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Image: Disney

For many visitors, meeting the characters at Disney's theme parks is one of the highlights of their trip. Many dream of working at the parks some day, helping to bring the magic to life.

Now, of course, here at Theme Park Tourist, we're not about to burst the illusion that those characters are REAL. We don't want to spoil your fun, or that of your children.

Having said that, we know that many people dream of working "with" the characters - and it's one of those dreams that can seem impossible. Fantasizing about helping children meet Cinderella or Peter Pan is one thing, but actually doing it can feel totally unrealistic. Yet, every new month, new performers begin doing just that.

If you want to join their ranks, it all starts with an audition, where you have just a short time to set yourself apart from the crowd. Here are six things you should know before you head out for your big moment.

1. Be on time, but prepare to wait

Image: Disney

It should go without saying that arriving on time is important for any job interview or audition, yet every time, more than a few people show up late. Find the appropriate audition at disneyauditions.com, and pay close attention to the designated sign-in period. Arriving after that window closes may result in your not being allowed to audition, or at the very least, it will reflect negatively on you with the judging panel.

Disney auditions are extraordinarily popular, so prepare yourself to wait. Bring a book, a tablet, a smart phone, or some other distraction, as well as snacks and water. Spend some time stretching out and warming up your body so you will be ready to go when called.

2. Auditions are closed

Although no one will stop you from bringing an extra person to sit in the waiting room, it is highly discouraged due to space limitations. Inside the audition room, however, absolutely no one is permitted to accompany you. This includes your best friend, your mom, your baby, or anyone else. There are no exceptions, and you risk seriously upsetting the audition panel if you try. Since they are the ones you need to impress if you want the job, leave the extra people at home.

3. Everyone auditions for fur

Every single character performer at Walt Disney World is expected to work some fur shifts. This means working "with" one or more animated characters such as Mickey or Tigger. It is important to realize this and make peace with it before you audition, because the reality is that you won’t always get to work with a prince or princess.

Accordingly, even at face character auditions (“Disney Character Look-alikes” on the audition website), you must be prepared for a full dance and improv animation audition. Wear comfortable, sturdy, closed-toe shoes, and remember that bigger is better when it comes to character movement. Make everything you do intentional, larger than life, and very, very clear.

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