Episode 105 – Bob Gurr, Part 1

Bob Gurr & Randy CraneIn this episode I finally get to share an interview with you that began many months ago. In March of 2015, just a few days before my daughter was born, I interviewed Disney Legend and Imagineer Bob Gurr by Skype video. Unfortunately, the video stopped recording about 1/3 of the way through, but I didn’t know it until we were all done. Fortunately, Bob was very understanding about the technical issue and was willing to re-record. Of course, my daughter was born less than a week later, and that put all the podcasting stuff completely on hold for a while. Long story short—if it’s not too late for that—we finally had a chance to do that re-recording in early December, and now I’m sharing part 1 with you!

In this episode, Bob talks about…

  • How he got started working for Disney and what he did at first
  • The first time he met Walt Disney
  • Walt’s lack of formality and the way he talked to people
  • The “bad word” I said, and Bob’s correction of me
  • The way projects got started and were developed
  • How they knew when they were done—or done enough—with a project
  • How he became involved in the Matterhorn Bobsleds development and some of what he did on it
  • The place of the Matterhorn in history, and how it came to be
  • Omnimover—the ride system used in the Haunted Mansion, for example—and it being an overused term
  • The difference between an Animatronic and an Audio Animatronic
  • The first time he realized they were doing something really special
  • What he loved most about what he did working for Disney
  • A preview of a Bob Gurr documentary coming out in 2016
  • The first project he had as Gurr Design after he was no longer working for Disney in 1981
  • Some of the jobs that first one led to, like a 24-foot dragon for Universal Studios’ Conan the Barbarian show and a 30-foot tall King Kong
  • How you get the job for these out-there requests
  • Whether he’s taken any jobs that were more than he could handle
  • If he’s ever disappointed when  an attraction he’s designed closes


Find Bob:


Podcasts Spotlighted in this Episode:


I want to hear from you, so please email me, leave a comment below, or call the Listener Feedback line at (734) 23-STORY.

If you call in, don’t worry about having to sound perfect. If you ask me to, I’ll edit out any mistakes so you sound as good as you possibly can. You’re even welcome to start your entire story over again and I’ll use the “take” you want! If you want to submit a story anonymously, for whatever reason you may have, email it to me and tell you me you wanted it shared that way. I’ll read it on the podcast, but keep your name private.

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Music and voiceovers provided by Rick Moyer.

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