Monday, April 18, 2011

Vacation Memories: Mouse Tales

My sister's family and mine had a delightful vacation at Disneyland, partly because my sister is an awesome vacation planner, partly because my family is a bundle of fun, and partly because Disneyland tries so darned hard to be a fun place.  To keep the memories going, I checked out David Koenig's Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland: Golden Anniversary Special Edition (Hardcover Book with Audio CD), a candid look at the history, business, secrets and problems of the Disneyland empire.

Koenig had many friends who worked for Disney, and he searched out and interviewed as many people as he could to get a sense of what things are like behind the guide ropes.  From the line operators and costumed characters smiling at the crowds to the carpenters and engineers keeping the rides and shows running, and including the sanitation crew smiling and keeping the streets mousey-clean, he gives a sense of the camaraderie and cynicism of the people making the magic real.  I can attest that they still smile that much, and other than not picking MY kid for the Star Wars show, I really had no complaints.  It was fun seeing which rides managed to injure, maim or kill people, but most of the big killers are gone now.  If I ever decide to Die By Matterhorn, I know have the knowledge, although the technology may have changed a bit.  The news that Disney will fight almost all suits isn't really that surprising.

All in all, it was a fun read, although it didn't leave me gnashing my teeth at all that I missed (which may be gone now; I read the 1995 version).  He wrote some other books, apparently figuring why not milk a cow until it moans, so I might go back when I want to revisit my February fun.  B+

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