Introducing Bob Gurr’s DESIGN: Those Were The Times

Written by Bob Gurr. Posted in Bob Gurr, Design: Those Were The Times, Disney, Disney History

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Published on January 07, 2013 at 5:05 am with 50 Comments

EDITORS NOTE: We are delighted to introduce you to a new MiceChat column from a name that almost all of you know, Bob Gurr. And if you aren’t familiar with the name, you’ve absolutely experienced the attractions he designed and collaborated on for Disney over his legendary career. Bob recently released an autobiography that was so well received that he’s been flooded with requests for a sequel.  Today’s column is an introduction from Bob, join us again on Wednesday of this week for his first not-to-be-missed article!

I’ve received many requests to write another book from readers of DESIGN: Just for Fun. Being a self publisher is more than a full time job, especially when you value the freedom that retirement provides from timely organized work. Note that work is a four letter word, which ought to be politely avoided. But since some folks are quite persistent that I should share more tales, here’s the compromise; not another book, but a periodic column to appear exclusively on MiceChat whenever the urge to write cannot be resisted. Not necessarily monthly, but whenever.

Bob Gurr takes a ride on his Autopia (note the lack of a center guide rail).

What will the column be about? While Disney and Design have been my main topics, folks have enjoyed many tales of “other stuff” – early Imagineers, attraction craftsmen, and various early Disneyland characters. Tales too, of life as a kid, being a teenager in WWII, what were the 1930 depression years like – Southern California early car culture. Get me started on fighter planes and gliders – you’ll get an earful for sure. Do you thrive on conflicting opinions – history personally experienced, those first person accounts? Stick around, this might be fun.

So here’s the deal; the Wheel of Years will be sent spinning and when the clicking stops, the red arrow will point to a year – that’s where we’ll start. The tale can flow forward or backward, flow into any subject depending on where my 81 year old hard drive decides to go. We’ll both be off on an adventure to whatever we find.
Well folks, do you take me up on my offer? Come back this Wednesday for our first spin of the wheel.

About Bob Gurr

Bob Gurr is a true Disney legend who was hired on to design the Autopia for Disneyland. Over nearly four decades, Bob would become famous for developing the Monorails, Submarines, Flying Saucers, antique cars and double-decker buses of Main Street, Ford Motor Company's Magic Skyway (at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair), Omnimover ride system, Matterhorn and lots more. It has been said that if it moves, Bob probably played a part. Upon leaving Imagineering in 1981, Bob worked on a number of "leisure-time spectaculars" and "fantastical beasts" for parks and developments all over the world. Most notably, he created King Kong and Conan's Serpent for Universal Studios Hollywood, A UFO for the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, and the memorable T-Rex figure featured in Steven Spielberg's motion picture "Jurassic Park." You can find Bob's column, Design: Those Were The Times, right here on MiceChat. Though don't pin Bob down to a schedule, he's busy being "retired."

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  • Bruce Bergman

    I await the tales of old when you went off into Uncharted Territory, past the “There Be Dragons Here!” sign, and drew the map. I do it on a smaller scale every day – but hearing how other people found their way helps you chart your own.

    Remember Rule #1: Never EVER Say “Now I’ve seen it all!” Because Murphy is always looking for a challenge…

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    Welcome, Bob! So excited to read your stories!

  • Gregg Condon

    Can’t wait for Wednesday!! It’s like Xmas all over again.

  • kat3010

    Absolutely wonderful! Thanks Micechat and Bob!

  • DisWedWay

    Bob, having discussed your Hot Rodding background with you, and how you built the Mainstreet vehicles out of variouse wrecking yard parts, I was wondering if you ever worked with fellow Rodder Boyd Coddington while he worked at the park maintaing the steam engines and other projects. PD

    • Atomobile

      Wow! I never knew Boyd worked at the park.

  • CrazyDreamer

    What a great idea for a source of stories! Looking forward to it. :)

  • HeeHee

    Beyond thrilled!! I am a huge fan of Mr. Gurr’s work, knowledge and personality! I hear he makes a mean martini too (something about a monorail olive spear?)..ah hem, anyway, this is one series I will not be missing~Thank you MiceAge for bringing us the best of the best!

  • darkamor

    I <3 this – thank you Mr Gurr, Sir (penciling in every single Wednesday now)!

    C J

  • Werner Weiss


    What a pleasure to see that you’re now doing columns for MiceChat!

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Design: Just for Fun. I look froward to reading more here on MiceChat.

  • QPerth

    Wow Micechat, this is quite a scoop for an already terrific website, and Mr Gurr, I very much look forward to reading any and all of your columns here, your time, achievments and experience is great appreciated.

  • Awe_inspired

    Walt was the engineer of the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Bob was the engineer of Disneyland.
    Bob helped take Disney’s dream and make it reality.

  • whitestrat

    Micechat never fails to amaze!

    Welcome to Micechat Bob! I can’t wait to read your stuff!

  • Bongo

    To quote Animaniacs…

    “Wheel of Morality, turn turn turn…give us the lesson that we shall learn.”

  • Trevor

    Incredible! Looks like I will be sitting at my computer madly refreshing all day Wednesday!

  • Kandace Sparkles

    Bob, this is very exciting! I am looking forward to your articles whenever the creativity strikes and you decide to write. That way you can still relax and enjoy that martini with your well-deserved retirement! :)