Freedomland USA – You’re Not Going to Believe This Theme Park


Episode Transcription

Made by robots, for robots. Only read if you're weird.

Hey Man, what's up? Have you ever heard of freedom land? US? A Freedom Land USA? Yeah, grew up there, baby southwest Missouri. That's just that's just what we call it. And if you're listening from outside the US, all we call it it's just freedom land. For you don't and US A baby, Aka Branson Missouri. Oh Yeah, we've got the ball stoppers. We've got the ball couldn't think of another act. Oh, the Clay Cooper Country Express. We've got a we've got a group of old guys who pretend they're the Beatles every Thursday afternoon. Yeah, we've got the think about some of the shows that exist in Branson. I think about this a lot. Why? Why? You know, and that's really the only question I have. there. They're straight up is a Beatles tribute band and they sell tickets. Yeah, it's pretty phenomenal and, like they know, they're audience. In other you know, you got good hip son. You want to be mixtendrilla or a quarter. You get to see from Cornsoda's like with the lights off from the air to get from James Cake. That's the joke you want to make. That disgusting. Legally, who can't tell you know, I said the Great Chicago fire was devastating for the city of Chicago but really, really helpful for our people. Things I learned last night. So freedom lay and USA. Yeah, can you guess what it is? Oh Man, I want to guess that it's a cult. Oh Gosh, I kind of wish it was. No, it's not a call a roadside attraction sort of. That's closer. It's it was a theme park that opened in June nineteen, one thousand nine hundred and sixty. Okay, and it was a hugege success. Sounds like it. Yeah, we're at New York in the Bronx. So say like that in the Bronx. I just said BOOT hawk in the Bronx. What is your deal? It just said Brock. Yeah, but you said it weird. In the Bronx, in the Bronx. Yeah, you can't. They that's the letters ox. Senetically, Bronx is pronounced prons. You can't say you can't say. Can't say frons. Yeah, you have prons. It's a possible stupid. so He's was it really in New York? Yeah, it's in the Bronx, hundred percent. That's yeah, you're being dumb now. It's in the Bro Freedom Lay and USA. Yeah, so frequently at USA. To paint the picture for this, we need to look at the guy who started it a little bit to paint like faceboo. Man, it was early s. He was very young, just a child. So we lad in like someone give me thirteen million dollars, I want to open freedom land. Wow, this little walk, even the coper that's a toddler. And know it was start about this guy named C v Wood. And there's a little bit of gray area, I should say this guy. He's kind of a mystic figure because even his name no one's really sure if that's his real name, if it's legit. So allegedly, Steve Wood stands for Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood, which is such a cool cornelius. Yeah, I wish it would make a comeback. Yeah, this is my son, Cornelius. Just use it, make the use it. Do you think it's what Neil is short for? Maybe people named Neil Neil, if your name's Neil, that is a message. Relieve a comment and tell us what it's short for. Ne alrt. No, another another theory is that his name is Comrad vanderbilt or Commodore Vanderbilt, wood, Commodore, Commodore Vanderbilt would but he when he was asked like by recorders, no, he would say. They would say, what does CV stand for, and he would say see for nothing, V for nothing. So I don't know. Your name is coughing bothing. All right, MR cutting bobbing. Where do we go from here? See for nothing being for that EXA for nothing basis. I know. Yeah, it's like whenever I was working at Chick Fil A. Yeah, and I'd be like Hey, Karn, name for the order, and so I will go. Why? I was it? Cause I'M gonna hunt you down. I'M gonna come to your house after this and I'm gonna take all your Knick knacks while you're sleeping. What do you think? I'M gonna call your name out for your order, you absolute psycho. Look, I kind of name for your order. Why? I don't know, Dude. I'm gonna Steal Your identity. Have you ever been real like this will restaurant? You're a yeah, you're a been to the public. What do you yeah put my name is Mary Christmas, so you have to say it. We already say that here. Okay, so it Christmas. Go ahead. He but he preferred from a young age see woody. He just wanted to know, buy woody, see these cool seems pretty cool. Honestly. Cornelius would is pretty cornelius. Vanderbilt School, the Corny Comin Vanderbilt, soul commodore, comedy Boblodore Bablo was cocky, bottles over, twist, not a name, and so he preferred wood see. What's he human by Woodsy, wood see wood see. But anyway, so he was born in Oklahoma but then his family moved to Ammerala, Texas. So just the boring parts. Yeah, yeah, and then went through middle school, high school whatever, went to college at Hardened Simmons University in Abilene, where he actually became a champion Trick Roper for the school's cowboy marching band. So all of that. Yeah, the whole sentence there. Huh, if you're a trick roper for your local cowboys marching band. Yeah, what feels like? Your auditioned to be in the Banyand and the band director was like can you do it on a horse? Musical talent? Nothing, you know, no, no, they don't do it on a horse. The trick roping stuff that's not done on a horse, you know? Yeah, I don't know rob a mountain about that. So they freaking it's like they it's you know what it is. It is the cowboy equivalent of those girls downtown the Hula Hoop. You understand I'm talking about, and they do like the weird stuff with their hands and they got a Hulo and they just do it's that with a cowboy hat on and some masculinity. Yeah, no, hit movements that makes they pick up a rope and they make it to where undy they they getty up through it or whatever. Yeah, you know, I've seen that. Yeah, yeah, saying that. So he was a champion at that. Yeah, pretty best, pretty good at that. Well, he stayed there for a couple year, studied engineering and then dropped out and just went straight to a pretty major aircraft manufacturing company called confair and just lied and said he had his degree and they believe him, and so he just started engineering his parent lanes. Yeah, he was just like yeah, I got my degree, and they're like cool, you're hired build an airplane for us, and so it was like I know how to do that, like, I don't understand. That makes me very secure in the amount of flights that I take, and so he worked there for a few years. After that he was able to kind of take the next step into his career and work for SRI, which you might remember from a remote viewing episode. Yeah, they make that hot sauce. Yeah, sorry, Racha, oh my gosh, Racha. Yeah, they they spent years studying if it was possible to travel to different planets, high in your mind, and then also made this hot sauce. That's what they traveled to. Rodina's hot sauce these days. Traveled so many hot sauces. Every year there's a new hot sauce. Here's my family recipe. Thanks for turning the Empire State Building. Here's the Empire's here's a picture of an old lady I found on the Internet, but I'm going to tell you it's my grandma who makes this salsa and you should buy it and I'll go viral on tick tock, even though that lady does not exist. Oh, she existed. Picture of well, I don't know, you could be a fake person, yea. Yeah, so he worked at SRI. Create a deep fake person to sell some salsa. Yeah, let's gonna move some Saracha. Let's do it let's make a deep fake person to sponsor, to be our watch their commercial right now. Some people are going to hear it, some people are going to hear silence. Yeah, you know, it just depends if you believe it. Did you have enough faith to hear? Well, sorry about that, I guess