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Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida

Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida [Kindle Edition]

Catherine Ryan Howard
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The bestselling travel memoir by the author of Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America

Three big dreams, two mouse ears and one J-1 visa.
What could possibly go wrong in the happiest place on earth?

When Catherine Ryan Howard decides to swap the grey clouds of Ireland for the clear blue skies of the Sunshine State, she thinks that all of her dreams (living in the United States, seeing a Space Shuttle launch and, um, owning a Starbucks card) are about to come true. Blissfully ignorant of the realities of moving thousands of miles away from home - and woefully unprepared for the logistics of setting up a new home once she gets there - Catherine trusts the Orlando of her daydreams will be waiting for her just as soon as she steps off the plane.

But not long into her first day on Floridan soil - and not long after a breakfast of Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes - Catherine discovers that amongst Orlando's baked highways, monotonous mall clusters and world famous tourist attractions, park tickets are overpriced, pixie dust is hard to find and thick, wavy hair is downright impossible to straighten . . .


"A unique book by a brilliantly witty, instantly loveable author. I couldn't put it down.", Top 10 Reads of 2010

"[A] unique story that proves that dreams really do come true."

"Catherine writes with such honesty and humor that this is one of those books that you just keep reading and reading until you find you have finished it . . . A very entertaining bit of escapism."
-- D. Jones, #1 Top Reviewer and #1 Hall of Fame Reviewer on

See also More Mousetrapped: A Little Bit More From That Year and A Bit (e-book only)

PLEASE NOTE: To avoid disappointment, readers should note that Catherine worked for a global hotel chain at their property in Walt Disney World; Mousetrapped is NOT a memoir about working for The Walt Disney Company.

About the Author

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD is a frequently over-caffeinated twenty-something from Cork, Ireland. As well as working in a hotel in Walt Disney World, Catherine has been a student journalist, administrated things in the Netherlands, cleaned tents on a French campsite and established a handmade card company. She is currently daydreaming of a US Green Card and wants to be a NASA astronaut when she grows up.

Product details

More About the Author

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD is a frequently over-caffeinated twenty-something from Cork, Ireland. She has worked as a front desk agent in a Walt Disney World hotel, administrated things in the Netherlands, cleaned tents on a French campsite and has answered phones in several different offices, but she now writes full-time. She likes cheesecake, drinks way too much coffee and wants to be a NASA Astronaut when she grows up. (She's 29.) Follow Catherine on Twitter @cathryanhoward or read her caffeine-induced musings at her blog, Catherine, Caffeinated, at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mousetrapped 27 Oct 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author, Catherine Howard, was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with her life. She didn't feel old enough to settle down to a traditional job and relationship and she knew that there were still plenty of experiences and fun to be had before she had to grow up. With this in mind she applied to work for a year at Disney World, Orlando. Catherine was offered a job at a hotel (not actually owned by Disney), packed her bags and went over to America.

Unfortunately, things didn't go according to plan and she spent the first few weeks waiting for her work permit to be sorted out. Couple this with having to share a flat with some very strange and slightly scary flatmates and you have the makings of a great book.

During her year working in Disney World Catherine encountered a variety of frustrations and also many delights. She was based in a hotel on the outskirts of the park so we don't get to hear any fascinating secrets about what goes on in the main areas of Disney World. However, she still has plenty of amusing stories to tell and she describes in detail what it is like to live in Orlando effectively as a gap year student.

Catherine is fascinated by NASA and a good chunk of the book is dedicated to her visits to the Kennedy Space Centre and her long wait to see a live shuttle launch.

There isn't a lot of depth to the writing or the content. However, Catherine writes with such honesty and humour that this is one of those books that you just keep reading and reading until you find you have finished it. For anyone who enjoys fly-on-the-wall accounts of real life experiences then this is a very entertaining bit of escapism. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I have also learned a little about what life is like for the many hundreds of British teens who go out to work in Orlando.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mousehooked 3 Oct 2010
By RobinPG
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked this up on my Kindle (first paid book too!) because my love of all things NASA and all things Disney World my Amazon recommends section marked it out as a recommendation (Amazon, you know me all too well..)

I started reading it half heartedly with other books on the go, and I soon found it almost impossible to put down, wanting to know what happened next in Catherine's "Duck and Tuna" adventure. I was captured by the author's mesmerising writing style, which took me back to my first experiences of both Disney World, but also the stupendous description of a shuttle launch which was pitch perfect within the context of the book and the author's experiences.

