From Library Journal
Koenig, a freelance writer and editor, became friendly with many part-time employees of Disneyland in Anaheim. When they joined a major strike in 1984, Koenig was inspired to write this book. Drawing on interviews and extensive research, Koenig describes in detail Walt Disney's plan and the goals for his amusement park; the behind-the-scenes mechanisms of the attractions; the selection, training, and expectations of the employees; the persona of the Disney characters; profiles of guests (both welcome and unwelcome); the tragic accidents that have occurred and the lawsuits that ensued; and the spinoffs throughout the world. Though the lurid details of park mishaps and employee dissatisfaction are of interest to some, there's more here than most visitors would want to know. Even the author comes across as an admirer rather than as someone blowing the cover on the magic of Disney. Most libraries will want to stick with Birnbaum's Disneyland (Hyperion, 1992).Elizabeth Loftus, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Koenig's tale may surprise some, since many of its specifics are so at odds with the Magic Kingdom's ultrahygienic image. If you've heard about Euro-Disney's problems (management control of staff lingerie, etc.), you expect to hear the travails of Disneyland employees, and Koenig does not disappoint, offering detailed explorations of visitor complaint procedures in which employees are presumed guilty and given no opportunity to defend themselves; the rigors of wearing hot, heavy, bulky character costumes; etc. But surprise comes when you learn of the invasion of at least parts of the Happiest Place on Earth by vermin: when the staff of one concession stayed late to complete a special project, they were horrified to see rats literally come out of the woodwork when the main park lights went off. What's more, Disneyland battles invading insects in many areas by many means. For all that, Disneyland's management comes off well, only occasionally looking insensitive. A valuable addition to popular culture literature and to Disneyana. Mike Tribby