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What do you do when everything in your life falls apart? If you're Chris Mitchell, you run away from home--all the way to Disney World, a place where no one ever dies--and employees, known as Cast Members, aren't allowed to frown. Mitchell shares the behind-the-scenes story of his year in the Mouse's army. From his own personal Disneyfication, to what really happens in the What do you do when everything in your life falls apart? If you're Chris Mitchell, you run away from home--all the way to Disney World, a place where no one ever dies--and employees, known as Cast Members, aren't allowed to frown. Mitchell shares the behind-the-scenes story of his year in the Mouse's army. From his own personal Disneyfication, to what really happens in the hidden tunnels beneath the Magic Kingdom and what not to eat at the Mousketeria, it was a year filled with more adventure--and surprises--than he could ever have "imagineered." Funny and moving, Mitchell tracks his ascent through the backstage social hierarchy in which princesses rule, and his escapades in the "Ghetto" where Cast Members live and anything goes. Along the way, he unmasks the misfits and drop-outs, lifers and nomads who leave their demons at the stage door as they preserve the magic that draws millions to this famed fantasyland--the same magic that Mitchell seeks and ultimately finds in the last place he ever expected. Chris Mitchell is an action sports photographer and journalist who grew up in Los Angeles. He was a senior at UCLA when he started his first magazine, an inline skating publication, and sold it to Sports & Fitness Publishing. Within a few years, he was working on five magazines within The Surfer Group. He continues to work closely with a number of publications and websites, as well as event and TV production companies like ESPN, ASA Entertainment and Lifelounge. He is a recognized expert in action sports, and as such, has stunt coordinated dozens of productions, including Batman and Robin, Brink! and Airborne. He is also the Chairman of the International Inline Stunt Federation for the advancement of extreme skating as a healthy and safe activity. After spending a year working as a photographer at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, he moved back to Los Angeles, where he currently lives.


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What do you do when everything in your life falls apart? If you're Chris Mitchell, you run away from home--all the way to Disney World, a place where no one ever dies--and employees, known as Cast Members, aren't allowed to frown. Mitchell shares the behind-the-scenes story of his year in the Mouse's army. From his own personal Disneyfication, to what really happens in the What do you do when everything in your life falls apart? If you're Chris Mitchell, you run away from home--all the way to Disney World, a place where no one ever dies--and employees, known as Cast Members, aren't allowed to frown. Mitchell shares the behind-the-scenes story of his year in the Mouse's army. From his own personal Disneyfication, to what really happens in the hidden tunnels beneath the Magic Kingdom and what not to eat at the Mousketeria, it was a year filled with more adventure--and surprises--than he could ever have "imagineered." Funny and moving, Mitchell tracks his ascent through the backstage social hierarchy in which princesses rule, and his escapades in the "Ghetto" where Cast Members live and anything goes. Along the way, he unmasks the misfits and drop-outs, lifers and nomads who leave their demons at the stage door as they preserve the magic that draws millions to this famed fantasyland--the same magic that Mitchell seeks and ultimately finds in the last place he ever expected. Chris Mitchell is an action sports photographer and journalist who grew up in Los Angeles. He was a senior at UCLA when he started his first magazine, an inline skating publication, and sold it to Sports & Fitness Publishing. Within a few years, he was working on five magazines within The Surfer Group. He continues to work closely with a number of publications and websites, as well as event and TV production companies like ESPN, ASA Entertainment and Lifelounge. He is a recognized expert in action sports, and as such, has stunt coordinated dozens of productions, including Batman and Robin, Brink! and Airborne. He is also the Chairman of the International Inline Stunt Federation for the advancement of extreme skating as a healthy and safe activity. After spending a year working as a photographer at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, he moved back to Los Angeles, where he currently lives.

30 review for Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Any Cast Member will laugh their way through this one. It's mostly embellishment with a few shards of truth...emphasis on a few. And referring to the classic & beloved attraction the Haunted Mansion as the "Haunted House?" Referencing Jack Sparrow when the author says he worked at WDW in 2000, yet the first Pirates film wasn't until 2003? Not to mention the geography was all over the place! While the author may have worked at WDW, it seems like he took alot of stories from many different Cast Me Any Cast Member will laugh their way through this one. It's mostly embellishment with a few shards of truth...emphasis on a few. And referring to the classic & beloved attraction the Haunted Mansion as the "Haunted House?" Referencing Jack Sparrow when the author says he worked at WDW in 2000, yet the first Pirates film wasn't until 2003? Not to mention the geography was all over the place! While the author may have worked at WDW, it seems like he took alot of stories from many different Cast Members & pieced them together to make one big fairy tale.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Coble

