Ever since I was a little girl, I always admired the Disney princesses. When I got the opportunity to meet them in person I was even more enamored with their beauty and poise. Unfortunately in adulthood I realized that the beautiful princesses I had seen as a child were merely talented actresses, however I soon reached the epiphany that maybe one day I could be one of those actresses bringing dreams to life! As I prepare for my first audition for Disney I wanted to find out exactly what it takes to be a Disney Princess and here’s what I found.
1. Height Requirement: For most of the princesses there is a height requirement between 5’4 and 5’7 to help preserve character integrity as well as costume fitting.
2. Sizing: The largest size Disney carries for their princess costumes is size 10. Former Disney princesses have stated in their blogs that they have found these to be true to size.
3. Auditioning: To be a character at the parks, you must go through the audition process. Check out the audition calendar at DisneyAuditions.com to find your nearest audition. Look for the auditions that say Female Character Look-Alike and this usually means they are looking for princesses. At the audition you will learn a simple dance routine, and if you progress past the dance, you will get a chance to read a script, do some improve and an interview. It can be a very lengthy process, but Disney casting directors are keen on finding the best girls to fit the roles.
4. Age: Disney is very specific on the age. You have to be at least 18 years old to audition and you have to be legal to work in the U.S. Most face characters are 18-23 according to a former Disney princess during her AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit last year. It is rare to find a princess over 27 but it is not uncommon for princesses to be 24-26 if they’ve been there awhile.
5. Make-Up: Luckily if you are cast as a princess, you are supplied with make-up and are taught how to apply it properly. This is to ensure that all the Snow Whites look the same, all the Belles, all the Auroras, etc. This helps to keep that character integrity.
6. Training: Disney trains their princesses for five days and it is usually an extensive analysis of the film. You will learn your character’s mannerisms and voice inflection, as well as the standard signature every princess has.
7. Strict Rules: 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.
8. Miscellaneous Requirements: A great place to look for more information about being a Disney princess is Jennifer Oakes’ YouTube channel. She performed as Jasmine and Pocahontas and she has some wonderful videos about how to do your character make-up and what the work day is like as a princess. She has three videos called Confessions of Former Disney Princesses, and they are very informative and worth watching!
9. Work Contracts: Disney offers full time roles, which must be at least one full year of service. They do offer part-time and seasonal roles for face characters as well. You can also be a character if you are in the Disney College Program, though you might not get the best shifts because DCP participants are the lowest on the totem pole.
10. Weather: Cinderella, Rapunzel, Anna and Elsa are usually are stationed inside at the Magic Kingdom but most other princesses in the MK and other parks are outside. You have to be able to handle the extreme heat in the Orlando summer as well as the chilly winter weather that does happen around Christmas.
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11. Improv skills: You need to know everything about your character and ready to answer any questions thrown your way. If a child asks Rapunzel where Pascal is, she needs to have an answer ready to go.
12. Smiling: Be ready to smile while you are “on set” as they say. You have to keep that smile because princesses are never sad or upset. A former Belle interviewed by Cosmo said her face hurt the first couple weeks from her constant smiling.
13. Uncomfortable Guest Situations: Princesses get the wonderful job of making dreams come true for children, however you also will have guests situations that make you uncomfortable. Former princesses have discussed having to fend off creepy men or guests who have been inappropriate to them. It can be awkward and scary but princesses have to find away to control the situation while keeping the guests happy.
It’s not easy to be a princess, but in the end it’s worth it to bring joy to thousands every day.
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