During our first DCP program, we became friends with a fellow CP who “was friends with” Lady Tremaine.
She was the youngest person to ever portray that face character at WDW – only 19 years old!
In regular everyday life, she is very tall and thin, blonde, and very, very pretty….like Cinderella.
How Disney Casting ever looked at her and thought of ‘Lady Tremaine’, we’ll never know!! She looks more like Princess Aurora to us!
Business Insider interviewed a former CM who “was friends with” Snow White. (Read the full story at: Princess Snow White )
We thought her answers were pretty interesting.
And, Miss USA 2014 is also a former CM who “was friends with” many Disney Princesses! (Read her story with photos: Miss USA was a Disney Princess)
A Former ‘Snow White’ Dishes About Life as a Disney Park Princess:
What’s the audition process like?
Audition process is LONG. The first is a ‘type out’ where they look to see if you have similar features, second is usually a dance, then a ‘read’ to have you act as the character, and an interview.
What are the specific look requirements?
Tink has a specified height requirement, as do all the other princesses. Princesses are usually 5’4”-5’7”, Fairies and Alice or Wendy are all 4’11”-5’2”. [The largest princess costume is a size 10, 120 lbs. max., while Tinkerbell’s is a size 2-4, around 105 lbs.]
What’s the average age range for “face characters”?
Most girls are between 18 and 23, and a few of the girls who have been there awhile are 25-27. Rarely is a girl over 27 who does princesses or fairies.
How much training does Disney give you?
Training takes five days — mostly they just want you to study the film intensely. I can quote the movie from start to finish from memory.
How long did it take for you to put your costume on?
Putting the entire thing together took about an hour. Putting the dress itself on took 5-10 minutes.
Our make-up was made to match the colors in the films which was neat, I still have tons of red lipstick. We started with make-up, then wig, then costuming. Pretty standard. All day long you have to make adjustments and do touch ups, especially after lunch.
How much money does being a princess pay?
When I first started I was at $13.50 and the top out was $16. Though I think it might be different now. [2016: Hasn’t changed that much!]
Disney does not do large payraises, only about 15 cents a year. It’s a good part time job for sure because of the pay, but when you are still making the same thing at year three it doesn’t exactly motivate you to work harder.
Has a kid ever asked you something that you couldn’t answer?
I’ve done improv for most of my life so I always had an answer for something.
Though one time a little girl gave me a hug then got super embarrassed and asked, “Are those your boobs?” To that I kind of laughed and re-focused her attention on the picture we were taking.
What was one of your best memories?
An adorable little girl named Jane with three months to live came to visit for Make A Wish. I got to ride two rides with her, and while we were on the Storybook boats she looked at me as sincere as a little girl can and said, “Snow White, this has been my mom’s best day ever.”
Her mother was in tears the whole time.
What kinds of rules are there in the Disney Parks?
There’s lots of rules. It’s why people get so frustrated working there — you’re always worried about getting in trouble.
Social media is a big problem there, we weren’t allowed to post or talk about the things we did as a character, or even to tell people what character we were. If I was still employed with them an AMA would be a no-no.
When we were performing in the park there were lots of rules about how we were to carry ourselves, not sitting, always smiling, always doing the voice, etc. We also weren’t supposed to refer to things outside the Disney realm. Snow White does not know Thomas the Tank Engine.
Were you friends with the other Disney Princesses?
It’s kind of like being in high school. Most of the princesses were viewed like “Mean Girls.” It creates a bit of a stigma which I fought loads of times. In fact I met two of my best friends while working there.
Being a princess is a lot like being in a sorority: We still get together and see each other. They are by far the most beautiful friends I have.
How long would you have to work until you got a break?
45 minutes on, 15 minute breaks, and our shifts were 8.5 since half hour of lunch was taken out.
When the weather reached 90, 95, or 100 degrees, they would adjust our sets and let us take some time off so we could recoup.
Is your voice normally as high as Snow White’s?
It’s a lot deeper than Snow White. I definitely strained a bit, but I was trained well.
Because of the repetition over time though I developed inoperable vocal nodes.
Are Disney employees ever allowed to say “no”?
Finding a solution to guest problems is a number one priority. I couldn’t flat out refuse autographs or pictures or answering questions.
Did you ever not want to go to work?
Some days are not fun (Christmas, Mid-Summer, etc.). But you learn to take a deep breath and deal with it. It took three years before I really started to get over it and I wanted to get out.
Like to see all the Disney Princess costumes? We do too! They don’t get to wear their winter costumes very often in Florida….it must be under 60 degrees at parade time. But, the costumes and coats are beautiful!!
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.
Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.