Brittany Bunch ('14) | Psychology
From Sunnyvale, Texas
As everyone knows, there's only one Belle, the magical princess of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, but Brittany Bunch has earned the honor of traveling to Orlando several times a year to spend time with other Disney characters as a "friend of Belle" (her official title, to help preserve the magic).
In addition to greeting and interacting with visitors, she's also had her share of errant hoopskirts and marriage proposals from eager guests to which she politely - and diplomatically - replies as Belle might, "I...I just don't deserve you."
Here Bunch talks about how she became a friend of Belle and her plans for the future.
How did you become a friend of Belle?
The plan went into action over fall break of my freshman year at ACU. My best friend and I decided to apply for the Disney College Program that Friday. We both wanted to be friends with the characters, so we looked up when auditions were in Texas. It just so happened that auditions were that Sunday in Austin, so we jumped in the car and drove down, ready and excited for a fun experience. We really didn't expect to get picked; we were just excited to have the experience.
Eventually, we both made it into the program. Once I got to Orlando, I trained to be friends with Pooh and Chip and Dale. In the middle of the summer, they had auditions to be friends with the princesses. You don't get to choose who you want to be friends with, so the fact that I got picked to be friends with Belle was so exciting. It was a very long process, but the rest is magic.
How often do you perform?
I am seasonal, so I go down any chance I get. I just love this job so much. My cousin lives there so I stay with her, and I try to stay at least long enough to make money for my plane ticket.
What's a typical day in the life of a princess?
Belle usually wakes up with the sunrise, has breakfast with Papa, and heads off to the village to visit the bookshop. Of course, she has all the books she needs now that Beast gave her the library, but she still likes to visit her friends in the village. When she's not reading, she's making lots and lots of new friends. So many people come to talk with her, get her autograph and take their picture with her. She loves hearing about all the far off places that people are visiting from. Belle is very good at making friends, so she spends most of her day meeting new people. Sometimes the princesses like to play tag. They also like to pass messages along to each other through the guests that come to meet them, kind of like telephone.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I want to get my master's in clinical psychology and eventually have my own practice. Also, I plan to work at Project Bliss, a new residential treatment center in Dallas/Fort Worth. However, I do see myself taking a few years to continue dreaming at Disney World. I don't see myself giving that up for awhile. It's an incredible place, and I know it's cliché, but it really is where dreams come true.
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