In college, I was fortunate enough to live only an hour and a half away from Disneyland, and visited the park all the time. One of my friends shares my Disney obsession, so she and I decided on a whim to audition to be performers in the park. We went in with zero expectations, and had an absolute blast!
Here are my three experiences auditioning for Disneyland. Please note that these happened between 2014 and 2015, so the audition experience may have changed.
AUDITION #1 – Mickey & The Magical Map
My first audition was for a dancer role in Mickey & the Magical Map. This audition was by far the most intense, and was the only one not held in Orange County. In fact, the audition took place at Debbie Reynolds’ studio in North Hollywood. I’ve been a lifelong fan, so visiting her studio alone justified the long drive from San Diego.
The first few hours of the day were reserved for dancers with agents (I was so far out of my league). But then they let the “regular” people come in. We learned the Under the Sea routine from the show, though we danced it to techno. First, we danced as a large group, and a few people were excused. Next, we had to split into groups of five and dance in front of the larger group. The first 16 beats were improvisation, and we were encouraged to “show our personalities”. I got cut during this round, which was such a bummer, because I heard that the round survivors got to start using props for the remainder of the audition.
Despite the seriousness of most of the dancers at this audition, I still had a lot of fun. We got to learn the show’s choreography from its choreographer! It really gave me a new appreciation for how much work goes into even the tiniest moments in a stage show, especially one as elaborate as Mickey & the Magical Map.
AUDITION #2 – Character Performer
This audition was by far my favorite. “Character Performers” are the characters with full costumes, like Mickey and Goofy. Most of the people with us in line were local college students, and we had a blast sitting on the curb just chatting as we waited for our turn.
Once we were let into the studio (a tiny dance studio in Yorba Linda), they had us move across the floor. Each time we crossed (in pairs), they’d call out a different scenario for us to act out, and if they liked you, you got to stay. The trick with this audition is to be really expressive with your body, since you’d be moving in a huge costume in the park.
For the first round, we had to be cowboys. My partner and I decided to act out a dramatic shootout, and everyone in the room LOVED it. We somehow survived the first round! But in the second round, we had to pick one of Snow White’s Dwarves. I went with Happy and clicked my ankles and danced around, and got cut. But the girl in front of me chose Sneezy and literally fell to the ground sneezing, so if she wasn’t expressive enough, I don’t know WHAT they were looking for!
AUDITION #3 – Princess Look-Alike
My last Disneyland audition was the Princess Look-Alike. Disney clearly doesn’t want to crush the self-esteem of anyone auditioning, so they tell you over and over again that they won’t share what princesses they are hiring for, so not getting picked doesn’t mean you don’t have the right look. We lined up in long, single file lines, and stepped into a tiny room with casting directors. One by one, we stepped forward, said our name, smiled, and stepped back. At the end of each line, they’d call the names of any girl they wanted to keep for further auditioning, and dismissed the rest of us. My friend and I both got dismissed at this point, so I have no idea what came next.
This audition definitely felt the most competitive, despite the fact that my first one had professional dancers with agents. People were much less talkative in line, and I always had that awkward feeling of people sizing me up. But if you don’t take yourself too seriously, this audition is fun, too. You get to meet some of the casting directors, and learn a little more about the process (for example, the villains have to be taller than the princesses to seem more intimidating). But be warned – there will be some girls crying in the parking lot because their princess dreams have been crushed.
SHOULD YOU AUDITION FOR DISNEYLAND?
If you live close enough to the park that it’s a feasible trip, and you’re willing to put yourself out there, I’d absolutely recommend giving it a shot. You never know what could happen, or what they’re looking for on any particular day. And even if your audition doesn’t lead to any role, you’ll more likely than not meet incredibly nice people as you wait in line. I made new friends with each audition, some of whom I keep in touch with on social media years later.
The only audition I really wanted to try but could never fit in my schedule was the Parade Performer audition. Honestly, that’s the job I would’ve wanted the most, and I just think learning the routines would have been so much fun.
Have you ever auditioned for Disneyland? Let me know in the comments!