Live Your Childhood Dreams-How to Be a Disney Park Actor

Remember Halloween as a kid?  You were undoubtedly wash in a sea of Disney.  Princes, princesses, beasts—you name it.  Every year, tens of thousands of kids dream of the world of Disney.  For the adults still captivated by this magical world, it could be a dream come true. Every day, Disney trains princes and princesses to play the part at their parks. Royalty not your thing?  Don’t forget about Mickey, Tigger, Goofy, and Captain Hook.  All of these characters work together to make Disney parks the happiest places in the world. Want to make those old childhood dreams come true?  Check out these five strategies to help you land a job with Disney.

  • Prepare for a long audition.

Step one of the process is called the “type out.”  It’s designed to compare your features to the character, and to check for similarities. Then, it’s time to dance, so get into character for the interview. You need to sharpen your theatrical skills, because this is still an acting job. For “face characters” (characters without masks), you should practice recreating the mannerisms of the character.  You can’t just look the part—you have to act and sound it too. You must also be strong enough to stay in character when dealing with customers, as some can behave inappropriately.

  • Look the part (height and age).

A Princess must be 5’4” to 5’7” in height, and smaller characters (such as Alice or Tinker Bell) must be 4’11” to 5’2”. Face characters are almost always young adults, aged 18-23. Except for roles like the fairy godmother, most characters are under 27.  Sounds limiting, but it’s a time-tested requirement of the job.

  • Learn everything, EVERYTHING about your character.

Post-audition character training takes about five days. You must memorize quotes and study their appearances in shows, books, and movies. If visitors ask about other characters from another movie, you must pretend not to know anything about them—even if they’re from Disney movies, too. For example, if a visitor questions Mickey Mouse about Cinderella, Mickey has to pretend to be ignorant of her existence. 

  • Life as a prince or princess stops after work—and you have to be alright with it.

You’d be hard pressed to find a castle for your starting salary at Disney. In 2013, the starting hourly wage was 13.50, capped at $16.  To make matters worse, Disney pay raises are generally only 15 cents per year.  This is really a job of passion.

  • Be willing to keep silent about your employment

Disney employees are sworn to secrecy, especially with social media. Actors cannot explicitly tell anyone who they play, when and where they’ll be in the park, or anything else about their job, really.  Rules are strict at Disney; If your character is happy, you must always smile.  If they’re angry, you can’t look happy.  Makes you wonder Disney actors take their persona home with them.

Being a Disney prince or princess at Disneyland clearly isn’t precisely what you dreamed of as a child.  If you discount the long hours and low pay, bringing the same joy you remember to countless other children may just be worth the effort.

Source: (Business Insider)

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