You ready to make the world a better place? CallMeJudy certainly is!
We recently had a new arrival to the Zootopia community who was once the person inside the
fursuit mascot outfit at Disneyland theme parks! They have now moved on to bigger things job-wise, but they graciously agreed to sit down with me and go over some questions regarding their time as Judy Hopps. If you ever see CallMeJudy in the local ZNN community server, don’t be afraid to say hi! They are good people for sure! Now on to the interview followed by some pictures of Judy Hopps mascot at the parks (credit goes to LapisLucius42 for the photos!):
– What inspired you to become Judy Hopps at Disneyworld, was it always one of your dreams or did it just happen?
It wasn’t a dream, so much as it was just a job. I had friends who worked there, and I figured kinda… why not? Our family needed money, so yeah, I hopped in!
– What was the hiring process like to become Judy Hopps?
I can’t say I remember, but I sat down with someone for an interview and they ran me through questions, and then I was judged in height and body, to see if I matched the character’s sort of “requirements.”
– Did you get to choose who you wanted to be or were you assigned Judy Hopps?
I didn’t get to choose, it just sorta fell into my lap. I originally wanted to be Piglet!
– What was the training to be Judy Hopps like?
The training was a bit tough. I wasn’t big on cardio and they REALLY wanted to make sure you’d survive in those suits. Training was more so of running you through scenarios, like, “a visitor is being rather rude to you, what do you do?” Or, “a child is crying, how do you react?” And so on.
– Can you tell us some of the dos and don’ts that they ingrained in you while playing the character?
Never remove your mask, Never speak, Never take pictures of employee-only areas where the suits are stored, and then there’s more typical things you’ve all heard, don’t be rude to guests, be happy, don’t hit the kids, even if they are punching you in the stomach!
– What would a typical day look like for Judy Hopps out on the park?
Get to work, get the suit on, find my handler, wait for Nick and his handler, have the handlers lead us to our spot, take pictures, hang around for a bit, then take a break, and that’ll be rinse and repeat until clockin’ out time.
– Did you participate in any of the parades or scheduled events or was it just meet and greet?
I participated in one, and never again after that because I injured myself getting off the float and ended up smushing the mask on my fall. Soooo….they asked someone else to cover that for me.
– How were the working conditions like being Judy Hopps?
How can I fully explain how HOT it was? Conditions were quite fine, and since I wasn’t much of a talker I never really cared that Disney had people employed to stalk you. Sooo…I’d say fairly well!
– Can you tell us a funny or cool story about your time as Judy Hopps?
I got to meet a make-a-wish kid, and they were so thrilled to meet me and other characters (Mickey & gang). I think making that child smile was something I’d never forget.
– Can you tell us a bad or unfortunate story about your time as Judy Hopps?
I was touched inappropriately (on the rear) by a man. It was not by their hand either, because those were on my back/shoulder. It’s a very violating experience because you can’t YELL at them for that but I made sure my handler was advised.
– What made you want to move jobs and hang up the suit of Judy Hopps?
It wasn’t a personal choice, my family had moved around a fair bit, and it was their call. I am still a dependent!
– Any last tips or advice for those seeking to follow your footsteps?
Just keep trying, and you’ll hopefully make your dreams come true! If not….then get a custom fursuit, then you can be Judy Hopps at home!