Once upon a time, Disney World wasnt the Happiest Place on Earth. Management desperately needed to fill Cinderellas beautiful ball gowns.
They needed to find Merry Men for the new Robin Hood, and two new people who could stand the heat build-up in the Chip and Dale costumes. Until working conditions improved, the costumed actors and furry characters would be out on strike and scowling at Disney World from the outside.
The group of teenagers who come to Disney Worlds rescue are soon taken to places within Disney World, and within themselves- that they wont ever forget.
Eleanor Gertrude accepts the role of Cinderella. After she leaves Disney World, shes sure to have flashbacks. She spends her days gown changing, getting married to Prince Charming everyday at 3pm, and attending countless Cinderella Brunches and Princess Tea Parties.
Although shes dating THE Prince Charming of Disney World, she cannot hide her sadness, and she cannot ignore whats happening between her and her real Prince Charming.
And there is little real joy for Luke in Disney World either. Hes preoccupied with whats waiting for him back at home.
When the strike is over and he has to turn in his chipmunk costume, Luke is going to have to make some important decisions about his future. And although Lukes girlfriend (and chipmunk partner) is the beautiful Cassie, he finds himself reaching for someone else.
Management, and the teenage staff themselves, try to make the time spent working at Disney World fun. Relationships begin and end during the staff scavenger hunt.
Secrets are revealed with the draw of a card; two secrets even match! Keys are handed down to those who need them the most, and the Phantom of Disney World is discovered!
In the land of Disney World, there are pestered parents, unbearable days of heat, and angry strikers hurling tomatoes and hurtful words. But there are moments of magic for the young workers too- new love for some, winning first prize for another, and job prospects for those who want to stay.
I was happy to read this book where Disney World is described in the smallest of details. I can see the shrubs resembling Donald and Goofy, and the lake that once looked like Mickeys head. I can imagine the vast array of utility corridors that run underground-hiding the garden hoses and PVC pipes.
I enjoyed reading about the workings of Disney World too. You get a clearer picture of this imaginary world where there are Fur Coaches and Princess Handlers; a princess castle, and a Frontierland. These teenagers bring their real world problems into a fantasy land. But when the strike is over, I think they each take a little of this inspiring world with them. Told in alternating voices, this second young adult novel by the authors Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler is inventive and worthy of a Cinderellabration!