    If you're looking for a quasi-anthropological look behindnthe scenes at walt Disney world, this is the book for you...to throw away. This isnt a book about Disney World. It's actually a book about an indulged Mama's boy who holds the entire world in contempt. The book opens with him letting us know that he is much much cooler than Disney, a skate park hangaround who tags alleys with spraypaint and photograps skaters doing tricks off tombstones. When life slaps him down he leaves California to wo If you're looking for a quasi-anthropological look behindnthe scenes at walt Disney world, this is the book for you...to throw away. This isnt a book about Disney World. It's actually a book about an indulged Mama's boy who holds the entire world in contempt. The book opens with him letting us know that he is much much cooler than Disney, a skate park hangaround who tags alleys with spraypaint and photograps skaters doing tricks off tombstones. When life slaps him down he leaves California to work at Disney World in Florida. We are then treated to his anecdotes about his job interview, his first day and an improbable orgy at the Cast Member housing complex. A lot has been made in Amazon reviews about how he doesnt know The Orlando geography. Some people think those criticisms are petty but what i think people are getting at is that it really seems like this guy has either only been to WDW once or was so drunk and high the entire time he was there that it seems he was writing the book after reading a travel guide. Honestly though it doesnt matter. Because this isnt a book about WDW. It is a book about how some snotty brat from a life of privelege spent a year sneering at hardworking cast members and tourists alike.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Welllllll, having been a cast member myself, I had high hopes for this. The book was recommended to me by a fellow cast member who read it in 2 days, so I assumed it was going to be up to my standards. After completing it in just under a day, I would have to agree. Working in the entertainment part of Disney, I had some extra insight and knowledge, so everything he had to "reveal" wasn't a suprise to me. It was fun to relive my 5 month internship with the boss on the happiest place on earth thou Welllllll, having been a cast member myself, I had high hopes for this. The book was recommended to me by a fellow cast member who read it in 2 days, so I assumed it was going to be up to my standards. After completing it in just under a day, I would have to agree. Working in the entertainment part of Disney, I had some extra insight and knowledge, so everything he had to "reveal" wasn't a suprise to me. It was fun to relive my 5 month internship with the boss on the happiest place on earth though. Some things were definitely exaggerated, but all in the name of a story, right? I'm astonished that the book doesn't have a higher overall rating, but perhaps it's because people think they want to know the ins and outs of the Mouse, but then after finding it out, would rather not know. Ignorance is bliss afterall...duh.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    During my college years, I spent several summers working at at the Busch Gardens theme park in Virginia. That experience plus trips to Walt Disney World over the years has always made me curious to know what goes on behind the scenes at the Disney theme parks. So when I saw "Cast Member Confidential" on the shelf, I knew I couldn't pass it by. Could it be the ultimate kiss and tell book at what it's like to work for the most magical place on Earth? Yes and no. Early on, Chris Mitchell details what During my college years, I spent several summers working at at the Busch Gardens theme park in Virginia. That experience plus trips to Walt Disney World over the years has always made me curious to know what goes on behind the scenes at the Disney theme parks. So when I saw "Cast Member Confidential" on the shelf, I knew I couldn't pass it by. Could it be the ultimate kiss and tell book at what it's like to work for the most magical place on Earth? Yes and no. Early on, Chris Mitchell details what it's like to be part of the culture of Disney and the requirements asked of cast members. But as soon as the rules are established, Mitchell then spends page after page talking about how he and other subverted the rules, becoming celebrities among the Disney crew for how far they could push the boundaries. Mitchell also details what drove him to want to work for Disney for a year and a lot of the book dwells on his personal situation. At times, Mitchell comes across as too self-involved, a factor that works against this reader working up much, if any, sympathy for some of the trials he faces. I guess what it all boils down to is I was hoping for something more than I got. I doubt we'll ever really get a true behind the scenes look at how things work at Disney because it might spoil the magic. But it would still have been nice if "Cast Member Confidential" had been a little more of what was promised.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen Germain

