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Post-contemporary interventions

Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World

By
The Project on Disney
The Project on Disney

The members of The Project on Disney are Jane Kuenz, Assistant Professor of English, University of Southern Maine; Karen Klugman, photographer and teacher at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut; Shelton Waldrep, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, University of Southern Maine; and Susan Willis, Associate Professor of English at Duke University.

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-9704-5
Publication date:
1995

This entertaining and playful book views Disney World as much more than the site of an ideal family vacation. Blending personal meditations, interviews, photographs, and cultural analysis, Inside the Mouse looks at Disney World’s architecture and design, its consumer practices, and its use of Disney characters and themes. This book takes the reader on an alternative ride through "the happiest place on earth" while asking "What makes this forty-three-square-mile theme park the quintessential embodiment of American leisure?"

Turning away from the programmed entertainment that Disney presents, the authors take a peek behind the scenes of everyday experience at Disney World. In their consideration of the park as both private corporate enterprise and public urban environment, the authors focus on questions concerning the production and consumption of leisure. Featuring over fifty photographs and interviews with workers that strip "cast members" of their cartoon costumes, this captivating work illustrates the high-pressure dynamics of the typical family vacation as well as a tour of Disney World that looks beyond the controlled facade of themed attractions.

As projects like EuroDisney and the proposed Disney America test the strength of the Disney cultural monolith, Inside the Mouse provides a timely assessment of the serious business of supplying pleasure in contemporary U.S. culture. Written for the general reader interested in the many worlds of Disney, this engrossing volume will also find fans among students and scholars of cultural studies.

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