Despite looking the part, working as a costumed character at a Disney theme park is anything but magical. From draconic body rules to never being allowed to break character (not even if some divorced dad's hand starts sliding towards your Tinkerbell), these employees sacrifice all of their individuality for $11 an hour.
And if that sounds somewhat dramatic, remember that, until recently, these contract employees of the Magic Kingdom weren't even allowed to choose which magic underpants to wear.
Official Disney costumes are expensive and tightly tailored. They also don't sync well with off-the-rack clothing -- as medieval fantasy ball gowns are wont to do. So to prevent any awkward bunching or bulging of underwear that'd hint at the humanity trapped inside of a Goofy mascot, performers are required to wear "Disney-issued jock-straps, tights or cycling shorts." And like all other parts of their costume, this Disney-issued underwear isn't owned by the performers. Instead, they were given a random pair of panties at the start of their shift.
Surprisingly, many costumed workers didn't like wearing jockstraps that one of their colleagues was wearing while dancing around under the California/Florida sun the day before. Especially since their communal underwear was often dirty and stained. This, despite Disney representatives promising that these were regularly washed with "hot water" -- which is undoubtedly all you need to get rid of eight hours' worth of ball sweat from a guy in a forty-pound Chip 'n' Dale costume.
By 2001, and after several outbreaks of pubic lice, the Disney performers had their public panties in such a bunch that the unions had to get involved. It took two months of intense negotiations by the Teamsters Union before the corporation agreed to the demand of getting each employee their own pair of underpants -- a great victory of workers' rights in the 21st century.
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