Disney Legend Rolly Crump Has Passed Away
Disney Legend and former Imagineer Rolly Crump has passed away. He was 93 years old.
A true Renaissance man, Rolly joined Walt Disney Studios in 1952, where he served as an in-between artist and eventually assistant animator on films such as Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty.
Work At Disneyland
In 1959, Crump joined WED Enterprises, where he worked on such Disneyland attraction classics as the Haunted Mansion, Enchanted Tiki Room, and Adventureland Bazaar.
Impressed with his work, Walt Disney selected Crump to help design the Disney attractions for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.
His work during this period included “it’s a small world,” for which he designed the iconic Tower of the Four Winds marquee.
When Disney decided that it was unfeasible to move the tower masterpiece to Disneyland, Crump created the memorable animated clock entrance for the attraction. This design has been delighting visitors for generations.
Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, and Work Outside Disney
Following his work at Disneyland, Crump helped contribute designs for the Magic Kingdom before leaving the company to consult on projects at Busch Gardens, the ABC Wildlife Preserve in Maryland, and Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus World in Florida.
Thankfully, Rolly returned to the Walt Disney Company in 1976 and set out to work on EPCOT Center. In particular, The Land pavilion was a result of Crump’s genius. He also led the design of the Wonders of Life pavilion (although this would not open until 1989).
After leaving Disney again in 1981, Crump worked on the proposed Cousteau Ocean Center in Norfolk, Virginia, and started his own company, the Mariposa Design Group.
Return and Retirement
Rolly eventually returned to Imagineering in 1992 and worked on The Land pavilion refurbishment, as well as the creation of Innoventions. He finally retired from the company in 1996 but continued to consult on a number of projects.
Since his retirement, Rolly has been a frequent guest at Disney fan events. Crump was named a Disney Legend in 2004 and he also received a window on Disneyland’s Main Street USA in 2009. He published his autobiography, It’s Kind of a Cute Story, in 2012.
A True Disney Legend
While the term “legend” is thrown around loosely these days, Rolly Crump was a true Disney Legend. Not only will Rolly be missed by his friends and family, but by generations of fans whose lives he brought joy to. Thank you for everything Rolly, we will miss you.