Those of you who have ever considered being a costumed theme park character might want to read this story at the Orlando Sentinel first. You’ll probably have second thoughts.
Costumed characters were back in the public eye after prosecutors recently found a Pennsylvania man guilty of groping a Disney employee portraying Minnie Mouse at the Magic Kingdom. He told investigators that he was just having fun and meant no harm.
This was the second time the same employee had been molested by a guest. In 2002, she was playing Mickey Mouse when, authorities say, a mentally ill man who was obsessed with Disney characters put his arm around her and made sexually suggestive movements. The man was found incompetent to stand trial and the charges — battery and lewdness — were eventually dismissed.
And that story doesn’t even get into the low pay and extreme conditions you’ll have to endure while covered in fur.
If that still hasn’t scared you off, check out www.DisneyAuditions.com for your chance to become a walk-around character. Tokyo Disney is hiring. I hear that’s an amazing experience.
Ha, this made me laugh. As a former (and future) Cast Member, I know that this is nothing in comparison to what you can get at the parks. Twice? Pah. Disney has enough fans that it can get out of hand more often than we’d all really like to admit.
However, the look on a little kids’ face when they see a Furry the first time ever? Now THAT is Magical.
Not to mention all the screaming little kids thrust upon you by parents who have to have a picture of you holding their baby. Or the little ones who want to attack you almost, if not knocking you down. Then there’s the rowdy teenagers who sometimes get a little carried away. Or, lets not forget the obsessive, neurotic adults (guilty) who just have to have a picture with you, like they don’t already have a dozen or so… LOL!
As a former costumed character, I’d like to note that while this kind of thing does happen occasionally (I was once “groped” by a group of international tourists who were looking for my tail), the rewards of the job more than pay off the few bad days. Nothing can replace the look on child’s face when they meet you for the first time and say the now-iconic line, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet you!” Sure the pay isn’t top of the scale, but most people who work in characters aren’t in a place in life that they need to support a family or own houses or anything. It’s an awesome experience that you can share (hushedly) with family, friends and future employers, that always draws a bit of admiration. :)