‘I was a Disney Princess and it was traumatising’

A former Disney Princess has spoken about the “traumatising” reality of what it is really like working in the “Happiest Place on Earth”.

Hunter Haag, 30, has played both Belle and Rapunzel at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida for five years, but says she was laid off in 2021 “due to COVID”.

Recently, Hunter posted a video on TikTok where she opened up about the “not-so-great” parts of working at a Disney theme park, which has gained over three million views.

One of Hunter’s issues was the secrecy of her job and not being able to “talk openly” about being a Disney Princess.

Hunter said: “It’s a super exciting job, but if somebody asks you ‘what do you do?’, I would say something like ‘Oh I work in merchandising at Adventure Park’ because they can’t know you are a character.”

@hunterhaag GRWM: Traumatic and not-so-great things about being a Disney Princess #disneyworld #characterperformer #disneyprincess #beautyandthebeast #tangled ♬ original sound – Hunter

In addition to being careful about discussing the job, Hunter revealed that Disney Princesses have to be careful about what appears on their social media pages as well.

She said: ”You also have to be really careful about what you put online as far as pictures go, and make sure no one comments on your photos being like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re so beautiful!’ because all of the comments have to be directed to the character or you could get in trouble.”

Hunter also spoke about the audition process to become a Disney Princess, which she described as “traumatising” as she couldn’t help but compared herself to others.

She said: ”One of the worst parts for me was simply comparing yourself to others. I was really bad at overanalysing my facial features and comparing them to the other girls. Being like ‘I have such a big nose, this other girl has such a cute little nose’ stuff like that.”

Hunter added that employees must maintain the same physical appearance they had when they auditioned, which means “No tattoos, extra piercings, no tan lines allowed; also, no nail colours.”

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A post shared by Hunter Haag (@hunterchaag)

Hunter also added that there was “a very interesting backstage situation” as the competitive environment can cause tension among fellow Disney Princesses.

She claimed there were coworkers who “talk badly about you” and would not be happy if you were able to get a place on a parade float.

Hunter said: “I’ll never forget, there was this one girl who really wanted to be Ariel and she sent casting pictures of Ariels in the grotto through our picture system that she didn’t think was well-suited to be Ariel.”

She added: “You wanna know what happened to her? She got Ariel. I don’t want to be the one to say bad behaviour gets rewarded but…”

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A post shared by Hunter Haag (@hunterchaag)

Hunter also explained that guests can be “a little rude sometimes”.

She said: “I’ve heard stories of girls who were waiting to meet guests and the guests were like ‘ew, she doesn’t look like the character, I don’t wanna meet her.’”

Hunter also said: “Sometimes we’re tugged on a bit, and treated like zoo animals sometimes, but of course, the good interactions outweigh the bad.”

She added: “Our locations are typically inside and there are no windows because there are characters inside, so you get absolutely no sunlight.”

On Hunter’s TikTok comment section, users praised her for being truthful about the realities of working as a Disney Princess.

One person commented: “Thank you for being so transparent! it’s amazing to share the good times, but important to bring awareness to the not-so-magical parts!”

Somebody else wrote: “I’m gonna be honest, this sounds like a place where people who loved high school would thrive.”

Another user wrote: “I truly appreciate your sacrifice, especially when I see the joy you bring to my child!”

Express.co.uk has approached Disney World for comment.

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