moment for me and my family. Followed by another fanatastic cast member who searched though thousands of photos to find our embarkation photo which had not registered on our account due to a glitch with their computer software so we could have the photo by Day 2 (birthday day). I have been on a number of Disney cruises and was not aware of the signature being offered as a service, or indeed would want to avail myself of such a service, but finding our by a generous cast member helping me fulfil a special moment for my brother was fantastic. These are why I keep going on Disney Cruises, those amazing moments created by the incredible generosity of spirit the cast has.

    Personally I think it is right that this is discontinued as a “service” that can be asked for, but I truely hope they can continue it as a Magical Moment where they can surprise people who least expect it. This is what magic is, amazing experiences given from the heart, not demanded as an service.

    Reply
  82. Westcliffe Courtland

    After posting my previous reply (and I realise this story is older so pretty much no-one will read this) I started thinking about why I travel with Disney and what Magical Moments mean to me, especially in the light of some of the fantastically miserable and uncharitable remarks some people have made about Disney and the cast. Particularly the demand that Disney should just provide such services as a matter of course or that Disney magic is being diluted.

    I think a lot of people are forgetting what magic or Magical Moments are (and why they truly are magic) and confusing them with getting stuff or freebies. For our most recent cruise we had a lot of magic we will never forget (and it the stuff we have talked about the most), none of it cost anyone much at all, none of it resulted in us getting “stuff” and all of it made our holiday truly special.

    So a few of our top bits of magic:-
    The Special Services team and the housekeeping team on the ship worked together with the company supplying the special equipment my brother needed to understand what was needed and how big it was. They then measured it all out in the cabin and took out furniture and substituted furniture to make sure everything fitted well and there was also plenty of space for my mom and brother to enjoy in the cabin (most leading hotel chains just shove the extra stuff in the room and leave it to you to try and make it work with a lot less space – e.g one hotel crowbarred into the room 2xqueen sized beds, a medical bed, a hoist and other equipment meaning it was a tough job to even open the door)

    My mom accidentally erased all of her photos of the holiday and a previous holiday (finger trouble on the buttons of the camera) but one of the cast in Shutters heard about it and took the card and overnight did a recovery on the memory card so absolutely no photos were lost (for free! – how many places will do that?)

    Pretty much every single cast member talked directly to my brother and were very patient with him when he was having trouble replying (you would be amazed at how many people normally talk to my mom directly about him when he is right there. He is in a wheelchair, not deaf or stupid).

    Our server was amazing and would build up a structure out of tableware to make sure his menu was at the right height and angle for him to read AND never for a second made us feel pressured about time because my brother has difficulty eating and can take a while even when we were the last people left in the restaurant.

    One of the servers from Palo who we saw doing a shift in Cabanas spotted my brother checking out the buffet so he could go back and tell my mum what he wanted for breakfast. She just grabbed a plate, got him everything he wanted and took it back to the table for him.

    We treated my mum to some time in the spa and had brought onboard a bottle of champagne for her to enjoy, when we brought it up to the top deck one of the cast produced an ice bucket and plastic champagne flutes (when he noted we were thinking of using the hot tub) without being asked.

    One of the entertainments staff took the trouble to chat to my brother, find out his name, then made sure that every evening he got to the theatre and settled in for the show

    This is what magic is and this is why we love Disney!

    Reply
  83. amara

    So here are my thoughts. Disappointed? Yes. Planning on using this service? Yes. Do I understand WHY they are doing this? yes. Do I think asking for an autograph is more memorable? Yes.
    However… the most upsetting part is… only being able to bring an autograph book. If I could still bring a photo mat in person for an autograph I would be fine with it.
    We really want signatures on a photo mat to frame our favorite photo from the cruise. Is there a reason this won’t be able to happen? What is the reason for not signing photo mats?

    Reply
  84. David

    About to go on cruise #7 and would not want to be on any other cruise line. Disney is just Practically Perfect in every way…..love it and excited to surprise kiddos as they have no idea

    Reply
  85. RSX3

    I am late on this, but must add…..thank you to every character that made the wooden letters for my daughter and grandon so special. Knowing what I know now–I am very grateful. (We cruised in 2014 when this will still acceptable.)
    Our #4 cruise is next year–so soon I will begin to prepare! My daughter will continue to gather signatures in her autograph book or her new Disney character encyclopedia and I will gladly stand in line with her holding my newest grandsons wooden letter and be happy knowing I am blessed.

    Reply
    1. Mbroden

      So you are able to bring an item, like a pillowcase or picture frame, to be signed? But you must stand in line? or plan a meet and greet? Thanks for the info!

      Reply

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