|A to Z Challenge|
R is for...River Country!
In case you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a bit of a Disney..nut...shall we say? Especially when it comes to Walt Disney World. I haven't done many Disney centric posts lately and today's letter reminded me of River Country, Disneys abandoned water park! I've always been fascinated by abandoned places, but a Disney abandoned place? Insert mega excites here!
A little back story on River Country. River Country, Walt Disney Worlds first water park, opened it's gates June 1976. It was the only Disney water park for 13 years, and ceased operation November 2001, after 25 years of gushing slides and lazy rivers.
|You can still access the old River Country entrance from Fort Wilderness! (source)|
Nothing out of the ordinary with that, places open and close all the time. But here's where it gets a little less ordinary. Disney have done nothing with what's left of River Country. They simply closed the turnstiles and ticket-booths one day and put up a fence. That was that. To this day, 13 years after it closed, they still light up the water park and play the music every night. Seriously. I have no idea why they do this, surely it's a waste of resources and Disney being Disney, I'm sure they could have come up with a use for the land - but they've yet to do anything.
|Even abandoned those slides look like fun...not sure about the murky water though! (source)|
Disney have never been totally forthcoming on the reasons they closed River Country. Some say it was due to the opening and popularity of the other two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Others believe it was a brain eating bacteria found in the nearby waters of Bay Lake. Now that doesn't exactly sound like dreams, wishes and Pixie dust, does it?
|Unloved but still so picturesque! (source)|
Hands down I would love to take a real life look at what the place looks like now. All those dried up slides, deflated rafts and rings, plants growing up and through the whole lot, nature itself claiming back the land. I find it so hard to believe that in a place such as Walt Disney World, something so unloved and derelict can be found.
Did you ever visit River Country back in it's hey day? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,