Roger Broggie, Jr, the genius Imagineer, passed away on Dec 11 at the age 72 in La Pine, Ore. Sadly, He fell from a Christmas float he had been working on and didn’t recover from his injuries.

Roger was perhaps best known to Disney fans as the man who pioneered the art of animatronics. Next time you visit Pirates of the Caribbean, Enchanted Tiki Room or Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, you are watching some of Roger’s greatest works.

Our friends at the Disneyana Fan Club shared a short video clip in which Roger explains what makes Disney so special. He concludes it’s the people. We couldn’t agree more. And Roger was one of those people who made Disney what it is today. He will be dearly missed.

The Los Angeles Times shared Roger’s start with Walt Disney himself: Roger Broggie Jr. dies at 73; audio-animatronics whiz for Disney

The son of Disney’s original Imagineer, Roger Broggie Jr. began working for the man he called “Uncle Walt” as a boy in 1950 when he tended the backyard railway at the studio mogul’s Holmby Hills home.

Broggie was 11 when he and his younger brother, Michael, started serving as the crew for Walt Disney’s miniature steam-engine railroad. The siblings pulled cars out of storage, dusted them off and rolled them down the track to a “Valley” called Yensid – “Disney” spelled backwards.

A scholarship fund in Rogers name, dedicated to the advancement of engineering education, has been established. Donations can be sent to: HIGH LAKES CAR CLUB Roger Broggie Memorial Scholarship Fund. The address is: High Lakes Car Club, P.O.Box 2252, La Pine, OR. 97739

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  • Fishy and I were actually at this event, sitting with Bob Gurr, when that video was filmed. It is surreal that one minute Roger was there and not long after this video, he was gone.

    I remember being impressed with how great Roger looked and how neat it was that so many of his family were in attendance. In fact, eight Broggies worked for Disney at one point or another, six of them as Imagineers.

    Roger may have been a bit overshadowed by his legendary father, who is considered by Disney to be the very first Imagineer, but made significant contributions to Disney and the community in his own right.

    Roger’s passing was very much a shock and he is greatly missed.

  • Kurtoon

    I had the sincere pleasure of working with Roger Broggie.
    He hired me for a three month job in 1995 that turned into a four year career opportunity at Creative Presentations and Attraction Services in Santa Clarita Ca.
    Roger had a gentle, low key personality and cared as much for the employees as the projects.
    I remember him telling stories of working at Disneyland…like having to sync up the soundtrack to the animatronics in Small World by playing it backwards …for three plus hours!
    Or in the Country Bear theatre…Teddi Barra’s trap door was stuck…so he kicked and jumped on it and almost fell through…
    The last time I spoke with him on the phone was Nov. 2006…we chatted and caught up a bit…and I distinctly remember telling him that he had been a good mentor to me…
    Rest in peace Roger…I will miss you.