Even though I’m not a professional surveyor (only an amateur benchmark hunter), I was fortunate enough to get a cover story in The American Surveyor. “Mapping the World”—an outgrowth of my interest in Disney survey marks—explored the history of surveying at the Walt Disney World resort, starting with Disney’s secret purchase of land in the mid-1960s.
The man was reluctant to give details, but said that he needed thousands of acres surveyed right away. Still wary, Hart prepared a work proposal. But he asked for a $10,000 retainer before starting the job, and made it crystal clear that he would pull his team out if they didn’t get paid within five days.
It wasn’t until much later that Bill Hart – and the rest of the world – found out the truth about this secretive project: The buyer of 47 square miles of central Florida was Walt Disney, and his plans to build a super-sized version of Disneyland would change this area forever.