so. So he's just faking this way through. If you did here the remote viewing episode Sri Students for Standford Research Institute, it's a word to play that episode now. Yes, here it is. Don't do the theme song. So it's a company that just research and stuff and they got contracted by the government to research a lot of really fringe stuff. Yeah, but they also did like some legitimate like engineering and research projects, including one for Walt Disney, and so Disney hired Sri to do the viability study for the original Disneyland. And so interesting this guy CB wood sees all this while he was the guy heat that was assigned to that project. He's like Knowin of it. This is sunny. I would call this viable. Yeah, he said this could work and he just has this charm to him, which is why I think he was able to build a career in engineering without any like you know, charisma. Yeah, at like well, I was going to say without any know. He has charisma, has for Asma. He has no creditation. Yeah, so he kind of did this thing for this viability study for Walt and Walt loved him. What was like, this is a great guy, I really like him. Yeah, and so he hired him as the first employee of Walt Disneyland. Oh, he was the VP of operations for while. You can see you're in the gift shop, but I like it. Hey, I like hey, I like you guys, spunk kid. You know the way you do those weird rope things. That's pretty neat. How would you like? Have you heard a cinderella? Plush Toys? Hey, you got good hip, son. You want to be like sit in the rilla. Super Weird Direction. That I wasn't ready for. I don't like the I don't like the accent. I don't like that. You got good hips, son. I like the Comma Sun and that Senence. You know I'm saying. That's what they get really uncomfortable about. That was the Kama Sun. What can we say? You got good hips. That's what he was looking for when he was looking for a Cinderella, you know, a dude with great ms for her hips. What are you talking about? anyways, he got hired his baby of operations for Disneyland. Okay, and that's in the S. Yeah, right before Disneyland launched, well before they even start a construction or anything. So he called up balls, old high school buds, no credentials, and hired them all as like VP's and CEO's and everything for the park and was like we're going to build this world famous theme, Theme Park, theme park, world do they did he call it a world famous then? Yeah, build this. It's like Nathan's hot dogs. It's like if we just call it world famous, they'll be for it's like eighty restaurant that has sweet team. It's our famous sweet team famous. I think we're over using the word. You know, once he starts working for him while it's like, oh, I don't like this guy. Like he realized it's pretty quick. He's like this guy is a liar. He's like this guy is like his whole game is just to kind of swoon you and get too excited about him and then go as far up the ladder as he possibly can and then get out and go to his first different yeah, and so wall didn't like him, but he didn't have like a good reason to can them yet, like he couldn't legally just be like, I don't like you, so you're fired, and so he's like looking for a reason to get rid of him. Well, he builds the park, does the whole thing, and the launch was kind of a disaster for dizzey land, for Disneylands. So disneylands launched like, I mean everyone was hyped because was Disneyland and it got good, like reviews from the public, but from critics it was pretty bad because a lot of the rides weren't done yet, so a lot of the park wasn't open. Even the concrete at certain points was not fully dry. So women's heels, we're getting stuck in the concrete. Kids were just stuck, still stuck to this day. And welcome to Disney. If you got a Disneyland, there's just like a like a bunch of empty shoes stuck in the concrete because they had a slip their feet out. But you had what you had to do is you can't slip your feet out and step into more wet concrete. Yeah, you have to wait till it dries and then take your feet out of the shoes and the shoester is there forever. Yep, you never, you can never see him. And then what happens is there's like hundreds of all of these shoes and this gets section of the park and you see him and then all of a sudden it just has one set of shoes and it's like, well, that's where Jesus can, she is, carried all those kids through. Yeah, did you see, though, the one set of shoes and the Disneyland side Wot. Yeah, it's where Jesus carried them. So it didn't go well. And so while it's like here's my appart, I got that poem in my bathroom at home, sketches on the paper. So don't go well. And so well, did that opening to launching a Disneyland not go well because of what CEEB did? Or Yeah, like a he just kind of just wants it, just drop the ball. Yeah, he dropped the ball on a lot of areas and so likes cool day. Yeah, and so a lot of stuff wasn't done. He didn't he he had it understaffed and it was just like it wasn't to the quality that Disney usually puts things to. Know that. The boomers always say that everyone worked hard back then. Not See, you're telling me you but it's the same. Okay, so back in my day. So he got fired, but then he was like, I got Disneyland on my resume and so, yeah, that's went to Denver. That's stupid, and he found some rich investor and he's like, I mean Disneyland, Disneyland, yeah, he's like. He's like, I made Disneyland. You want to another door, an airport? The Guy was like sure. So he goes at Denver and he pitches Magic Mountain, which was a mountain in Golden Colorado, that he was going to just turn the mountain into a theme park. was supposed to be this like big Colorado history tour and with all bunch of rides and stuff, you're going to learn about the dinosaurs and the gold and all the stuff that's like Colorado. Right. Well, they did it and but they ran on of funding halfway through. The investor and so kind of got canned. So then he went and he started a new one called pleasure island in Wakefield Massachusetts. Yeah, let's did open. Wasn't nearly as successful, and that's interesting me. How many theme parks. There are, I know, you know, like Cilvi, door city just exists and a lot of people don't know. Yeah, you know, there's lots of theme parks. I mean a lot of like and you know, I bet every state has a few. Yeah, that's all I'm saying. Like, I've never been to the six flags of St Louis. Yeah, either. I you'd grow up here. You gotta God. You go to Magic Mountain. Magic Mount wasn't a thing. I went to six bags over Denver. MM, but it's not that anymore out seilers gardens. But anyways, so the that was like a moderate. So he started doing theme parking parts. He was just finding that was like his life. Oh, this is money. Yeah, and then he'd call up his old friends. We be like hey, we're doing another one, and then they come with him. Well, then he goes to New York and he finds an investor in New York by the name of William Zeckendorff who just had like eighty four anchors in the bronx and the where the Bronx, and he talked of me into giving him thirteen million dollars to start a theme park which would become Freedom Land USA. Okay, and freedom land. Honestly, I think to get the picture, all you need to know about it is the map. If you see the map of this park is eighty four acres. Okay, in the middle of the Bronx. Yeah, and here have you are loved and been diagnosed with too many advertisements during the till and podcast. Have we got good news for you? Our patrons enjoy ad free experience and they get early access to content, behind the scenes stuff, exclusive merchandise and access to a private discord channel. Will. We all are in it, our producers and the hosts. So if you'd like to be a patron today and solve that problem, why don't you text tilling