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Former Disney Princess Reveals “Traumatizing” Rules and Work Environment

A woman dressed as a Disney princess, wearing a pink gown and a crown, is smiling and using ASL to interact with a young girl who is wearing an orange shirt and purple skirt with a small tiara. They are inside a room decorated with medieval-style furnishings.
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World may be “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” but for the Disney Princess performers, it’s reportedly anything but magical…

The Walt Disney World Resort is home to four incredible Theme Parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Guests flock to the resort and each park for the magical experience they provide.

princess tiana and prince naveen

Credit: Lydia Turner, Unsplash

The parks have myriad rides and attractions that make them a “must-visit.” The heart of the Disney experience, however, is the Disney cast members. Disney cast members have a variety of jobs in and around the Disney parks, including playing some of our favorite princes, princesses, and more.

Now, a former Disney princess spoke on her experience working at the Walt Disney World Resort, and she didn’t have very flattering things to say.

disney princess moana standing in front of the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, walt disney world

Credit: Disney

While “The Most Magical Place on Earth” is certainly magical for guests, one former Disney Princess recently revealed that working there was anything but.

Hunter Haag, who played both Belle and Rapunzel at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Central Florida, shared a lot of shocking truths about the work environment at Walt Disney World, including “dehumanizing” practices at work. She worked at the Disney resort from 2016 through 2021 and was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

disney princess mulan standing in EPCOT's China pavilion in Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

Haag shared that cast members had strict rules for their appearance and were subjected to regular “body checks” to check if they were “fit and slender” enough, so much so that she said, “Eating disorders, depression, anxiety—I’m not saying that the job causes any of those things but I will say it can be a trigger for them because we are having to watch our weight so it could be a trigger for people who do struggle with an eating disorder.”

This is, unfortunately, not the worst of it.

live-action ariel meet and greet, Ariel standing in front of a sunset over the water

Credit: Disney

Haag also said guests would often treat cast members like  “zoo animals.” This, combined with a toxic work environment, meant employees would often “sabotage” each other. Per the Daily Star‘s reports, Haag reportedly said, “I was a Disney princess—there was dating drama and strict rules to stay beautiful.”

“It’s even as intense to the point where if you get in a car accident and you get a laceration on your face that leaves a scar you can also have a temporary disapproval because that doesn’t fit the character profile,” she added.

princess ariel meet and greet magic kingodm

Credit: Disney

Haag also added about the audition process, “The audition process in itself is traumatizing because it’s based solely off your looks, you literally stand in a line with however many hundreds of other people and just look at casting, and they look right back at you, and that is it.”

You can read the full article here. Disney reportedly refused to respond to the article.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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