Interview with a "Close Friend" of a Disney Princess
Updated: Feb 19
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be friends with a Disney princess at Disney World?? In honor of World Princess Week, we are sitting down with a former Disney Princess to reveal all the best behind the scenes information! Read our interview below with Colette Spirer, current owner and travel agent with Castle Coaches Travel and formerly, Princess Jasmine! Colette describes the process of becoming a Disney Princess- from the beginning when it was just a dream to the reality and when her dream came true.
- How did you become friends with a Disney princess? I grew up going to Disney every year of my life since I was just three-years-old, so Disney is in my veins and truly my happy place. On top of my love and wonderful memories with Disney, I also grew up dancing and singing and knew I wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. At the time, I was dancing in a pre-professional company and was looking into schools where I could continue my training. I studied and graduated from one of the top five dance schools in the nation, Oklahoma City, University, with a degree in dance performance. During my Junior year at OCU, I was starting to think about what would be next and I knew I wanted to work for Disney. It sounded so magical to think I could say, “I work for the Walt Disney Company!” Plus, I had been told my entire life I looked like Jasmine. During my senior year I fly to Orlando to audition, got the job on the spot, and the rest is history! - Did you have to audition? Absolutely! I flew down for an open casting call for entertainment in 2006. I was excited and nervous. I knew I would be happy with anything too because it is very hard to land a job with Disney, but once you are in, it is easier to move up. During the audition, we were separated by "movers" and "dancers." I went with the dancers, however if the casting department thinks you look like one of the princesses, they will pull you aside and request a “face audition.” You try on the wig and say a few lines. While I auditioned as a dancer, I got pulled for Jasmine and actually had to pick between the two. I knew I would have other opportunities, so I chose Jasmine. We all know how cool it is to say "I am a Disney Princess!" - Was there a training process? There was. Every character goes through a week training. There were only two other "Jasmines" with me so I got a lot of one on one time, plus our trainer was a former "Jasmine." The Disney Casting staff helps with how to do hair, makeup, learn mannerisms, phrases to say, etc. They test you at the end to make sure you live up to the characters and Disney’s expectations. Should you pass, the fun begins!
- What were your primary roles and expectations with be friends with a Disney princess? If you were a full time Cast Member, which I was, you were bid at a specific location. Basically all the face characters gather in a room and pick a preferred location based off of seniority. I was bid at EPCOT 4 days a week, specifically Akershus breakfast starting at 7am, and then would go to Morocco for the rest of the day. I worked ten hour shifts, which is why I only had four days. While I was full time as "Jasmine," I was also cast in a show, now no longer, but was called “Let’s Have a Ball.” I got called in for extra shifts as well like in Agrabah at Magic Kingdom, The old parade Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade at Hollywood Studios (who else misses that one!) among others. When I would train for a new show, much of that would actually happen during overnight rehearsals once the parks closed. - Can you describe a typical day for you as a friend of a Disney princess? I had an early start time. Once I clocked in, I would head to wardrobe to get dressed/do makeup. Everything was done onsite. Akershus shift was until about 11, and then the lunch crew came in. During the shift change, the girls at breakfast would head to their corresponding country. In Morocco, I was always with Aladdin and 90% of the time Genie too. We also shared a trailer Backstage with the band, Mo'Rockin' (totally showing my age here), so we all had a lot of fun together. It was really special to see all the families and the same ones from breakfast. Luckily for me, I always had a great memory for faces and names. I will never forget, one time I had the most adorable girl at breakfast dressed at Jasmine that I spent a lot of time with. She didn't want to stop hugging and talking to me. Later in the day, the same girl came for a meet & greet in Morocco. When it was there turn in line, I said hi, called her by her name and that it was so nice to see her again. Right there, her mom started crying to see her daughter light up with excitement that "Jasmine" knew who she was and that I remembered her name. I lived for those moments. It was so special meeting families from all over the world. - What was the best part about being friends with a princess at Disney World? Hands down, the way little girls idealized you and all the fun trinkets and drawings people would make and bring me. I still have them all in a keepsake box. Still to this day, I am humbled with the experience and how lucky I was to have been chosen. To know I made so many little girls trips magical and am in pictures all over the world is truly special.
- Do you have a favorite memory from your time being friends with a Disney princess? SO many, It was so special meeting families from all over the world. I would see so many faces in a day, but luckily for me, my memory is great. I will never forget, one time I had the most adorable girl at breakfast dressed as Jasmine that I spent a lot of time with. She didn't want to stop hugging and talking to me. Later in the day, the same girl came for a meet & greet in Morocco. When it was their turn in line, I said hi, called her by her name and that I missed her. Right there, her mom started crying to see her daughter light up with excitement that "Jasmine" knew who she was and that I remembered her name. I lived for those moments. Another favorite was when I picked up a shift in Agrabah at Magic Kingdom. At that time, both Aladdin and Jasmine were able to take the first family in line on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin and ride together. So wish I had pictures to capture that moment. We got some amazing pictures together and later I found out some of the pictures taken by PhotoPass were displayed in the halls of Magical Memories to capture and view.
Want to plan your Disney vacation with Princess Jasmine?? Colette now owns and operates Castle Coaches Travel- a full service vacation planning agency specializing in Disney, Universal, Cruise vacations and more! Reach out to Colette or one of her incredibly talented agents today to get started on your most magical vacation yet!