A lot of girls want to be princesses when they grow up, but few are able to turn that daydream into a day job. Not that it's surprising; it's not like monarchies are accepting applications for royal family member gigs these days. So when actress Ali Williams decided she wanted to pursue her dream job of being a princess, she didn't wait around for a fairy godmother to grant her wish — she started her own business.
Ali, a Florida native who's currently based in Los Angeles, is a former theme park cast member who makes a living dressing up as Disney princesses.
As a kid, Ali loved dressing up in sparkly shoes and running around her house quoting The Princess Bride, she writes on her website. She landed her first acting role as Charlie in a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which came as a shock to her since she auditioned for the role of Veruca Salt. She says she "took the challenge in stride and dreamed big."
That sort of creativity guided Ali through school at Florida State University, where she studied theater, and later through gigs as princesses at local theme parks. After four years as a cast member, she founded Princess & Me Parties, an event company that allows her to pursue her dream job dressing up as Disney princesses and making kids' birthday wishes come true.
Ali herself is basically a Disney princess chameleon; she's able to imitate the looks, mannerisms, and voices of about a dozen characters, including Aurora, Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, Elsa, Ariel, Merida, Esmeralda, Rapunzel, Anna, Tinker Bell, and Jasmine.
She also does a pretty convincing Mary Poppins, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl.
"Who doesn't want to be a princess, honestly? They are loyal, everyone loves them, it's like being a celebrity," Ali tells POPSUGAR. "Knowing that any point, any day I can transform and be a fairytale character is pretty amazing."
Impressively, Ali makes most of her costumes to make give each character's look a unique twist. Each outfit takes about a month to make.
We can think of a ton of reasons why being a Disney princess for a living would be amazing; Ali admits her most favorite thing about it is the "idea of escape."
"It's why we go to movies, it's why we love fairytales, this happily ever after — it's inspirational," she says. "We all would want that in our lives."
Check out the video below to learn more about Ali's work and what it takes to be a successful Disney princess.