to six, six, eight, sixty six. This is this is, this is the park. It's literally the continal United States, and this is uh Huh. And so the idea, the idea was that it would be the United States, like they would do all the Florida stuff down here and all the California stuff. Yeah, and so like every area be themed to that geographic region of the country. LOVES OF THE MIDDLE DOESN'T have a lot of stuff. Yeah, it's just open, just a whole lot of nothing over there in the Great Lakes even. Yep, Yep, they that's a six foot deep lake that they dug. It's ten million gallons of water that they poured into that. This is still exist? No, no, it does. It does not now it' is there something else there? Yeah, it's a bunch of condos, but is the six foot deep lake still there? They don't think so. Let's like I'm saying, it's take a quick a. You Google satellite this or whatever. So the idea was that, you know, all the Texas stuff, would have like the texts world fare down here. Yeah, and then California they would put the Hollywood sign and it would be like California out there, m and so you could, you could travel the entire they made. What's his deal with Michigan? He loves Michigan. Like he was like, I wanted to make the actual shape of Michigan. Well, he wanted to make the Great Lakes Great Lakes. Yeah, how odd, what a weird decision. Yeah, so and then they make mountains. Yeah, yeah, they put those little mountains in there. So, like there's actually a pictures is a train that goes around. Is that what it is? As yeah, so there's there's a couple modes of transportation throughout the park. I can't get mass any for acres. The eighty four acres. Yeah, how big is that? Thirty four hectacres? How? How helped me understand how we visualize. Okay, how many acres are between where I live and where you live? Hold on, I'm just going to convert acres to miles. Like how wide is this? I don't know what you think. At the San Francisco Bay, like he really built it. Okay, so this isn't that big. That's why I'm thinking. So a square mile? Uh Huh. It's six hundred and forty acres. So this is significantly less than a mile. But that doesn't check out to me, because there is like how I said that the chain. They said the train route is a mile in the and one of the things I read. So well, sure, but if you stretch that out, obviously, look, if you take that train route, yeah, it's actually can't testal and you stretch it out across the planet. I'll go across the Planet Sixteen Times. Oh, yeah, it's true. It's not true. It could be any less true. Yeah, so it's Oh way, hold on, hold on. So it's all within a square mile, within an eighth of a mile. There's no way. Okay, hold on, hold on, okay, okay. So they had two hundred and five acres for the site. Okay. The park itself within the bounds, was eighty five acres. Okay. Are the rest of it was parking in the hotel. Yes, I'm just trying to I'm just trying to try get it better. Yeah, so about a mile, roughly a mile, worth of stuff. And Hey, so I'm it's not jaking. It's also kind of packed. Then it's all kind of it's done it together, squeeze together pretty tight, yeah, to get all this stuff in here. But yeah, so there's a couple modes of transportation. There was a there's that train that looped around the whole thing. Yeah, there also was a gondola system that went across the across the whole park. Okay. And then there was literal like a horse drawn like like what do you call like from the old West, like the carriages from the Old West? They called those something, but they didn't clumb carriage wagons. Yeah, they got a wagon you could ride across the whole park, which sounds like. And they even had mules. You can ride mules through the rocky mountains. That was one of the rides. Is like, let's just ride some also had is their all buddies from high school that you could just jump on their back and make care of you across the country. You know, you can jump by that guy's back. He's got good hips, he can take care of it, got wide hips. Just why don't you go jump on Cinderella over there? All the mascots are ridable. He's jump on see. Okay. So wait, what years is opening? How? Well, what's the what's The Times be between like getting the land and opening it open? So they got the land in one thousand nine hundred and fifty eight, O Kay, and they started construction. They opened it in one thousand nine hundred and sixty. So it did open. Yeah, I did. Here. It ran for four years, okay, and they were some interesting years. So, first of all, when they opened, it a very similar launch to the Disney land launch. Not Great, because a lot of stuff was just not done. And so at this point a lot of people, a lot of critics, started saying, well, maybe CV wood is the problem. This is your fourth part that's launched, that's got a great like a failure, but not like a not a failure, but like, you know, a failure. That's what my dad says about me. A failure, but like not a lot of success. He's like a failure, but like not a failure. You know, I'm say like a failure. My Dad doesn't say that about me. My Dad says I'm a huge success. Your wife says that. It's so, that's okay. She won't hear that. She doesn't listen. So when they when they launched, a lot of rides were not done. A lot of construction was still like in progress in the park when they watched it. But the the cool thing about it is they had the problem with the snow. Your right about this, but you can go ahead and you want to try it, you can try out. Yeah, less of a hill, more of a ramp, you know. So it's will let you do it, okays, shot. It's it's redly freedom of where you want. We can't tell you know. Legally, who can't tell you know? Can you carry me across this park? You can do whatever you want. We got my friend punch you in the face. You Bet you my pleasure. I could. I have a name for this order. Why? Just want to know who's punching me? I guess. So. The cool thing about this one is that he had the cement problem again. He laid the cement too late, so it wasn't try. But the what's great about it is this land used to be a landfill, and so there are reports, multiple reports, not one report moll multiple reports of springs from box springs, mattresses just shooting up from under the concrete and tripping people. Dude, and you got him run around. Is like stopping on them. It's like a lack of mole. Yeah, if you stop too hard, it'll shoot you up. You know, I just, yeah, I just I can't believe. I like, I can't think of a more ridiculous scenario. Reo, then mattress springs, matches springs shooting up through the floor of your through the cement of your theme park. So so, needless to say, this one didn't launch it very well either. Right, and it got a pretty mixed reviews because it all like we're aware of the mattress springs, right. I need to let you all know that there are springs in the concretate. They are a ride. Jump on them. That's one of our transs. What you'll take you there side of the park. So, yeah, the critics hated it. They thought it was historically inaccurate, because that was that was a big part. They wanted it to be a lot of history. So every region you came to was that region during a specific point in history. People more wait, I already know what history they're botching. All right, it's the crazy, like this is a story of the inaccurate. There's springs everywhere. Yeah, hath the rides aren't open and they're still letting people ride them. And so the critics hated it, but the public loved it. The public was like real as Oh, I guess. Yeah, patriotism was high then. Yeah, they were. They were amped about it. And so the public there was like one person like they like a reporter asked them. Yeah, that's I mean right outside my house there are mattress springs coming out of my yard. It. So it was crazy. They