Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida

ABOUT Catherine Ryan Howard

Catherine Ryan Howard
Catherine Ryan Howard is an occasionally delusional twenty-something from Cork, Ireland. While dreaming of being a writer, Catherine has worked in Walt Disney World, administrated things in the Netherlands, cleaned tents on a French campsite and answered phones in several different offices More...


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 skies of the Sunshine State, she thinks all of her dreams - working in Walt Disney World, living in the United States, seeing a Space Shuttle launch - are about to come true. Ahead of her she sees weekends at the beach, mornings by the pool and an inexplicably skinnier version of herself skipping around Magic Kingdom. 

But not long into her first day on Disney soil - and not long after a breakfast of Mickey-shaped pancakes - Catherine's Disney bubble bursts and soon it seems that among Orlando's baked highways, monotonous mall clusters and world famous theme-parks, pixie dust is hard to find and hair is downright impossible to straighten. 

The only memoir about working in Walt Disney World, Space Shuttle launches, the town that Disney built, religious theme parks, Bruce Willis, humidity-challenged hair and the Ebola virus, MOUSETRAPPED: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida is the hilarious story of what happened when one Irish girl went searching for happiness in the happiest place on earth.

In September 2006, I moved to Orlando, Florida to pursue my dreams of working in Walt Disney World, living in the United States and seeing a Space Shuttle launch. When I got back home a year and a half later, I decided to use the experience to achieve my remaining - and biggest - dream, that of being a published writer. The book became Mousetrapped. I submitted it to an agent and then later a handful of publishers, but the response was the same: they really enjoyed the book, but felt it was too niche market to mainstream publish. With the thoughts of all my hard work languishing in a drawer, I decided to self-publish. Although the process has been a bit of a headache, seeing my book in actual book form - and with that all important ISBN on the back of it - made it all feel worth it.