So You Wanna Be a Disney Princess…
Have you ever dreamt of getting a job as a Disney Princess? You don’t need to have a king and queen as your parents to qualify! You just need to apply to work at Disney and earn the job as a costumed cast member. It ain’t glass slippers and happily ever afters, though. Here are a few things to know about working as a Disney Princess.
You Must Lie about Your Job
Disney Princesses never lie, right? That would bring shame on them, their families, and the magical creatures that always befriend them. Lying is something only villains do…except at Disney theme parks.
One of the strangest rules about working as a Disney Princess is that you have to lie about it. You can never say that you’re Cinderella or Aurora or Elsa. After all, you can’t be a person who already exists in the magical realm of a Disney theme park.
Even though you spend hours dressed like Sleeping Beauty, you can’t tell people that. Instead, you must tell people that you’re friends with the character you portray. It’s a kind of secret Disney code. When someone says that they’re friends with Rapunzel, what they’re really telling you is that they wear the world’s longest wig each day.
You Will Face Stiff Competition
Nobody ever dreams of taking care of the trash at Disneyland. When we’re kids, we act like our favorite characters and imagine what their lives are like. And some of these children grow up to become cast members. What percentage of them do you think list “hot dog vendor” as their first job choice?
Competition for “face” characters is arguably the fiercest among all cast member assignments. Everyone wants to dress up like a Disney Princess and bring joy and laughter into the lives of children. It’s a dream job for everyone. Clearly, that type of job comes with intense competition.
Disney’s management team holds multiple auditions for Disney Princess gigs. And they expect a lot from the candidates. Potential princesses must show that they have the right stuff in several categories. Would-be cast members need to act like the character, improvise quickly, and even prove that they can sign autographs accurately in character.
Some of the skills require training and won’t exclude someone from casting. Others aren’t up for debate. We’ll discuss a couple of non-starters in the next two sections, but improvisational skills matter the most in getting the job. After all, theme parks are utterly unpredictable. Anyone who can’t act like a princess in the face of chaos won’t cut it.
You Must Possess Princess Measurements
Have you ever lost a job because you were too tall? Or too small? Cast members have. Over the years, Disney’s management team has chosen restrictive guidelines about who can and can’t wear a Disney Princess costume.
While the numbers vary based on the specific character, every casting decision includes height ranges. For example, most Disney Princess costumes fit women who are 5’4″ to 5’7″. Cast members who don’t fall into that range automatically lose out on a chance to portray many characters.
Some Disney characters are on the shorter side. However, they’re ones like Alice, Tinkerbell, and Wendy, non-Princesses. Similarly, Disney loves tall women because they can lord over others.
Yes, anyone in the range of 5’6” to 5’10” can portray the evil stepsisters or Maleficent. It’s the premise that evil characters menacingly tower over the kind-hearted Disney Princesses. So, you can play a costumed character no matter your height. However, you’re most likely to portray a Disney character if you’re 5’4” to 5’7”. Nature’s already decided whether you’re right for the job. Isn’t that cruel?
You Must Fit into the Costume
Also, you must Say Yes to the Dress, so to speak. Your Disney Princess costume comes with physical limitations. Certain physiques won’t work, and some of the reasons for dismissal are amusing. For example, muscular women are too fit to portray princesses. The outfits look best on small-armed women.
Chesty women are similarly out of luck. Disney’s fabric department maintains a pragmatic “one size fits all” mentality. Ergo, the dressmakers skew toward average-sized cleavage. For various reasons, it’s easier to stuff a bra than it is to strap the cleavage down. Yes, the buxom ladies are less likely to live out their dream of playing a Disney Princess.
Oh, you need to fit into a dress that’s size 10 or smaller, too. I’m told that anyone beyond size 12 will have issues, and so Disney rarely casts that way. They will make exceptions for potential employees who otherwise have the absolutely perfect Disney Princess look, though. Notably, it’s a more manageable situation than cleavage.
You Must Look the Part
Objectifying women is horribly wrong, and we all know that. We certainly wouldn’t hire anyone based on their appearance. That’s the quickest way to a sexual harassment settlement. But the situation is different for Disney Princesses.
When you look at Merida, you must believe that she’s a ferocious Scottish lass capable of beating up anyone who wrongs her. Basically, she’s a Medieval Becky Lynch. A glimpse of Merida (or Lynch) wouldn’t seem right unless you saw the red hair, right? Well, a wig can cover that.
The cosmetic coverage notwithstanding, Merida still needs chubby, circular cheeks and a cocksure smile. She also should have pale features fitting for the Scots of that era, who couldn’t get a tan if their very lives depended on it.
In short, Merida must look like Merida. For this reason, Disney casts based on physical appearance with its Princesses. Some people are too tall or too short or too slender-cheeked to fit the bill. And that’s a deal-breaker for Disney.
You Will Get Hit On
Anyone who has ever googled images of Disney Princesses accepts that not everyone is pure of heart. Some people’s Cinderella fantasies have nothing to do with glass slippers or a pumpkin carriage. Yeah, it can be a gross job.
Disney Princesses receive unwelcome attention from strangers on an hourly basis. It comes with the territory. Since all of these characters are gorgeous and Disney casts based on accuracy of appearance, the inevitable occurs. Park guests look at a breathtaking cast member dressed as a princess, and they get flirty. Sometimes, they even get handsy.
Cast members joke that some of the most awkward park jobs are the ones where you’re in a skimpy outfit, at least by Disney standards. Pocahontas and Jasmine have costumes that bare some shoulder and midriff, and guests kind of lose their minds because of it. Even husbands taking pictures with their children have done their fair share of grabbing. It’s one of the strange byproducts of working as a Disney Princess.