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1.8
4 votes

Disney's Abandoned River Country

Bay Lake, Florida 32830 USA

Free
Free to Visit
  • Independent
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Heads Up!

  • This location is permanently closed.
  • This location is on private property and is presented for information purposes only.
  • Due to the spread of COVID-19, some points of interest may be closed or have restrictions. Please stay safe and call ahead to get the latest information.
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“a haunting reminder of Disney's abandoned past”

This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner. Disney's River Country was the first water park at the Walt Disney World Resort. It opened on June 20, 1976 and ceased operations on November 2, 2001. On January 20, 2005, The Walt Disney Company announced that River Country would remain closed permanently. Along with Discovery Island, it is only one of two Disney parks in history to close permanently. Both parks were abandoned rather than demolished. Positioned on the shore of Bay Lake, near Discovery Island in Bay Lake, Florida, River Country featured a rustic wilderness theming, complete with rocks and man-made boulders. It was described as an "old-fashioned swimming hole" with "a twist of Huckleberry Finn." The original working title was "Pop's Willow Grove." The park featured a sandy bottom and unique water filtering system using confluent water from adjacent Bay Lake, which was dammed off creating a natural-looking man-made lagoon. It was much smaller than the resort's other two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, with the latter nearly four times the size of River Country. River Country was featured in a musical number from the 1977 The Wonderful World of Disney episode The Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World, which included a song titled "River Country" and featured the then-current Mouseketeer lineup from the late 70s incarnation of The Mickey Mouse Club enjoying the attractions at the park. On November 2, 2001 Disney's River Country closed. Then on January 20, 2005, The Walt Disney Company announced that River Country would remain closed permanently. Today, thrillseekers and explorers try to get access to the park by jumping over fences, but you can actually see the abandoned relics if you peek through from Fort Wilderness's Hoop-Dee-Doo Review. Or, you can try your luck at getting permission to go on-site for photographs or just simple reminiscing. And Disney's official statement on visiting the abandoned River Country water park: "While we appreciate the enthusiasm of our fans, undeveloped areas of Walt Disney World are off limits to guests. As a private property owner, we have the right to trespass guests who deliberately enter unauthorized areas."

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Reviewed by
randall.kunkel

  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
January 05, 2014

There was only one PAM death linked to River Country, and that was in 1980. The reason it closed in 2001 was 9/11 and the resulting steep drop in attendance resort-wide that led Disney to cut back on operations, closing numerous attractions and sections of its park, at least temporarily. Only it wasn't temporary in River Country's case. Hey, you've got three waterparks, maybe you only need two, which are you gonna cut? The older, smaller, less convenient one.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
sara.childers.12

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 06, 2013

Naegleria fowleri is actually an amoeba, which is a type of protist. If you're afraid of contracting the amoeba, the CDC recommends that you wear a nose plug while swimming; this is because the only way you can contract N. fowleri and the disease it causes - Primary Amebic Meningioenchapilitis (PAM) - is by getting water (and the amoeba) into your sinus cavities. There have only been about 128 reported cases of PAM over the past forty years in the US, so there's virtually little risk of you contracting it. However, if you have a sudden high fever, restlessness, neck stiffness, or acute headache after exposure to fresh water, go to the hospital immediately - the only way PAM has been treated (despite its 99 percent fatality rate) is through early detection. Mitefosine is often used, despite the fact that the FDA hasn't authorized this breast-cancer-fighting drug for this specific purpose. Body cooling as well as a combination of antifungals and antibiotics are also said to work, however, but the Mitfosine seems to work best. PAM is also most prevalent in children, but that doesn't mean that adults can't get it either. However, the two deaths in River Country from PAM were both children.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
sara.childers.12

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 06, 2013

Naegleria fowleri as actually an amoeba (protist). However, the only way to get the amoeba and the disease it causes - Primary Amebic Meningioenchapalitis (PAM)- is to get water (which holds the amoeba) in your nasal cavity. From there, the amoeba can pierce the sinus membrane and reproduce in the olfactory bulb, then spread throughout your brain causing death on an average of 7 days. The CDC recommends that you wear a nose plug to virtually eliminate your chances of contracting PAM.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
theresa.mazur.9

  • 3 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
September 08, 2013

I remember going to this park with my children and have wonderful pictures of this park. We loved it here, it didnt have all those high fancy slides that typhoon lagoon and blizzard beach have that some cant do.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
sasha.bloxam

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 07, 2013

anna.perry.359: http://www.yesterland.com/rivercountry.html

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
monkanowski

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 08, 2013

you are all fine that bacteria only grows near the bottom in silt so just stay out of the water -_-

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
theresa.mazur.9

  • 3 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
August 08, 2013

I can remeber the first time i was there, my son was 10 I do believe and my girls older and it was back in 1976.We had the best time there. Memories both in the heart and on print

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
anna.perry.359

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 08, 2013

justtagrl, where did you read that?

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
justtagrl

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 08, 2013

I wouldn't recommend going there, it's said they needed to close to the park due to Naegleria Fowleri bacteria which will kill you in the most horrible of ways.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Q.Susie

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 08, 2013

Sad :( My church youth group would camp at Ft Wilderness in the summer and visit this water park. It was simple fun!

1 person found this review helpful

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Disney's Abandoned River Country

Bay Lake, Florida
32830 USA

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  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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