Hey lovelies! Welcome to Blogmas day 11 and a new book review for you all. If you follow me on Twitter or you read my blog regularly you’ll know I’m a huge Disney fan, in fact I’ve just been on holiday to Disneyland Paris for the festive season! When I saw that this book was about the life of a Disney character I knew I had to read it and spoiler alert, I was not disappointed!
‘Of Mouse and Men is a backstage glimpse of life as a Disney Character Performer. It chronicles one man’s stint in the entertainment division and his evolution from dog to superhero to soldier to cowboy to bear to monster to beast to pirate…and back again. It’s a comical, yet heartfelt, behind-the-mask tour of one of the strangest, most satisfying jobs on the planet. If you’ve ever wondered who those people really are in your vacation photos, how they got there, or how many gallons of sweat it takes to brew a batch of Disney magic, this is the book for you.’
Disclaimer: I was sent this book by the author in return for an honest review.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work in a Disney park, whether that be just working in one of the restaurants/shops so you get to be a part of the magic everyday, dancing in the parades or being a character performer! If I could choose any job in the world I’d definitely go and work in Walt Disney World to experience working for the main mouse.
I’ll be honest, even at the age of 23 I adore meeting characters at Disney, people might laugh at me for that and say ‘why do you spend all that time queuing for something when you know it’s just someone in a costume?’ but firstly, who are you to judge what makes me happy? And secondly, until you’ve experienced character interactions you don’t know what it’s like! The people playing the characters do such an amazing job in taking on the role of each character that it’s like you’re actually meeting them, not just ‘some person in a costume!’
When it comes to character performers in Disney parks, I always think about what it would be like to have their job, to be able to put on a costume every day and pretend to be one of my favourite characters from the big screen to make others happy, Of Mouse and Men gave a great insight into what it’s actually like to be able to do this!
First of all this book showed how hard life can be as a character performer when you first start out, especially in the humidity of Walt Disney World Florida! Nicklaus talks about drinking more bottles of Powerade than I’ve ever consumed in my life just to get through one shift and the difficulties that come with learning to sign each characters’ autograph, especially when you can’t actually see the autograph book through the costume you’re wearing!
As the book progresses Nicklaus shares his stories from different meet and greets he’s done over the years as a number of characters from Goofy to Mr Incredible and even what it’s like to walk around the park as a ‘Green Army Man’ from Toy Story! Some of his stories had me laughing out loud and made me want to be a character performer even more!
I also learnt some fun Disney facts that I didn’t know whilst reading this book! For example, did you know Magic Kingdom in Florida has underground tunnels called ‘utilidors’ for the cast members to get around the parks without ‘spoiling the magic’ for guests like when they’re on their way to a meet and greet location etc!
From stories of his fellow character performers and how hard some of them could be to work with to learning just how much effort goes into getting dressed into each character outfit; I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish!
This book was a strong 4.5∗ read for me! I absolutely adored everything about it! It’s taught me a lot about what life is really like as a Disney character performer whilst still being humorous along the way! Nicklaus sounds like the loveliest guy ever and honestly I’d have loved to do a meet and greet with him as any of the characters he performed as because you could tell he loved the role just as much as the people meeting him loved the characters!
If you’ve ever looked back at your photos from a Disney trip and thought about those characters you met and what their job is like then I highly recommend this book!
You can pick up a copy of Of Mouse and Men on Amazon here. Trust me, you’ll love it!
Let me know your thoughts on this book in the comments below!