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Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir

3.15  ·  Rating Details ·  813 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
This is the story that Disney would never tell you.

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 p
ebook, 272 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Citadel (first published December 18th 2009)
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Katherine Coble
Sep 13, 2012 Katherine Coble rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
If you're looking for a quasi-anthropological look behindnthe scenes at walt Disney world, this is the book for 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 ...more
Feb 22, 2011 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 Cas ...more
Jan 16, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Karen Germain
Feb 01, 2010 Karen Germain rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 19, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
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 ...more
Feb 21, 2010 Lawral rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-but-unowned
"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
Jan 26, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Oct 12, 2010 Mell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Feb 24, 2012 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 20, 2016 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 18, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Both fans and cynics of "the Disney experience"
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
Elizabeth Wylder
Dec 26, 2010 Elizabeth Wylder rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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 ...more
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
Oct 16, 2010 Redfox5 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disney, non-fiction
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 ...more
Jul 30, 2012 Tavie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
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
Dec 13, 2014 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Basically: a punk-ass, self-absorbed jerk goes to work in Disneyworld, sleeps with some really hot and emotionally unstable women, and then realizes that he's spent his entire life (~35 years) being a punk-ass, self-absorbed jerk...but tries to end with schmaltz and this realization. Congrats on realizing that you were a kinda shitty human! Also, no surprises here, but when you take young adults who all work and live together, it is not surprising or even particularly scandalous that they take d ...more
Dec 16, 2010 Kristina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Terri M.
May 21, 2010 Terri M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jeremy Daniels
Oct 12, 2009 Jeremy Daniels rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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?
Entertaining, but Somewhat Far-fetched Tale …

I cautiously approached this book expecting a damaging tell-all that would form cracks in the righteous pillars of the Disney foundation, but it never happened. With CAST MEMBER CONFIDENTIAL, Chris Mitchell reveals a personal Disney odyssey that hints of a dark/alternative “underworld” that belies the overly-wholesome image Disney has projected for decades. While the book is readable and entertaining, the veracity of its content is surely up for debat
Oct 18, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just okay. There were some juicy parts of behind the scenes at Disney and what goes on with the Cast Members but nothing I would read again... and really truly not recommend.
Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir by Chris Mitchell:

"The other day, this man in my line just keeled over. My greeter thought it was dehydration, but I could tell it was a heart attack ... So I had this one side of me that knew what was going on because of all the EMT classes and whatever. Then there was the other side of me -- the princess side."

I shook my head. "Which side is that?"

She clucked her tongue as if I had forgotten the very essence of Disney. "You're a Cast Member. You s
Oct 10, 2012 Victoria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hardly ever give books a one star rating but I couldn't give no stars. This book was so depressing and just sucked the joy out reading it.

Chris says that the way he got away with writing this book and not being sued by Disney is that he was hired by an outside firm and wasn't technical a Disney employee. He also mentions being handed a stack of papers which he never even looked at (wonder if the disclosure contract was in there)

He goes on to complain about the "hierarchy" of cast members - The

I was drawn to "Case Member Confidential" when I spotted a passenger on our flight to Orlando reading Mitchell's memoir. The guy on our flight has two children that work as "Cast Members" at Walt Disney World and I figured it would be a tell-all book about what goes on behind closed doors at WDW. Sadly, you don't really learn anything new from Mitchell's book.

With the number of employees at WDW combined (can't remember the number, but it's safe to say tens of thousands), there's going to be som
Tracy Lackey
Oh, boy…like many other reviewers here and on Amazon, I expected a lot more from this book than what I actually got, despite reading a lot of reviews beforehand. I wonder now if he even worked at WDW at all? His tales not only seem unbelievable but truly outlandish. Oh, I don't think it's any surprise to anyone that Cast Members are predominantly gay, have a hefty dose of drugs and alcohol on board during onstage sets, sleep around, party hard, and generally throw caution to the wind. But there ...more
I picked this up at the library and it proved to be a fast, fun read that kept me entertained from SFO to halfway across the country. And the book was a paperback so it was easy to travel with.

I already knew about some of the "Cast Member" rules from when my high school band performed at Disney World (no earrings on men, girls can wear earrings smaller than a dime, no sunglasses). And as for Cast Members smoking, swearing, having sex on property - well, it was more of an interesting juxtapositio
Jun 21, 2016 Mediaman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theme-parks, disney
This sex-obsessed book is a waste of time if you're really interested in a behind-the-scenes look at working at Disney World. The author (who claims to be a "journalist" but this is totally subjective and written like fiction) contains small bits of truth (yes, drug deals go on between employees; yes, low-level cast members have sex together a lot) but mostly it's highly exaggerated and contains things that are just plain not true. There some whopper factual errors--such as claiming it was over ...more
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“everywhere I looked, people were smiling, like convicts who had just staged a daring escape and couldn’t quite believe they had gotten away with it.” 0 likes
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