Disney Legend Roland “Rolly” Crump Passes Away at 93

Disney Legend Rolly Crump has passed away at the age of 93. The announcement was made today via the Facebook page for his book It’s Kind of a Cute Story. Through the years, Crump worked on many iconic attractions that are known and loved by Disney fans. Here is the announcement:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Roland “Rolly” Fargo Crump passed away peacefully yesterday morning at his home in Carlsbad, CA. He was 93 years old.

A truly one-of-a-kind individual, Rolly’s whimsical work has been featured all over the world. Whether it was his numerous contributions to the Walt Disney films & theme parks, his work for various pop culture luminaries (like Ernie Ball and Jacques Cousteau), or his own personal artwork, Rolly’s incredible style was uniquely his and instantly recognizable to many.

Rolly’s most notable work for The Walt Disney Company has profoundly impacted the theme park industry over the years. His designs contributed to the company’s most famous attractions, such as The Enchanted Tiki Room, the Haunted Mansion, it’s a small world, and more. His work went well beyond Disney, too, as he went on to create iconic work for Knott’s Berry Farm, Busch Gardens, the Sultan of Oman, and many more.

He leaves behind a legacy that can never be matched, and the magic he crafted for countless people worldwide will never be forgotten.

Rolly and his family would like to thank the fans for supporting his work over the years. His entire life was filled with one “kind of a cute story” after the next, and he will be remembered with lots of love.

Rolly Crump

February 27, 1930 – March 12, 2023

Rolly Crump was born on February 27, 1930, in Alhambra, California. He came to Disney in 1952 as an “In-Betweener” in Animation. In 1959, he joined WED Enterprises (known as Walt Disney Imagineering today) where he went to work on attractions and shops like the Haunted MansionEnchanted Tiki Room, and Adventureland Bazaar.

In 1964 he was a key designer on Disney attractions for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. This included it’s a small world where he designed the iconic Tower of the Four Winds marquee. When the attraction eventually came to Disneyland Rolly designed the animated clock at its entrance.

He would continue to work on the initial design of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. He developed story and set designs in 1970 as well for NBC’s Disney on Parade. He then left Disney to consult for Busch Gardens in Florida and California, the ABC Wildlife Preserve in Maryland, the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus World in Florida, and others.

He came back in 1976 to Disney to contribute to EPCOT Center. There, he served as a project designer for both The Land and the Wonders of Life pavilions. He also contributed to the master planning for a Disneyland expansion until 1981 when he left Disney once again to lead the design on a proposed Cousteau Ocean Center in Norfolk, Virginia. He also launched his own firm, the Mariposa Design Group. There, he developed a wide array of themed projects around the world. This included an international celebration for the country of Oman.

Rolly once again returned to Disney in 1992, specifically Imagineering, as executive designer. In this role, he worked on redesigning and refurbishing both The Land and Inventions at EPCOT Center. In 1996 Rolly “retired” from Disney. However, he continued to work on a number of projects through the years. He also released his autobiography in 2012 called It’s Kind of a Cute Story.

Rolly was a beloved member of the Disney community and will be missed by all. Daps Magic extends its sincerest condolences to Rolly’s friends and loved ones.

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