Crump doesn’t shrink away from the conflicts he encountered throughout his long career. At Disney, he worked under Dick Irvine, who didn’t know what to do with Crump’s unique style and often tried to hide his work from Walt. During work on Epcot, Crump clashed frequently – and loudly – with his mentor and friend John Hench. Outside of Disney, Crump tells how management vacillation and a fire allegedly set by union members nearly derailed his dark ride, and he shares how an architect bent on his own design deep sixed his work with the Cousteau Foundation.
Crump goes into great detail to describe his contributions to the attractions he worked on – even the ideas that failed to make the final product. He beams with pride at his work on the Museum of the Weird portion of the Haunted Mansion, ideas that Walt eventually scuttled. He shared his experiences working with the late Mary Blair on It’s A Small World and tells of how he undertook the task of moving the attraction from the New York World’s Fair to Disneyland. He spends an entire chapter detailing just what Walt Disney meant to him.
It’s Kind Of A Cute Story is a fast-paced read, and Crump’s storytelling voice is unique and irresistible. He makes the fascinating characters at Disney and other organizations come to life, and he paints indelible pictures of the scenarios he encountered over the years. He shares a gracious amount of photos and artwork from his childhood days all the way to the present as well. If you’re like me and believe you’ve discovered all there is to hear and read about Disney – especially the history of the theme parks – you owe it to yourself to check out Rolly Crump’s book.