Imagine standing under a hot California sun all day, while wearing some ridiculous costume as hoards of strange children mill about. Sounds awful, doesn't it? Welcome to Disneyland.
After five years of stuffing herself into a variety of costumes, including Eeyore and Pluto, Crystal Nettles is finally free to tell the truth.
"Sometimes teenagers will get violent; they'll kick you. It happens all the time, and it can get really bad. I've known people who were on disability because of injuries they got. Certain characters really get kicked around," she told Greg Stacy of the OC Weekly.
According to Nettles, the children are particularly hard on Winnie the Pooh and his friend Eeyore even more so. She can't fathom why.
"He's so depressed already. People are evil."
Not only is Pooh the object of scorn, "being" him is no picnic.
"Winnie the Pooh has a really big, heavy head. Smaller people play him, because of his stature, and that head can hurt after a while."
Sadly, at the Magic Kingdom -- as in life -- when you're not dodging sociopaths, you're ducking perverts.
One co-worker "wore a dog collar, and a tail sometimes," making it known that he was into the "furry" subculture. Furries derive sexual gratification from dressing up in animal costumes and writhing about with others. For this special flavor of deviant, Disneyland is, well ... Disneyland.
And If your co-workers aren't creeping you out, it's the guests.
"That was mostly just husbands, goofing around. But there are season-pass holders who will basically just come there and stalk you."
When the folks inside those giant suits aren't worrying about their safety, they have to worry about their health. From fungus to fainting, there's little dignity inside those huge costumes.
"The costumes weren't washed every day. So I didn't take any chances. I wore the full under-dressing, padding and gloves. I didn't want any part of the suit touching me," Nettles said. "On a 100-degree day, we're roasting ... once Frollo, the villain from Hunchback of Notre Dame, fainted in front of the guests."
In the end it was costumes ultimately that drove her away.
"I was breaking out all the time anyway. That's why I finally left."