Dayton Disneyana is an annual Disney infused weekend held every June in Dayton, OH. The weekend has something for everyone- including guest speakers, pin and vinylmation trading, a costume contest, and of course SHOPPING! The event is hosted by the Dayton Disneyana Foundation, Inc, and all proceeds go to a “Pirates Packs”, an organization committed to providing weekend meal support for children in the Dayton Area. Visit daytondisneyana.org and https://piratepacks.org/ to learn more about both of these wonderful organizations.
We were very thankful to be invited back to Dayton Disneyana 2019. We loved our first visit in 2018, and 2019 did not disappoint! The event was held June 7-9, 2019 at the Hope Hotel & Richard C. Holbrooke Conference Center (http://www.hopehotel.com/), located just outside the entrance to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Admission is very reasonable- $10 for one day, $15 for 2 days, children 12 and under FREE. Early Bird tickets, providing 2 days admission, early shopping access, door prize raffle tickets and a gift bag, were available for $35. (Note: These are a hot ticket, and sell out ahead of the event!)
The conference ballroom was full of wonderful Disney merchandise. There was truly something for every Disney fans. Shoppers could find anything from comic books to handmade mouse ears, park and resort used items to classic toys, to clothing and collector plates, and everything in between! In addition to the shopping opportunities, the special guest speakers were often on the floor as well.
Speaking of the guest speakers, this years attendees were superb! Dayton Disneyana welcomed Disney Legend Tom Nabbe, Disney artist Alex Maher, and Kaye Malins from the Walt Disney Hometown Museum is Marceline Missouri.
Tom Nabbe is a Disney Legend, and is best known for his role as “Tom Sawyer” on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland. Tom literally grew up at Disney! His presentation detailed his rise from Disneyland paperboy with frequent interaction with Walt himself, to lifelong Disney employee, and finally as an inducted Disney legend. His story is highlighted in his book, which he was happily autographing at the event. http://themeparkpress.com/books/adventures-tom-nabbe.htm
Tom worked for Disney from 1955-2003. As a child, he lived less than a mile from the future site of Disneyland. As a paperboy, he delivered newspapers to the Disneyland construction gate. The paperboy job eventually transitioned into selling papers outside the gate once the park was completed, and on Mainstreet as well. As Tom Sawyer Island was preparing to open, young Tom went up to Walt and told him he should hire him to play Tom Sawyer. Walt did not say no, but simply that he would “think about it”. Eventually, Walt had thought about it enough, and Tom was hired!
Tom eventually “aged out” of the Tom Sawyer role, moving to other departments at Disneyland and eventually to other parks. Tom held numerous positions at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and was even on the opening crew for Disneyland Paris. At retirement, Tom was honored with a window on Mainstreet.
Disney Senior Artist Alex Maher presented his story and displayed his amazing artistic ability. Alex grew up drawing Disney characters and dreamed of joining the company. He persisted until his childhood dream became true, joining the company in 1993 as full-time Senior Character Artist with Walt Disney Attractions Merchandise.
Alex related that his very first book from the school library was a Walt Disney book. As a child, he honed his art skills drawing Disney characters from books. In high school, he created a wonderful Walt Disney collage.
Alex would write letters to Disney asking for jobs, and even to the Disney animators knows as the “9 Old Men”. His first job with Disney, as as a freelancer, was working on Figment.
Additional examples of his amazing work:
Kaye Malins, the Executive Director of the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, shared the history of her family’s relationship with the Disney family and the Hometown Museum. Marceline, Missouri is the hometown of Walt Disney, and many local landmarks are named in his honor. Walt actually stayed with Kaye’s family when the Disney public pool was opened! The elementary school, also named in his honor, is still filled with beautiful Disney artwork. (speaker Alex Maher has been instrumental in restoring much of the art!) Walt Disney once said ” More things of importance happened to me in Marceline than have happened since…or are likely to in the future”. Please check out https://www.waltdisneymuseum.org/ to learn more about the museum and to plan a trip.
What would a Disney event be without a costume contest?
Dayton Disneyana offered great events for the entire weekend! Additional events (we were unable to attend) included a quarter auction, a special ticketed dinner event, and a special tour at the US Air Force Museum entitled “The Top Ten Disney Related Things to See at the USAF Museum”.
Thank you to Anita, the “Grand Poobah” of Dayton Disneyana, for inviting us back! The entire crew did a wonderful job.
We are already looking forward to next years event! Mark your calendars for June 12th-14th, 2020!
Looking for more Dayton Disneyana?
Check out our coverage of the 2018 event: