Scrapbooking Your Disney Photos

It’s been said that 1/3 of all photos are taken at the Magic Kingdoms. Wow—seems like a lot, but I can believe it! I love Disneyland. I’ve been four times, twice with my husband Chris before we had our daughter Lauren and twice after. And whether the photos are just Chris and me, or the two of us with Lauren, I have always scrapbooked our Disney memories.

Scrapbooking and photo albums

scrapbook project

A patterned paper with a pre-printed border tells the story behind the photo! Paper from 12”x12”Busy Scrapper’s Solution Disney Papers.

So what’s the difference between making a scrapbook and simply putting your photos in one of those autograph albums? A scrapbook preserves the photo and memorabilia (like those autographs, plus so much more) as well as your journaling. A scrapbook also tells the story behind the photos—the excitement, the funny things, the stuff you and your family did and said and experienced that’s totally unique to you.

That said, don’t pass up the autograph book, by any means. Lauren has one and she loves it. When we came home from our last Disneyland trip she put her photos in the sleeves and now has her own book that she keeps in her room.

I love quick and easy pages! These took just a few minutes to put together. Paper and 3-D embellishments from 8"x8" Fun & Bright Almost Done™ Page Kit.

scrapbook project

Now, if you’ve been to either Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you know there are lots of photo opportunities!

Action Shots. We’ve all seen them: The photos shot from the hidden cameras in the rides. This is where you get those pictures of yourself and loved ones screaming as you ride down the rapids in Splash Mountain. They’re great keepsakes and I almost always buy them.

Character Shots. Lauren loves having her photo taken with the characters, especially the Princesses…and as good parents, Chris and I are happy to stand in line for the chance to meet Cinderella, snap a photo and get her autograph. (If you have kids, this is what you do at the Magic Kingdoms!)

scrapbook project
Scrapbook your photos and autographs in a coordinating double-page spread. Paper from 12"x12"Busy Scrapper’s Solution Disney Papers.

Professional Shots. These professional photographers stationed throughout the parks are great—in addition to pics of Lauren with the characters, I can get family photos without the hassle of setting up a tripod or timing the picture. And sometimes the photographers will also take your photo with your camera, too.

Your Shots. Besides all those great photos you can buy, don’t forget to bring your own camera for those “around the park” photos. These are the ones you’ll really cherish—your husband in a Goofy hat or you as an adult twirling around in the Teacups. Older kids are generally not as into the character thing, so your photo opps are probably going to be of the rides. While the action shot photos are great, I’d also take a few pictures of your family standing outside each ride.

Memorabilia Shots. Okay, just how do you scrapbook that Goofy hat your husband not only tried on, but bought? Or that lanyard full of trading pins? Neither one of those is going to fit in a scrapbook—instead, take a picture of the item (preferably with the owner wearing it!) and scrapbook that.

How many photos to take
Typically, scrappers take about 3 rolls of film for a few days at the Magic Kingdom. I use a digital camera and I delete my bad photos as I go. I usually come home with about 100 photos altogether.

Which photos to use
Please do not feel that you must scrapbook all 100 photos simply because you have them. One photo of Mickey is just fine—you don’t need a photo of your child and Mickey in six slightly different poses. Choose just your favorites. I usually give the others to family members (Grandma loves them) or to Lauren, who likes to scrapbook with them herself.

What kinds of pages to make
I usually make one double-page spread per “land” at Disneyland. A double-page spread simply means that when you open your album, the two pages that face each other coordinate. Now, don’t drive yourself crazy with this—the pages don’t have to be identical. I just match them by color and by the theme of the photos. I usually fit 3-4 photos per page, so a double-page spread will show 6-8 pictures. If you have fewer than that, don’t worry!

What journaling to include

scrapbook project

Use computer journaling, handwriting or Punch-Outs™ to tell your story. Punch-Outs from Disney Magic Kingdom Punch-Outs™.

The journaling is the difference between a scrapbook and a photo album. Journaling is the writing that explains what’s going on in the photos and tells the story of your experience. Now, some people automatically think, “But I’m not a very good writer!” Don’t worry about it.

You’re recording information here, and most of us feel more comfortable writing straight information than creative writing. You really just want to make sure you’re recording the stories that go behind each photo. You might keep a little notepad in your purse to jot things down, or ask the family to help you remember.

So, what else can you say about your trip, and how can you say it? Here are a few of my favorites:

Recording conversations. Record conversations with you and your child, or between your child and one of the characters. On our last Disneyland visit, I jotted down the conversations Lauren had with the various Princesses—including the potentially embarrassing question she asked Ariel! (Ariel, bless her, handled it very well!)

Comparison journaling. I love doing comparison journaling. Lauren has been to Disneyland twice, once when she was three and again at six. It’s really fun to make a list of things she loved, rides she went on, experiences she had, foods she liked and things she said when she was three, then compare those things to her trip at age six. This is also fun if you went to the Magic Kingdom as a kid, then returned as an adult. What’s different? What’s the same? (What’s smaller than you remembered?)

Top Ten. Another great journaling recipe is a Top 10 list. These can all be on one list “Gerig Family Top 10 Disneyland Memories” or you can break it down into separate lists like your family’s top ten rides, top ten favorite foods, top ten characters. Keep it simple, or elaborate on why each item made it to the Top 10 list.

Calendar Style. Try a Calendar Style of journaling, where you list your schedule for each day. List the rides you went on, the food you ate, the souvenirs you bought and the characters you met.

He Says, She Says. This journaling style gives each family member a chance to have a voice. What did Dad say about that Thunder Mountain Railroad experience? What did Mom say? And what did the kids think?

Journaling with Kids. Another take on the “he says, she says” journaling recipe is to let your kids write their own memories. Give them a piece of acid-free paper, a pen and let them write. You get their spin on the experience plus the bonus of their handwriting at that age. If they’re too little, ask them to dictate to you.

What if I don’t have kids? Can I still make a Disney album?
Of course you can! Like I said, Chris and I went to Disneyland twice before we had Lauren! Whether you go with a significant other or a group of friends, great photo opps abound. After all, there’s Downtown Disney, parades and the various acts going on up and down Main Street besides the rides and the pure magic of being at the Magic Kingdom. While you might not have kids with you, you can still feel like a kid at heart!

LeNae’s favorite Disney scrapbooking products
You might choose to scrapbook your Disney memories in an 8”x8” mini album or as a larger 12"x12" format. An 8" album has the benefit of being quick and easy to do; the 12"x12" size can hold more photos and journaling per page. There’s no right or wrong—it really just depends on how many photos you have and how much time you want to spend. Either way, I have a few product picks to help you get started:

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