The family of Rolly Crump, Disney Legend and notable Imagineer, has announced his passing at age 93.
The Facebook page for his book, “It’s Kind of a Cute Story,” shared a message with the news.
“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.”
D23 gives a synopsis of his legacy: “In 1959, he joined show design at WED Enterprises, now known as Walt Disney Imagineering. There, he became one of Walt’s key designers for some of Disneyland’s groundbreaking new attractions and shops, including the Haunted Mansion, Enchanted Tiki Room, and Adventureland Bazaar.
Rolly served as a key designer on the Disney attractions featured at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, including “it’s a small world,” for which he designed the Tower of the Four Winds marquee. When the attraction moved to Disneyland in 1966, Rolly designed the larger-than-life animated clock at its entrance, which sends puppet children on parade with each quarter-hour gong.
After contributing to the initial design of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, and developing story and set designs for NBC’s “Disney on Parade in 1970,” Rolly left the Company to consult on projects including Busch Gardens in Florida and California, the ABC Wildlife Preserve in Maryland, and Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus World in Florida, among others.
He returned in 1976 to contribute to EPCOT Center, serving as project designer for The Land and the Wonders of Life pavilions. He also participated in master planning for an expansion of Disneyland until 1981, when he again departed to lead design on a proposed Cousteau Ocean Center in Norfolk, Virginia, and to launch his own firm, the Mariposa Design Group, developing an array of themed projects around the world, including an international celebration for the country of Oman.
In 1992, Rolly returned to Imagineering as executive designer, redesigning and refurbishing The Land and Innoventions at Epcot Center. Rolly “retired” from The Walt Disney Company in 1996, but continued to work on a number of creative projects. He released his autobiography, “It’s Kind of a Cute Story,” in 2012.”