    I work for a theme park and usually read anything theme park related. Chris Mitchell’s “Cast Member Confidential” caught my eye when I saw it at Barnes and Noble. As much as I disliked it and had many issues with it, I did breeze through it in a single afternoon and I find myself unable to stop complaining about it to anyone who will listen. I guess this means it affected me, which I am sure if a bit of what Mitchell was going for. The thing that bothered me most about the book, is the use of sho I work for a theme park and usually read anything theme park related. Chris Mitchell’s “Cast Member Confidential” caught my eye when I saw it at Barnes and Noble. As much as I disliked it and had many issues with it, I did breeze through it in a single afternoon and I find myself unable to stop complaining about it to anyone who will listen. I guess this means it affected me, which I am sure if a bit of what Mitchell was going for. The thing that bothered me most about the book, is the use of shock value. What Mitchell describes can be applied to twenty-somethings working at any low paying/fist job. Since he is writing a book about working at Disney, he implies that this type of behavior is shocking and lurid. No, not really. Disney is really that special or immune to problems that plague other places. It’s really just a job. The book relies a lot on the shock value that it imparts to the reader. It assumes that the reader will think that Disney is magical and beyond reproach. I didn’t buy into Mitchell’s story. I understand and believe that he would want to run away when his mother was ill. However, I don’t believe his attitude towards working for Disney. A big part of me felt like it was his grand plan to write a tell all book from the get go. There was something that I found very disingenuous about his tone and his story. The one part that I did think he got dead-on was when he described the “Lifers” that work for Disney. Disney does seem to attract a type of older employee that is very loyal to the company and seems to make it about being far more than a job. Disney is all magic and can do no wrong. I have dated one of these guys and I never understood stood it. As pathetic as he made them sound, he did a great job at describing this type of employee that Disney seems to attract.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Wylder

    Two things really irritate me about this book: (1) As a former Disney cast member myself (a CP, then a CT), I know that we all have a memoir in us that would surprise people with regard to WDW in some capacity. That's why I don't understand how this book could be so effing boring. The "salacious" stories he tells are all the same stories that everybody (tourists, Disney-haters, and cast members alike) has heard. And (2) The number of factual errors in this book is incredible--from simple geograp Two things really irritate me about this book: (1) As a former Disney cast member myself (a CP, then a CT), I know that we all have a memoir in us that would surprise people with regard to WDW in some capacity. That's why I don't understand how this book could be so effing boring. The "salacious" stories he tells are all the same stories that everybody (tourists, Disney-haters, and cast members alike) has heard. And (2) The number of factual errors in this book is incredible--from simple geography (e.g. where the Everglades are... seriously, dude?) to basic Disney practices and attractions. Basically, this guy wrote a Disney "tell-all"--littered with horrible surfing metaphors, no less--that appears to be mainly made-up, yet still really lame. Wipeout.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rory

    I grew up in and around Walt Disney World, living so close in nearby Casselberry that my parents and I, and later my sister, went every single weekend and sometimes during the week just for dinner. I don't mind the Walt Disney World that Chris Mitchell presents here. It is what it is. So there are those who ask him to take pictures of their characters posed in unusual ways. So his semi-charming roomate decides to chase a dream of producing and managing a gay boy band. There is, and always will b I grew up in and around Walt Disney World, living so close in nearby Casselberry that my parents and I, and later my sister, went every single weekend and sometimes during the week just for dinner. I don't mind the Walt Disney World that Chris Mitchell presents here. It is what it is. So there are those who ask him to take pictures of their characters posed in unusual ways. So his semi-charming roomate decides to chase a dream of producing and managing a gay boy band. There is, and always will be, many different facets to the Disney image, some which aren't easily seen. That's the same way with Orlando. All of that is what Mitchell captures so exactly and so expertly, telling a story of himself that he probably never expected to live, based on how he lived before he arrived at Walt Disney World. And it's that discovery of that place, and that discovery of himself which carries the book and makes it intriguing all the way through. At first, his writing takes a few sentences to get used to, but once you're in, you're in all the way.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lawral

