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Bob Gurr
Gurr at the 2023 WonderCon
Robert Henry Gurr

(1931-10-25) October 25, 1931 (age 92)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Notable workDisneyland Monorail
The Haunted Mansion
Submarine Voyage
Matterhorn Bobsleds
King Kong Encounter
TitleDirector of Special Vehicle Development,
Themed Entertainment Designer
AwardsTHEA Award, Lifetime Achievement, 1999
Disney Legend, 2004

Robert Henry Gurr (born October 25, 1931)[1][2] is an American amusement ride designer and Imagineer. His most famous work was for Walt Disney's Disneyland Park, and its subsequent sister parks. Gurr is said to have designed most, if not all, of the ride vehicles of the Disneyland attractions when the park opened, including Autopia, The Haunted Mansion, the Disneyland Monorail, the Submarine Voyage, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds. He was named a Disney Legend in 2004. He also worked on the King Kong Encounter animatronic for Universal Studios Hollywood.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Being a Disney Imagineer | Bob Gurr | Talks at Google



Gurr began his career with Disney designing the Autopia vehicles, and helping to create the Abraham Lincoln audio-animatronic for Disney's attraction at the 1964 World's Fair. Gurr designed two 1910 era vehicles for Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. The Carnation Wagon was designed for Carnation and was parked aside the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, creating a photo opportunity for guests. It was built on a Model A chassis with Model T wheels. The body was designed by following guidance from his automobile book Antique American Cars by Floyd Clymer and old automobile magazines from the studio's library. Gurr also designed the 1910 style replica fire engine for the firehouse in the Town Square. [3] He later gave himself the title of Director of Special Vehicle Development.[4]

Gurr retired from Disney in 1981 to open his own firm Gurr Design, Inc. He created animated light spiders and other effects for The Jacksons Victory Tour.[5] In 1984, Gurr created the UFO spectacle that closed out the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics.[6] In 1984, Gurr joined with former Imagineer Dave Schweninger to cofound Sequoia Creative.[7] That firm, under Gurr's aegis, developed the 30-foot tall King Kong Encounter animatronic[8][9] and the animatronic serpent in The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular for Universal Studios Hollywood. Sequoia Creative built the giant animatronic of the Tunnel du temps stunt show in Big Bang Schtroumpf, 1989 (now Walygator Parc), France.[10]

In 1997, when casino magnate Steve Wynn wanted to sink a pirate ship several times nightly at his Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, he called upon Gurr, who figured out how to do it.[11]

Gurr also helped consult for the T-Rex animatronic in Jurassic Park and for the animatronic used in 1998's Godzilla.[12][13]


In the 1950s Gurr was the author and illustrator of two books, both published by D. Post Publications and out of print, on the subject of auto design: How to Draw Cars of Tomorrow ASIN B0007G0Z5W in 1952, and Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book ASIN B0007E4Y0G in 1955. [14] [15] In 2012, Gurr authored Design: Just For Fun ISBN 978-0615553740 a 216-page hardcover book on his career in themed entertainment design at Disneyland and beyond. With a foreword by Marty Sklar, the book has since gone out of print and is highly valued by collectors.[16] Gurr's memoir BOB GURR: Legendary Imagineer: Life and Times – Disney and Beyond ISBN 978-1796313055 was published in 2019.[17]

Awards and honors

In 1999, Gurr was awarded the Themed Entertainment Association's THEA award for lifetime achievement.[18] In 2004, in a ceremony at the Disney Studios in Burbank, CA, Gurr was inducted as a Disney Legend.[19] Gurr also has received the honor of having his name appear on Main Street, U.S.A. windows at both Disneyland[20] and the Magic Kingdom parks.[21]

See also


  1. ^ "Free Family Tree, Genealogy, Family History, and DNA Testing".
  2. ^ "Bob Gurr". D23.
  3. ^ Carriker Smothers, Marcy (2017). Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food. Disney Editions. pp. 52–57. ISBN 9781484782293.
  4. ^ Trahan, Kendra (2004). Disneyland Detective. p. 27. ISBN 0-9717464-0-0.
  5. ^ "The Bob Gurr Interview – Part 2". July 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Designer Times: 1984 Los Angeles Olympics – Closing Ceremonies Spacecraft – Jan 14, 2004 – Disney World, Disneyland and More". November 23, 2008. Archived from the original on November 23, 2008.
  7. ^ Holt, Garner (June 18, 2012). "This Animatronic Life: The Great Gurrini".
  8. ^ "MCA INK, 1986 – King Kong by John McMasters" (PDF). 1986.
  9. ^ "Universal Studios Tour, "King Kong"". 2013.
  10. ^ Sébastien Roffat, « Disney et la France: les vingt ans d’Euro Disneyland », p. 119, Éditions L’Harmattan, 2007 or Sébastien Roffat (2007). Éditions L’Harmattan (ed.). "Disney et la France: les vingt ans d'Euro Disneyland" (in French). ISBN 9782296169937.
  11. ^ Hill, Jim. "Bob Gurr's "Design: Just for Fun" isn't your typical Disney Legend memoir".
  12. ^ "Bob Gurr". IMDb.
  13. ^ Radio, Southern California Public (March 20, 2013). "Bob Gurr imagined it, helped build Disneyland, King Kong, Jurassic Park". Southern California Public Radio.
  14. ^ "How to Draw Cars of Tomorrow". January 18, 2012.
  15. ^ "Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book (1955) By Bob Gurr – Part 1". January 18, 2012.
  16. ^ "Design: Just for Fun". Bob Gurr | January 24, 2016.
  17. ^ Social, M. C. (May 22, 2019). "EVENT: Bob Gurr Book Launch at Walt Disney's Los Feliz Castle".
  18. ^ "Bob Gurr to speak at TEA Summit Day Two, April 4 in Anaheim".
  19. ^ "The Walt Disney Company Names 2004 Disney Legends; Tim Conway, Leonard Goldenson, Karen Dotrice Among 11 Honored for Contributions to Disney's Legacy". September 17, 2004.
  20. ^ "Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Bob Gurr". Disney Parks Blog.
  21. ^ "Windows on Main Street, Part 3".

External links

This page was last edited on 30 November 2023, at 23:51
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