A New Hampshire man wants one of Lake Havasu City's founders to be recognized for his part in building Disneyland into the "Happiest Place on Earth."
The Anaheim, Calif., theme park begins its 50th anniversary celebration May 5.
"From May on forward, I'll be doing at least one story a month about C.V. Wood constantly highlighting all that he did for Disney," said Jim Hill, editor-in-chief of JimHillMedia.com, an entertainment and information Web site that frequently features stories about the Walt Disney Corporation. Hill said he's written and told stories about the Walt Disney Corporation for 25 years. In March Hill was asked to stop an unauthorized tour at the park he was conducting.
Hill is so intent on Wood being remembered by Disney that he has begun the "I Wanna Window for Wood" campaign.
"Sometime during 2005, as part of Disneyland's year-long 50th anniversary celebration, I'd like the Disney Corporation to finally acknowledge Woody's contribution to the 'Happiest Place on Earth' by giving C.V. his very own window in the theme park," Hill writes in his "I Wanna Window for Wood" story posted on his Web site.
A Disneyland spokesman said he was not aware of Hill's efforts and could not comment.
The window Hill wants for Wood would be on a store front along the famous Disneyland Main Street, long a place of honor for people who have had a substantial impact on Disneyland throughout the years.
To understand Hill's campaign, it's important to understand Wood's part in the theme park. According to Hill, Walt Disney hired Wood in 1953 to find the right spot in Southern California to build his family fun park.
"Wood, with the help of his colleagues at the Stanford Research Institute, searched high and low in sunny 'SoCal' before finally settling on those orange groves in Anaheim," says Hill. "Walt Disney was so impressed with the job that he asked C.V. to stay on with the project to become Walt's right-hand man on the Disneyland project."
In one year's time, Wood who was placed in charge of Disneyland's construction, transforming the 55-acre lot into the "Happiest Place on Earth," said Hill.
According to Hill, after personally overseeing the construction of the theme park, Wood reportedly managed Disneyland during its first six months of operation.
"I'm tired of C.V. Wood's obviously enormous contributions to Disneyland history being swept under the rug," said Hill.
It seemed there was trouble looming and perhaps that is why there is no mention of C.V. Wood in official Disneyland historical accounts.
"Walt and Woody had a falling-out in 1955. I've heard a number of stories over the years, but to date, no one's actually come forward with a definitive answer to the question," Hill said.
After leaving the Disney organization, Wood became a theme park consultant and billed himself as the master planner of Disneyland. Walt Disney filed a lawsuit against Wood to stop his use of that phrase. Over the years, Wood has been written out of Disney lore.
"I'll be constantly highlighting all that Wood did for Disney with the hope that sometime over the 18 months that Disneyland's 'Happiest Homecoming on Earth' anniversary event runs the Mouse will eventually cave and finally give C.V. the respect and attention that he deserves," Hill said.
Wood was hired in the early 1960s by his friend Robert McCulloch Sr. to design Lake Havasu City.
"It took about six months to finish the basic plan for the city," Wood said in a 1989 interview with Today's News Herald. "Curving streets were planned to provide almost every home built on the almost perfect three-degree slope up from the lake with a view of the water."
Wood died March 14, 1992, at the age of 71.