    "Despair didn't exist here. Neither did gloom or desperation or sad endings. Inside the impenetrable fortress of Disney World, fairies, genies, and mermaids were real; parking tickets, dead batteries, and blurry photographs were make believe" (p18). And for someone who is trying his damnedest to run away from his problems, Disney World's manufactured perfection is a Godsend. Chris lives through hilarious incident after hilarious incident, peppered with unbelievable situations for variety, during "Despair didn't exist here. Neither did gloom or desperation or sad endings. Inside the impenetrable fortress of Disney World, fairies, genies, and mermaids were real; parking tickets, dead batteries, and blurry photographs were make believe" (p18). And for someone who is trying his damnedest to run away from his problems, Disney World's manufactured perfection is a Godsend. Chris lives through hilarious incident after hilarious incident, peppered with unbelievable situations for variety, during his time as an employee or Cast Member of the Magic Kingdom. While I would guess that this will be a fun read for a lot of people, readers who have crossed the threshold into "Cast Members Only" territory, or even have grown-up visiting a Disney attraction on a regular basis, will find this unbearably funny.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    I know the magic that dear ol' Walt wanted to create for all of his guests - and I think he truly succeeded for those who are happy enough to take Disney-ana at face value...this book is NOT for those people. If you want to hear about the skeletons hiding in Mickey's closet...drugs...sex...character assassination of a different sort...then this book was written just for you. I've only been to the CA and FL Disney areas once apiece, both when the *Magic* still flowed freely in my mind (Peter Pan WA I know the magic that dear ol' Walt wanted to create for all of his guests - and I think he truly succeeded for those who are happy enough to take Disney-ana at face value...this book is NOT for those people. If you want to hear about the skeletons hiding in Mickey's closet...drugs...sex...character assassination of a different sort...then this book was written just for you. I've only been to the CA and FL Disney areas once apiece, both when the *Magic* still flowed freely in my mind (Peter Pan WAS my crush when I was way young...now...green tighties? Not so much...) Now, I find that I crave the dirt behind the scenes, the people behind the storybook character facades and what realllyyy goes on behind the scenes. WARNING: You'll never look at Disney the same after reading this!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Redfox5

    Took with me to read on the flight to Florida. This is not my fave backstage read as you can tell from the rating. Even tho these behind the scenes books tell you what really goes on, the people who write them usually belive in the Disney magic. Chris does not. Well not at first anyways. He just has a cynical view towards Disney that I just don't like. I just don't think I liked him very much.I hated the way he avoided dealing with his mums cancer. What he's saying is proberly true, i.e the thi Took with me to read on the flight to Florida. This is not my fave backstage read as you can tell from the rating. Even tho these behind the scenes books tell you what really goes on, the people who write them usually belive in the Disney magic. Chris does not. Well not at first anyways. He just has a cynical view towards Disney that I just don't like. I just don't think I liked him very much.I hated the way he avoided dealing with his mums cancer. What he's saying is proberly true, i.e the thing about the face characters being "princess" is true. I just don't like the way he says it. I think Mouse Trap, Mouse Tales and Realityland are far better backstage books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mell

    This book is complete trash. I can read some trash, but this guy's "too cool for school" attitude wore on me about a quarter of the way through. If I'm supposed to be scandalized by the fact that a bunch of 20 somethings living and working together occasionally have sex and do illegal drugs, just b/c they work for Disney...sorry, I'm not. This book is complete trash. I can read some trash, but this guy's "too cool for school" attitude wore on me about a quarter of the way through. If I'm supposed to be scandalized by the fact that a bunch of 20 somethings living and working together occasionally have sex and do illegal drugs, just b/c they work for Disney...sorry, I'm not.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dani Peloquin

