While wearing giant dresses and entertaining guests might seem like fun, life as a Disney Princess is no fairytale. The job itself can be rewarding, but it comes alongside a lengthy list of requirements.
All Disney cast members, as employees are referred to, have a lot of rules to follow, but Disney Princesses have ever more. From a lengthy audition process to constant smiling, being a princess is no walk in the park. Extreme weather, unwelcome guests, and sweaty wigs don’t make it any better.
That being said, if you can get through all the stuff you’re required to, it can be pretty fun. You might even get to play multiple princesses and other classic characters!
After all, what’s better than watching the pure joy on a child’s face when they see their favorite heroine step right out of their movie and into the real world? The low pay and long days might be worth it. Plus, Disney offers its employees free tickets and plenty of discounts on food and merchandise. Who wouldn’t want to drink around the world at Epcot after a long shift?
Do you have what it takes to be a Disney Princess? Can you deal with the requirements to get the job and the rules while you have it? Read on, and we’ll let you be the judge.
The most basic part of becoming a Disney Princess is looking like one. Sure, makeup can help a lot. But your face will have to be the type of face that can turn into Snow White's with some lipstick and eyeshadow.
If you got the looks, you're one step closer to being a Disney Princess.
Young women looking to become Disney Princess don’t get to choose the character they portray. As already mentioned, they might end up portraying multiple princesses or other characters. Because of this, a versatile face is a plus. Large eyes and a pretty smile are where it starts.
Just because you look like Belle doesn’t mean you’re going to get the part; You have to be as tall as her, too. Most Disney princesses have height requirements between 5’4” and 5’7”. But if you’re on the shorter or taller side, don’t despair! You can still become other characters.
While Disney doesn’t share the exact height specification of its characters online, smaller characters such as Alice, Tinkerbelle, and Wendy have height requirements somewhere between 4’10” and 5’4” while villains like Maleficent and the Step-Sisters require you to be between 5’6” and 5’10”.
While Disney Princesses are unnaturally small in their films, their proportions are a bit more realistic in the theme parks. That being said, your body still has to fit some specifications. Your bust size has to be pretty average and your arms can’t be too large.
Most Disney Princess dresses only go up to size 10 or 12, so if you sport a 14 you might be out of luck. Disney is only this critical so that all of their princesses look the same. At least park princesses aren't confined to their tiny movie proportions.
A prospective Cinderella may have the same face, height, and weight as her character, but she also needs to look pretty conservative.
If a Disney Princess has a tattoo, she’s going to have to cover it up with makeup. If she has a lip ring, she’s going to have to take it out and make sure no one can tell it used to be there. If she has gages, there’s no point in even trying. Disney Princesses aren’t decked out in tattoos and piercing, so their actresses can’t be either.
All women wishing to be a Disney Princess must go through a rigorous audition process. It includes people judging your looks, improvisation skills, and ability to portray a character. Yes, it can take hours and yes, it’s grueling. But if being a princess if your dream job, you might as well take a shot at it.
Disney needs the best of the best, make sure to be prepared for hours of auditions.
Sometimes prospective princesses have to audition multiple times before they can sport a crown. With up to hundreds of talented girls at each audition, it makes sense why.
Just because you got the job as a Disney Princess doesn’t mean you get to start right away. First, you’ve got to get through several days of training. Training includes watching princess films over and over again until you can practically recite the movie.
You will learn to talk like the character and mimic her mannerisms. You'll also memorize every last bit of trivia related to her film. This way, you'll be extra prepared for every situation you could face.
Maybe you look like Mulan, are the perfect height, and fit into her dress. Maybe you even got through the rigorous audition process and training. As it turns out, you’re actually going to be trained as a fur character first.
It may be hot in the suit, but soon you'l be ready to be a princess.
“Fur characters” are ones like Minnie, Rafiki, and Mrs. Incredible. These are characters that don’t talk and have to battle the sweltering Florida or California sun for a few weeks in giant costumes. It’s sort of like a giant game of charades. So have fun?
When you’re finally ready to portray a princess, you’ll be given a makeup palette that fits the princess you’re portraying. Tiana can’t be Tiana without those rosy lips, so you’ll have to be ready to pucker up and put some stuff on.
