Facebook/Walt Disney Co.
Rolly Crump, one of Disneyland’s key designers who made key contributions to attractions including the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World and the Enchanted Tiki Room, died Sunday at his home in Carlsbad, California, where he was in hospice care. He was 93.
His death was announced on his autobiography’s Facebook page It’s kind of a sweet story.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Roland ‘Rolly’ Fargo Crump passed away peacefully yesterday morning at his home in Carlsbad, California,” the statement said. “He was 93 years old.”
Crump, who worked as an assistant animator on such Disney classics as Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, And One hundred and one Dalmatiansjoined WED Enterprises in 1959 – the division that later became Walt Disney Imagineering. There he became a designer of some of Disneyland’s most popular and enduring attractions and businesses, including The Haunted Mansion, Enchanted Tiki Room, and Adventureland Bazaar.
“Rolly’s most notable work for The Walt Disney Company has had a profound impact on the theme park industry over the years,” the Facebook post reads. “He leaves a legacy that can never be matched and the magic he created for countless people around the world will never be forgotten.”
In addition to his work for Disney, Crump has made significant design contributions to Knott’s Berry Farm, Busch Gardens, the Sultan of Oman and many more. A devotee and practitioner of ’60s pop art and psychedelic posters, Crump designed the packaging for Ernie Ball guitar strings, a familiar imagery for guitarists around the world.
Born February 27, 1930 in Alhambra, California, Crump, he later wrote in his autobiography, fell in love with Walt Disney’s at an early age Stupid symphony cartoons and pursued his childhood dreams when he joined the company’s animation department in 1952, eventually being given responsibilities such as filling in the dots on the puppies of One hundred and one Dalmatians.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Crump was chosen by Walt Disney to design the famous It’s a Small World clock, based on the artwork of Disney’s Mary Blair. The attraction debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair before moving to Disneyland.
Although some of his designs contributed to the Haunted Mansion, others became the stuff of Disneyland legend not make the final cut, including a talking chair and a fireplace cauldron.
In the 1970s, Crump struck out on his own, helping to design Knott’s Berry Farm’s Knott’s Bear-y Tales in 1975, and he worked on designs for Busch Gardens, the ABC Wildlife Preserve in Maryland, and Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus World. He returned to Disney in 1976 to work on Walt Disney World’s Epcot, contributing to the Land and Wonders of Life pavilions at the Epcot Center.
He left Disney again in 1981 to design a proposed Cousteau Ocean Center in Norfolk, VA, then returned to Disney in 1992 as an executive designer at Imagineering. In 1996 he retired from Disney.
Crump was named a Disney Legend in 2004 and published his autobiography It’s kind of a sweet story in 2012.
He is survived by wife Marie Tocci, son Christopher, daughters Roxana and Theresa and three grandchildren.
Here is the full statement announcing his death:
It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Roland “Rolly” Fargo Crump passed away peacefully at his home in Carlsbad, California yesterday morning. He was 93 years old.
A truly unique person, Rolly’s whimsical work has been featured around the world. Whether it was his numerous contributions to the Walt Disney films and theme parks, his work for various pop culture luminaries (such as Ernie Ball and Jacques Cousteau), or his own personal artwork, Rolly’s incredible style was unique and instantly recognizable to many.
Rolly’s most notable work for The Walt Disney Company has had a profound impact on the theme park industry over the years. His designs contributed to the company’s most iconic attractions such as The Enchanted Tiki Room, The Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World and more. His work also stretched well beyond Disney as he created iconic work for Knott’s Berry Farm, Busch Gardens, the Sultan of Oman and many more.
He leaves a legacy that can never be matched and the magic he created for countless people around the world will never be forgotten.
Rolly and his family would like to thank the fans for supporting his work over the years. His whole life has been filled with one “sort of sweet story” after another, and he will be fondly remembered.
February 27, 1930 – March 12, 20