    After reading Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom last month, I decided to dip into the underbelly of the actual Disney World. It is for this reason that I got Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir from the library. In this memoir, Chris Mitchell describes the year that he spent in Disney World and all of the insanity that he encountered in those 365 days. Though his observations are enlightening, humorous, and certainly go against our image of Disney, it is nothing entirely new. Before ent After reading Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom last month, I decided to dip into the underbelly of the actual Disney World. It is for this reason that I got Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir from the library. In this memoir, Chris Mitchell describes the year that he spent in Disney World and all of the insanity that he encountered in those 365 days. Though his observations are enlightening, humorous, and certainly go against our image of Disney, it is nothing entirely new. Before entering the Disney workforce, Mitchell as a professional skateboarder who believed in rebellion above anything else. He had a steady girlfriend, a loving family, and an excellent job that allowed him to be an anarchist in his own right while still making a living. All of that changed when his mother was diagnosed with cancer and his long-time girlfriend left him for one of his friends. Mitchell was unable to cope with these developments in his life so he decided to go where there is no hurt or death: Disney! When he arrived there, he discovered what most of Americans had only fantasized about; Disney is just a microcosm of the world with just as much sex, drugs, and rock & roll. He found that all Disney employees take their work very seriously and have even created their own hierarchy based on the kinds of costumes the employees (known as cast members) wear. Mitchell was also confronted with the fact that there is an entire book of rules to which cast members must adhere while "on stage" (in the park). Most nights Mitchell is invited to parties thrown by cast members that become as out of control as a frat party. Everyone in the underworld of Disney is sleeping with one another despite sexual orientation. Drugs are passed around as frequently as Mickey ears are and there is even a Winnie the Pooh who was found masturbating in his costume. Though Mitchell finds acceptance in these misfits, he comes to understand that the "Disney magic" is nothing like what it seems. Though this book was interesting for the first 100 pages or so, I found that it lagged about halfway through and I had to push myself to finish it. Some of the stories were interesting, but most were nothing that couldn't be found on a college campus. Disney World is basically just like a microcosm of the rest of the world with its drug problems, infidelity and caste system. Sadly, the majority of the book is focused on these aspects of Mitchell's life there. However, there are certain gems that pushed me to keep reading. Such as the fact that costumes are based on height and not sex. Therefore, a woman often is inside the Donald Duck costume while a man is often "casted" as a Minnie Mouse. Besides the "face" characters such as the princesses and some of the princes who have to show their faces, the rest of the costumes are based on height. The rules that cast members must adhere to are also interesting such as no eating while "on stage". Also, cast members must never point to a direction using a finger but must use their entire hand. Lastly, the entrance and rides at the Magic Kingdom park are actually located on the second floor of the park. The first floor is a series of underground tunnels that lead to different lands and rides. The contracted built these "tunnels" and then just built the park on top of them. It is these vignettes that make the story so interesting. However, these are just a peppering of the tale and not the overall substance. This disappointed me, though it might please others. Overall, it's worth a reading even if you skip over certain parts to get to others. Despite its faults, Mitchell does pull the mask off of Mickey which shouldn't go unnoticed! www.iamliteraryaddicted.blogspot.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Read this book as a lark in preparation for our trip to Disney World this year. I would be dishonest, however, if I said the premise of the book and its marketing did not appeal to my puerile instincts. Why wouldn't you want to have a peek behind the curtain of Disney's stage? The book started off promising enough, but it soon became apparent that Mitchell a) is not that talented a writer (viz. certain pieces of dialogue that are so stilted as to defy even the most generous attribution of licens Read this book as a lark in preparation for our trip to Disney World this year. I would be dishonest, however, if I said the premise of the book and its marketing did not appeal to my puerile instincts. Why wouldn't you want to have a peek behind the curtain of Disney's stage? The book started off promising enough, but it soon became apparent that Mitchell a) is not that talented a writer (viz. certain pieces of dialogue that are so stilted as to defy even the most generous attribution of license), and b) he relies on stereotypes and plot to drive the story, rather than developing characters more fully. He shows us the slutty princess, the bitch-queen dancers, and the narrator (I avoid purposely conflating the author and the narrator--although the book is entitled a memoir, I sense that the author's portrayal of himself is not entirely honest), who the author casts initially as a preternaturally aloof and cynical skate rebel, pseudo-keenly seeing through the magic-washing of Disney, and who the author later inexplicably miscasts as a sanguine and starry-eyed Disneytron. I believe the transformation of the attitude of the narrator is in service to the conclusion of the book, which, if the narrator retained his indie-cred cool, would not have been possible (again, the fatal flaw of plot driving character, and not vice-versa). It's all just a hot mess, with some sweaty sexy parts thrown in as a carrot to keep the reader engaged and the naughty bits engorged while the narrator stumbles through a cartoonish and implausible metamorphosis into a mindless WDW groupie. The fact that the narrator is shocked when things ultimately go off the rails fatally undermines any credibility and trust established between author and reader in the early pages of the book. It says a lot about the book that the factoids contained in the footnotes to the narrative are actually the most interesting parts. David Foster Wallace should have written this book in the style of A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. The Goodreads entry for this book would then have gone all 404 on us under the sheer weight of the stars given to the book. As it is, caveat emptor: read it as you would US magazine, knowing that the brief period you spend with it will pass the time, and nothing more, and once you're done, it will lay curling and dusty on the bathroom floor.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    I loved every minute of this memoir! I found this book at a Half Price Books store and instantly knew I had to have it. Being a complete Disney nerd I was intrigued with the idea of being behind the scenes in an environment I would love to work in without actually having to move to FL (or CA) to do so. This memoir was just that. A look into the Disney World work environment from one cast members perspective throughout a year in his life. What this memoir is not: -Spilling all of Disney's dark and I loved every minute of this memoir! I found this book at a Half Price Books store and instantly knew I had to have it. Being a complete Disney nerd I was intrigued with the idea of being behind the scenes in an environment I would love to work in without actually having to move to FL (or CA) to do so. This memoir was just that. A look into the Disney World work environment from one cast members perspective throughout a year in his life. What this memoir is not: -Spilling all of Disney's dark and twisty secrets -Exclusive looks into being a character -Fun for the whole family I would not recommend this to everyone. If you don't want to ruin the Disney Magic, even a little bit, then don't pick this up. This memoir follows Chris and his year being a photographer at Disney World. He takes through his, and only his, experience of being a cast member. I'm sure the experience is different for those who are characters, in the college program, and any other occupation with the company. Yes you get some backstage insight that may not be what you would expect from Disney, but you must remember that these cast members are human and not actually the characters they portray. Being a photographer and having worked in a similar environment I could relate to some of his experiences with the public. I enjoyed seeing Disney through a photographers eye instead of a characters eye. Going into this memoir I had expected that he was a character and spilling dark and twisty secrets about the characters and those hired to become them, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he was just an adult going through some issues and moved to Disney to try and discover himself. Like I said, I loved this memoir. It was a surprise to me and I'm glad I had no expectations going into it. If you're a Disney fan and you want to know more about what happens behind the scenes in the park (and don't mind losing some of the magic of Disney) then this may be a good book for you but it probably isn't for everyone.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    When my friend (you know who you are, Nikki!) announced that she was going to Disney World with her husband and parents for a mid-winter getaway, I was jealous. It has been years since I've been in mouseland, and it sounded like a fun trip. So, when I stumbled on this book by accident, I just HAD to read it. The author, Chris Mitchell, is disenfranchised by the state of his life after his girlfriend dumps him for his best friend, he loses his job and he finds out that his mother is battling an a When my friend (you know who you are, Nikki!) announced that she was going to Disney World with her husband and parents for a mid-winter getaway, I was jealous. It has been years since I've been in mouseland, and it sounded like a fun trip. So, when I stumbled on this book by accident, I just HAD to read it. The author, Chris Mitchell, is disenfranchised by the state of his life after his girlfriend dumps him for his best friend, he loses his job and he finds out that his mother is battling an advanced form of cancer. So, he hops into the car and drives to the "happiest place on earth" to see if he can put himself back together again in the cozy comfort of Disney World as an employee. What he finds is a complex, fascinating and not always sugary sweet experience. It's an entertaining behind-the-scenes look at one employee's experience getting "Disnified." For some, this might spoil the magic, but for me, I mostly just found it interesting --- and a fascinating study of the people behind those smiling Disney characters. The author's incessant whining about what an edgy guy he is gets a little tiresome, and thankfully it's the Disney experience that (despite its own warts)ultimately helps him gain new perspective. And, by the way, if you've ever wondered what is going on inside that Winnie Pooh character costume that you can't see...well...you'll learn about that, too.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cam

