If you have ever wondered what is really going on behind the cold-dead-eyes of a costumed character at Disney World, today is your lucky day because a former-Goofy has revealed his real, human face and decided to spill all.
In a recent Reddit AMA, a man who spent 20 years peering out through Goofy's gormless mouth let slip what it's like to waltz around dressed as a giant anthropomorphic dog in 95 degree heat and deal with the rabble on the daily. Unsurprisingly, while some of the #Disney mythology remains unscathed, this probably isn't a piece for those desperate to retain that Disney magic.
Anna And Elsa Do Regina George
Due to fluctuations in popularity, some characters get to be Queen Bee for a while and, boy, do they like to bathe in that sweet, sweet privilege:
"Some of the break rooms are like the high school cafeteria where the 'cool' princesses (Elsa and Anna) sit on one side and make eyes at the 'old' characters (Snow and Poppins). It's really childish. Other face performers think they're on Broadway and demand respect and they hate not getting it."
Fear not though, the chances are you haven't pressed your child's hand into the cold, clammy palm of a status obsessed psycho; our Goofy informer makes it clear that:
"Those are extreme cases of a few bitches. For the most part the face performers are as much a character as any of us. Some of them are the sweetest people I've ever met in my life."
Asphyxiation And Infants
When asked what the weirdest thing he had ever been asked to do in a picture was, the nameless Goofy revealed that the general public have varying tastes that are often equally as stupid:
"A guy once asked me to choke him for a picture (I didn't). That's a hard one because guests routinely do stupid weird things. I think the worst of them is when people bring their newborn infants to the parks and ask us to hold them for a picture. I can't see shit in Goofy let alone other costumes and I'm wearing giant gloves or paws or whatever depending on what character I am. Why would you let me hold your baby? Yeesh!"
A Magical Death Threat
When asked what his worst interaction with a guest was, the Redditor answered that not even the Magic Kingdom can protect you from a casual death threat:
"It's a tie between having my life threatened at a Grad Night party one time and one time I had to tell a guest that their son was in jail for stealing from one of the stores and she did not take it very well."
Seeing as Disney Parks make it pretty damned near impossible to access alcohol, this moment of aggression directed toward a plush, fictional dog is even more unfathomable.
What was the funniest thing a person has ever said in character you ask?
"'I just farted' - Cinderella."
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You know how Donald Duck is a foul-mouthed, short-tempered, spittle-flinging nightmare in the cartoons? Well, he's like that in real-life too. According the the ex-Goofy, it was a public conflict with Donald D that managed to get him fired:
"I was fired. To make a complicated story short, Donald Duck was, as usual, being a jerk and wouldn't leave my area because I had signed "Luv, Goofy" right over the bill of a Donald Duck hat. He threw a temper tantrum and as I was dragging him across the floor to get him back to his position a little kid ran out from behind the curtain at Pete's Silly Sideshow and we knocked her on her butt. The kid was fine and no one complained but Disney didn't really appreciate me dragging the costume on the carpeted floor so they terminated me."
Well... At Least They Stayed In Character?
The Queen of Hearts used to absolutely terrify me as a child, and it looks like my reaction was entirely sensible. When asked about times he had seen staff or guests blow a gasket, the candid AMA host replied:
"I once saw an adult beat the absolute living shit out of a pre-teen boy on set as the Queen of Hearts. We're told never to interact when something like that happens so I had to leave. I've seen tons and tons of guests lose their shit in Guest Relations, particularly when it involved people not getting their way. I wish I had a camera sometimes. I would get so much delicious karma from /r/PublicFreakout"
You know those rumors that a lot of the non-face characters at Disney are harboring a secret furry fetish? Well, most of the time that isn't the case, but there are definitely some exceptions out there:
"No, and contrary to popular belief there aren't many furries in the character department. I know there are a few (I knew one of them) but it's not something that's out in the open for sure."
Oh, The Irony
A kid peeing on a dog?! I love the mirror logic here!
"Several. I've had kids pee on my leg a few times and I've been knocked over by some over enthusiastic guests."
Before you all dismiss this as the ramblings of a disgruntled employee though, it's worth pointing out that ihaveanotheridentity wanted to work at Disney since he was a little kid and still holds his experiences in the park close to his heart. Below are some of the more positive tales from the House of Mouse.
Before he was Goofy, our AMA host always dreamed of becoming part of the Magical Kingdom after seeking solace from his rough upbringing at the park:
"I always wanted to work for the Mouse. Always, since I was a child. My family life kind of sucked at the time and going to Walt Disney World was the only time I felt like an actual child. I've always wanted to be a part of that."
Hidden Mickey Memories
"Loved it then and I love it now. I would have to say the 'Hidden Mickey' at the Disney / MGM Studios. The actual park used to make a giant Mickey Mouse when seen from an airplane. Echo Lake (where Gertie's is) made his right ear and the place where that horrible hat was made up the nose. All of the expansions tore it all to shreds though. :( There are a LOT of attractions I miss terribly though. Horizons was such a peaceful ride (and cool as shit) and Journey into Imagination with the original figment had so many amazing tricks in it. I miss Delta Dream Flight and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride a lot too."
Of course, like almost all character performers, this former Goofy agrees that bringing magic into children's lives — both sick and able — has been the most life-changing, moving and emotional parts of the job:
"I have a few tear jerkers, a few laugh out loud moments, and a few horror stories. One that does stand out was at Give Kids The World which is where all the Make-a-Wish kids stay when they come to Disney (truly a magical spectacular place). A woman came up with her son who was born with a birth defect that meant he had no muscles in his neck. He looked REALLY bad and his head had to be supported by his mom. This was a special circumstance. The kid's wish was to be held by Goofy. That's it. Just to be held. The mother told me that because of his "life problems" everyone is afraid to even touch him. She laid him very carefully in my arms (sitting on the ground) and let go. We rocked back and forth on that floor for what seemed forever. It was one of the times where I forgot I had the costume on and I just cried and cried. He was such a special kid. I'll never forget that."
Kudos to this AMA host for his honesty when it comes lifting the veil on the good, the bad and the positively magical things that happen behind Disney's gilded gates. What a champ.
Do you have any Disney Park stories to tell? Share your experiences in the comments below