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.
"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."
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."
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."
"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."
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."
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!"
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."
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 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."
"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."
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.
Whether we like it or not, the fact that each and every one of us will expire one day and go off into whatever the next phase of existence is is a harsh reality.
So we might as well make the most of the time we have while we're here and leave our mark.
What kind of legacy would you want to leave for the succeeding generations?
Curious to hear from strangers online about how they want to be remembered posthumously, Redditor D_And_R_Gaming asked:
"What do you want written on your tombstone?"
There is still humor in death.
"I asked to be cremated what the hell"
"I was going to say 'Bacon Cheeseburger' but then realized that’s Jack’s, not Tombstone."
Life Is A Crapshoot
"I've made many dumb decisions in my life, and only one of them got me killed."
"Russian roulette without the roulette."
People got creative.
"A Steam review of Life:"
"309,936 hours played 'It's OK.' 👎 Does NOT Recommend "
"1964 - 2137"
"My spidey senses tell me you are from Poland."
Careful What You Wish For
"Slightly off topic….but I saw a picture of a headstone once that had a cookie recipe on the back of it. The poster said that while grandma was alive, they’d ask her for her famous cookie recipe and she’d say, 'over my dead body'. So, when she died, they found the recipe and put it where she always said - over her dead body."
"I don’t care if it’s true or not; that’s savage and I’m here for it!"
There seems to be no limit to what you can have on your epitaph.
We Have Options
[ ] Continue
[X] Save & Quit"
[ ] Continue
[ ] Save & Quit
[X] QuitI don't have to be saved"
"My body lies but still I roam."
"Roamer, Wanderer, Nomad, Vagabond, Call me what you will"
Message To Mortals
"GET OFF MY DAMN GRAVE!!"
"In really small writing... 'you're standing on my balls'"
Only The Strong Survive
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
"Evidently you didn't get stronger."
"A short melody in sheet music carved into the stone that causes bad weather and time travel paradoxes when repeated."
A Lasting Impression
"I dunno but when I was a kid I came across the tombstone of a world war 2 vet. And on the tombstone was his picture. He has very long canine teethe like a vampire, on the stone was a poem that read"
“'Beware kind friend as you pass by. As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, you soon will be. Prepare for death and follow me.' It’s just something I’ve never forgotten."
I remember being amused as a kid waiting in line to ride Disneyland's iconic Haunted Mansion attraction.
Up on a hillside adjacent to the Antebellum-style manse were a series of headstones with darkly humorous epitaphs.
One that particularly drew my attention was one that read:
"Here lies good old Fred. A great big rock fell on his head. R.I.P."
At the time, I really did think gravestones explained how the deceased perished, and that this one was intentionally funny.
Can you imagine?
People Confess Which Articles Of Clothing And Accessories Make Someone Instantly Unattractive
Legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel once famously quipped, "before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory."
Indeed, sometimes it is truly remarkable how one item, be it a wrap, a hat or a brooch, can ruin the whole effect of an outfit.
In some extreme cases, it might also result in making someone's physical appearance seem worse than it is, by inadvertently emphasizing one of their less flattering features.
Then too, there are various accessories or types of clothing which simply never look good on anyone, under any circumstances.
"What is a piece of clothing or an accessory that makes a person immediately unattractive?"
In Case You Needed Reminding...
"Any shirt that has a long statement about how the person wants to be viewed."
"'I'M A BEER DRINKING, HARD WORKING, GUN OWNING REAL MAN WHO EATS MEAT AND NEVER MAKES EXCUSES OR TAKES SHORTCUTS IN LIFE'."
"'IF YOU'RE TRIGGERED, TAKE A NUMBER. I'LL GET TO YOU IN ABOUT A YEAR'."- Delica
"I'll bet Gas Station Kino shirts, with the angry flaming skeletons pointing two guns at you, declaring I'M A FORKLIFT OPERATOR WE WORK HARD AND WE PLAY HARD."- MontrealChickenSpice
"Any of that aggressive STOMP MY FLAG ILL STOMP YOUR A** sh*t."
"Makes me feel like they’re just stupid and angry, a dangerous combination."- neermifbart simpson episode 22 GIFGiphy
A Sight No One Needs To See
"Pants worn below buttocks."- anonnautilus
"Pants that are their size they just don't hold them up with a belt and show their whole underwear, or shrugs."- Jaceie
Million Dollar Smiles Shouldn't Be Taken Literally...
"They look f*ckin ridiculous."- DavosLostFingersold lady smile GIFGiphy
Can They Even See Through Them?
"Eyelashes that are too obviously fake."- LawInevitable2213
No One Really Wants To Be Compared To A Vegetable...
"The thing I find most disgusting currently is the broccoli haircut."
"Looks so bad."- Guilty-Ad-2762
Well Worn, But Not In A Good Way...
"Those God-awful jeans dudes wear with the random ribbed patches on the thighs."
"You know the ones."
"ABOLISH THEM!"- muffinbaby000
No Matter The Interpreter...
"Anything with the joker on it."
