Cleaning the Kingdom: Insider Tales of Keeping Walt's Dream Spotless by Ken Pellman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'll admit, I'm predisposed to loving all things Disney, being born into a family of Disney fans, as I was. And it's true, I'm predisposed to loving all things related to keeping things clean, having OCD and mysophobia*, as I do. Still I think this book is fascinating to nearly anyone who is at all curious about theme parks in general, Disneyland, what it's like to be a Disney Cast Member, or wondered how the parks maintain that exterior shine of glitter and pixie dust when you just know people are puking after riding teacups, and that many of those thousands of little kids brought in every day are still pretty darn inept at using the potty.
Enter the Janis! Not Janis, like the Muppet, but Jani-short-for-janitorial. Plural. They see all, they know all, and a lot of that is recorded in this book. I resisted opening it up to the chapter containing all their grossest stories to read them first, but when I finally got to that roller coaster ride full of "oh my god"s and a few moments that might make you need to put down the book and go wash your hands, I found myself wishing it was longer. This book is just fun. The authors do a great job of bringing you into their experiences in a way that makes you feel like you belong, like you're right there behind them trying to keep up as your broom and pan (metal, if you're lucky) knock against your knees. It's your first day doing what they do, and you're feeling lucky to get to do it.
The book definitely could have used an editor, or at least a proofreader. If you can overlook the editing errors and typos, the writing is very good and the content is fascinating. I loved this book, it's one of the best books I have read all year (365 days, not just January), and I hope that they will get together with some cast members from Walt Disney World to produce a follow up. If they do, I'd be honored to be the one to proofread it, pro bono, just to get to be the first to read it.
*That's germs, not mice. I love mice! Very clean mice.
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