I worked as a fur character at Disney World. Here are answers to 3 common questions people always ask me.

·2 min read
jenna in costume as dale at disney world and jenna holding her disney world name tag in front of the castle
I worked at Disney World.Jenna Parkany
  • I worked as a fur character at Disney World for 4 months during my Disney College Program.

  • The job was often very hot and exhausting, but there were safety measures in place to keep us cool.

  • I played multiple characters, and the adults were much harder to deal with than the children.

I spent four months in fur suits playing Winnie the Pooh, King Louie, and Chip 'n' Dale at Disney World during my Disney College Program.

Here are the answers to three questions that people always asks me:

Are there fans in the suits to keep you from overheating?

Two performers in Chip 'n Dale costumes
Two of my characters were Chip 'n' Dale.Jenna Parkany

Unfortunately, there aren't any fans inside the costumes for performers — although you may think there should be given the humid Florida climate.

But there are other ways Disney keeps its performers cool and safe.

Training schedules allow time for performers to get conditioned to the weight of the costumes as well as the heat. Plus, the areas where you typically find characters meeting outside are usually either covered or shaded.

Safety is always the No. 1 priority at Disney, and if a performer is experiencing distress on the job, it's taken very seriously.

How do they decide which and how many characters you play?

two bear characters at disney world pretending to read a map at a table at the theme parks
Different characters have different height requirements.Jenna Parkany

Some performers have up to 10 roles they're approved for, but others may have just one or two — it really just depends on your height and body measurements.

Since the company aims to keep physical consistency with each character, the various performers cast in each role have to be around the same size.

These height and measurement restrictions are also in place for performers' physical safety inside the costumes.

What happens when kids ask weird questions?

A Disney employee in blue shirt in front of Disney theme park attraction
I also did shifts as a character attendant.Jenna Parkany

People may think whiny, scared, and fussy children would be the worst part of the job, but some of the worst interactions I had were actually with adults or teenagers.

Though many adults are there to celebrate and preserve the magic with their families, there were some who just wanted to make me break character. I'd get questions like "Is it hot in there?" or "Are you a boy or a girl?"

Luckily, whenever I was working, I always had a front-facing character attendant nearby who could speak to the guests directly and field problems.

Since I couldn't speak or fully handle issues while I was in character in the costume, the attendants were the true heroes when it came to those rough guest interactions.

Read the original article on Insider