As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Another Monday, another Theme Park Press review! This could become a habit! This book was another one that I really enjoyed. But, more on that in a bit . . .
About the Book
Walt Hired Me
In 1955, twelve-year-old Tom Nabbe was selling newspapers at Disneyland when he heard that Walt needed someone to play the role of Tom Sawyer. Tom pestered Walt until he got the job. Nearly fifty years later Tom retired, a Disney Legend.
You can’t be Tom Sawyer forever. Eventually, you grow up. When Tom Nabbe became a little too tall, a little too deep-voiced, to continue his childhood on Tom Sawyer Island, Disney made him a ride operator. No more magazine covers for Tom. No more photos with celebrities. But it wasn’t the end of Tom Nabbe’s career; it was just the beginning.
In true American fashion, Tom pulled himself up by his bootstraps and rose through the Disney ranks. He became a manager at Disneyland, was instrumental in the opening of both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot in Florida, and was tapped as part of the Disney team sent to Paris to open the theme park there.
Tom’s Disney adventures include:
- Watching Disneyland being built just down the road from his house, and later selling newspapers on Main Street, U.S.A.
- Finding fame as the namesake lord of Tom Sawyer Island
- Joining the early Disneyland “expatriates” who moved from Anaheim to Orlando and built the Magic Kingdom
- Taking a key role in the construction of the monorail system, and later the operation of Disney’s enormous logistical warehouses
- Getting a well-deserved window on Main Street
Tom Nabbe’s Disney story began as a fantasy and ended as the embodiment of the American dream. From straw hat to Disney Legend—these are The Adventures of Tom Nabbe!
About the Author
Tom Nabbe began working at Disneyland in 1955 and retired nearly 50 years later. He was the original Tom Sawyer, hired by Walt himself for the role. Nabbe was named a Disney Legend in 2005 and has a window on Main Street, U.S.A., in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom (above the Main Street Cinema).
Heidi Says . . .
A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book called From Jungle Cruise Skipper to Disney Legend (about William “Sully” Sullivan). I loved this book for many of the same reasons.
Mr. Nabbe started working at Disneyland just a few days after it opened. He was just a young kid, selling newspapers. But, he quickly got “discovered” and was hired to play Tom Sawyer. He posed for publicity shots, and it became a job! From there, he went on to work in various capacities at Disneyland, and was transferred to “the Florida project” before Walt Disney World opened to set up the monorails.
His story is a fascinating one. I love hearing older people share stories of their lives. I love learning about the history of Disney, and it’s even more fun to learn those stories directly from people who lived them! Mr. Nabbe is one of those people!
He worked for the Disney company for almost 50 years! (That’s longer than I’ve been alive!)
One of my favorite parts of this book was the inclusion of pictures. When I read someone’s life story, one of my favorite parts of those books is the pictures. So, I was excited to see some included in this book. To Theme Park Press, I say “Add more pictures!” They add value to a book, in my opinion.
I said that I wanted to be Sully’s neighbor, but Mr. Nabbe would make a fun neighbor too. I know there are stories left untold! I’d highly recommend this book!
Excerpts are available to check out at the Theme Park Press website.
***This post made possible by Theme Park Press.***