Insider spoke with current and former Disney performers about their experiences at the parks.
One former Disney World fur character said every shift was an "emotional roller coaster."
She also told Insider that she received training to be able to withstand the heat in her costume.
From wearing a heavy costume in the Florida heat to interacting with visitors in all different moods, working as a character in a fur suit at the Disney parks isn't always easy.
Former Disney World performer Jenna Parkany, who played Winnie the Pooh, King Louie, and Chip 'n' Dale, told Insider she wasn't prepared for the mental toll each shift would take.
Disney performers can experience a wide range of emotions each shift
Some of Parkany's most memorable shifts at Disney included helping teens with a promposal and an expecting couple with a gender reveal. But not everyone comes to the parks in an excited, happy mood.
She told Insider she wasn't expecting every shift to be such an "emotional roller coaster."
"There were days when I would come home from a shift, and I wouldn't know if I had a good day or a bad day because you're just like, kind of in this headspace of processing it all," she said.
For instance, when Parkany worked shifts at character-dining restaurants, she said she might stop at a table full of fussy children, move to a more somber one where a guest is celebrating being cancer-free, and end at a table of indifferent teenagers.
"You're going through interactions with so many guests in a short period of time," she said.
Although some shifts required a lot of mental fortitude, Parkany said these interactions were both the best and worst part of working at Disney World.
She highlighted times when she was able to crack a smile out of a "stubborn 14-year-old boy at the table who's too cool for Winnie the Pooh."
"Then he's having a good time with his family, and they remember that moment," Parkany said.
Wearing a fur-character costume in Florida's heat and humidity can also be grueling
Even the cooler months in Florida can be hot and humid, and Parkany told Insider that part of her training focused on adapting to the heat.
"As a performer, we did have very specific training schedules that helped us adapt to that weather, and then obviously the weight of the costumes and all of those elements together," she said.
She also said Disney takes the conditions very seriously and has protocols to keep employees well-hydrated and cool.
"Safety for performers is always no. 1 priority," Parkany told Insider.
Representatives for Disney did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Read the original article on Insider