got that detail about that, you know, down to the detail. No, he they asked them. They said he said, you know, I've been to Disneyland and I've been here. He's it. I think they out did Disneyland. So high praise. Wow, high praise from the general public. Sure they loved it, but some of the some of the park was a bit problematic. Like there was historical and accuracies left and right. Yeah, obviously, I'm sure you probably can assume a lot of it was from the Old West era that painted the native population as just like these real bad guys. Oh, everybody was out here. They were the wow, wow west. The cowboys were taming the thing, because they also could have gone the route that my elementary school did, in that we were all pals, you know. Yeah, yeah, so they didn't really do anything like that. They did they did have this like Tartaria exhibit where it was like yeah, this was all here when we got here, I'm setting, I'm miss only I was like so, don't you believe him? I did wait long as I don't be of the hope I'm an. How did they treat the south? So the south was interesting because they just had a giant New Orleans exhibit. So the South was pretty much all New Orleans. There was a civil war thing, but it's just a shooting range like you just Fota just got tcause. If you see the old commercials for the stampede in Branson. No, the old one where it's like the friendly rivalry between the south and the north, and it's like, yeah, I don't think it was friendly, friendly rivalry indeed. Yeah, that's what I'm saying, like just stuff like that. Really they didn't really touch on that. They only like civil war thing, was that shooting range. But they did actually they had a pirate like a pirate ship ride in in the New Orleans that was actually purchase by nots very farm and they still run it, and that that ride was actually the inspiration for the pirates ride in Disneyland and they like originally Disney wanted to make that like a much more fun and like upbeat ride like most of Disney, but then he saw the freedom land and how dark it was and he was like kind of like that. And so then they say walked Disney, went to freedom land. Yeah, yeah, because he was he was like, I hates like guy. He's like, I hate this guy. Let's see him fail. Yeah, he's like, I want to see him Fil oh, Dang it, this is really good man. Shouldn't have fired him. Instead, let's just feel it. Yeah, he's walking around. He's like. He's like I can't believe he got the details down to the spring sound of floor in the wrong look at those shoes. You know he's got a newer shoes than we got. Ridiculous. So so let's just let's just go on a tour. So the whole idea you came in through New York, okay, and it was was s you New York. You drop in there and it's like similar to when you get to Disneyland and you walk in and it's like all the shops in the restaurants and stare been to Vegas there their whole New York thing. Yeah, yeah, similar concept. And so the whole idea was you walk in and you do your shopping and stuff and then you have to carry your stuff around the whole park the rest of the day. And so in there, you know, random shops, random like ice cream parlor, like a couple mall rides, nothing crazy. In this part there was like a tug boats ride and like a little horse draw like you in New York. So you don't got to go to New York. Yeah, yeah, EI, they're like the like we saw this, but like they're like real like me, and look at that. That looks just like wow, the empire state. It's just like that, but way smaller and cheaper. Yeah, this in the Bronx. So the most part part of this is they had a Welch's grape juice bar. Well, so you just getting. The first thing I think every time I get to it in Musement Park is, man, I wish I has a great Joe, but what's the bar? Why is there? Because there's one option, you know, it's not like they're like you can have great what do you have? More grape juice? You know, like what are they? You sit down, Hey, what do you have it and like well, hold on, you got like the dark lit thing's got his hat down and he's like yeah, let's do hit me with a grape please, which is also what I'm going to do from now odd forever if I go to a restaurant and out of the roads, I'm gonna sit over my head, like hat down, and you're just like yeah, but a long day. You guys got any great grape soda? What do you ask for a grape soda? I'd like an apple piece. They give it to you. Do they have grape soda? I'm should they do? You're sure they do? Sure, let's go after this. Let's go up there. You not scripts there's a really nice apple on the road. I will bet you. I'll bet you a hundred dollars. They don't have it. Let's go. Let's just call him. We don't have to go. We can go. I don't. I don't want to test you and your problem. Okay, anyways. So, Hey, we're lunch after this. So so if you get yeah, so after you get your Kawaiian Brosas Great. Bro. Yeah, yeah, Broy should we should? We invit Alexbly? Okay, cool. I tried to last time. Here's the thing. Alex lives across the street from the place the Tim and I go to lunch by every day. So most days, a lot of days, every day. So I text Alex last week and was yeah, Hey, but my service is really bad in that part of town. Did Not send until we were leaving. Yeah, and that point I hope it was don't win. It was great because he texted them after we left and said, all, my service is really bad. After Leo was a day we should have invited Alex and I text was like Hey, man, we're going to lunch right now. You want to go? Yeah, and then later I was like, oh, it's just because my name is services. You know, I was over in the Bronx and didn't have any service. So they to Wels, just grape juice bother up bunch of grape juice bar and then so that's that's all in New York. And so you you hop on the little train. Can you go to old Chicago? Old Chicago was one thousand eight hundred and seventy one. Chicago's old. Yeah, the actual old Scha Cogo. And so you went to one thousand eight hundred and seventy one Chicago, which the significant thing about is Coles. The city of Chicago is the pizza place, the pizza place. The significant thing about choosing this date was it's the year of the Great Chicago Fire. And so, in really good taste, they had burnt up buildings and stuff. Yeah, it really good tastes. They had a ride where it was the fire and they literally set the built Chicago on fire and they had like like stage hands that ran around and put the fire out, and there's one part where they had the pumps and the kids got to go run the pumps to put this Chicago fire out. And the best part of the whole thing that you're making this up. This is dums. That true. This is this is a Rye, this is a right, like you know what, remember that huge disaster that killed tons of people in Chicago and bike the city almost didn't bounce back. Yeah, let's just make it fun. He actually said in an interview. He said he said the Great Chicago fire was devastating for the city of Chicago but really, really helpful for our the impartments. I think he actually said. That's why he said. He said very amusing for our theme Party. So the best part of using the best part, the best part was that area of old Chicago. One of the characters that they had running around. We're gonna say I don't like it. So there was there was the prevailing theory after the fire was that there was this Irish American immigrant in Chicago who had a barn and Chicago and she was milking her cow one night and she knocked over oral lamp that started the Fire and burnt the city down and she survived and she faced a ton of ridicule like this was an actual, like named individual. They named in the paper. After her death. The reporter came out and said he made the story up and so her ruined her life. Her and the whole Irish community like faced a ton of