Disney Dreams Dashed

Dane Durrant, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Disney theme parks are never complete without the smorgasbord of characters riddled throughout the park, but the actors for these characters may not see Disney theme parks as the “happiest place on Earth.”

For a great deal of people, the prospect of becoming a Disney princess, or a dashing prince charming may sound like a dream job, but it may not be all that it is cracked up to be. In an interview with Insider, an employee who went under the alias Brianna Smith gave some deeper looks into what really makes a Disney princess. 

When Smith first tried out to be a Disney princess, she got rejected rather quickly, but after she made it into a Disney College Program, she tried her luck again. And this is where things started to seem a little weird. “There were about 500 of us, and they divide you into rooms of 50. Then they line you up in rows of 10 and study your features… It was pretty unnerving. Then, after all of that they said ‘we just need Brianna Smith, thank you.’ And just like that all 49 other girls were eliminated.” What made Brianna stick out from everyone else?

At this point in my investigation, I started to wonder to myself, “What would qualify someone to become a Disney Princess?” There is a long list of qualifications to be considered. First off, you need to be between the specific heights of 5’4” and 5’7”. You also have to have the facial structure of a Disney Princess, and a certain body shape. As Smith put it, “You could look exactly like Ariel and have the voice down but if your boobs are too big, you won’t be playing the Little Mermaid.” 

Let’s say I finally made it through that rigorous process, although I may not fit some requirements. Now it’s time to become a princess, right? Wrong. In preparation for becoming a princess, you first have to spend a little time as a “fur character.” These refer to the full-costumed characters like Mickey Mouse, or Mrs. Incredible. How hard can acting as Mickey really be, though? Well, as much fun as being in a head-to-toe fur costume without being able to talk, barely being able to see, having to deal with all the over privileged children, while sweating under the hot Florida or California sun for hours a day sounds, I think I’d probably want to pass.

Now assuming this still is all going to be worth it, what happens when you finally get to become a princess? I’m sorry to report, but it doesn’t get much better. Now you have to deal with the constant threat of getting fired through minor mistakes, in Smith’s case, it was wearing a pair of tennis shoes instead of princess shoes. Not to mention the constant stream of sexual harassment that comes with the job.

I believe this is the perfect example of Disney’s flawed model. On the outside, they’re the happiest, kid-friendly, and kindest company in the world, but if you delve a little into the inside, you’ll find that it isn’t quite as “happy” as it seems.