It is every little girl's dream to be a princess. Don't lie, even if you were the biggest tomboy in the world, you still grew up on that Disney fantasy. Ever since we were little, we have been brainwashed into believing that someday, we will grow up to live in a magical castle with Prince Charming there to rescue us in our darkest hour. Sadly, Tinder and Bumble have ruined these ideals but we can still dream, can't we? The popularity of Disneyland and Disneyworld are both the ultimate proof that even as adults, we still need to escape into that LaLa Land dream of cartoons and whimsical characters.
Some people get to make their living off of the ultimate Disney fantasy and literally get to be a Disney princess in real life. From the outside looking in, it seems like a fun job to have. You get to play a character, smile and play with children all day long. What could be more fulfilling than that, right? Believe it or not, there are high standards that the ladies working at Disney as princess need to meet, otherwise, they get the boot. Disney as a corporation does not mess around when it comes to maintaining the high standards for their employees, especially the featured Disney princesses.
Here are the 20 cutthroat standards that Disney princesses have to follow. They will make you second guess that childhood dream.
20 There Is Questionable Initiation Involved
There are many hoops that one must apparently jump through before becoming a Disney princess. You must first pass a round of auditions for different characters. In order to get that far, you need to memorize different scripts and study the Disney characters extensively. That is why most people trained in theater often audition for Disney. In an interview with a mystery Belle for Cosmopolitan admitted: "To start in any character role, you have to go through training for the "fur characters," like Goofy or Mickey. I did Chip and Dale for two weeks—and it was really exhausting. There are certain heat indexes that allow for shorter "sets" out in the parks, but some people pass out because it's so hot inside the costumes."
First, you have to be like the high school mascots before becoming an actual character. You have to earn your stripes somehow. Not to mention it weeds out the people who don't quite want it enough.
19 There Is Rigorous Princess Training
When we were watching those old-school 2-D animation Disney films, we just assumed it was them in their natural element. We thought that they were actually existent in real life. This is why it is important for the Disney brand to maintain that level of fantasy. Not just for the kids, but for the adults that grew up with those movies. Disney princesses have to have the acting chops in order to play out those characters. For some of the princesses at Disneyland (or Disney World), this comes natural to them. For others, they have to put more work into it. This requires some training.
In the same interview with Cosmopolitan, another ex-princess dishes: "Princess training is a four to five-day process, during which you’ll learn all about your assigned princess. You’ll watch films of the princess so you can mimic her mannerisms and voice, observe current Disney princesses on the job, and learn princess facts and trivia." You have to know the product you are selling.
18 There Are Physical Requirements
There are physical requirements as far as your figure goes, whether you like it or not. These are the standards if you want to work for Disney. After all, they have nothing but the best of the best. You can't be too big or too small, but just right. The height requirement to be a Disneyland Princess is between '5"3-'5"7. Unless you want to be an evil queen, then you can be up to '5"10. Also, the largest size that a Disney princess can fit is a size 10, so certain candidates would need to watch their weight. For certain characters, curvy to fit girls are chosen. For example, the requirement to be Princess Jasmine is to have a toned stomach. These requirements vary from character to character.
17 The Shelf Life Is Usually 27-Years-Old
This is probably one of the harshest requirements of them all. This is another rule that would seem like the TV show, The Bachelor follows when it comes to the age range requirement. There is an age where the Disney Princess is suggested to retire and that is 27-years-old. When you think about it, it kind of makes sense since the actual Disney Princesses in the movies are teenagers. This goes a bit deeper and makes women feel like they have a limited shelf life. This idea has been embedded into us since we were children and perpetuated up to prime time television that we watch now. It is really no wonder why the media and society are focused on youth. Anyways, this rule is just sad but true.
16 Theme Park Guests Have Creeped Them Out In The Past
When you get a bunch of single and young dads all together on a hot summer's day, what do you get? Sometimes some inappropriate behavior. In the Disney movies, it is usually an evil stepmother, a vicious villain, or malicious dragons that cause all the terror for everyone. But nope, instead, it's a creepy dad every now and again.
An ex-princess told Cosmopolitan: "Another tricky thing was the creepy dads who would whisper in my ear when their kids were taking pictures with me. They'd say, 'When the Beast goes to bed, I'll be waiting for you in the library.' All I could think was, God, I'd hate to be your wife. I couldn't break character, but I would always address it and say something like, 'Um, I go to bed when the Beast goes to bed'". That is one soft, smooth way to turn down that advance.
15 They Must Conform To Disney's Conservative Standards
Disney is known to have some of the highest, most traditional standards not just for their Disney Princesses, but for the rest of their employees as well. There are a lot of physical and dress code types of rules that need to be abided by. These all pertain to the employee's appearance. No employees, and especially not Disney Princesses can have tattoos, body piercings, earlobe expansions, or disfiguring skin implants.
