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Many little girls dream of being a Disney princess, but only a few get to grow up and make a career out of their childhood fantasy. Disney World pays princess lookalikes to play the parts of Belle, Jasmine, Tiana, Cinderella, Rapunzel and other leading ladies around the park. But becoming a professional princess involves more than wishing on a falling star or sprinkling some pixie dust -- actually, it’s a fairly competitive process.
Meet the Requirements
Disney World princesses, known as "face characters," are required to meet specific physical criteria to ensure that the actor closely resembles the character. Exact measurements vary by character, but princesses usually must be between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 7 inches, according to Megan Willett, a former Snow White, in an April 2013 article in Business Insider. While there are no specific age limits, most princess face characters are between 18 and 27. Disney states that there are no specific weight qualifications, but again, resembling the character as closely as possible is key.
In addition to the physical requirements, princesses should be able to mirror the personality traits, voice, and physical mannerisms of their characters. Having a spot-on Cinderella impersonation or being able to mimic Belle’s singing voice may give you a leg-up in the audition process. And depending on whether or not you will be performing in any park productions, you may need to show that you can dance, act or sing. In addition, Disney World face characters must speak English.
Find an Audition
To audition to be a Disney princess, visit the Disney Auditions website and click on the auditions calendar. Search by park and job type to see what princess positions are available at Disney World. Individual job postings give specific information about individual character requirements. The posting will also give the date, time and location for the auditions. Open auditions are the first step of the hiring process, and everyone who wants to work as a face character must audition.
Disney stresses the importance of arriving at least 15 minutes before the scheduled audition time. Come prepared with headshots and a resume. The Disney Auditions website states that your headshots should be high-quality photos on standard letter-size paper. The photos should accurately represent the way you look currently and should illustrate your personality. Disney Auditions also says that your resume should be kept to one page and should list only your most recent experience and accomplishments. Use a casting resume, which should include hair color, eye color, height, weight and any entertainment-related training you’ve had.
Do not show up to the audition in a costume or with your hair or makeup styled like the princess for whose part you are auditioning. Wear clothes and shoes in which you will be comfortable moving, singing and dancing.
Ace the Audition
During the audition you will be taught and judged on a simple eight-count dance, according to Michelle Ruiz in a 2014 article in Cosmopolitan. Don't worry if you're not a professional dancer -- you will be judged as much on personality and poise as on your dance moves. You will be told immediately after the dance whether or not you move on to the next phase. If you do, the casting directors will examine your face and physique closely to see if you match the princess’s criteria, then you will be asked to sing or say a few lines from the princess’s movie. Finally, there is an interview portion. Remember that Disney values charisma, friendliness and charm, so exhibit these characteristics as much as possible when you are both in and out of character.
Complete the Training
If you are hired, you must attend a five-day training session, in which you will intensively study your princess’s movie. By the end of the training, you should know the character inside and out and be able to quote lines from her movie. You may be given quizzes and worksheets on your character. You will also be given a crash course in doing your hair and makeup to resemble your character; once you are working as a princess you will do your own styling. After being hired, you are expected to maintain your physical appearance and keep it as close as possible to the character’s image.
Marie Gentile has a passion for personal finance and style, and takes a special interest in the places where they intersect. She specializes in writing about money management and frugal living. Gentile has a bachelor's degree in journalism and has been published in several personal finance-related print and online publications.
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