Disneyland model maker died

Fred Joerger, one of Disneyland's original model makers who crafted miniature versions of the park's Sleeping Beauty Castle and other attractions, has died. He was 91.

Joerger died of natural causes on Aug. 26 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, according to his niece, Gloria Penrose, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

"He provided the foundations of the park," Jim Hill, a Disney historian, told the newspaper. "All of the things that help give it that weird sense of reality are Fred's doing."

Walt Disney hired Joerger in 1953 as one of his first three model makers. They invented the profession that became known as "Imagineering", Disney's term for the imagination and engineering behind theme park rides.

He also became a field art director, ensuring that such rides as Pirates of the Caribbean and Submarine Voyage achieved the looks envisioned by Disney's Imagineers.

"He could put together a pile of cement and steel beams, knowing you would look at it at a certain angle and you would think it was twice as big as it really was," Hill said.

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