    I thought this would be a fun/quick read, but after starting the book, it definitely wasn't what I expected. When you sign on to be a character at Disneyland/Disneyworld, you have to sign a confidentiality agreement, and therefore are unable to share what goes on behind the scenes. The guy who wrote this book came to work as a photographer through a third party service, and signed no such agreement. So, I thought it would be fun to get a behind the scenes look. Unfortunately, he is disgusting, h I thought this would be a fun/quick read, but after starting the book, it definitely wasn't what I expected. When you sign on to be a character at Disneyland/Disneyworld, you have to sign a confidentiality agreement, and therefore are unable to share what goes on behind the scenes. The guy who wrote this book came to work as a photographer through a third party service, and signed no such agreement. So, I thought it would be fun to get a behind the scenes look. Unfortunately, he is disgusting, his language is horrible, and I would definitely question his credibility. I gave up on the book pretty early into the read and give it zero stars!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tavie

    After page one I began hate-reading the book. I'm only plowing through it now because a) I'm a sucker for Disney stories, accurate or not and 2) I want to be informed enough to give it an extremely honest review on Amazon. So far, in the first three or four chapters, I've encountered repeated instances of fatphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and worst of all, COMPLETE ineptitude/lack of knowledge of basic Orlando geography and Disney lore. I'm rather doubting whether this Ayn-Rand-loving, overaged sk After page one I began hate-reading the book. I'm only plowing through it now because a) I'm a sucker for Disney stories, accurate or not and 2) I want to be informed enough to give it an extremely honest review on Amazon. So far, in the first three or four chapters, I've encountered repeated instances of fatphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and worst of all, COMPLETE ineptitude/lack of knowledge of basic Orlando geography and Disney lore. I'm rather doubting whether this Ayn-Rand-loving, overaged skater-dude has ever even set foot in the parks. We shall see. Updated: Abandoned this. It's so poorly written, I just can't anymore. Life is too short.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terri M.

