Former Disneyland performer says she was rejected at her 12th character audition because her 'eyes were too round'

  • Insider spoke with current and former Disney parks performers about their audition experiences.

  • A former performer said a director told her that her 'eyes were too round' to play a character.

  • When performers are cut from Disney auditions, most of the time, there's no feedback at all.

Landing a role at the Disney theme parks isn't easy, and former employees say you shouldn't expect much feedback at auditions.

But one former Disneyland performer said she went out of her way to request feedback — and a casting director told her that her "eyes were too round."

A former performer said a casting director gave her vague feedback at her 12th failed audition

Melanie auditioned for the Disney parks 13 times before landing a role as one of Cinderella's stepsisters at Disneyland. Her last name has been withheld for privacy reasons — Insider has verified her identity as well as her employment at the Disney parks.

She told Insider that after putting time, money, and effort into 12 failed auditions, she solicited feedback from the casting directors.

When pressed for an answer, she said, they told her that her "eyes were too round."

"If you say, 'Oh, your eyes are too round.' I can't change that, right? That's just how my eyes are," Melanie told Insider. "But if they'd been like, 'Oh, well it's your nose' or 'It's your teeth.' I mean, I was a 19-year-old girl. I probably would've gone out and done something about that, right? I mean, I was obsessed with trying to get this job."

She landed a role at Disneyland during her next audition. And she said the casting director who commented on her eye shape later gave her a job at Disney World.

"When I came to Florida, the same lady that told me that ended up being the one that did my Florida audition and told me that I was amazing," she said.

But Disney casting directors don't generally take the time to give feedback at auditions

helen dressed as elena of avalor performing at disney world
Helen Jane Planchet auditioned around 60 times before getting cast.Helen Jane Planchet

Melanie's experience isn't the norm at non-equity character-performer auditions.

"Disney doesn't really like to waste time in any way. There are all these rumors that like, 'Oh, they told me I was too fat or that my eyes were too far apart,'" former Disney princess Helen Jane Planchet told Insider. "They don't do that."

Planchet said she auditioned for the parks around 60 times before landing a role, but she never received feedback when she was cut. She also said she thinks the company could "be in a lot of trouble" if casting directors made certain comments.

"Even though I was rejected a bajillion times, I never heard like, 'Oh, you're not good enough for this thing,'" she told Insider. "I just didn't hear back."

Disney did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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