Disney World may claim to be the happiest place on earth to those who visit, but anyone who earns a paycheck there obviously has a different story. That must go double for those brave souls who march around in full Florida heat in bulky character costumes. Because the inner working of Disney theme parks and the employees who run them are a source of endless fascination, a former Disney World “Goofy” of 20 years pulled back the curtain with a Reddit AMA to answer questions and give an idea of what it’s like to be in character all the time.
Incredibly, the employee (even after having been fired for a pretty crappy reason, we’ll get to that in a bit) still holds a pretty high opinion of Disney and there’s not nearly as much behind-the-scenes scandal as you’d expect. Some of the answers were still pretty fascinating though, and we’ve gone through and sorted out the best ones.
On whether or not employees are filled with the “Disney spirit” or if they hate their jobs every bit as one might imagine:
It’s really like any other job. I went through phases myself. At first, every time I farted Pixie Dust ® would blow out of my butt but after several years I got kind of bitter. It was all management stuff though. On set I was fine and loved it but backstage stress got to me for a while and I was big on holding Disney accountable. After about 10 years though I calmed down. I loved every single minute while on set (for the most part) and some of my co-workers will be friends for life. You get out of it what you put into it.
On the rumor that someone gets fired if two of the same characters appear at the same time in the park:
It would depend on the situation. I’ve met my double on set by accident a few times over the years (it happens to the best of us) but it was just that, an accident. The only way someone would get fired (I’m only guessing here) is if they did it on purpose.