Skip to content

Book Review: Backstage Disneyland by Brady MacDonald


Who hasn’t visited Disneyland and wondered what goes on behind the scenes of the Happiest Place on Earth after guests go home? It can’t all be rainbows and churros, right?

Award winning LA Times journalist Brady MacDonald turns his highly trained powers of observation to the backstage corridors of Disneyland and imagines a world where the park is populated by the theme park characters, who, it turns out are very real.

Backstage Disneyland” is set against the Disneyland Resort’s very modern predicament of what to do with the Star Wars and Marvel brands. Park mainstays like Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, Buzz Lightyear, and Mickey Mouse decide they need to take action to maintain the status quo. As the characters plot to have their voices heard by their corporate masters, I found myself drawn into the imagined conflict and taking sides.

Without giving too much away, I enjoyed the elements of satire and parody MacDonald sprinkles about. He also did a fine job with the action scenes. Disney fans will have fun imagining the backstage lives of characters they think they know and may recognized a well placed in-joke or two as well.

MacDonald has covered the theme park industry and Disneyland for nearly 25 years. That familiarity is part of what makes this book so great for fans of the park. Even those not intimately familiar with Disneyland will find its plot twists enticing.

Backstage Disneyland” is novella length, but the price is right at $2.99 or Kindle or just $6.99 for paperback.