One of the biggest attractions for visitors young and old to the Disney parks is the Princesses. It's a grueling job for these young women who are required to greet the crowds and keep the magic alive. We see them every time we visit, but did you know there are a set of rules cast members chosen to play these iconic characters are required to follow?
Being born, marrying into royalty, or performing an act of heroism will earn you a spot on the official Disney Princesses list, but the regulations don't stop there. Read on as we share 10 weird rules all Disney Princesses are required to follow at the parks.
10 They Need To Look The Part
To the best of their ability, Disney Princesses must look the part. They must smile continually, have exceptional posture, and meet certain size requirements. Some Princesses are even required to wear colored contact lenses to change their eye color. Disney's requirements do not extend to their hair, however, as all Princesses must wear a wig.
Disney also requires potential Princesses sound like their character. A former cast member who played Snow White (she spilled her secrets on Reddit) has permanent damage to her vocal cords from altering her voice for so many years. She says she eventually mastered the Snow White sneeze and still sneezes like her to this day.
9 No Sitting Allowed
While stooping or kneeling to talk to a child is encouraged, sitting is forbidden. Disney Princesses are not allowed to sit during their entire shift. Sitting simply isn't keeping within the character of a Princess, so Disney does not allow it.
Considering the heat can become unbearable in some of the parks, not being able to sit during an eight-hour shift can be pretty grueling. Fortunately, Princesses are granted regular breaks out of the public's eye, giving them an opportunity to rest their tired feet.
8 They Must Attend Autograph Training
This rule may sound silly to some, but it's all part of keeping the Disney magic alive. Kids who get an autograph from Rapunzel today will see it matches the autograph their mother got from Rapunzel twenty-five years ago. If it doesn't, someone will have some explaining to do.
To avoid that awkward moment, Disney has a way to achieve this continuity. Mandatory Princess training requires trainees learn their character's unique autograph and have the ability to replicate it every time someone pushes a pen and autograph book their way.
7 They Must Pick Up Trash
Disney makes it easy for guests to keep their parks clean. Trash bins are situated every thirty steps to encourage people to make a little extra effort to avoid littering.
Of course, there are always those annoying guests who leave their trash for someone else to pick up, and that someone may just be one of our beloved Disney Princesses. Disney policy states that all cast members are responsible for picking up any trash they encounter. So if you see Cinderella doing the graceful Disney "stoop and scoop" to retrieve a paper cup, you'll understand.
6 They Have A Quota
All Disney Princesses have a quota for the number of guests they interact with. Each Princess is required to spend time with at least 172 guests per hour, which averages out to 1.2 guests per minute with a Disney "handler" keeping track of those numbers.
It's a tricky balance they're required to strike between spending enough time with a guest and spending too much time, and this is often the rule former Princesses dislike the most. No one wants to disappoint a child who's waited in a long line to see their idol.
5 They Must Point The Disney Way
All cast members, including the Princesses, are taught the proper Disney way to point when directing a guest. As pointing with a single finger may be considered rude in some cultures, cast members are required to point by putting their middle and index fingers together.
There are rumors that this way of pointing came from Walt Disney himself. Disney would use his middle and index fingers to point with a cigarette held between them. In the spirit of revisionist history, many official photos of Walt have had the cigarette digitally removed.
4 They Must Know Their Characters Inside And Out
Cast members who play any of the Disney Princesses are required to know everything there is to know about their character, even if it involves watching the movies many times over. A former Disney Princess says she watched Snow White over 50 times and that her improv training helped her to field questions about her story from guests.
When a four-year-old asks Snow White what she had for breakfast that morning, she'd better have an answer. More importantly, that answer had better be within the sphere of her character. Apple, anyone?
3 They Are Required To Adhere To Disney Appearance Standards
Every Disney cast member is required to adhere to certain standards in their appearance. No cast member is allowed to have a visible tattoo, body piercings, or ear gauges. This may seem stric,t but it took until 2012 for Disney to allow their male Cast Members to have a beard, so things are slowly changing.
Another part of the appearance policy is to have hair that is of a natural color. Princesses are all required to wear wigs, but that doesn't mean they're exempt from this rule.
2 Keep An Oath of Secrecy
In order to be a Disney Princess, you must agree not to talk to friends, family, or anyone else about your job. This rule includes not sharing on any social media platform.
Disney cast members who portray "face characters" can be fired for sharing which character they play, or for sharing stories about their experiences in the park. The reason for this, according to Disney, is that they do their best to "preserve the magic for guests and typically don't share behind-the-scenes details about the theme parks."
1 Forbidden From Talking About Things Outside Their Realm
Mulan can never talk about Harry Potter, or even another Disney character unless it's within her own movie's storyline. This goes for all Disney Princesses as well as other "face characters" such as Tarzan, Prince Eric, or Aladdin.
The reason for this rule goes back to Disney's desire to keep the magic alive for its guests. It also keeps Disney Princesses on their toes when little ones ask Belle if she knows Sleeping Beauty. They must always be prepared with an answer.