Sunday, July 29, 2012

cast member confidential

I'm a Disney fan... its not any secret, to be honest with you...

(this post sponsored by Disney on a Dollar, in partnership with Distinctive-Journeys... for a magical vacation that you'll never forget, email for all of your Disney travel needs!)

...but more than that, I'm also a Disney history buff.  Like, I love Disney books, and I don't mean "how-to" books and "visiting Disney" books... I will tell you that my favorite is Birnbaum's Disney books, and the 2013 guide will be released on September 25th--and this year's should be amazing, with Toontown gone, Snow White's Scary Adventures gone, new Fantasyland over half finished, and so on...

where was I?

Oh yeah... Disney books.  I have a shelf full of books read and to be read at this point, books on Walt Disney World history and the movie animation secrets and behind the scenes and Disney Underground and did-you-know and the like... and any book where Cast Members open up about their experiences also suck me in.

So, I picked up Chris Mitchell's "Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir", about a guy who drove to Orlando to escape his mundane life and family, gets a job at Disney World and becomes engulfed in the life and lifestyle of Cast Members.  According to Mitchell, and I agree, its like it's own culture, almost its own species.

Mitchell gives stories and anecdotes over his year there, everything from the drugs to the make out sessions he witnessed, with both boy-girl, boy-boy and girl-girl, to the ones he participated in, especially with a fellow Cast Member named Calico.  Yes, Calico.

He works as a PhotoPass photographer, and even tries out as a character, to disastrous results.  Other stories share the details of his trip to Cuba, the parties that his gay roommate threw and of course, lots of park shenanigans... including some good loving in the upstairs of the American Pavilion during Epcot's Illuminations.

Could I believe all of it?  Maybe.  Do I believe it?  No, not really.  However, Chris Mitchell spins a humorous tale of all the magical, and unmagical, things that go on when the lights go down, and behind those doors that say "Cast Member Only" we see as we walk through the parks.  It does read more like a work of fiction, though, which is why I have a hard time swallowing the majority of what he tells us.  And at no point does he give you any actual park or resort information or behind the scenes stories, its all based on personalities and anecdotes.

It is full of salty language, many homosexual overtones and characters, descriptions of drug use, alcohol, and loose, loose women.

Do I recommend it?  Not really.  Again, its fun yarn at points, but the opening story with Tarzan sets it up as a little far-fetched.  Just my two cents.

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