like like really serious like ridicule for decades because of this reporter just made this up. Yeah, and this was like confirmed false for decades by the time this park opened up. But CEV would was like, yeah, let's have her run around the park and like literally the engagement that they encourage with the kids as to like ridicule the lady who started the fire culture, the it's freedom of lad you can do whatever you want, free, whatever you want, or if you want to wait, wonder what to say, Cev, take her out, like what the heck man? So, so someone's job at this theme park, yeah, was to get dressed as a milkmaiden, show up and just get made fun of by children all day. Yeah, wow, does that have children come up and be like you started the fire? Is that? Is that as far as they would go? I don't know. I mean it was the S. I don't know how good insults were back then. Huh, I don't know if they got there yet. Like insults have evolved. If they're like how you look like fire starter, you know. Yeah, yeah, Singa or whatever I said. I don't know. So there's a bunch of shops, about a few other rides. That was like a Great Lakes cruise. That's not a go the Great Lakes. There they had a boss that pull up and dump it's Poop, you know. Yeah. So just a bunch of random Chicago theme rides. There's a hallmark card shop. They're really yeah, which is kind of random. And then you went to the great planes. You S say the city company. Yeah, I know, but it is. This is Chicago, Nukan city. Okay. So then then you ride the train to the Great Plains and the great planes are themed through the Nineteen Centuryan eighteen and three to one thousand nineteen hundred. Yeah, and I mean the great expansion the yeah. Yeah. So there's all these fords, all these like cowboy themed stuff, all this really poor native American history stuff just not really well done. My most favorite part of this side of the park was borden's milk bar, because nothing says you know what, my grape juice is all gone. I could go for a glass of the people who drink a glass of milk. I think they should be on the FBI's most wanted list. It's scary. A hundred aspecially, like you consider like it's like a hot summer day, like ninety do right, there are like yeah, some milk, but here's what's worse. Not only people who would drink a glass of milk, but people who would make that skim milk. You know I'm talking about. You know what I'm talking about, all right, skim milk, half water, half milk. Okay, half water, half skin. Half. Oh, you said skin is the skid milk. I thought you said skidding. You went skin milk. That's the joke you want to make. That's disgusting. All right, areas drinking it, you're like, I mean, I made front of that lady in Chicago, but she's got a good product, you know. Anyway, it's milk bar. Yeah, so the great planes that they're okay, but which is weird or what? been a long day? Can I get a glass of milk? I'm gonna do it. You know, Applebas as milk. They do for sure. I've done it. I would love some bottle boneless wings and a glass of milk. Play all glass of milk. Yeah, no, I'll pint, but I got a picture of like cond I get a picture of milk. Yeah, and a dollar Rita for the lady. Oh my gosh, I sort of why is it milk and margarite tonight? Let's go. I'm crying. So the planes had just like I was like a bunch of shooting ranges. Like what would you do? You'RE A if you're at a restaurant, someone in the other person with you order a glass of milk. I probably judge them internally, but you wouldn't say anything. No, but you, yeah, probably to the server. What are you gonna say to the service? I don't know. Whatever their code is, you know, like they got it, like you talking about where you like they got a code. It's like a hey, can I get like this kind of cocktail? And it's like a please call the police. Yeah, fire, stay, never shout fire. Fire. Your friend is like, but that order. This guy order milk now. True psychopaths during this is I know there's were two more. We're spending too much time on milk right now, but true psychopaths due ice in their milk. Yeah, way worse. Yeah, yeah, that's a whole different enyway, go ahead, hold the level. Hey, have you're heard of tilling podcast? Merch that's right. We've got a full merch store of tilling branded teas, mugs, stickers, hoodies, a lot more, and we put out new designs with every episode. But those are only available for a limited time, so you got to get those while they're hot. Text tilling to six, six, eight hundred and sixty six to get access to our lusive merchandise. So there wasn't much else in the planes. Like there was like a bunch of like milk bar and yeah, history. Yeah, it was just a bunch of fields at a milk bar in the middle of it, like we came all the way out here for this. Well, I mean that's that's super accurate, though. That's pretty much like our drives through Kansas. No, yeah, so they they had a few rides, but they were all like, I mean, they were just old, westeamed. Right. Yeah, it's roller coasters were boring. Yeah, it's no wheels, this is a roller core and people are like that's good, right, please exit to your left. Good, right, good ride. Yeah, but we're here. Yeah. So then next with San Francisco, it was we had to go through the mountains first. Well, yeah, and so that was part of the the planes that the plane districted. That's where you rode the donkeys to the mountains if you wanted to, and then that was fall. Go, don't know, a few feet, I don't know. They are here. I'll pull up a picture of him La. I start talking real, real picture of the map, real picture. Yeah, show some real pictures in this place. There's not a lot because, I mean, it was the early s. So like to get a picture taken, like you had to have like someone with a big ball camera show up and or a canvas it. Can you pay the picture of this theme park for me? I saw one of these mountains earlier. Let see if I can find it. But So San Francisco, while I'm looking for this, San Francisco was set in nineteen odred and six, okay, and in San Francisco there was like they had some of the like iconic points in San Francisco, like Chinatown. They had a root beer bar. So interesting. A little bit more. When you're done with your milk, when you're done with your milk, if you save your milk, you can put it your root beer in it. You got a root your float. That's not how we're your put warm milk in there. Yeah, I just spent I've I got this milk to out of, like you gotta hold that milk way riding on a donkey too. So it's like spilled milk all over yourself. So the but here's the most the most significant part of it. I'm pulling up. So San Franco set in thousand nine hundred and three. Yeah, not nineteen O six. Okay, here's your brow. Norton's there, Emperor Norton is there. Here's your here's your mountains, and this is one of your wagons traveling through the mountains. Or do you say it like it's mine, like you're like, here you go, here's what you've asked for. It is what you've asked for. Yeah, okay, see, the train people are trying to vary in is full. And Yeah, I mean it was relative. So this is this is the mount I see there's rocks and yeah, they just piled the bunch of rocks. This was the landfill that they just covered in rocks. Yeah, make it so no one can see the mattresses. Yeah, it's pray pay the mattress is silver. Make him look a little more rocky. But I mean they put effort into it at least like it looks. Looks, it looks coolish. Sure, but yeah, so thous nine hundred and six San Francisco, and this was significant because because that was the year of the Great San Francisco Earthquake. What is this deal? And so again they made this big Old San Francisco earthquake ride and that was the main attraction. He was like, listen's pretty bad. Yeah, Francisco Super Amusing for us, though. Yeah, yeah, same