Beth Kassab at the Orlando Sentinel gets unprecedented access to the reality behind Walt Disney World’s costumed characters. This is the sort of stuff that Disney used to keep very hush hush. But for some reason, perhaps the recent slate of incidents involving characters, the Orlando Sentinel has been allowed to reveal even the most basic secrets behind the magic.
One of these secrets is how many of the costumed character workforce report work related injuries each year (about a third). Most of these injuries are due to the heavy nature of the costumes or over-zealous guests. Disney has gone to great lengths to reduce these injuries even going as far to hire materials experts from NASA.
My all time favorite Walk-Around was the Winnie The Pooh character with
the Honey Pot on his head. Apparently, this was one of the worst
costumes to wear due to all the extra weight on the head and shoulders. His proportions were all off, and he couldn’t move his arms, but boy was he cute.
Although the article doesn’t mention this, one of my favorite tidbits from Opening Day at Disneyland was that many of the costumes for the walk-around characters were on loan from the Ice Capades. They even had a two person Dumbo costume.