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Disneyland

Disneyland Character Escort Service

March 2001

Started in 2001, the Disneyland Character Escort Service (DCES) is not widely advertised and is intended for use by visiting dignitaries and "high roller" guests. The idea is that guests who are traveling alone or who need an additional member in their party can hire a character to join them for a specific period of time. Although all the characters in Disneyland's stable are technically available for hire, in practice, it's usually "face" characters who perform escort duties since they can stay comfortably in costume for longer, can fit in standard chairs and vehicles, and can talk and eat.

Hired characters will accompany guests to any location on Disneyland property, and to restaurants and approved entertainment venues within a few miles of the park. Visits to other locations are possible in special circumstances. Note that they will stay rigidly in character at all times, so guests must carefully consider what they will be doing before choosing a character. For example, there's no way you're going to get Alice from Alice in Wonderland to enter a club with an over-18 requirement or stay up much past her bed time.

Before you get the wrong idea, there is nothing underhanded, dirty, or shady about DCES. You're not going to be hopping in the sack with Cinderella after buying her dinner and a movie. All of the characters carry "panic" buttons hidden somewhere about their persons, and Disneyland security is never far away. And for the record, the Little Mermaid is rumored to be a third-degree black belt, so don't get fresh. If you want the "other" kind of escort -- the kind that chews gum, barely wears clothes, and has difficulties with sentences longer than "Okay" -- don't even bother contacting DCES. Tip your hotel concierge heavily instead.

Some examples of escort services performed over the years:

  • All of the "princess" characters attended a wedding in the Disneyland Hotel as bride's maids
  • Captain Hook accompanied a guest to a special-event showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
  • A couple hired the evil queen and Snow White so they'd have four for an evening of bridge
  • Woody Allen took Mulan out for an evening of dining and dancing

One bone of contention several guests have had with this service: Disneyland policy is that the guest must pay for all expenses during the escort period. It is understandable that the guest should have to pay for food or movie tickets, but guests are often surprised to find that Snow White (for example) can't get into Disneyland for free.


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