MARRIED TO THE MOUSE: Walt Disney World and Orlando

Richard E. Foglesong, Author . Yale Univ. $27.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-300-08707-9

Disney World, in its agreement with the city of Orlando and the state of Florida, actually negotiated the right to construct and use a nuclear power plant at the amusement park. True, it has never built one, but according to this well-researched, cogently argued and eye-opening account of the complicated relationship between the Disney Company and the city of Orlando, it's a sign of the high price that Orlando has paid to become the home of "the most popular tourist destination in the world." A privately held corporation, Disney has created what amounts to an independently governed country—"a sort of Vatican with mouse ears"—within Orlando, says Foglesong, professor of politics at Rollins College. For example, Disney competed for (and won) bond money, which ultimately paid for new sewers to accommodate its own expansion rather than for low-income housing in a county already strapped with the influx of Disney workers. When the Orlando Sentinel ran a series offering "tepid" criticism of Disney's bad-neighbor policy, the paper was banned from the theme park. In his litany of Disney's major and minor infractions, Foglesong never fails to shed light on the nuances of the situation. Even more than a critique of Disney, Foglesong's book takes a fascinating, important and entertaining look at contemporary problems in urbanology, city planning and, certainly, business ethics. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-300-09828-0
Open Ebook - 284 pages - 978-0-300-13338-7
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