Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, is the place where Walt Disney brought his dreams of a place where adults and children can all have a magical time to life. Walt’s original Park features not only Sleeping Beauty Castle, but also attractions that have become some of the most iconic rides in history, including Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, The Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, the Jungle Cruise, and so many more. And it’s nearly impossible to think of these classic attractions without thinking of some of the people behind them, including Disney Legend Roland “Rolly” Crump.
Sadly, we are learning that, on March 12, Crump passed away in his Carlsbad, California home at the age of 93. According to Crump’s wife, he had been sick recently, but the death was still shocking.
News of Crump’s heartbreaking death was shared on Facebook by It’s Kind of a Cute Story. The site is named for the book that Crump released in 2012, talking about his incredible life.
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 CrumpFebruary 27, 1930 – March 12, 2023
Rolly Crump began his time at Disney all the way back in 1952, when he began working on a number of classic Disney animated films, including Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Sleeping Beauty, and more. From there, Crump went on to become an integral part of WED Enterprises (now called Disney Imagineering). Crump started out designing some of the totems and tikis used in the Tiki Room.
After several years of being a Disney Imagineer, Crump became one of the key designers on a project first shown at the 1964 New York World’s Fair — “it’s a small world”. Crump was responsible for designing the iconic smiling clock tower that Guests love. While the facade was first only seen at Disneyland Resort, it can now be found on “it’s a small world” in both Tokyo Disney and Walt Disney World Resort. Crump was inducted into the Disney Legends Hall of Fame in 2004.
Sadly, Crump is not the only Disney Legend and former Imagineer to pass away in recent weeks. On February 27, Burny Mattinson — who worked on numerous classic Disney films like The Sword in the Stone, The Rescuers, The Great Mouse Detective, and more — died at the age of 88.