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Florida Guide > Disney General

DISNEYS WINDOWS part6

ROB MATHEISON

A former Walt Disney World Resort executive vice president, Parks, Bob Matheison started at Disneyland Park in 1960 as a sound coordinator, teaching Jungle Cruise guides to talk into microphones and ticket takers to talk to the Guests. He became manager of Guest Relations and talent manager of Disneyland Park before being picked by Walt to head the Disney contingent for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. After the fair, Bob spent three years as part of a small WED group called Project Development that compiled research and made recommendations to Walt and the other designers working on the Florida project. In 1970 he was named director of operations for Walt Disney World Resort, where he helped develop the resort’s operating plan.

TOM NABBE

The “Sawyer’s Fence Painting co. ” Heading in Tom Nabbe’s Walt Disney World Resort window actually references his Disneyland Park career. Tom was handpicked to portray Tom Sawyer on Tom Sawyer Island by Walt himself, who said he “looked the part. ” To keep the job, Walt required Tom to maintain a C average in school, and he had to take his report card directly to Walt every quarter for inspection. After his stint as Tom Sawyer, he went on to manage other Disneyland Park attractions before transferring to Walt Disney World Resort in 1971 as monorail manager. Tom retired as manager of Distribution Services after a forty-eight-year Disney career and holds the distinction of being the last working member of Club 55, the group of Disneyland Park Cast Members who started their careers during the Park’s opening year.

OWEN POPE

The original horse trainer for the Disney parks, Owen Pope holds the distinction of having lived on the Studio lot in Burbank, in Disneyland Park, and in Walt Disney World Resort. After catching Owen’s Shetland pony horse show in November 1951, Walt invited Owen and his wife, Dolly, to move the whole enterprise to the Studio lot, where they constructed stables and lived in their trailer under the Studio’s water tower for the next two and a half years. Acquiring and training the horses for the Anaheim park, as well as building the saddles, coaches, and wagons for Frontier land Area, Owen and Dolly moved to Disneyland Park three days before its opening, becoming the Park’s only residents. They relocated once more in January 1971, to Walt Disney World Resort, where Owen was the manager for the opening of the Tri-circle D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

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Page added on: 2 June 2015
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