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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 hidden tunnels beneath the Magic Kingdom and what not to eat at the Mousketeria it was a year filled with adventure and surprises than he could ever have imagineeredFunny 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 expectedChris 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


10 thoughts on “Cast Member Confidential

  1. says:

    Any Cast Member will laugh their way through this one It's mostly embellishment with a few shards of truthemphasis 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. says:

    If you're looking for a uasi anthropological look behindnthe scenes at walt Disney world this is the book for youto 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 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. says:

    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 afterallduh


  4. says:

    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 parksSo 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 noEarly on Chris Mitchell details what it's like to be part of the culture of Disney and the reuirements 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 facesI guess what it all boils down to is I was hoping for something 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 of what was promised


  5. says:

    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 forThe 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 payingfist 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 storyThe 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 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. says:

    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 eg where the Everglades are seriously dude? to basic Disney practices and attractionsBasically 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. says:

    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. says:

    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 p18And 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 KingdomWhile 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. says:

    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 valuethis book is NOT for those peopleIf you want to hear about the skeletons hiding in Mickey's closetdrugssexcharacter assassination of a different sortthen this book was written just for youI'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 youngnowgreen 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 scenesWARNING You'll never look at Disney the same after reading this


  10. says:

    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 muchI hated the way he avoided dealing with his mums cancer What he's saying is proberly true ie 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