thing. And so you went through and it was a ride. What are you like? It's like a little car ride. And then you went in the building and you drove through and then like the power went out and everything started shaking and like you saw stuff falling over in a fire started and you've got to put up the fire and make fun of the lady who started there, everybody. Yeah, she started the earthquake. I was just milky. My cow set off a whole size of the activity of must have built too hard. I was shaking the plectonic plates. I just whoops. So again just picking out a try to tragedy and make a theme park ride out of it. Yeah, and then you went through the old southwest. Nothing super interesting there, except for it. They did have a just a herd of bulls that were just rumming around and they're like look, this is what it's like in Texas. I don't get too close. Yeah, watch out. Then he went through New Orleans, where there was already talked about a bit about New Orleans. I surprised herey more for Texas because he's from there. Well, there was. There was rides, but there's nothing interesting there. Rowdy, Ryes Sotal were there. I think there was eighty nine. Oh my good, that's very big park. Yeah, and then New Orleans had a tornado adventure. So you just got to experience what it's like to die in a tiny door lose. New Orleans have tornadoes now, but it was the closest region to Tornado Alley in the park. I mean I guess Texas probably would have made more sense, but yeah, and then Florida. Instead of, you know, doing something for Florida, he was like this is satellite city and he was like this is what the world's gonna be like in the future. Oh, and so they did walt is. Me Like that one too. Ye had inspired epcot. Did it really? I don't know. It could have, or tomorrow land. I don't know, I don't I don't think it did, but who knows? But on paper it didn't. Sure in reality probably maybe. I mean it's in Florida. Yeah, it's in pronx's Florida. But so, yeah, they had like a Cape Carnaval thing where you guy got to see what it was like to launch the rockets, and then all this educational stuff about space. And then just like some random like, they had the moon bowl, where it was like a big theater that they would simulate traveling to space inside a theater. This would be like if we went to space in a theater. I know, it doesn't feel like much. And then they had they called it the satellite turnpike. So it was a freeway of the future. You just drove Tesla's around. So anyways, that's all. That's an overview of the park. A lot of problem at rides, a lot of weird stuff. It lasted for four years. Yeah, what happened? So because it was popular? Yeah, but they opened it severely in debt. It cost them an insane amount of money to build this. It was a little too ambitious and so they realized right away. They said, okay, first season we launched. We have to have two million visitors to break even. Geez. And the thing about building a park in New York versus what Disneyland did, was it had to be seasonal, like there was going to be a part of the year where you can't run the park. Yep, and so they had to cram those two million people into just a few months in the the warm months in New York. Well, they didn't do it. They got one point five, which put them in a pretty bad financial situation that for the next three years they just struggled to get out of. And so of the next two years they built a lot of attractions, Rehab some areas. There was a section of future land where they put one of the moving walkways from the airport in there and they were like, look at that from the here. Took it from JFK. Yeah, he's go JFK. There's just an empty part of the hallway. What the heck? And there's just a lady with her cow walking arouncord. I didn't know it. DSA is like what fire, come with us, that lady. You know, I went on a ghost tour and there was just like like a lady in the corner who's like, I didn't start the fire. Like, what are you talking about, Old Lady? You know. So, but then the fourth year is my favorite because then the fourth year they realized they didn't have enough money to open this season at all, and so but they did. They were like, well, we could maybe do it if we opened just on the weekends. And so that's what they did because they was they said, hey, we won't will just run the power on the weekend, have the watt on the weekend, the staff on the weekend refine world so fun exists. Yeah, I'm just thinking of all the theme parks that exist. Who was last time with the worlds of fun? If I never been into world's fun? No, yeah, anyway. But so they just ran it on the week we should go. But when they opened in season, guests came during the weekdays and so they were like, well, people are here, and so they hired like a skeleton for showed up on the weekdays. Yeah, they didn't know. I mean it's there's no Internet. So people are just like, let's go down to freedom land, and they drove down in their automobiles, found a free freedom land. Oh yes, let's head on down to freedom. That and they got there and there's a bunch of cars in the parking lots. They walk up to the turnstiles and no one was there. But the owners of the park were like, well, Hey, if we just hired a skileton crew to man the turnstiles, we can charge everyone a quarter to come in and see the park when it's closed. And so they just let everybody into a park that was off and just let him just walk around for a quarter. It just do whatever you want, I guess. Like just goes. Just look at it. I I'm here to punch people. They're off today, Tim once you come back on Saturday, will let you punch a lady who's pretending to milk or cow. Where is the milk? Will let you punch the cow to will let you do it. We won't tell for a quarter for the quarter that'll cost your quarter. I just I just love the the little people are here. Let's just let him in, but not let him do anything. Yeah, yeah, like that's like if best buy was like yeah, come on it, but don't buy. It's like a circuit city was just like, we're only open on the weekends. You can still get in the builds, you can get a tour self guided, Tour Self guided tour through circuit city. Cool. The have one of those headsets that tells me about stuff. No, no, yeah, if I come on Saturday, would you? No, no, no, you can buy a Walkman. Are Welcome to Radio Shack. So eventually the theme park got shut down because they ran out of money. They went bankrupt. Yeah, can't pay the bills with quarters. Yeah, and the guy who owned it built a bunch of condos. And what's really of the satellite pulled up of sorry, do you have the satellite pulled up of what this is now? I don't have a satellite, but I do have a picture of it. I'm pulling it up right now of what exists now. Yeah, and so they just put a bunch of I mean I I struggled to call these tenements, or I want to call them tenements. I struggled the callings condos. Okay, it's called Co op city. And so it's like it's a bunch of Oh my gosh, this is take forever to download. It's it's a lot, a lot of is it? Because you're still streaming prices right? Timms is watching prices right at the office. This morning time myself taking up all the Wi fi, like nothing was working. I was trying to do work. I was here, you weren't hitting stuff done. I really, I literally thought. I was like how funny would be if everyone walked in to shoot today and I was just in here watching prices right while I worked? Yeah, as I did. Here's my question. Brew carry or Bob Barker episodes? It was a new episode. was like live TV. I was streaming my TV. So it's true. So anyway, so here's coop city. So just a bunch of like high rise apartment buildings. Hey, and here's what's interesting. Is Clear plant. What's interesting about it is it seems like this isn't modern. No, yeah, he