Some people argue that Disney needs to catch up with modern times and revisit their foundations in order to adapt. Disney tried to open a part in France but it was rejected by the market because rules like these were not well received. It looks like the French might know something that we don't. However, Disney only allows for tattoos if they are "discreetly and completely covered at all times" according to their website.
14 They Can Never Break Out Of Character
This is one of the most fundamental rules on the entire list that Disney stresses but it just kind of goes without saying. When a Disney Princess is in costume, she can never break character. What that means is that just like any other professional actress, that means that they must always behave as their character would. In order to know their character, they must watch their character's films over and over again until they get it right. This would even go so far as to say that they can't acknowledge any pop culture references, even if the guests bring them up.
They also have to pay attention to where their character is in the plot that they are representing. For example, if you are Belle without the yellow dress, that means the Beast is not a prince. You don't know that he will turn into a prince. These girls are exact and precise.
13 They Must Always Be Upbeat
As if this list of what it takes to be a Disney princess doesn't end, let's add some more insult to injury. There is indeed a large number of do's and don'ts for all princesses to follow. No matter how hot their costume is, or what physical or emotional condition they are in, they must never frown or have bad posture. At least not at any point where they are still in costume. There is a rule about smiling that states clearly that a Disney Princess must smile, no matter what. Disney is a happy place where kids and adults come to play.
A former Belle described this "smiling all the time" rule in Cosmopolitan: "It was a lot of fun, but emotionally, it was tolling. You have to smile for an hour straight; you can't drop your smile until you go on break and are behind closed doors because Disney doesn't want any pictures of us not smiling. The first few weeks, my face literally hurt."
12 You Can Get The Boot Easily
Anyone who is a Disney character, whether it be a princess, villain, prince charming or side kick...must re-audition if they want to continue their employment. When you are hired on as a character, you are given a contract specifying a certain amount of time.
However, there are always possibilities that Disney Princesses can be prevented from working due to a certain appearance issue. This can be due to weight, looking tired or what have you. Appearances mean everything.
Another mystery Belle explained to Cosmopolitan: "Most of the drama happens when someone gets disapproved, or not allowed to go out on set. One girl got disapproved because her arms got too chubby. Another girl had a very bad acne breakout all over her face, and they disapproved her. Then everyone talks about whether she should or shouldn't have been disapproved—it's awkward."
11 They Must Greet 172 Guests Per Hour
Yep, you heard that right. That is literally less than 30 seconds per guest if you do the math. There is not much time to pay special attention zeroed in on one guest for too long. When you are not greeting, you are putting on a performance or singing a song from one of the movies or defeating one of the villains at Disneyland. Though the kids are what really generates all the business, they can't spend too much time playing with kids unless told otherwise.
"We couldn't spend too much time playing with the kids though, because we had to greet 172 guests per hour." Cosmopolitan’s secret Belle said, "Disney decided that was the magic number. An attendant would have a clicker to count the number of people we met, and if we went under, we would get a reprimand." That sounds like they run one heck of a tight ship at Disney.
10 They May Have To Endure Extreme Temperatures
Though Elsa in Frozen sang on and on about how she can't let the cold bother her, keep in mind that these Disneyland Princesses are actresses. In reality, they sometimes get chilly if they have to run around in a flimsy, thin-textured costume all day long. In California, the weather can fluctuate and the wind can cool it down.
An ex-princess told Cosmopolitan: "The one time that I got really, really angry at work was one of the only days that was actually really cold in Florida—so cold you could see your breath. I had to stand in a doorway welcoming guests into a restaurant in a sleeveless formal dress. I was freezing and my eyes were watering, but the location managers wouldn't let me go get my coat."
This almost borders on the line of mistreatment of employees. She continued, "Later, I was talking to the photographers, and they told me that that restaurant sold the photos of Belle and the guests for, like, $35—and when Belle was wearing the coat, they sell 30 percent less pictures."
9 You Can't Sit Down When In Costume
This rule shouldn't be that surprising considering the rest of the rules on this like. This is a specific subbranch of "never breaking out of character." Being a Disney Princess means that you can't sit down and rest when you in costume. There are no "ands", "ifs" or "buts" to this rule. Their posture must be perfect in order to look like they are truly acting the character and this goes along with having those mannerisms that the original Disney Princesses had in the movies. However, bear in mind that Disney Princesses in the cartoons are not real people in real life and therefore can't feel real pain the way humans can. One has to wonder if these girls have a serious happy hour after their shift is over at Disneyland.
8 The Makeup Is Very Specific
If you are lucky to make it through the grueling audition process, be a fur character (ie Mickey or Minnie Mouse) for two weeks, then you are taught the specific makeup methods. These include step-by-step instructions on how to apply the makeup in order to look like each individual character. Cast members are supplied the makeup and taught how to apply it properly. Just like any other nuance for the Disney brand, there are specific guidelines on how to do it and do it right. This is to ensure that all Snow Whites, Belles, Cinderellas, etc. all look the same. Disney really goes out of its way to keep the character's integrity intact. This is probably one of the more fun parts about being a Disney Princess.
