I remember visiting Walt Disney World in Florida for the very first time when I was very young. It really was magical! The music, the lights, the sounds, the sweet aromas from the Confectionery, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse—it was truly a world of fantasy and dreams come true! But as a young girl, the most magical things of all were Cinderella Castle and the Disney princesses I got to meet! And I couldn’t wait to grow up and become a Disney princess too! But alas, I have a few things keeping me from fulfilling that dream—I’m a bit short for the job at just 5’3” tall, and I live in a much less magical land called Texas—a few miles from the most magical place on earth. But maybe you’re the young woman who remembers meeting your favorite princess as a little girl and you’ve decided that whatever it takes, you’re going to become a princess at Disney World. I say go for it—and here are 12 of the things you’ll need to do to become a Disney princess (in addition to living fairly close to the parks).
12. You need to fill out an application.
Well now that’s pretty straight-forward. Disney will need to know that you are interested in a position as a princess (which they call “face characters” because no mask or head is worn). You can do this in person by visiting the Casting office near Disney Springs or online at www.disneycareers.com. From that point, you’ll need to wait for a callback. You can also check the status of your application. Find out how when you visit the website.
11. You’ll need to interview and exhibit your talents.
If you’re a Disney princess hopeful, that callback is the first step in fulfilling your dream. Disney often conducts preliminary interviews over the phone and then calls the candidate for a second interview, which can take place over the phone or in person. If you make it through to where you are physically in front of hiring staff for Casting, you will be asked to audition for the position of princess. This may include exhibiting your abilities in singing, acting, speaking, dancing and improvisation.
10. You’ll need to be tall enough, but not too tall (and old enough, but not too old).
The role of princess in a Disney park has some specific age and physical requirements. If you’re auditioning for the role, you’ll need to be between 5’4” and 5’7”. You also need to be at least 18, but Disney won’t hire you for the role of princess if you’re older than 30. Also, the largest size of Disney princess costume in the parks is a size 10, which means if you’re hoping to become Disney royalty, you’ll need to be a size 10 or smaller.
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9. You can’t have any visible tattoos.
That’s right. You won’t be hired to play the role of Disney princess if you have any tattoos that are not hidden by your costume. This isn’t to discriminate against anyone with tattoos. Instead, it’s to ensure the authenticity of the princess you’ll be playing since I can’t recall a Disney princess who has any tattoos.
8. You’ll need to have features similar to the princess you hope to embody.
Your chances for being chosen to play the role of Disney princess will increase if you happen to have features similar to a Disney princess. And your chances will increase even more if you have features similar to more than just one princess.
7. You will be required to complete training.
Once you are hired to play the part of a princess at a Disney park, you will have to attend a mandatory 5-day training class. During those 5 days, you’ll be completely immersed in the world of the character you will be playing. For example, if you are hired to play the role of Princess Aurora (my favorite!), training may include watching Disney’s Sleeping Beauty so that you know all about other characters in the story, the story itself, and who Princess Aurora is in the story. You will need to know the film so well that if you are asked about any part of it by a Guest in the parks, you’ll be able to correctly answer. You will also learn how to sound like Princess Aurora and use her expressions. In addition to that, you’ll learn how to apply your make-up so that you are believable as the one and only Princess Aurora. You will learn to sign her autograph so that it is uniform across all the girls playing the role of Aurora in any of the Disney parks.
6. You’ll need to be able to “stay in your story” at all times (and be accurate!).
To add to the authenticity of the role you’ll be playing, you will have to be able to stay within the confines of your story. This means that if you’re playing the role of Cinderella, you won’t be able to answer any questions about Harry Potter or Pokemon Go because neither is a part of the story of Cinderella. You will also need to pretend to be completely unfamiliar with things that are modern and current, such as an iPad, an iPhone or other technology that plays no part in Cinderella’s story. However, if you are asked a question about Fairy Godmother, you’ll need to know enough about her so that you can give a doting Guest an answer that is in keeping with Cinderella’s persona and story.
5. You will need to be an improv pro and think on your feet at all times.
Your role as Disney princess will keep you in the company of fans—many of them children who hope to be a princess themselves someday. Many will ask questions about your princess’s story (i.e., “Belle, how is your father Maurice? What has he invented recently?”) But there may be times as well when you are asked questions out of left field that have nothing to do with your role. Sadly, there’s the occasional Guest who is rude or says something inappropriate or out of place. Even in these scenarios, your job is to be that princess at all times and in every situation. It’s a balance between keeping calm, thinking quickly, and not ever doing anything that might ruin the magic for a Guest of any age. (That can be a tall order!)
4. Your patience is an absolute must.
In a magical place where thousands of Guests are hoping for the opportunity to meet their favorite princess, there are often long waits for autographs and photos with a princess. This can sometimes mean that children become tired and fussy, and adults can become impatient and demanding. This is certainly not the case with most Guests, but it can happen, and you will need to repay Guests’ impatience and sour attitudes with patience and grace. This will add to your authenticity as a princess, and it will make for a more magical experience for everyone. And all the while, you’ll have to remember to stay in character—no matter what.
3. You’ll need to keep a secret.
Short and sweet—when you are hired to play the role of a Disney princess, you are also hired to keep it quiet. Disney prohibits its Cast Members from disclosing which character they are portraying. This includes verbally, in written communication or on social media. There’s no gray area—you won’t be able to tell anyone which role you’re playing. You don’t want to ruin the magic, remember?
2. You can’t have a fear of commitment.
Once you are hired to play the role of a Disney princess, you will be required to make a commitment to fulfill that role for at least one full year. That doesn’t mean that the gig is up after a year, but Disney expects this commitment of their princess hopefuls.
1. You’ll be expected to weather the weather.
It gets hot in Florida. They don’t call it “The Sunshine State” flippantly. And because your role may involve meeting Guests outside or playing your role in a parade, you will have to be able to withstand the heat. Or the rain at times. And even the cold during the occasional blue-moon cold snap in winter. You won’t have the choice of simply not meeting Guests when the weather is uncooperative. Because all of Disney World is a performance, the show must go on, no matter what, and you’ll be expected to as well.