built. I mean it was one thousand nine hundred and sixty four when they were under stret aftericture, this picture looks two thousand and eight, two thousand and ten. Yeah, do you want anywhere picture? I want a sky view, you know. Ok, let's see if this is sky you. I want to go google maps. I want to see the Great Lakes, is what I mean. Okay, you know saying that I want to see what the layout looks like. Now you might be able to see him in this one. If you listen close at night and some of these buildings you can still hear that lady. Oh so. Yeah, and here's the thing. It seems like this was the guy's plan from the beginning because to do condos there, to do condos there. It seemed like the Guy who invested in it just needed something, some way for it to make a little bit of money for a few years until he was ready to build a condos, and so there's like this conspiracy that he was really just just waiting to be those buildings look terrible, though they all the same. Yeah, yeah, I mean it's your stereotypical like old, but the landscaping was great, most very green. I mean I think that's just natural landscaping. Of I've got the the satellite up. I'll pull it up. This is co op city. Yeah, so a lot of the area around it has since been developed to other stuff. Okay, if maybe this was the lakes, I don't know. That's that's definitely zoom out for the river. That's a normal river. Yeah, I don't see anything that way. Weight so bayst that there was a lake anywhere hot that whole little area right there. Cops City. That's how big it was. Yeah, there's not even a shape there anymore. You can't even tell. Yeah, so here's an Aldi. It was probably like four or five hundred all these ways. Zoom in a little bit, because I think we might be looking at the second upside down as well. I think that that little loop at the bottom is Florida. This, no, up that this. Nope, here you go. That is fluss Florida. Yeah, so that means that that will above the CO op city. To the left would be the Great Lakes. Can I rotate this? I don't think so. That's the Great Lakes. would be over here, somewhere right above Harry as Truman High School in the freeway. Yeah, yeah, maybe I don't see anything that looks great Lakey. Maybe this, I don't know, for them with sub chriss. So that's I mean that that's smaller than what I was even picturing to yeah, it's not. I doubt that interstate was there then, was it? Probably not? Yeah, probably not. So they it's probably like some of they've developed it. We you know, they took the mountains out. I think there's a decent chance like some of this might have been a part of it as well. Okay, maybe, Huh on this river has been here. Pretty Weird. Yeah, I mean there's a little. There's almost no, no like evidence that this was ever here. Yeah, so that's well, it's been a long time too, though. So, yeah, and it's also New York. So New York, you know, I mean it does. So. So the second dwarf is the guys the owner's name is. It's like a dwarf second door. This is first thing. His last name was Smith Second Doors, or wit by Zeeke. Yeah, so he I mean he was a guy who, I mean he owned the Chrysler building also, lightly he was building all these huge skyscrapers all over the city. And then he so it makes sense that he was just trying to get something that would maybe help him break even on a plot of land. Yeah, he held this huge plot of land for knowing that he was going to it was going to, yeah, get so he hired the guy who had a couple failed them parks on his resume, and there's no way he can get that new park ing about right. Yeah. And then just a couple of years after it closed down, the COP city was open to the public and so it was CV during all their meetings was like this, parks is not gonna work managing. We might were bankruptcy. HMM, and Zecondorf over there, like they'd be a really big bummer. Yeah, that would be. I'm really sad about this. I'd be too bad. But if we only open on the weekends this year? What if we charged a quarter? Yeah, maybe lower the prices or the price? Ah, yeah, what if the people in for free? Yeah, it's freedom and right. Yeah, name. How many more employees can we kill? Yeah, I don't know, man, these Old New York developers that they were monster and ruthless. They were crazy. Yeah, crazy. So, yeah, so he did the eat of the the the Co op city, and that was kind of the into freeloman and USA. So what happened? Is CV, though? What does he move on to? He do you really? I mean eventually, well, year he died in was on the death the next rug of my career is death. Ninety one, I think. Oh, so I just I'm saying, what did you do the last thirty years? Was Life? Wait, hold on, sixteen, I don't know. Hold on, let me go out. So I'm saying ninety two. He died at ninety. Was One of his rides. He's like listen and for the next ride you're going to come to my funeral. Right, gosh, your quarter to get in. What are you like did? Is this the last thing he did? Is One? I'm asking? No, I mean it's the last, like prominent thing that he did. Okay, after that he did he taught a class about transcendental meditation for like a couple decades. Interesting. Yeah, he did. He worked for the McCallum More Motors Company, Huh I, which was a sponsor freedomland. Oh it is this significant? I forgot about this. He told the mccullock motors company that London, like this city of London, agreed to allow them to move the London Bridge to America for an ad for mccaulloch motors. He's like yeah, they said it was cool. Yeah, I just called them. I called London. Turns out if you just type in one, eight hundred and then just type the you know, because the numbers are on the Keypad, and yes, type the five, six. MMM MMM, dude, kids don't know how to text like that and then won't. Anyway, it's called London. I think they actually pulled it off, though, now that I'm reading this. What was it? The London Bridge, after a hundred thirty years of service, was being replaced, and so he got he possessed called the Queen. They after a hundred thirty years of service. So they purchased it and they dismantled it stone by stone, before built the new one in its place, and they transported US and reassembled it in Arizona. No, it doesn't sound to reason. He was like for a car commercial. Are we learning something on the podcast right now? There's no way this is real. Are you kidding? But why would you want that in a commert like? What was what would be the point? All Right, here we go, tissue channel. How look how the London Bridge ended up in Arizona. Still there? I don't know, this is crazy. We have to do it. We'll do this. Is the after the fiddle. Let's just figure this out later. That's great. That's great. If you're a patreon supporter, you get access with thin called after the fiddle, and the one for this week is going to be whatever this is. For a quarter, you get to see from Corsoda's like with the lights off, yeah, or the lights on, I guess really, because if you're an audio listener. You don't know that we do this in the dark. You know we do that. It is uploaded black videos to youtube and we're like yeah, we're good's there support? Is that patreon for videos with the lights? Well, I mean it just what was whatever just happened? That's the Bronx Man. Fiddle off this guy. Oh really, we're done. We're the fiddle. Even do a creative fiddle off. Yeah, I just fiddle them off. Things of the last night is a production of space tim media, produced by Christian Taylor. Audio is edited by Alice Garnett, video by connerbet social media is run by Caleb Walker and graphic designed by Caleb Goldberg. Our hoster, Jeremyers and Tim Stone. Please follow us on social media at Tilling podcast, that's Tillo in podcast. Leave a review, comment, subscribe wherever you are. Thank you for listening to things on the last night.