"Double that if there is an edgy quote on it as well."- Maleficent-Elk-3298
Bigger Is Not Always Better...
"Giant, long fake fingernails."
"And dinner plates in the earlobes."- sam_the_beagle
"I Am A Material Girl"...
"I'm not a fan of clout-chasing branded clothing."
"It screams materialistic consumerism and that is not cute to me."- coddiwomplecactus
Dude, Where's The Boat?
"The preppy frat man/boy style."
"Salmon shorts, a pastel vineyard vines button-down, and Sperry’s."
"Sorry but it makes some people look like overgrown toddlers at Easter mass."- Mirrorflute88
Unless You're Diana Ross, Maybe...
"Anything with the word Supreme on it."- ILLogicaL_FALLacies
It Must Complicate Eating...
"The older I get, the sillier tongue piercings seem to me."- deltree3030Sexy Temptation Island GIF by RTLGiphy
Needless to say, one's taste in clothing is a personal decision.
But as the saying goes, true beauty comes from within, and those who make a determined effort to improve their appearance, often end up doing just the opposite.
The Absolute Best Things About Being Single
I've embraced the single life.
It's been a decade, so I really had no other choice.
And I can tell you there are plenty of pros to the situation.
When we're single, it seems like we're addicted to focusing on the cons.
But if you start by appreciating yourself more, the pros list grows.
Not watching rom-coms is a big one for me.
And, of course, having a plethora of pins and voodoo dolls of your loved ones and their partners.
I kid. A little.
Redditor thunderchild10 wanted everyone to count all the ways not having a life partner is great, so they asked:
"What's the best thing about being single?"
That's my favorite part.
I just spend it on me!
Peace OutSneaking Out Betty Cooper GIF by Lili ReinhartGiphy
"You can leave family functions on your own terms."
"I’m a huge advocate of the Irish exit. Why do you need to say goodbye to everyone if you know you’re going to see them again in a few days."
No Food Sharing
"I can eat whatever I want for dinner. I don't have to consider anyone else's opinions. I can plan out whatever I want."
"Legit one of my concerns. I have what I call a peasant’s palate… I like simple meals, and I will easily eat the same thing over and over again. I made a chicken and broccoli casserole thing on the weekend and ate that for four days in a row. Sometimes I have chips for dinner. I’m happy with my weird menu, and I’m not looking forward to accommodating someone else."
Ah, yes... silence
"Peace and quiet."
"This is the big one for me. I spend all day listening to people talk, often distressed. So it's nice to come home to quiet. No more talk. Just the ambient sound of my local neighborhood, markedly muffled by double-glazed windows and soundproofed walls."
"The occasional quiet grunt from my dog. The quiet whirl of the refrigerator motor. My own thought as to why it's spelled refrigerator, but when we shorten it, we put a d in there, and make it fridge. The sound of me typing these thoughts on the keyboard in front of me. The quiet eeeeeeeeeeeee of my tinnitus backed all of it. Ah, yes... silence."
So much space...
"Of all the perks I think the best one has to be getting the bed all to myself."
"My partner and I sleep in different beds and I would 100% recommend if you have the space. Started out when we were working different shifts, stayed because we both had AMAZING sleeps."
"Can confirm. Haven't had the bed to myself in 7 years. Have upgraded to sharing with the partner AND toddler now. King-sized bed never seemed so small."
Everything!Happy Well Done GIF by Top TalentGiphy
"Loads of things. Mostly around being able to act exclusively for your own betterment without having to consider anyone else."
The list just gets longer and better.
Just Mefree freedom GIFGiphy
"That you can do whatever TF you want without having to answer to anyone."
"Not living in fear that my relationship will fall apart."
"God bless anyone who is going through this. It sucks really hard when you try to make things work but you just don't get enough assurance from your partner."
"After a few years of marriage, I actively did everything to make my relationship with my ex fall apart. Granted he was abusive and I was terrified that he would kill me for asking for a divorce because he frequently told me that he would, so I just made his life as uncomfortable as possible until he was the one who asked for a divorce."
"Knowing exactly what to expect when you come home and open the front door."
"Holy s**t, this resonates. I'm recently divorced and I can't explain how much anxiety I had when coming home and opening the door. The even keel of the emotional landscape now is pure bliss."
"Saaaaame. That moment I would hear the garage door open when my former partner was getting home: most anxiety-inducing moment/sound. I would go into panic mode: hell did I clean enough/do enough/be productive enough so that I don’t catch some shi**y attitude from the partner."
"Not being a slave to someone else’s emotional state."
"Deada**, this is the first time I’ve been able to focus on my emotional state in forever! My mental health has never been better. And I was even able to wean completely off of SSRIs. My ex was quite literally one of the biggest triggers of my anxiety and depression."
"As someone who is recently single, this is a big one. Sometimes I felt like my partner's emotional state was too chaotic for me and I was a sponge to it. Not being a slave to it anymore has made my anxiety calm down a lot."
You FirstLook At Me Reaction GIF by WWEGiphy
"You get to put yourself first. Take care of yourself. You're your own biggest fan, and the only one you've got. 100% learn to love yourself."