In addition to the makeup you’ll be supplied, you’re also going to have to learn how to apply it the right way. Disney gives cast members instructions on how to do this. When all the princesses are putting on makeup right, kids don’t get confused when the actress portraying Aurora changes the next day. The makeup certainly helps.
It doesn’t matter that your black haired bob matches Snow White’s to a T — you’re going to have to wear a wig. As mentioned, Disney Princesses need to match their characters closely so that they don’t change too much day to day between actresses.
Got bed head? Or you're having a bad hair day? No worries, it will be hidden under a glorious wig.
Do you really have hair as thick, long, and luscious as Rapunzel’s? We didn’t think so. Don’t sweat it too much. Your hair will stay much healthier by using a wig. It would become damaged fast if you had to style it as much as the princesses required every day.
As it turns out, your hair isn’t the only thing that’s going to be fake. Your eyes might be, too. Disney Princesses are sometimes required to wear colored contacts. While this doesn’t happen to every girl who's decked out in princess regalia, it’s a requirement for some.
Being that brown is the most common eye color, but blue is the most common eye color for Disney Princesses. Contacts are going to be a must for lots of the actress.
While looking the part is a must, staying in character is also critical. You’ll have to become a master of improvisation. There will be times people try to mess you up. Adults might swear at you, teenagers might ask complicated movie-related questions, and kids might act bratty. Regardless of the obstacles you’ll run into, you’re going to have to act exactly as your princess would in the same scenario.
You may want to brush up on your Disney Princess knowledge before your audition. Maybe take some improve classes.
Additionally, a world outside of the Disney one doesn’t exist to the princess. If you ask Belle who she thinks is going home on the Bachelorette this week, she won’t be able to give you an opinion on it. She has her own rose to worry about.
You can’t sit, but you can smile. Oh boy, you’re going to be doing a lot of it. Disney requires its princess to always be smiling. Being that you’re going to have a lot of guests to greet each day during your eight-hour shifts, you’re going to want to prepare.
Disney makes its princess smile so that every picture comes out perfectly. Is mom really going to be happy if Elsa’s rolling her eyes at the bratty kid in her lap? We don’t think so!
Now that you got through all of that, why don’t you sit down, kick back and relax a little? Wait, you can’t! As a Disney Princess, you’re not allowed to sit.
Disney princess must never break character, and sitting will do just that.
Princesses need to have perfect posture at all times and sitting leads to slumping, right?Despite this rule, princesses can kneel and often will to get closer to a tiny visitor. With their dress billowing up, it almost appears that Disney Princesses are sitting in many photos online.
After taking pictures with their favorite princess, many young guests ask them to sign their autograph books. When Aurora swirls her name onto a piece of paper today though, it better be the same one she swirled on ten years ago.
Practice makes perfect.
Disney princess must be able to perfectly replicate the same signature. You don’t want yesterday’s Ariel and today’s Ariel giving two different interpretations of it, now, do you? If you don’t have good handwriting skills, you’re going to want to get them now. Or at the very least, you better memorize how to write characters' names the same way every single time.
Maybe you want to tell all of your friends about your gig as Mulan, but unfortunately, you’re not allowed to. Disney likes to preserve some of the magic involved in having its princess float around the parks, so you’re not actually “playing” Jasmine. You’re “a friend of” Jasmine’s. Clever, huh?
You also can’t post about your job on social media. Princesses don’t use social media, so you shouldn’t be writing about their Disney lives on your own. Mulan’s life should stay at Disney and yours should stay on Facebook.
Disney Princess costumes may be cute, but they’re certainly not practical — especially when it comes to the weather. The summers at the theme parks can be brutal, and with long skirts and wigs, staying cool isn’t going to be easy.
Sorry, but Rapunzel can't be seen walking around Disneyland with a Thrasher hoodie.
Perhaps the only thing worse than being hot is being too cold. During the winter months, the weather at Disneyland and Disney World can be unpredictable. Characters have alternate winter costumes for when the weather is getting too chilly, but they’re still required to meet guests outdoors if their usual meet-and-greet spot is there.
