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River Country

Opened

June 20, 1976

Closed

November 2, 2001

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.

History[]

Positioned on the shore of Bay Lake near Discovery Island in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, River Country had rustic wilderness theming, replete with rocks and manmade boulders (created by the same man who created Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Magic Kingdom).

It was described as an "old-fashioned swimming hole." The original working title before being changed was "Pop's Willow Grove" and 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.

On January 20, 2005, the Walt Disney Company announced that River Country would remain closed permanently. The closure was due to high amoeba levels from Bay Lake, which Walt Disney World was built on. As of writing this, River Country stands abandoned and is slowly being reclaimed by vegetation, and many of the slides and pools are giving way to decay and rust. Reports suggest that music, plumbing, and electricity are still on within the abandoned park. The park is fenced off, but people have managed to get into the park and take pictures and videos.

Attractions[]

  • Whoop 'n' Holler Hollow - Two water slides, 260 ft (79 m) and 160 ft (49 m) long, that emptied into Bay Cove.
  • Bay Cove - A half-acre (2,000 m²) sand-bottom lake which featured a tire swing, boom swing, rope climb, and T-bar drop.
  • Slippery Slide Falls - Two water slides that emptied into Upstream Plunge, a 330,000 US gallon (1,250 m³) clear-water pool.
  • White Water Rapids - A 330 foot (100 m) long inner tube river.
  • Cypress Point Nature Trail - A trail among trees beside Bay Lake.
  • Indian Springs - A very small splash zone with fountains spraying kids. This area mainly attracted guests under age 8.
  • Barrel Bridge - A bumpy bridge with barrels under it. Similar to the one at Tom Sawyer Island.
  • Kiddie Cove - A kids' zone with two large water slides and a cove. This area was targeted toward pre-teens.

Sources & External Links[]

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