This is sort of a different post than usual. Lately I have been working on a 5 minute presentation about Walt Disney World. I have a small bit about River Country the abandoned Disney water park and honestly it seemed fun to post something about it on here. Have you heard of River Country before? If not stay tuned!
Disney’s River Country was Disney’s first waterpark. Beside that it also was worlds first themed waterpark. The park opened on June 20, 1976. The park consisted out of two bodies of water. One kidney shaped chlorine pool with two slides and one natural cove tht appeared to be connected to the Bay lake. It was not however. There was a barrier and large pumps pulled water from Bay Lake through filters. In the Bay Lake pool there were many water activities such as a rope swing and a rope climb. There was a total of 6 slides. Two long and rough water slides that ended in the Bay Lake, two slides with a drop of 7 feet and 2 slides in the kiddie area. Besides those 6 it also had a inner tube rapid. People loved the place but the capacity was way too low.
In 1989 Typhoon Lagoon opened its doors. People wanted more and River Country wasn’t that big. After Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach opened. The guests preferred the new parks over River Country. In November 2001 River Country closed which wasn’t odd at all. The waterparks always closed around that time due the weather. In 2005 however, Disney announced River Country would close forever.
Speculations inconclude that the park closed due to a brain eating amoebe which caused the death of an 11 year old boy. The park stayed open for 21 year after the boys death though. The lake which had the amoebe, is also connected with the Polynesian resort. The chance of meeting an alligator is bigger than meeting the amoebe. Obviously Disney took steps to make the water saver. We know this because the amoebe has a death rate of 95% and only one person died. We can pretty much say that the water is clean.
So why did it close?
River Country could not compete against the two bigger water parks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. The tourism crashed after 9/11 and that took its toll on Disney. Safety was also a reason why the park closed. The park opened in a time where safety rules weren’t as strict as it is nowadays. 2 people drowned because the lifeguard post was too far away from the pool. The rides were also a little bit too rough according to some. That plus the low attendance forced the closure of River Country.
Surprisingly Disney never demolished the waterpark. Nowadays its still lays there almost exaclty as how it was left behind. Nature has fought back and slowly takes back what once was theirs. Therefore it is not safe to explore the abandoned park. You never know what animal you might meet there. It is such a shame to see the park rot. Besides it does not really fit with the Disney Image does it?
I hope you like these kind of posts! I’m pretty interested in abandoned places and espacially themeparks. The mystery kind of attracts me. Why would they leave it all behind like that? Let me know in the comments what you think about abandoned places!