Imagine a theme park that surveyed the history of the United States while being shaped like the continental United States. How could that not excite you? In the ’60s, the US of A was all the rage in the US, and C.V. Wood saw the hype as an opportunity to capitalize on patriotism. The disgraced Disney Park manager somehow landed a 13-million dollar investment from one of New York’s most prolific real estate investors to build the park. Unfortunately, much like his previous attempts at park design, Wood’s endeavor would prove a monumental failure. Freedomland met the same fate as the trash in the landfill on which it stood.

Who is C.V. Wood

The founder of Freedomland is almost as enigmatic as the park itself. Even his name is a thing of mystery. C.V. Wood has been tough to stand for Cornelius Vanderbilt, Commodore Vanderbilt, and even C for nothing V for nothing. Most commonly, however, he went by his nickname Woodsy.

Early in his career, Woodsy managed to work himself into jobs in which he didn’t belong—jumping from SRI to VP of Disneyland without having a single verifiable credential. His lack of credentials showed a rocky launch of the original Disneyland Park. The failed launch gave Walt Disney enough reason to fire Wood. However, this was far from his final park job. Woodsy worked on various startup theme parks before taking on the most ridiculous theme park of all time, Freedomland.

The Birth of Freedomland USA

Much like he did throughout his entire career, Woodsy convinced William Zeckendorf that he was more talented than he was. Armed with a $13 million investment C.V. began construction on an 85 square acre park in the shape of the continental United States. In theory, the park would take guests on an educational tour through the history of the US. However, the attractions in the park were far from historically accurate.

Controversial Attractions

From day one, the park was no stranger to controversy. Contractors built the park on an old landfill. Unfortunately, construction crews did not give the asphalt in the park enough time to cure, so on opening day, springs from mattresses began poking through the pavement. It wasn’t just construction woes, though. There were actual problematic rides.

The Chicago-themed district of the park was set in the era of the Chicago Fire. Park designers created a ride that featured actual fires and allowed children to be part of the firefight. As if that weren’t enough, guests were encouraged to ridicule the Irish milk maiden. Proved to be false decades earlier, the milk maiden theory stated that a local milk maiden knocked over an oil lamp to start the fire in her barn.

In the San Francisco district, Freedomland park goers had the opportunity to experience the San Francisco earthquake. That’s right; two major disasters were recreated as rides at Freedomland. These rides, coupled with a tornado-themed ride, poor history, and blatantly racist sentiments throughout the park, garnered some negative feedback from critics.

The Fall of Freedomland

Needless to say, the park didn’t last long. In its first year, the park failed to meet minimum revenue requirements. Over the next couple of years, the woes continued for the park. Finally, in its final year of operation, the owner group resolved to open the park only on the weekends to conserve funding. However, many guests missed the memo and showed up while the park was closed. So to capitalize on demand, the owners opened the park for tours only and charged guests a quarter to view the park while not operational.


Freedomland USA was an absolute failure. This venture had everything from horrible history to poor construction to mismanagement of funds. But what more could you expect from a lifelong fraud like C.V. Wood? Yet, surprisingly, Wood did go on to accomplish something rather incredible without any lies or significant failures. Woodsy managed to purchase the London Bridge and move it to Arizona. Well, he was on the team that moved the London Bridge.

Things I Learned Last Night is an educational comedy podcast where best friends Jaron Myers and Tim Stone talk about random topics and have fun all along the way. If you like learning and laughing a lot while you do, you’ll love TILLN. Watch or listen to this episode right now!




Freedomland, USA – Wikipedia

C.V. Wood – Wikipedia

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