Heartbreaking Passing of Splash Mountain Icon and Disney Parks Legend Stuns Industry

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A collage of fantasy landscapes featuring Splash Mountain on the left, Haunted Mansion in the center, and an adventurous pirate setting with ships and sea cliffs on the right from the Disney Parks.

Image Credit: Inside The Magic

Sadly to say, Disney and the world have lost another legend.

Dan Goozee meticulously planning Disney Parks attraction with a concept art poster, next to a vibrant photo of the realized attraction featuring dynamic water effects and colorful landscaping.
Image Credit: Inside The Magic (on the right, Disney Legend Dan Goozee)

Dan Goozee, Disney Parks and Industry Icon Tragically Passes Away

Renowned artist Dan Goozee, celebrated for prolific contributions to Walt Disney Imagineering, peacefully passed away at 81. Goozee’s legacy resonates across Disney Parks worldwide, where his artistic vision has left an indelible mark. The Walt Disney Company and Walt Disney Studios members are mourning his loss this week. Disney Park employees and officials also mourn the loss of Dan Goozee.

Born in Astoria, Oregon, in 1943, Goozee’s creative journey began with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with distinction from the esteemed Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. From there, he embarked on a distinguished career as an artist, channeling his talents into both theme park and film industry projects.

I was just informed that Dan Goozee, a VERY talented artist who visualized many of our favorite attractions, and (created EDL Plaza Inn murals) passed away. We all fought to have Dan illustrate our projects! He added that “magic” and will be greatly missed.

@boss_angeles on X (Twitter)

Goozee’s tenure with Walt Disney Imagineering solidified his status as a visionary, with his iconic creations adorning attractions in Disney Parks spanning the globe. Beyond his Disney endeavors, Goozee’s artistic prowess extended to crafting captivating artwork for a multitude of renowned films, including “Moonraker,” “A View to a Kill,” “The Poseidon Adventure,” “Towering Inferno,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and “Crocodile Dundee.”

A vibrant and bustling depiction of a vintage main street scene, with a colorful old-fashioned car, cheerful pedestrians, quaint shops, and a lively atmosphere suggestive of early 20th-century small-town charm from Disney Parks legend Dan Goozee.
Image Credit: Disney Parks / Dan Goozee artwork of Main Street, U.S.A.

Reflecting on Goozee’s immense impact, former Senior Vice President of Concept Design at Disney Imagineering, Eddie Sotto, fondly shared, “I was just informed that Dan Goozee, a VERY talented artist who visualized many of our favorite attractions, and (created EDL Plaza Inn murals) passed away. We all fought to have Dan illustrate our projects! He added that “magic” and will be greatly missed.”

Dan Goozee’s artistic legacy transcends generations, leaving an enduring imprint on entertainment and imagination. He will be remembered fondly for his unparalleled creativity and contributions to the enchanting world of Disney.

Renowned as a distinguished fine artist, Dan Goozee’s accolades extend across prestigious institutions, earning recognition from organizations such as the Oil Painters of America, Watercolor West, and the California National Watercolor Society. His remarkable talent garnered acclaim, notably securing the gold medal for figure painting at the esteemed 85th Annual Gold Medal Show of the California Art Club in 1994.

Vibrant concept art of splash mountain at disneyland, featuring a rainbow arching over the whimsical log flume attraction, with lush greenery and the iconic mountain in the background, displayed at the disney gallery done by Dan Goozee.
Image Credit: Disney Parks/concept artwork for Splash Mountain by Dan Goozee

Throughout his illustrious career, Goozee’s artistic prowess flourished, exemplified by consecutive first-place honors at the California Art Club’s renowned plein-air event at Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1998 and 2000. His mastery of plein-air painting captivated audiences and solidified his status as a luminary within the artistic community.

Beyond his remarkable achievements in fine art, Goozee’s creative journey intersected with the enchanting world of Walt Disney Imagineering. As a long-term consultant, his invaluable contributions left an indelible mark on iconic attractions, notably at Disneyland Paris and Tokyo DisneySea. Among his notable works are the beloved Splash Mountain and Expedition Everest, which testify to his enduring legacy within theme park design.

Dan Goozee’s artistic legacy transcends boundaries; his mastery immortalized in both fine art institutions and the enchanting landscapes of Disney Parks worldwide. His visionary contributions inspire generations, leaving an indelible imprint on art and imagination.

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