Vox interviews a former Disney World cast member and character actor who played Pooh, Mulan, and Pocahontas:
When you got to [the entertainment division], how long was the training regimen?
It may be different now, but for me, the training was five days. When you’re accepted in entertainment, nobody is just a princess or just a prince. You have to be trained and approved in fur characters first. The first three days of training is sitting and watching videos of what you can or can’t do. Learning autographs. There’s a really creepy portion where you wear just the head and hands of the character. So you’re in business-casual but the hands and head of Chip and Dale. The last two days of training you go out into the park with character attendants, and meet people. It was wild to me, I thought the training would last about a month. And once you’re approved for fur, it’s two days of training for each “face character” [characters like Belle or Princess Jasmine that don’t wear a mask].
I was so stoked when I got through training, and then I did three weeks in a row of just Winnie the Pooh.
You don’t see many behind-the-scenes interviews from Disney cast members, especially those who performed as costumed characters in the Parks.