What It’s Really Like Behind the Magic: 11 Crazy Things Ex-Disney Park Character Actors Encounter on the Job

Imagine what it would be like to work in the most magical place on Earth. As a character actor, your job is to bring those beloved Disney characters to life and create unforgettable moments for guests of all ages. It sounds like a dream come true, but what is it really like to be an actor behind the scenes at Disney Park? Here’s a look at 11 of the craziest things they have experienced on the job.

1. Violation of Restraining Orders

One man explains they were in a relationship with a woman who played a fairy for Tinkerbell Place. She had a weird encounter with a woman who had a four-year-old little girl. The two were excited to get a picture with Tinkerbell, who was busy then. So she volunteered to entertain the little girl while waiting, but the woman was rude, stating they were there to see Tinkerbell and not other “off-brand fairies.”

She shrugged it off but later heard a commotion that made Tinkerbell upset. It turns out the woman was Tinkerbell’s biological mom and had brought her granddaughter to Disney to justify the violation of Tinkerbell’s restraining order against her.

2. Physical Contact

A former mouse performer shares that they can confirm that Disney characters endure a lot of uncomfortable touching. Disney training stipulates that they move away when they can. Characters can also signal attendants to escort the guest away. Once, a guy picked them off the ground in a bear hug. They underwent a lot of neck and back pain since the head, which is connected to them using headgear and a chin strap, was pushed back.

3. Being Blinded

A former Goofy says they found themselves in a tight spot after being swarmed by a hoard of kids. While they were playing with them, the inner hood below the mask slipped over their eyes, making them completely blind. To ask for help, they needed to flap their arms, but the kids had attached themselves to both arms as a game. They’d have to lift three to four kids per arm to move.

Since this was impossible, they were left entirely rooted to the spot. They spent ten to fifteen minutes in limbo, reflecting on all their life decisions that had led them there. Luckily, they could finally signal that something was wrong when one of the assistants informed them that the set was over.

4. Creepy Dads

A past Tinkerbell character shares that the weirdest thing was dads, who low-key hit on you. While they understand that kids are bound to do strange stuff, adults know what they are doing but don’t care. They say that dads would talk about their looks in the presence of their kids or try to get handsy. This was a common occurrence, and there were guards all over the place to minimize it. Unfortunately, it still happened countless times.

5. Costume Sickness

Another man states he worked in an amusement park featuring themed characters like Disney’s. The worst thing he ever experienced was when the heat overwhelmed him inside the suit. It was ninety-five degrees, and he vomited inside the suit. He states his half-digested lunch smeared the inside of the suit’s head. Also, he needed to walk far to the dressing rooms while breathing the heated vomit air on the dreadful journey.

6. Getting Injured by Guests

Somehow visitors always forget that costume characters are real people. A responder says their ex-wife worked at Disney World years ago and was often wounded by visitors. The perpetrators included macho men who needed to determine Mickey’s grip strength. Some would hold Donald’s bill and yank it hard. They did weird things like pulling noses, ears, or beaks that hurt the characters.

7. Threats From Strangers

A former Easter Bunny character adds that people are weird. One time, a guy threatened to throw them down the stairs. It didn’t help that the weather was hot, but some kids were excited to take a picture, making it worthwhile.

8. Getting Stuck With People’s Kids

A mother had their daughters take a seat on each of this former Disney character’s legs. The daughter was about sixteen years, so it was an odd situation. Especially when she yelled out, “Watch your hands!”

In another occurrence, a woman was left holding a newborn for about half an hour after the dad had to take a call. She had to walk around to prevent the child from crying.

9. Being Squeezed

A woman who played Dale from Chip n Dale shares that one day, they were having fun with a bunch of kids and their dad until he asked for a hug. The hug was unnecessarily tight, as he intended to feel them out under the costume. He told his kids he didn’t know that Dale was a girl. They were uncomfortable, but they tried to play it off.

10. Costumes Melting on You

Finally, one explains their mom was once a character actor when Disney was testing a new headpiece, and their mom had to wear it. It was for one of the seven dwarfs, and they had to wear it on a march with Snow White. For the dwarfs, the head lays in the hat and the face on the stomach.

It was a hot summer, and one of the kids on the march hugged their mom. In the process, the plastic that created the face began melting inwards. The kid started screaming, thinking he had hurt their mum (Doc). Character handlers swooped in and rushed Doc through a secret passage to get her out of the costume.

11. Make Your Numbers

Aside from the countless inappropriate guest requests, another face actor for Walt Disney recalled being told by his captain to stop squatting down to hug kids because “it was taking up too much time.” They had to make their ‘numbers’, which is meeting a certain amount of guests per shift.

Another person comments, “One day they started to REALLY push numbers on us and it just killed with the quality interactions we (Mick, Min, Goof and guest) played off each other with.” So much for creating those magical moments with guests.