When you hear the word “Imagineer,” who’s the first person that comes to mind? Most people would usually say someone like Tony Baxter, Marc Davis, Joe Rhode, or Bob Gurr. But one of the most unique and talented Imagineers out there has to be Rolly Crump, a man who has learned to think kinetically outside the box.

He was the youngest employee at WED Enterprises (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering). His real first project, the ever-popular “Enchanted Tiki Room,” was considered a technological advancement at the time with its earliest use of audio-animatronics.

Rolly’s work impressed Walt so much, he tasked him to be a key designer for the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York.

His use of kineticism in his work showed people that you can still add motion to an attraction without high-tech animatronics or a movie screen. His expressive use of color brought out the wild imaginations in us all. And his varying use of shapes and forms in his designs gave off a storybook fantasy-like vibe to his work.

Of all the Imagineering legends, there has never been one that has been so out there like Rolly Crump. He loves to aim for things that are out of the ordinary, creating ideas outside the norm, wacky, and stylistic. We can learn a lot from Rolly. When it comes to ideas, he teaches us that it’s okay to color outside the lines.

By Max Everett, Class of 2021 at Exceptional Minds


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