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Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir Paperback – January 1, 2010

3.3 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Mitchell’s contribution to the behind-the-scenes-at-Disney lit tells inconvenient truths and a few heartwarmers about working in Florida’s Disney World. Mitchell confirms a few rumors or urban legends, such as the allure that wearing cute little Disney-character costumes has for “furries” (people who sexualize plush creatures and related anthropomorphic beings). He discusses the alleged existence of a gay hiring cabal that quietly infiltrated Disney after the untoward news several years ago concerning corporate mistreatment of gay employees and guests, and in passing he mentions being “surprised by just how gay” the Disney milieu is. Other highlights include a brief disquisition on how “Christians and conspiracists have long been convinced that Donald Duck is a racist based on a snippet of dialog . . . in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” in which Donald calls Warner’s Daffy Duck a “stubborn nitwit.” And then there’s Mitchell’s furtive initiation into the SOP (i.e., Sex On Property) Club in a storeroom full of Tinkerbell pens and Little Mermaid T-shirts. Good clean fun. --Mike Tribby

About the Author

Chris Mitchell's firsthand experiences and reporting uniquely qualify him to expound on and explain the major trends and developments sweeping the Middle East and affecting the world. Mitchell has served as the bureau chief for CBN News since August 2000.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806531282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806531281
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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As a fifteen-year Cast Member at Walt Disney World I feel the need to write a review on this book, something I have never done, never intended to do, and certainly never expected to use my valuable time for. The abuses of fact in this memoir are so pervasive that those who are considering purchasing this book deserve a warning: If you swallow this tale, do so with a sizable grain of salt.

None of the errors, individually and on their own, are fatal. But there are so many, and of such variety, and turn up with such frequency, that one really must question the authenticity of anything claimed by the author.

The author tells of a year-long stint in an operating participant (non-WDW Cast Member) entry-level job at Walt Disney World. He lived among and played with front line WDW Cast Members. It appears that these are the facts. He professes an "insider's knowledge" of the WDW Character Department. This is subjective, and subject to his extremely limited tenure with the company, limited theme park exposure, and limited acquaintance with a few individuals that comprise this WDW-wide department. Yet he seem to imply that he speaks for "The Character Department" - as well as that of the photography group - in their immense entireties. I will heartily agree that the Character Department is indeed full of "characters" and almost anyone who has ever worked at WDW probably has a memoir lurking just under their conscious thoughts, but I would hasten to add that this memoir is entirely suspect. Here are a few of the reasons why:

The author professes a life-long love of Disney and as the story develops, he admits to becoming "Disneyfied.
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Format: Paperback
As a former cast member myself, I looked forward to reading this book long before I actually got it in my hands. I loved my years at Disney, but knew about the seedy side of things as well and looked forward to what he had to say. Once I started reading this book though, I was highly disappointed.

The author spends the first half of the book bemoaning Disney and what it stands for, acting like he was too cool and above it all. Then the second half disallusioned that Disney didn't give him the escape he'd been looking for. I don't even want to get started on how much of this was just over the top exageration.

The "characters" in this book are too unbelievable to be real. They're just too outlandish and are not actual human beings. Yes, there is drama and scandal a plenty in DisneyWorld. I would never suggest that Disney World is the perfect work environment but nothing like the author "claims". I was so disappointed in this book, I struggled to finish it.

I looked forward to a book that would spill some of the secrets, backstage stories and experiences that happens unbeknowst to the guests just 20 feet away. What I got was a book that was so crazy, exagerated and outlandish, that it should be under fiction.
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I am not here to berate the author. This book is well written, well edited and flows nicely. That's what the 3 stars are for. As for the book, it is more an autobiography of an adult who hasn't grown up and is still dealing with his hatred of his brother and the dysfunctional relationship with his mother and father. Yes he does spend a year working at Disney World, so he was a Cast Member. If you are a Disney Fan thinking you are going to get a dose of Disneyana, you are wrong. Sure he puts in a little trivia at the beginning of each chapter and throws in a footnote or two. However, the Disney part consisted of devoted Cast Members who work for minimum wage, live in the Cast Member ghetto, look for every nook to have sex and spend all their remaining time (if they are not partying and getting drunk) trying to break the Disney rules without getting caught. Somehow the words "devoted" and "break the rules" just don't seem to go together. I still couldn't understand how people could live in poverty and still find plenty of booze and drugs. I guess you just need to know how to set your priorities. So if you are person who loves Chris Mitchell and wish to read his autobiography which includes his one-year experience at Disney World then this is the book for you. If you are a person who wishes to read a book about, in his own words, the "deviant characters and manipulative Cast Members" of Disney World, who by the way are all homosexuals, then this is the book for you. Otherwise avoid this book.
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It has been a while since I read a book and was so disenchanted by it that I simply can't figure out how to begin my review of it. Of course, it's my own fault I was disenchanted; just by reading the blurb on the back cover of Cast Member Confidential (which promises a "behind-the scenes story of [a] year in the Mouse's army", tales of "what really happens in the hidden tunnels beneath the Magic Kingdom" and "escapades in the 'Ghetto' where Cast Members live and anything goes"), deep down I knew that the whole book would be ripe with exaggeration and downright falsification. And yet I still found myself appalled by the vast amount of incorrect information and, well, lies found in this novel.

Because this is a novel. It may be very, very loosely based on a true story, but I find it difficult to believe that Mr. Mitchell has been to Disney more than once and basically impossible to believe that he lived in Orlando for a year. He certainly doesn't know how to read a map. I won't get into descriptions of the many times he makes incorrect mentions of things in and about Walt Disney World other than to say that he doesn't even know the proper name of the Haunted Mansion; and as other reviewers on Amazon pointed out, he mentions driving east from Orlando--through the Everglades. If you don't know what's wrong with that statement, don't bother reading the rest of my review.

The truth is, I was a Cast Member at Walt Disney World for about five years. I worked in two different lines of service, three of the four theme parks, did 2 College Programs, was a seasonal cast member, and eventually became a manager...and he talks about things that I have never even heard of.
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