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Orange Bird Photo Hunt


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ABANDONED DISNEY: River Country [Part 4]

We present the fourth part of our River Country series. Rumors continue, as they have for years, about what will happen with the River County land. One thing is for certain, River Country will never open to the public again... At least not as the River Country we remember.

When you think about it, it's not all that shocking that Disney closed something only to let it rot. They've been doing that for years. I for one am glad River Country stuck around. We can now enjoy creepy photos of the abandoned place. Few Disney attractions close and are demolished immediately after closing, for whatever reason, unless the replacement attraction is ready to be built. Think of: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Submarine Voyage, PeopleMover, the Skyway towers, Image Works, Food Rocks, Mission to Mars (Disneyland), America Sings, etc. All were abandoned for years after they closed, before they were eventually removed completely or redesigned as something else.

Below we get a view of the Contemporary and even Bay Lake Tower. In Part 1 we see similar photos not long before Bay Lake Tower was constructed. Additionally you can see Space Mountain.

A banner encouraging "recycling". Ironic.

An old yellow float tube.


Once again we encourage you to not tour this closed area of Walt Disney World without permission.


Also enjoy [Part 1][Part 2], and [Part 3]


Photos from "Tri-Circle D" at The DIS Discussion Forums. Images of Resort Guest tickets from "CAJUNWDWFAN". A big thanks to all three.


Related posts:

ABANDONED DISNEY: MK Fantasyland Skyway Tower
ABANDONED DISNEY: Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts
If This Doesn't Scare You.....
Bin Laden Mansion Minutes From Walt Disney World 




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Reader Comments (23)

Absolutely love this series. It's the one park I can recall vividly from my infrequent visits as a child. I still remember myself in each spot photographed above, especially scurrying to avoid the cold waterfall in #12. It's still on my list to personally view what once was the greatest water park ever.

October 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWDWFanBoyBrett

Thanks Brett. So that was a waterfall? In that cave sort of area in #12??

October 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterFritz

What to do with River Country. I'm sure no one wants to throw money at it as it's considered a non plus financially. We are definitely lucky that it's by the wayside, and photos like these have brought back good memories. So maybe that's it, it can become part of a of behind the scenes reminisce tour, the hot plus items today. Well I'm thanking my stars that it hasn't become a DVC Fort Wilderness Cabins complex.

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterphilphoggs

Great series.

I was never fortunate enough to ever visit Disney World while River Country was still operational but my wife talks about it all the time when she talks about trips with her parents. Can't wait to show her these before/after pictures.

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

My pleasure Fritz.

The cave area(also shown in #11) was the entrance to the single inner tube cement slide and was at the opposite end of the park as the lake (you could see the wooden bridge & kiddie slides on the lower right when you looked down from the top). That waterfall that poured down as you started the slide was always so cold!

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWDWFanBoyBrett

I used to work there the summers of 1998 and 1999 as Entertainment for the All American Water Party and it's really sad to see the park as it is. Now, who's gonna get to Discovery Island with a camera?

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJStone423

I certainly heard that the Discovery Island footage is out there. In fact, last time I was there I was talking with a water ferry captain about it all and he said indeed that they have not caught any culprits. They figure kids are rafting from Fort Wilderness early, but who knows. I've just been to lazy to search for it on the net. Go anywhere near the island on a watermouse and they are all over you, but they're cool about it anyway.

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterphilphoggs

This is a great series! I like to visit the place personally. River Country is such a wonderful place.

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKerby | postcard printing

Hello ! I never went to River Country (I'm french and, in France, we have'nt got a Disney's water park. And America is a little bit too far) but it looks great ! I'm puzzled : why did they close it ? It seems it was a good park ! Do you know why ? It's very sad !
There's a few minutes, I discover your site and I must to say that it's really interesting. I like it ! You make a great job !

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHermyPotter

They let you in? If so who did you ask? I'm going to Fort Wilderness real soon and I would really like to tour River Country and maybe even Discovery Island though I doubt they'd let me.

June 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterB.R.Morse

Here's some pictures from Discovery Island circa 2009.

December 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertankadin

They should rebuild the entire water park and make it Little Mermaid themed.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNeil

Just curious how one gets permission to visit this park. We went in 1995 and had a blast, as I recall. I sure miss it, and would love to see it reimagined. I'm sure you can't just hop over the fence to tour it. Although the temptation would be overpowering.

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbrinson

They should make a Halloween experience out of it every October!

June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian K

Be the change is here! In honor of Throwback Thursday we start 'The River Country Revival Project. With the help of, we have created a petition that you will be able to support with a click of a button and where you can add comments. Today, we start to make a difference and let your voice be heard and signature be signed. Please share with as many people and organizations and groups as possible. Let's make a BIG SPLASH! (pun intended)

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDisney's Lifeguards

Love this site! I just stumbled upon it. What a treat! My husband and I and 2 daughters used to love to go to River Country (when it wasn't too cold to go in!) Do you have Abandoned Discovery Island?

September 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

Looks a very nice location to go for outing. The waterslide here looks awesome. Thanks for sharing this.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeisenberg

I worked at fort wilderness, Sometimes we would be able to go back there with managers to get supplies stored there but that was the only time. As far as i know there is no other way to get in other then climbing the fence and not getting caught. Same with Discovery island. Lake patrol would go out about once a year to make sure everything was ok. (there is a sign that says the raptors are loose). as for the boxes by the basketball court, they have chickens held back there. I was told they are there to check to see if there are any diseases or some sort of illness that if they die they have to close down or something like that. was told on training day so im not too sure, but there are chickens held there.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

This place brings me down when i hard it had closed I was devastated.

May 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermagic

From 1988 onwards my family always visited this park on the first day of our vacation. It was a wonderful place to go and crash out after our long transatlantic flight. My husband and I set up base camp under the trees by the edge of the lagoon while the 2 boys rushed off to the slides. There was truly something for everyone and the water volley ball was great fun--it didn't matter how old or young you were! Great changing and feeding facilities too! It never seemed to get overcrowded like the regimented seating at Blizzard Beach. Definitely a backward step by Disney. We were gutted when we turned up the year after it had closed.

June 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeonard, England

I worked at river country 20 years ago left when I and my husband moved to vero beach. River country by far was my most favorite job it broke my heart to hear shortley after I left that it closed i had good family there my boss and cast members threw me my bridal shower out there it trully was a happy place.

June 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

I have a memory of my favorite Disney water park ride being a tube ride, but many people drifted down at once from level to level. It wasn't the traditional crutches slide and it wasn't a lazy river. When I was a young kid, I fell out of my tube and other tubes were running over me until someone picked me up and put me in their lap through the BD of the ride where my parents were waiting. Was the ride I'm thinking of at this park or another? It was Disney and would have been early 80s. I loved that ride!

July 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPari

What a great blog to come across on a lazy Saturday morning, bringing back wonderful memories of the summer in 1982 when I worked at River Country. I have been to many waterparks since but none can compete with River Country.

July 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKim

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