    Don't expect the book to be a big reveal of all the goes on backstage (good or bad) at WDW. This book is the story of one pit stop in one man's journey to find his place in the world. The pit stop just happens to be at WDW and learning that life backstage and the real world isn't all it is cracked up to be and sometimes you just have to make the best with what you are given. Don't expect the book to be a big reveal of all the goes on backstage (good or bad) at WDW. This book is the story of one pit stop in one man's journey to find his place in the world. The pit stop just happens to be at WDW and learning that life backstage and the real world isn't all it is cracked up to be and sometimes you just have to make the best with what you are given.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    This book was just okay. The author/narrator was really unlikeable and seemed really arrogant at some points. I liked reading about the behind the scenes stuff but a lot of it seemed like it was really forced. Idk, not what I expected it to be, and the addition of his family problems interspersed with the Disney stuff was a little weird.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Daniels

    I knew this book would be hilarious (and shocking), but I was really surprised by how touching it was. If you don't read this book for the sexy Disney eye-openers, you should read it for the sweet teary bits. I knew this book would be hilarious (and shocking), but I was really surprised by how touching it was. If you don't read this book for the sexy Disney eye-openers, you should read it for the sweet teary bits.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Hamilton

    This is one of those books that makes me wonder again - can just anyone get published??? And where are all the editors? And why am I being so BITCHY?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    An enlightening look behind the scenes of one of my favorite vacation spots, Disney World, from someone who worked for 'The Mouse'. One of my family members has also worked there, but she has never mentioned the seedy details like Mitchell does, so hopefully her experience was much more innocent and the magic still lives on for her. Mitchell takes his skills as a photographer from Los Angeles to Orlando during an early mid-life crisis, working in Animal Kingdom taking photos of guests with Micke An enlightening look behind the scenes of one of my favorite vacation spots, Disney World, from someone who worked for 'The Mouse'. One of my family members has also worked there, but she has never mentioned the seedy details like Mitchell does, so hopefully her experience was much more innocent and the magic still lives on for her. Mitchell takes his skills as a photographer from Los Angeles to Orlando during an early mid-life crisis, working in Animal Kingdom taking photos of guests with Mickey, Minnie, and many other well-known Disney characters. He frequently contrasts the image of what guests see in their Disney experience with what he as a cast member saw 'off-stage', in the parts of the park hidden from the public. Some makes a lot of sense, like having multiple people working a given day as a certain character because the hot Florida days sap the energy of people in furry costumes in a short amount of time, but that all of those people are of similar look and build so that it appears the same Winnie the Pooh has rejoined the photo line after a quick 'hunny break'. Other info was more surprising, such as the fact that a cast member can get fired for intervening in a crisis, even when the crisis is a matter of life or death for the other party. Mitchell's account was mostly focused on the off-stage parts of his year at Disney, how he struggled at first to get acclimated to the Disney culture, but eventually the idealistic mindset won out and he became completely Disney-fied, until a series of events knocked him back into a realistic worldview not much different than the one he was trying to escape by leaving LA. The people he makes gets to know are a wide variety of colorful characters, from his NASCAR- and boy band-loving apartment mate, to the guy who is 'friends with Tigger' and is a ball of rap-fueled energy comparable to that of his 'friend', to the Pocahontas who is strikingly beautiful but hides a deep personal secret that causes Mitchell's early efforts at flirting to come off as extremely hurtful. Overall, an interesting read that I intend to share with my relative before she returns to Disney for her next stint at the House of Mouse, see how her experience compares with that of a cast member who worked there in the years when cameras still took actual film.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Annburnett