7 They Must Remember The Signature Move Of Their Princess
To truly stay in character and keep up the illusion for the guests, a Disney Princess must truly know her character's mannerisms, movements and tone of voice to a T. This is not just a general interpretation with their own slant on it. No, it must be an exact replica of what the Disney Princess was in the original cartoon version. In other words, Disney does not accept anything that is short of perfection and flawlessness. This seems like having to jump through many hoops and meeting some high standards for not earning very much. In the best case scenario, having an experience as a Disney Princess can give someone a lot of acting experience if they want to make it big in Hollywood. Though the chances are still slim, it can lead to some princess-esque roles in the movies. Again, this is best case scenario.
6 They Must Pick Up Trash
Real life princesses would never be caught dead picking up trash. No sir, that is for the common folk or the peasants. Anyone of royal origins or titles are too high born to ever have such a task. However, Disney Princesses are just pretending to be like they are royal so they have to pick up trash like any other Disney employee. This is probably for the best since they don't get special treatment more so than anyone else just because they are playing a princess. So this isn't exactly the strangest rule on the list.
However, this addendum is just overkill. The Disney Princesses can't just stop and pick up the litter lying on the ground. Instead, they have a specific protocol to gracefully pick it up using a "swooping" motion. This goes back to the rule that they can never "break character."
5 Singing Is Not Allowed
There are two types of Disney Princesses at Disneyland and Disney World: those that put on performances and those that are present among the guests interacting. The ones that are the performers are the ones that get to sing their signature songs like "Let It Go" from Elsa in Frozen or "A Change In Me" from Belle in Beauty and the Beast. The Disney Princesses that are among the crowd are not permitted to sing because they are not the ones who put on the performances. Although this seems counter-intuitive because you would expect a princess who is "in character" to sing one of the movies signature songs, this is just simply isn't allowed. At least this is one less thing that the Disney Princesses have to do. Furthermore, it takes away the singing requirement in order to play the character.
4 The Weight Of The Costume Can Cause Injuries
The costumes that the Disney Princesses don are heavy and have metal wire framing at the skirts in order to keep the structure in place. Though it doesn't look like it would be a dangerous job, injuries have been known to happen such as broken knees and dislocated shoulders. According to Cosmopolitan, there was another princess in training who had to ultimately have knee surgery due to the weight of her costume. Finally, another learner princess suffered whiplash due to the weight of Minnie Mouse’s head being twisted from side to side when a guest picked her up and shook her.
When you have your "hazing" two weeks as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy or Pluto... guests are also known to hit you in the face, stomach and other regions that cause bruising.
3 They Must Re-Audition Every Six Months
As mentioned before, working for Disney is always a temporary contract and you have a shelf life. You must also prove that you can be kept compared to the fresh batch right behind you. Though the popularity of trying out to be a Disney Princess is unclear, it would seem like Disney has quite the talent pool to choose from. After Disney Princesses have paid their dues being a fur character, it still doesn't guarantee that they get to keep their jobs until they are 27.
The managers watch the weight, shape and general appearance of the girls like hawks. One ex-Belle told Cosmopolitan: "They had me dress up as Belle and came back in and they were like, "We've just been noticing that your mouth is very different than all the other girls." It was the most bizarre thing ever, and it very clearly had nothing to do with my mouth." She concluded, "I got canned—and it hurt."
2 They Must Maintain Secrecy About Their Job
Disney cast members are not allowed to discuss which character they are outside of Disneyland or Disney World. Nor are they allowed to post anything about it on social media, and there are serious consequences if one of them violates this rule. This includes termination. Disney is incredibly strict about each character maintaining an oath of confidentiality and Disney Princesses can't even reference anything that is outside of the Disney realm. For example, Ariel cannot say that she is friends with Spongebob or any other character that is not part of the Disney brand. Not to mention that they can't even go home and talk about their day as a Disney Princess to their family, roommates, or friends. In a way, being a Disney Princess is almost as secretive as being in the CIA.
1 They Must Not Be Allergic To Cats
This a strange yet realistic rule for the Disney Princesses. If you are allergic to cats, then you are in for a hard time if you are working at Disneyland or Disney World. There is said to be at least 200 feral cats lurking in the grounds of Disneyland. These aren't stray cats of domestic breeds but wild cats that make Disneyland their natural habitat. They have been there since the park first opened in 1955 and they show no signs of going away anytime soon. They were attracted there because of the never-ending food supply that is left behind by the guests. Needless to say, that means there is cat dander and fur all over the park that would aggravate the allergies of anyone that is allergic to kitties.
Disneyland executives even allow for their presence because they keep the rat population under control. They have even opened shelters for cats where they can get spayed and neutered.
Source: The Gamer, Disney Fanatic, Cosmopolitan, disney.com