Former Imagineer Rolly Crump talks about Haunted Mansion in a new YouTube video by Disney. Roland “Rolly” Crump played a major role in the attraction’s development. In fact, he is probably most famous for his influence and work on the Haunted Mansion. So, this video is a sweet treat for all Disney and Haunted Mansion fans. Anybody who loves “behind-the-scenes” information and tidbits about The Walt Disney Company will love this three-and-a-half-minute video. It was released earlier today on the “Disney Parks” YouTube channel as part of their #DisneyMagicalMoments video series during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like we keep saying, it is a lot of fun. Let’s talk about it!

Rolly Crump Talks Haunted Mansion

The video starts out with Rolly introducing himself, stating he started working for The Walt Disney Company in 1952. For those who don’t know, that is three whole years before Disneyland Park opened. Crump claims that he preferred to sit quietly in meetings for the first two years. That way, he could get a feel for Walt Disney and his coworkers. With that experience, he said of Walt, “…I thought he was just a sweetheart, a gentleman, and always a delight to work with…He was just a regular guy, and he just wanted you to feel like you were a regular guy.”

One day, Walt pulled Crump and fellow Imagineer Yale Gracey into a large room on the second floor. He asked them to begin work on the upcoming attraction: Haunted Mansion. To help them study up for their new task, Yale and Rolly went to see all the scary movies as they were released. But apparently, Walt wanted something different. He wanted Yale and Rolly to focus on what it would be like inside a haunted house. For example, what would you find in a house like that, what effects and illusions would work best, etc.

Yale Gracey was considered the expert on mind-blowing illusions and special effects. Later in the video, Rolly would describe Yale as the “hero of the Haunted Mansion” since he was the mastermind behind so many of the amazing illusions. So, Rolly Crump went to work on creating miniature “weird stuff.” At first, nobody liked it. Everyone, including Walt, thought it was too weird for their audience.

The Museum of the Weird

However, Crump walked into work the next day to find Walt sitting in Crump’s chair. He was obviously tired and even wearing the same clothes he had worn the night before. Walt explained that he could not sleep because Rolly’s designs were so interesting. Needless to say, Walt changed his mind. The plan was to add Rolly’s designs to a gift shop area at the end of the ride called “The Museum of the Weird.” Unfortunately, The Museum of the Weird itself was never fully realized. But Rolly’s designs for the Museum of the Weird heavily influenced the final product of the Haunted Mansion.

Let’s talk about the famous purple Haunted Mansion wallpaper, for example. It was designed by Tania Norris. However, the pattern was based on Rolly’s sketches and ideas for the creepy chandeliers for The Museum of the Weird.

You can watch the full video for yourself, right here.