Well sounds like some of us should embrace being alone.
Apparently, it ain't all that bad.
Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below.
People Confess Which Things Meant For Kids They Still Enjoy As An Adult
Too many of us were told to grow up or that it would be wrong to continue to enjoy the things that made our childhoods worth remembering.
But now as adults, some have figured out that there's nothing wrong with enjoying a nice bowl of sugary cereal while watching those Saturday morning cartoons. Quite frankly, it feeds the soul.
Redditor iStoleurvalor asked:
"What is 'for kids' that you continue to thoroughly enjoy as an adult?"
"Playgrounds in general. Since becoming a dad, I can bring my kids to the playground and have fun with them on the slides, swings, monkey bars; most things."
"I wish there were public/free adult-sized playgrounds. It'd probably encourage us to get out a lot more. It feels like everything geared for adults nowadays charges admission, and it's not cheap."
The All-Fours Climb
"Going up the stairs on all fours will always be fun."
"I’m a huge advocate for climbing stairs on all fours, but I’m now imagining how horrifying it would be to see that in a public setting, lol (laughing out loud)."
"'LOOK OUT, KIDS! SHE'S COMING!'"
"I need to try this. But the only steps I regularly take are at work, lol (laughing out loud)."
"I race up the stairs at work on all fours to assert dominance."
Animated Movies as an Art Form
"Animated movies in general. I can still enjoy them. When I've had a rough day or if I'm just feeling down, I can put on something wholesome, funny, or nostalgic and it makes me feel better."
"'Emperor's New Groove' is my favorite feel-good movie."
"Never enough stickers. I had a s**tty childhood (like most of us) but stickers always made me happy, especially the fuzzy ones. Suddenly understanding why I'm still bonkers for stickers."
Gotta Catch 'Em All
"Pokemon. Started with Red when I was five and haven't stopped since. Doubt I ever will. If anything, my enjoyment of Pokemon is becoming more childlike."
In Cracker Form
"Goldfish. It's hard to resist when my niece is having them for a snack. I make a big show about me being a shark and eating them just so I can have some."
"I really thought you meant actual fish at first..."
"Fish are friends, not food."
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Of course, it isn't solely for kids, as he made each episode with a mind towards parents watching them with their children, but he's so wholesome and kind, so deliberate and thoughtful with everything that he put on the show."
"I’d never watched it before and my husband wanted to watch the Tom Hanks movie. But he wanted me to see the real Mister Rogers first. So there we sat, two adults over 30, watching episodes of Mister Rogers. And I loved it!"
"I remember a Reddit post from several years ago where this guy who was in the army or Marines or whatever gushed about his plush Magicarp. He even sent a picture of the Magicarp next to an automatic rifle."
"I'm almost 40 and not ashamed to say I still have my teddy bear, Wally, my mom made when I was two. His arms are lopsided, his ears are wonky, and he is made from upholstery fabric from a 70s couch cushion, but I love that dude."
"I did eight years in two branches of the Marines and Army and did three deployments, and you bet Wally was with me. Either stuffed in a pack or seabag, but he was there because I needed him."
Gotta Love Disney
"Disney animated movies."
"I am a big, mean-looking 40-year-old man. I drove to work listening to the soundtrack to 'Moana.'"
"Second big, mean-looking 40-year-old man here. I may or may not have sobbed on my way to work while kind of singing the soundtrack to 'Encanto' this morning through my tears."
"I'm with you, bro."
Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?
"Not me, but my 55-year-old dad still loves SpongeBob. He'll wake up on a Saturday morning and have his juice and breakfast while watching Spongebob."
"Dude, same. Almost every time I go over there, he's always watching SpongeBob. He recently found out he gets Boomerang on his Roku, so he's just been watching 'Tom & Jerry' and 'Loony Toons.'"
"I also love those cartoons so I'm definitely not talking s**t."
Chocolate Milk, For Sure
"Who says chocolate milk is only for kids?"
"Ice cold chocolate milk is amazing."
Skipping Down the Sidewalk
"Skipping. If you haven't skipped in a while, do it. You'll realize how much faster it is than walking, and how much more ground you cover."
"Not with craft paper and high-end pencils adult coloring, either."
"Nope. With a 'Moana' coloring book and the 64-count Crayola box."
They'll Never Go Out of Style
"I cannot stop making summer camp-style knotted friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss."
"It keeps my hands busy while I'm working/watching TV/traveling and I don't get sucked into my phone."
"Now I just leave piles of bracelets everywhere."
Breakfast of Champions
"Breakfast cereals... all of the fruity, sugar-filled candy-like cereals. It is totally my weekend treat. Nothing during the week."
"Fruity pebbles (Dino bites now. Post changed the recipe a while back) is totally my jam. Who doesn't like destroying the roof of their mouth on some Cap'n crunch?"
These are great reminders of some of the good things we had in our childhood, but it's an even more important lesson that there's no harm in doing something for our inner child every once in a while, maybe even every day.