Disneyland has more leaks than the Trump White House.
Seriously, everywhere you look, there’s an ex-Disneyland character actor spilling the beans about what it’s like to work in the Tigger outfit or keep their cool while kids punch Goofy in the face. But the real dirt comes from the Disney princesses.
We looked around for dishing Disney employees, and they weren’t hard to find. Here are the most surprising, interesting, and sometimes disturbing things that we learned from a bunch of Reddit AMAs, exclusive interviews, and gossip magazine tell-alls involving Disney princesses. And yes, creepy dads are a problem. Now, be our guest:
1. Disney princesses must have the “right” body shape.
This is the one that tends to get people riled up. Disney requires its theme park princesses (or “face characters” as they’re known in the biz) to meet specific height requirements. According to one former Snow White, all Disney princesses must be between 5’4″ and 5’7″. Alice, Wendy, and all of the fairies are even shorter, between 4’11” and 5’2″.
You also have to be able to fit into the costumes, which places a de facto limit on weight and body type. It’s not like Disney’s trying to shame anyone; they’re just really, really serious about matching the characters on the cartoons. The fact that all the leading princesses in Disney films share the same willowy body type is another conversation, but it’s one we should probably be having.
2. Hair and nails are important for Disney princesses, too.
Multiple women play the same character throughout the park on a given day, so management is very careful to maintain the illusion that it’s the same person. Even slight differences in hair or nails could spoil the fantasy, so they require face actors to keep things natural.
“As a cast member, there are certain qualifications or things you have to do to maintain the ‘Disney look,'” an anonymous face actor told Real Simple. “Like we’re not allowed to have any crazy hair colors and our nails have to be either French or a light pink or clear. We have to dress appropriately—on and off the clock, because their mentality is you represent the park, and it’s our job to promote the kind of atmosphere that we would like at Disney.”
Sounds too hard. We’ll stick to playing Looney Tunes characters at Six Flags.
3. Pocahontas takes the brunt of the creepy dad attention.
A Reddit user called Too-tsunami spilled the beans in an AMA titled, “I worked as various princesses at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. AMA!” Her comments were…illuminating, to say the least.
“I was hit on as Pocahontas more than Mulan or Silvermist,” Too-tsunami wrote. “It definitely has to do with the amount of clothing she’s wearing. I’ve never been touched inappropriately, but there’s always the family that makes the grandpa or the dad get a picture alone & they’d whisper how pretty I was or ask when I got off of work. I’d get slipped the occasional phone number on a napkin, but nothing ridiculous has ever happened.”
We figured creepy dads hit on the princesses all the time. Interesting that Pocahontas gets the most unwanted attention, though.
4. Being a Disney princess is basically like being an improv comic, like, all day long.
There aren’t enough lines in a Disney movie to cover every situation that the public throws at you. A good Disney princess knows how to come up with an appropriate response to just about anything.
It also helps to know everything your chosen princess has ever said on film.
“You have to watch the movies and you have to pull out things that they talk about or that are brought up in a movie that you know you can kind of work things back to,” the actor said.
5. Disney princesses are exposed to some awfully weird behavior.
People are weird. People are at Disneyland. Therefore, weird people are at Disneyland, and when you work there, you have to interact with them because that is your job.
Just ask our friend Too-tsunami. She described the strangest family behavior she saw at the park, and it is pretty puzzling.
On this particular night, Too-tsunami was playing the part of Silvermist. She and a few other fairies were all set to take a picture with a 5-year-old girl when the child came down with a case of social anxiety.
“The little girl all of a sudden got really shy and ran to her mom and hid,” Too-tsunami reports. ” Her mom said ‘Oh no, are you being a little stinker? I know, if you give mommy a lick will you feel better?’ The little girl nodded & smiled. She then proceeded to lick her mom’s face, from her chin to her forehead. She laughed, her mom laughed, and Tinkerbell, Rosetta, and
So now that picture’s in your head. Sorry about that.
6. The princesses do their own makeup, and it isn’t easy.
The entire process of transforming from a normal woman into Snow White took about an hour, according to another Reddit AMA conducted by a former Snow White who has since deleted her account. The dress was easy enough to slip on. The makeup, not so much.
“Our makeup was made to match the colors in the films, which was neat, I still have tons of red lipstick,” the former Snow White wrote. “We started with makeup, then wig, then costuming. Pretty standard. All day long you have to make adjustments and do touch ups, especially after lunch.”
7. Face actors have to audition for their roles again and
again, or find a new job.
Every year, princesses have to line up to defend their crowns.
“You just have to audition for everything that’s coming out,” said the face actor who spoke to Real Simple. “Normally,
There should be some sort of royal union to fight for
8. You know that prank where a kid runs up and hits an actor in full costume? Some parents actually encourage that behavior.
“Kids are very aggressive, but most of the time they’re coming at performers who are comfortable in the costume and who know how to handle any kind of light abuse,” Too-tsunami reports. “But you would not BELIEVE how many parents say, ‘Hit him! Punch him! Do it!’ It’s incredible. I don’t understand the mindset of some people.”
That’s one thing princesses and the rest of us commoners can agree on.