Celebrating Disney Legend Bob Gurr

If you’re a history buff or you’ve been watching any of the behind the scenes shows on Disney+, you will probably recognize the name Bob Gurr. He is the genius who has worked on over 100 Disney Parks attractions, including Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland and the monorail at Walt Disney World.

Even though he is retired, this Disney Legend is still well-known and loved throughout the Disney community. Steven Miller recently caught up with Mr. Gurr, and shared some memories with Disney Parks Blog:

The kick-off to The World’s Most Magical Celebration was filled with many magical memories. I loved reuniting with longtime friends and fellow cast members at Magic Kingdom Park for the start of this 18-month event. One of the special moments was reconnecting with a Disney Legend whom I had not seen in 16 years.

I served as a member of the 2001-2002 Walt Disney World Ambassador team. Occasionally, the Ambassador Program calls upon alumni who have completed their terms to support special events. One such opportunity happened in 2005 when I traveled to Anaheim in California for Disneyland Resort’s 50th Anniversary press event.

During that amazing trip, I met many cast members who built Disneyland park, including retired Walt Disney Imagineer and Disney Legend, Bob Gurr.

Bob developed more than 100 designs for Disney attractions ranging from Matterhorn Bobsleds and Autopia to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Monorails. He’s often said, “If it moves on wheels at Disneyland, I probably designed it.”

After speaking with Bob at the Tomorrowland Speedway in Magic Kingdom Park for a Disney Cast Life episode, I was flooded with memories of my first visit to Walt Disney World Resort.

I remember feeling a sense of freedom while driving my own car (at 7 mph) with my mother in the passenger seat. What a thrill for a 7-year-old! Years later, I never thought I’d be speaking with the Imagineer who helped bring the original opening-day attraction – then known as the Gran Prix Raceway – to life.

I felt the same sense of wonder pulling into Disney’s Contemporary Resort via a Walt Disney World Monorail that Bob helped design and test. Younger me thought the “highway in the sky” was something transported from the distant future. I still can’t get enough of it today (I know I’m not the only one who recites the safety spiels in English and Spanish at every stop!).

Next time you visit Disney’s Contemporary Resort, look at the beautiful artwork behind the front desk stations in the lobby. Bob helped stylize George McGinnis’ artwork above, which shows a sleek Mark IV Monorail leaving the resort.

Reuniting with Bob during this 50th Anniversary reminded me why I enjoy being a Disney cast member. He and countless others formed an incredible legacy, with their creativity, dedication and passion. It’s something I, along with thousands of my fellow cast members, carry forth today to make Walt Disney World The Most Magical Place on Earth. Thank you, Bob!

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About Paula K

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.