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Friday, June 12, 2015

The Story of DISNEYLAND: Pretender to the Throne

Many people played a part in designing and building DISNEYLAND, but they all said the same thing- that everything in the park was directly planned out by Walt Disney. This was his pride and joy; his ultimate dream come true.

Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood, shown here on the far left, was one of the people hired to work on making Walt Disney's dream come true. Walt was the dreamer; the idea man. C.V. Wood was the guy who translated those dreams into reality. Admiral Joe Fowler took the translations and built the dreams.

C.V. Wood was a practical man who not only figured out what DISNEYLAND needed in the way of facilities, but also established DISNEYLAND's operational tone and procedures. Mr. Wood began to think that he was the brains behind DISNEYLAND, something that was just not true. He was fired by Mr. Disney and began advertising himself as the "Developer of DISNEYLAND". (DISNEYLAND, Inc. successfully sued him to stop taking credit for the park.) Mr. Wood was able to convince several companies to hire him to build theme parks, one of which was the original Six Flags in Texas.

Wood was unable to stay in the good graces of park owner Angus Wynne and got fired off of this project as well. He also became involved with "Freedomland, U.S.A" 

Freedomland was built in the Bronx and quickly ran into money problems. It closed after just five years, never gaining the same level of success of DISNEYLAND. In many respects, it proved that C.V. Wood's boastful claims of being the real mastermind behind DISNEYLAND were unfounded.