Former Disney Park Actors Describe The Weirdest Experiences They Ever Had While In Character

An undeniable part of the magic that guests experience at many of the Disney parks around the world is the interactions with characters.

Those who post photos of their Disney vacations will almost always include a photo with Mickey and/or Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie, and their human friends like Snow White, Belle, Moana, or villains like Gaston.

It's not that difficult to suspend your disbelief during an encounter with a Disney character.

But spoiler alert, the beloved icons you're putting your arms around and giving hugs are with total strangers who are paid to make you feel special.

Redditors got a chance to discover what it's like for those costumed Disney cast members giving hugs and signing autographs to kids of all ages that they've never met before.

Redditor nvoltage1017 asked:

"Former actors at Disney parks, what’s the weirdest thing that happened to you while you were in character?"

Fluffy Disney characters are appealing to a niche interest in the kink community.

Sexy Furry

"I was one of the performers for Nick Wilde from Zootopia a few years ago, And if you’re not aware; a large number of people in the furry community find him highly attractive."

"You can just imagine the number of people in that community who flirted with me and/or Judy and whispered some pretty sexual things to us. I think I also had a guy grab Nick’s tie like in that flirty way, we had to get him escorted out of the park."

"The moral of the story is: don’t be inappropriate with the characters, we are real people underneath, and there are legitimate consequences for that kind of behaviour."

– ExtremePikachu75

Just Plain Goofy

"I was playing Goofy inside a restaurant and I got swarmed Aliens-style by a hoard of <10 kids. Unfortunately while I was playing around with them the inner hood below the mask slipped over my eyes and I was completely blinded. We had assistants around whom we could signal for help by flapping our arms, but the kids had made it a game of attaching themselves Tarzan-like to both my arms and to raise them I would have had to lift 3-4 kids per arm (dangerous even if I'd been strong enough to do that)."

"I found myself blind and completely rooted to the spot, unable to ask for help and with nobody realizing that I was in trouble. I spent like a solid 10-15 minutes in that sort of limbo reflecting on the life decisions that had taken me there until the assistant came over and whispered 'set is over dude' and I finally managed to signal something was wrong."

– Judge_T

Things get out of control.

Why They Do It

"I was a 'mouse height' performer at Disney World around 2013. Can unfortunately confirm groping happened from time to time and it was incredibly uncomfortable. We were trained to move away if we could and signal to the character attendants to escort the guest away if it happened. One time some guy thought it appropriate to pick me up completely off the ground in a bear hug. The head pushed back and, because the inside is connected to us with head gear and a chin strap, my neck bent back with it and it hurt like hell."

"Not a weird story, but one of my most memorable guest experiences was meeting a little blind boy as Mickey in Epcot. I gently guided his hands to the soft ears, then the nose, and bow tie and he was laughing and his smile lit up the whole room. I still get emotional thinking about it! Interactions like that made it all worth it to me at the time."

– raybirdie

Tinkerbell's Drama

"I dated a girl that played one of the fairies for the Tinkerbell place. Beyond the pretty much daily occurrence of old dads hitting on her (she was 19 at the time) the weirdest thing to happen to her was a woman with a 4yr old little girl was all excited to get a picture with Tinkerbell, who was busy, so my ex volunteered to do pictures and entertain the little girl while they waited."

"The woman was a b*tch about that idea, rudely saying she was here to see Tinkerbell and not 'off-brand' fairies. So just shrugging it off, my ex moved on. A bit later, she hears a commotion and Tinkerbell is obviously upset, and security shows up. Apparently, this woman was Tinkerbell's bio mom and had taken her granddaughter to Disney, just to violate the restraining order against her."

"Disney Jail is a real place."

– EarlSandwich0045

Trapped In Sick

"I used to work at a different amusement park that featured similar costumed characters. The worst thing I ever heard was the time one of the characters was overcome by heat in 95 degree weather, and vomited inside the suit, splattering the inside of the suit's head with their half-digested lunch."

"They had to walk a long distance back to the dressing rooms breathing the super-heated vomit air the entire way."

– SpaceLaserPilot

Things get violent

That's Just Nuts

"Never was an actor, but when I was a kid at Disney World in the 70s, I watched Chip get into a fist fight with a young 20 something guy. The guys girlfriend wanted him to do a picture with Chip & Dale, but he didn't want to. Chip grabbed him in a head lock and his girlfriend snapped the photo. When Chip let go, the guy came up swinging. Dale had to jump in and break them up, as Chip started swinging back. For a kid of 12, it was awesome!"

– EddyBuddard

Shifts To Avoid

"My ex wife was in the character department at Disney World years ago. She was always getting injured by guests. From macho men wanting to see how strong of a grip Mickey had, to grabbing hold of Donald's bill and yanking really hard. Pulling noses, beaks, ears, etc., can really hurt people."

"Another person was dressed as Daisy duck and got tackled by a guest and knocked out cold. When she recovered, she pressed charges."

"The worst nights for the characters were high school senior nights and the religious group nights. Bunch of unruly teens with little to no supervision. No one wanted to work those shifts. Ever."

– artistandattorney

Some situations were a bit on the laughable side.


"I was part of the Disney college program and I have my own stories but not as a character. My mom on the other hand, she was a character actor back in the day (60’s or 70’s). They were testing a new headpiece for the seven dwarf costumes in Disneyland and my mom wore one of them out on a march with Snow White. As a Dwarf, your head is inside their hat, their face on their stomach, etc. Being Anaheim, it was really hot that summer day and as they were going around following Snow White a little kid saw my mom “Doc” he ran up to give him/her a hug. As he was hugging Doc, the plastic that made up the face started melting inwards and the child started screaming 'I killed Doc! I killed Doc!' In hysterics. Character handlers rushed my mom/Doc off through one of the secret passages by Pirates and got her out of the costume before the plastic could melt onto her."

"Always thought it was a fun story and curious how much it screwed up that kid."

– The_Woman_S

The Gas Leak

"Not a cast member but either Mickey or Minnie cut a very audible fart while posing with my wife and me. It must've been awful inside that dutch oven of a costume."

– Jeffclaterbaugh

Never Assume

"I knew a friend(a guy) who wore Minnie Mouse costume. He told me almost all guys would put their hands around his waist. He wouldn’t dare to talk or else they will hear his manly voice and that might pisses them off."

"Edit: this blows up quickly. I feel I need to let people know that it’s not okay to grope the Disney characters. My friend had introduced me to the people who play them and they are just normal people. All I can tell you is that they will make a disgusting face under the mask and talk sh*t about you later after work."

– reloadfreak

Disney cast members must've been relieved to some extent when the parks reopened with pandemic measures.

Not only did the Disney park institute mask mandates, but any character also interactions–if there were any at all–were at a safe distance from guests, preventing physical contact.

With normal character interactive procedures now back in place at most Disney parks, always remember to be on your best behavior.

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