All in all, a great book which captures an experience perfectly, my only criticism is that I'd liked to have read more! Can't wait for more works from Catherine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having never been to Disney World Florida and having a vague feeling that perhaps I ought to some day, I picked up this book in the hope that it would persuade me one way or the other - and also hoping for an insight into what it was like to be a "cast member". Had I read the blurb properly, I would have realised that the author wasn't working in Disneyland itself (guess I'll have to look elsewhere for that), but it was still a very enjoyable read, following the exploits of a brave young woman who had followed her dream - and came out of the whole experience with that dream still intact (always uplifting to hear that can happen!)

Her down-to-earth humour, honesty and ever-growing self-knowledge made this an endearing read, even though it didn't actually talk that much about Disney. I learned about a lot of places that I hadn't heard of before, e.g. a town called Celebration, Walt Disney's answer to Lord Leverhulme's Port Sunlight community.

But overall I enjoyed spending time with her enough to buy her next travelogue too, Backpacked, and to be rather hoping that she'll write more in the same vein.

Incidentally, the title and cover were eye-catching and engaging, but maybe it's a bit of a misnomer - Mouse Catherine was very happy to be trapped and I get the feeling she'd be straight back there again given half the chance (oh, and a visa). Full marks for making me buy a book I'd never heard of, though!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing from the Heart 4 Mar 2011
By Xrat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sometimes you just buy a book for padding your Kindle prior to leaving for a holiday. This was one such book. However having dipped into the first chapter with the intention of getting the feel of the book I finished it some hours later non stop. Why? The author has the rare knack of placing you beside her as she plows though the Disney dream. Enjoy the book for what it is and you won't be disappointed.
Well worth the money for a fine vision of a young persons 'dream' experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read 26 Feb 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I have never felt the urge to go to Florida but I have now! This is a great read and makes it difficult to turn off the Kindle when you should be doing something else. I don`t mind that it was mainly `in the dream` ~ I enjoyed the enthusiastic tone. It has brought a bit of Florida sun to this dark,dreary and damp February week.Off to check the website for the videos. Oh and it was very reasonably priced!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is not about working at Walt Disney World - it's about a girl who moves to Orlando to work for a hotel chain, in a hotel near Walt Disney World.

I had read the sequel to this book (Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America) before starting Mousetrapped, so I had some idea of what to expect. It is an entertaining, easy read about an interesting time in the author's life. She has a nice writing style (though I do agree with other reviewers that the space chapters ruined the flow a bit) and writes from the heart. This is a personal experience and the writer is not afraid to write about her emotions - both good and bad.

This book struck a chord with me because I'm currently living abroad for a year and am going through a lot of the same experiences and emotions as Catherine. However, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the book as much if this were not the case.

I would recommend to people with something linking them to the story, for example an interest in or experience of living abroad, working abroad, Disney or the US in general.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
I have repeated myself on the other reviews but I love her style of writing and bought and read the books one after another.
Published 12 hours ago by Nik
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Excellent read, as a huge Orlando fan I loved every minute of this book! Would definately recommend. Very fu. Y!
Published 2 months ago by Sara Duckworth
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable lightweight read
Really enjoyed this book, well written and funny. Having worked for an American employee can relate to some things in this book.would definitely recommend
Published 2 months ago by Alex Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable read for all WDW/Orlando addicts!
Catherine Ryan Howard has written a humourous and delightful, behind the scenes travelogue that all Disney voyeurs must read! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mike from Bury
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!
My family love visiting Disneyworld and have often asked the question 'I wonder if it's as good working here as we think it would be' - this book answers that question perfectly! Read more
Published 8 months ago by gaynorp
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining read.
I really enjoyed reading this account of one young Irish woman's 18 month stay in Orlando. Written with a wonderful sense of humour and an acute sense of self-awareness, which is... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amanda Clothier
5.0 out of 5 stars :)
I love this book and all her books so much, I think the things she writes are hilarious. But that is because her humour is as quirky as mine. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Niles
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - Love Orlando
I was going to Orlando on holiday in September 2013 and decided to purchase this book and read it whilst there. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Wendy
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching and funny in equal measure
Bought the book after reading the author's guide to self-publishing. Very glad I did. Worth the trip in every sense.
Published 11 months ago by James Masterton
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Of course there has to be a downside but you have to believe in the magic! My daughter has just returned from working abroad and found out the hard way that it's not all you're led... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Sarah Harris
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