Los Angeles Times

An early Disneyland designer won over Walt Disney with his rebel reputation. Now he laments: 'The park is gone'

LOS ANGELES - Try as he might - and he's tried countless times - Rolly Crump just can't quit Disney. But his latest attempt may be the closest he's come.

Earlier this year Crump had artifacts from nearly all of his life's work auctioned off, a sale that brought in more than $600,000. No surprise the items were in demand. In addition to having a hand as an assistant animator in the Disney films "Lady and the Tramp" and "Sleeping Beauty," Crump's resume just so happens to contain work on It's a Small World, the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion, cornerstones of Anaheim's Disneyland and pivotal works in American Pop art.

Crump is one the most important designers in the development of early Disneyland - and one of only a few surviving architects of the park who can speak directly to the intentions of its creator, Walt Disney.

He's also known as one of the park's most vocal critics, a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is artist who is offended at the suggestion that others would be offended by his often-blunt assessments. At the same time, Crump is fiercely possessive of Disneyland's ideals and believes strongly in the theme park as a place of living art.

To those outside the secretive walls of Walt Disney Imagineering - WED Enterprises (for Walter Elias Disney) when Crump joined the division in 1959 - the 88-year-old designer's reputation is that of a rebel, a protector of individual freedom in the world of corporate art.

His office door was graced with a "smoke marijuana" poster, and he's been known to brag about driving his Porsche around Fantasyland when he served as Disneyland's art director, one of his many roles during his numerous stints with the company.

To this day Crump is heralded as co-leading Disneyland's greatest version of Tomorrowland, a mod-like vision of future-past that opened in 1967. He

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