Posted on Sunday, May 25th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
I’ve always been fascinated with the behind-the-scenes going-ons at Disneyland. Every time I’ve been to the Magic Kingdom, I can be found looking behind gates, wondering what goes on behind the scenes. LAMagazine has a great article with one of the actors who use to play Captain Jack Sparrow at the Magic Kingdom. Here are some of the highlights:
When he got the part, Disney warned him that a lot of horny women would try to flirt with him, and that he should not flirt back. Rumor has it that Disneyland had an Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame who was very flirtatious. Men started acting out so the character was pulled. Tarzan was also supposedly pulled due to “excessive pinching of Tarzan’s ass by the park’s female visitors.”
Disney has a no-facial-hair policy for all employees, which shockingly includes character employees, even if their character have facial hair, like Jack Sparrow, how ridiculous is that?. “I had the Jack goatee, and I threw a small fit. No facial hair for this character? Why would you want to glue on a mustache in summer? You can see the glue!” They also told him he wasn’t allowed to mention drinking (even through the Pirates of the Caribbean on the ride are clearly drinking and singing about it). He had to sign documents that stated if he was in the park and out of costume, he couldn’t tell people that I played Jack Sparrow.
He also talks about mother-daughter season pass-holder teams who would regularly stalk him, coming twice a week to every set and the company’s internal way of firing or suspending employees based on a “hugely flawed point system.”
“If you’re part-time and you build up 24 points, you can be fired. Points come from things like clocking in late-even only a minute late. That’s one-and-a-half points on your record. You call in sick the day of work? Three points.”
And even worse, you could get fired for being seen talking to another Disney character:
“There is a big thing in the park about not being visually linked to another character. You’re told to stay in your area. But Pluto was a friend of mine, and one day he came over to see me. We posed for photos, and the next day he told me it was on YouTube. Eventually he got fired.”
Disney prefers that the characters don’t date, and the characters even have a slogan: “Don’t Date Disney,” or DDD. He dated a red head who played Ariel from The Little Mermaid but was eventually fired for paying $1500 to Make-A-Wish Foundation to attend the premiere of At World’s End at the park in his own costume. He was told he could reapply in five years.
Read the whole 2-page story on LAMag.com.
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