Sitting isn’t allowed, and neither is bending over. To maintain the magical (and cleanly) feel of Disney, cast members are required to pick up trash and princesses are no exception to this rule. While you won’t commonly see Cinderella picking up a half-eaten Mickey Pretzel, especially with so many other cast members around, she has to learn how to properly pick it up if she runs into it.
Disney asks cast members to use a “swooping” motion to pick up trash. This allows the princesses to remain elegant and graceful even though what they might be doing is anything but.
As it turns out, the meet-and-greet Disney Princesses are not allowed to sing. This is probably because while its possible to fake a talking voice, it’s a lot harder to fake a singing voice. You're in luck if singing isn’t your strong point.
Brush up on your li-syncing abilities, you'll need it.
If it is, there are some Disney princesses who actually get to belt out a tune. While their audition process is different, princess like Ariel, Belle, and Elsa are portrayed by actresses in certain stage shows throughout the Disney parks. These girls don’t need to know how to autograph perfectly or “swoop” for trash, but they do need to know how to perform.
As fun as it would be to hang out with the cutest kid in the line for a while, Disney Princesses are required to greet 172 guests an hour.
Cast members assisting the princesses click-count the number of guests they greet to keep them on track.
That being said, the princesses still try to make each guest’s experience a memorable one. Sometimes they will get the opportunity to spend more time than usual with someone and sprinkle a little extra Disney magic on their visit.
Unfortunately for Disney Princess hopefuls, you can’t choose what character you play. It doesn’t matter how much you think you look like Pocahontas. If your managers just aren’t seeing it, you won’t be her.
It's not your choice, managers know best.
That being said, many young hopefuls end up playing more than one character. As aforementioned, the wrong hair color and eye color won’t be an obstacle for you. If your face and body fit one of the princesses, it’ll probably fit a few of them.
As a Disney Princess, you’re going to be greeting guests a lot. If you’ll be saying hello outdoors, you might be required to work as a princess for forty minutes, but then you’ll get to take a twenty-minute break. If you’re still chilling out in a fur character costume, you might not even be allowed outside for more than half an hour.
If you’re an indoor princess, on the other hand, you might work over an hour before you get a break. The temperature of the environment and the hotness of your costume will largely dictate your chill time.
Being a princess is tough, right? Especially because Disney Princess are required to stay composed at all times. We already talked about staying in character, but that stretches to even the guests that make you feel wildly uncomfortable.
Disney's got a code for everything, so there is no need to worry.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of code words you can use and cast members around to give you a hand. Disney cast members can’t say no, so you’ll come up with some clever ways to work yourself out of sticky situations.
All Disney employees are required to point at things a specific way, and Disney princesses are no exception. While guests probably won’t be asking Merida what the fastest way to Space Mountain is, she still has to point at things with the signature two-finger Disney point.
Disney might have adopted this motion because a single index finger point is rude to some cultures. Back in the day where cigarettes were wildly popular and allowed though, a two-finger point was the easiest way to motion in a direction without letting go of your cigarette. Walt Disney was a big smoker, so this is certainly a possibility.
While working as a Disney Princess might seem like a dream job to some (despite the crying kids and creepy men), it can’t last forever. Jasmine is only 16, so while a twenty-something-year-old can portray her, a 30-year-old cannot. A princess is considered a little too old around 27.
If you want to audition to be a Disney Princess you better hurry, time is running out!
In fact, most of the princess at Disney are somewhere between 18 and 23. This means if a princess gets hired right out of high school, she can have a solid five-year run and maybe a few more if she can deal with the low pay.
Maybe you’ve done it all and have even been a pro at it for several months — turns out, Disney Princesses have a limited contract and are required to re-audition every six months or so. Because it’s so important that characters remain the same, managers are required to make sure you look the same. Have you gained weight? Is your smile still nice? Do you still look like Anna?
With so many talented and pretty women auditioning to be Disney Princess all the time, it won’t take managers long to find your replacement if you’re not meeting their standards. Sure, it’s harsh. But shake it off. You don’t need a dress to be a princess; Inner beauty is what really counts.