How many girls have dreamed of becoming a Disney princess? Probably all of them (and plenty of boys) at some point or another. While you might not ever have a cool animal pal like Rajah or get kissed by Prince Charming, you can play the role of Belle, Jasmine, Ariel, or another Disney leading lady if you head to Orlando, Florida or Anaheim, California.
Disney World and Disneyland hire multiple actresses to play each of the princesses that make children smile on a daily basis. And you can be one of them.
Think you’re fit for a magical world of signing autographs, taking photos, and waving from your float in the parade? Here’s the foolproof guide to becoming a real-life Disney princess straight from the experts’ mouths.
1. Look The Part
Because of sizing (costumes go up to size 10), Disney Fanatic says most hired Disney princesses are between 5’4″ and 5’7.” Obviously it helps if you resemble one or more (some princesses pull double duty) of the Disney leading ladies, but those cast as a princess are supplied with make up and are taught how to apply it properly so all the Snow Whites look the same, all the Belles, and all the Auroras.
2. Nail The Audition
Check out the audition calendar at DisneyAuditions.com under Female Character Look-Alike – that’s where they look for princesses. Girls at the audition are taught a simple dance routine first. If you progress past the dance, you will get a chance to read a script, do some improv, and have an interview. It’s a lengthy process, but Disney casting directors are keen on finding the best girls to fit the roles.
However, even if Elsa is your favorite character in film history and you think you could transform into the Ice Queen, you don’t get a say in what character you play. “You could look exactly like Cinderella, but if they do not need to hire any more Cinderellas, you may not get chosen,” a former cast member tells Mashable.
3. Get Through Training
Princesses go through a five days training session which usually an extensive analysis of the film, your character’s mannerisms and voice inflection, and the standard signature every princess has.
4. Improv Like Tina Fey
Kids are going to ask questions, and you need to know the right answer. If a child asks Rapunzel where Pascal is, she needs to have an answer ready to go.
5. Be A People Person
A former Disney World Belle told Cosmopolitan, “We had to greet 172 guests per hour. Disney decided that was the magic number. An attendant would have a clicker to count the number of people we met, and if we went under, we would get a reprimand. If you get four reprimands, you get fired.”
6. Flash Your Best Smile…
Get those Crest white strips because your pearly whites will always be on display. The Belle actress told Cosmo, “You have to smile for an hour straight; you can’t drop your smile until you go on break and are behind closed doors because Disney doesn’t want any pictures of us not smiling. The first few weeks, my face literally hurt.” Who said being a princess was easy?
7. …Even When Dad Gets Creepy
“I was hit on as Pocahontas more than Mulan or Silvermist, and it definitely has to do with the amount of clothing she’s wearing,” a former Disney princess told Mashable. “I’ve never been touched inappropriately, but there’s always the family that makes the grandpa or the dad get a picture alone and 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.”
8. Don’t Be Surprised If You Get Shunned By Fellow Workers
Everyone is jealous of the princesses.
“When I worked there, I would go to the cafeteria & people would stare at me and not talk to me. Those people then would tell their friends I didn’t say hi to them & that I wasn’t friendly, but those people didn’t make an effort to talk to me either. That’s how I think the whole “all of the princesses are bitches” thing gets around.”
She needs a break, people!
9. Be Prepared For Harsh Weather Conditions
Florida can either be really hot or really cold, but your costume stays the same.
“I had to stand in a doorway welcoming guests into a restaurant at Epcot in a sleeveless formal dress that was supposed to have a coat that came with it,” a former Belle told Cosmo about a chilly work day in Orlando. “I was freezing and my eyes were watering, but the location managers wouldn’t let me go get my coat. When I went on my break to go pull the coat from the costume department, it was gone. I guess they’d hidden it. I started bawling. I had to take pictures with kids in the freezing cold, crying. Later, I was talking to the photographers, and they told me that that restaurant sold the photos of Belle and the guests for, like, $35 — and when Belle was wearing the coat, they sell 30 percent less pictures.”
10. Keep Your Mouth Shut
Your Disney princess alter-ego has to be a complete secret. According to Disney Fanatic, “While working for the Disney parks, you are not allowed to discuss what character you are portraying. You can’t post about it on social media and you can’t even tell people which character you are. Disney is very strict about that. Very. Princesses also cannot reference anything outside the Disney realm. Ariel cannot say she is friends with Spongebob, for example.”
11. Don’t Expect To Find Prince Charming
Sorry, princess. This is a job, not Match.com…unless you’re playing a prince.
Our retired Belle told Cosmo, “We weren’t finding romance at work, because most of the guys were gay. I don’t remember any specific gay romances, but I’m sure there were. Prince Charming might have been hooking up with Prince Eric.”