We’re approaching the 64th anniversary of Disneyland’s opening, and the number of former cast members remaining from 1955 keeps getting smaller. Known as Club 55, this group saw the park at the beginning and have amazing stories about those experiences. Tom Nabbe was just 12 years old when he sold newspapers outside the park beginning in July of 1955. His career at Disney lasted all the way until 2003 and included so many important moments.
Nabbe is [the] guest on this episode of The Tomorrow Society Podcast to talk about his incredible journey working for Disney. Walt Disney hired him directly to play Tom Sawyer at Disneyland in 1956. Nabbe was the face of Tom Sawyer Island, where you could actually fish in the late ‘50s. Following his time as Tom Sawyer, Nabbe worked in ride operations for a wide range of attractions at the park. Amazingly, this was just the starting point for his career at Disney.
After time in the military, Nabbe returned to Disney and moved to Florida to manage the opening of the Monorail. He also closely worked on openings at Tomorrowland, the refresh of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the addition of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Nabbe played a key role in the construction of EPCOT Center, managed warehousing and distribution services at Walt Disney World, and participated in the Disneyland Paris opening.