    This is about someone who ran away from his current life to what he thinks is a magical safe place. This tells the story of one Disney cast member over the course of a year. It covers some of the behind the scenes things that go on during the days and nights on and off property. It stresses how cast members must remain in character at all times and if you do not you can lose your job. It tell how you must always smile and always point with two fingers. He eventually loses everything after trying This is about someone who ran away from his current life to what he thinks is a magical safe place. This tells the story of one Disney cast member over the course of a year. It covers some of the behind the scenes things that go on during the days and nights on and off property. It stresses how cast members must remain in character at all times and if you do not you can lose your job. It tell how you must always smile and always point with two fingers. He eventually loses everything after trying to help another cast member who was probably having a heart attack. In order to try to help him he goes out of character and loses his job. He returns back home to his family.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    LA sports photographer, looking to find himself after believing his life isn’t going the way he thought it would, decides to spend a year at DisneyWorld to try to get some magic in his life. He seems to feel, alternately, like he’s found the magic and like he wants to rip the cover off “the happiest place on Earth,” so the memoir occasionally feels a little manic. Not until a series of unfortunate events occurs, though, does he realize there’s no place like home. Overall, the book feels a bit co LA sports photographer, looking to find himself after believing his life isn’t going the way he thought it would, decides to spend a year at DisneyWorld to try to get some magic in his life. He seems to feel, alternately, like he’s found the magic and like he wants to rip the cover off “the happiest place on Earth,” so the memoir occasionally feels a little manic. Not until a series of unfortunate events occurs, though, does he realize there’s no place like home. Overall, the book feels a bit contrived.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    So happy i finally added this to my collection. I love Disney and I was excited to read something from the point of view from an insider. It was old school in the roommates love of boy bands because I grew up loving and still love The Backstreet Boys! I didn't take this read too seriously and just recommend it if you can be light hearted about it and enjoy this insiders look at what happens back stage. Some people say he took artistic license and hey maybe he did but I still enjoyed the book. So happy i finally added this to my collection. I love Disney and I was excited to read something from the point of view from an insider. It was old school in the roommates love of boy bands because I grew up loving and still love The Backstreet Boys! I didn't take this read too seriously and just recommend it if you can be light hearted about it and enjoy this insiders look at what happens back stage. Some people say he took artistic license and hey maybe he did but I still enjoyed the book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    I usually forget to review things I read on goodreads, but I hate this one so much, I figured I'd warn other people off. I was interested in finding out interesting behind the scenes information about Disney. And I guess I got that, but there was so much of the author being insufferable that I really didn't care. Imagine getting stuck at a party with a Gen X anti-establishment edgelord who is talking about the crisis he had in his late twenties, and add Disney. Done. You get the same experience I usually forget to review things I read on goodreads, but I hate this one so much, I figured I'd warn other people off. I was interested in finding out interesting behind the scenes information about Disney. And I guess I got that, but there was so much of the author being insufferable that I really didn't care. Imagine getting stuck at a party with a Gen X anti-establishment edgelord who is talking about the crisis he had in his late twenties, and add Disney. Done. You get the same experience I got for the first 100 or so pages before I gave up.

  27. 4 out of 5

    WaferBiscuits

    I read this start to finish in a day, which is not a usual feat for me, especially for something so unapologetically trashy and fabricated. It may be a page-turner, but the author is a real piece of work. Almost unbearable. This really is a book that’s filled to the brim with what feels like one tall tale after another. There’s a glimmer of truth, I’m sure, but I think it helps to just read this as more of a novel than a ‘tell-all’

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    I only made it about 50 pages through this one. I really just wanted to know some fun stuff about what it's like to work at Disney, some behind the scenes stuff, but I couldn't get past the narrator's fixation on himself. He annoyed me with his angsty i'm too good to follow the rules attitude and I found myself skipping past the passages that were about him, and then soon realized that it's almost all about him. I only made it about 50 pages through this one. I really just wanted to know some fun stuff about what it's like to work at Disney, some behind the scenes stuff, but I couldn't get past the narrator's fixation on himself. He annoyed me with his angsty i'm too good to follow the rules attitude and I found myself skipping past the passages that were about him, and then soon realized that it's almost all about him.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Falduto

    Though advertised as a look behind the scenes at Disneyworld, there isn't really any startling backstage information revealed, unless you're surprised that the guy inside the Tigger suit is actually a real person with real person foibles. This book is more of a memoir of a time in the author's life when he tried to fix the problems he was having with a little Disney magic. Though advertised as a look behind the scenes at Disneyworld, there isn't really any startling backstage information revealed, unless you're surprised that the guy inside the Tigger suit is actually a real person with real person foibles. This book is more of a memoir of a time in the author's life when he tried to fix the problems he was having with a little Disney magic.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Koehler Caronna

    If you went to Disney World as a child or still go as an adult, you have to read this!

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