A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

This is Walt Disney world’s first water park. It was closed in 2001 and has been untouched ever since. From the then-popular Whoop N’ Holler slide to now unmoving water wheel, in the pictures, everything seems so old and forsaken. The swimming area must have been popular in its time with the tyre swing, the boom swing and the cable ride.

Disney water park 1 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

For some reason these pictures make you wonder how it would be with children running around and screaming. From the place where the lifeguard used to sit to the boom swing, everything can still be seen although a lot of the wood is rotting away. You will also see what used to be the white water rapids ride. River County used to be popular in its time but is now long forgotten. Those who have been here will definitely remember the times.

Disney water park 2 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 3 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 4 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 5 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 6 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 7 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 8 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 9 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 10 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 11 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 12 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 13 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 14 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 15 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 16 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 17 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 18 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 19 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 20 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 21 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 22 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 23 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 24 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

Disney water park 25 A Forgotten Disney Amusement Park

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34 Comments »

  1. Hermitbiker Says:

    …. Walt’s 1st Water Park…. seems to slip my memory too !! I guess it must of been closed for “insurance” reasons or maybe it just wasn’t “cost effective”…. more “overhead” than money taken in possibly…. whatever the reason, it’s kinda sad !! :(

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  2. Ted Farmer Says:

    According to a Disney employee, the main reason for the closing of River Country was the new state regulations concerning water parks. Pools and water parks must have their water originating from municipal water systems, not natural bodies of water.

    These laws were passed due to a certain bacteria that exists in some of Florida’s lakes that can cause serious problems in some people. The lake at Disney probably does not contain the bacteria, but the law was passed by the state and covers all water parks and pools.

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  3. Bicycle Bill Says:

    My thought is that it went belly-up because it was trying to compete with all the hotels, motels, and other places that had indoor waterparks as part of their facility. Why would you pay more than a hundred bucks a night for a place to stay, and then spend more on waterpark tickets when for that same hundred bucks or so you could stay in a place that had the waterpark right there for you. And you didn’t have to stop the fun if it started raining or got too cold outside.

    I also don’t remember this being promoted very well, and there was very little in the Disney pantheon of characters that had much to do with water — 20K Leagues Under the Sea and Little Mermaid were about it (Finding Nemo hadn’t been released yet).

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  4. James Garvey Says:

    River Country closed because Florida passed regulations that water parks had to use water from controlled municipal sources, where it’s natural, a cove off Bay Lake. Also once the more modern Typhoon Lagoon opened and later Blizzard Beach, visitor amounts dropped greatly.

    Here’s a google maps view – http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=hoop+dee+doo+musical+review&sll=28.411554,-81.564147&sspn=0.003369,0.007612&ie=UTF8&hq=hoop+dee+doo+musical&hnear=&ll=28.411295,-81.564587&spn=0.003369,0.007612&t=h&z=18

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  5. LoriMistress Says:

    That’s so sad that it closed. I didn’t know this water park existed.

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  6. Smiles Says:

    Can’t you just hear the frogs? You guys might see an abandoned swimming park, I see a killer fishing spot! I bet there are monster catfish and some Fat bass up in there! Mmm hmm! :0) (Bring the mosquito repellent!) *smack* LOL

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  7. Yes, I was there when I was a kind during my first trip to US.

    Im very sad to see the actual state of the park.

    Bests.

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  8. matt3046 Says:

    Its part of Disney World Florida. When i was a kid in the 70s there was a campground there, and the water park was part of it.

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  9. Joe Historian Says:

    I wonder if there are any pictures from when it was running. That would be great for some compare and contrast.

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  10. Micelirus Says:

    I was there! I have pictures of me as a kid there. It had to be early nineties.

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  11. Amanda Says:

    Reminds me of some weird combinationg of Neverland and Jurassic Park. I remember this place though, was pretty cool. Kind of crazy that they just left it like that, you’d think they’d try to turn it into something else.

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  12. Deano Says:

    Real sad.
    Kinda sounds less appealing when you learn why it closed, they had to when the law was changed so water parks cant use water from natural bodies, so this is basically a ‘magical’ lake.

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  13. Kelly Says:

    I was wondering what happen to River Country. That is a shame. it looked like it would have been so much fun…

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  14. Tony Laino Says:

    Sigh, another fun ride down the drain.Oh well, they had good reason though.That kinda goes right up there on the list with the old 20K submarine ride.I remember that real well. fun times, fun times.

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  15. Rick Downer Says:

    I remember River Country. If you didn’t stay at the Fort Wilderness campground you really had to go out of your way to get to River Country. It was a blast, though, and I was sorry to hear it closed.

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  16. Kim Says:

    So cool! I love abandoned amusement parks, buildings, towns, hospitals.
    I’d rather go there than a “live” functioning park.

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  17. spuffler Says:

    Took the boys here, late 1990s, on a “Park Hopper” 5 day pass. The other Disney World water park, “Blizzard Beach”, was vastly more popular at the time, and was much newer and was prettier and better appointed than this one. For many people, as it also was for my family, this park was second choice. It was definitely acceptable and was operated in typical Disney mode, but it actually looks just like the beach down the road from me, so it really had no major appeal for my family – we only went here because “Blizzard Beach” was full when we went. Sure, some folks have never been to any such beach, so yeah, it had some appeal.

    BTW, Smiles, this water is part of the Disney Lagoon, and is not wild – you only catch whatever fish Disney has put in the water.

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  18. Marc Says:

    It’s just begging to be used as a set for a horror movie!

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  19. Tom Says:

    Awesome place – and pretty spooky looking! Would be great for exploring.

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  20. mike Says:

    This was a great water park. I remember going here when I was a kid

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  21. Prucelt Says:

    I had been there many times. Used to love the place and was very sad when it closed. The boom was a lot of fun as was the slide and rapids.

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  22. jayne Says:

    i went there as a child and it was amazing. filled with so much activity… we had so much fun! it’s really sad to see it was abandoned.

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  23. Dayana Says:

    this is really sad.I had never heard about this.They really should remodel and reopen it i hate seeing these photos theyre so sad!

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  24. Lurker Says:

    This make me think of the Myan Ruins. People will find this in the future and there will be Discovery Channel specials trying to decode the great “Hoopin-Holler” texts.

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  25. Beaver Says:

    I was there when I was in the 5th grade, I am 40 and I went there when my parents took my sister and I and it was awsome, packed, they had a tube ride with real rubber tubes, It was there also for my class trip, in 1987.

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  26. Ross Says:

    I went there in 1976 for my 13th birthday. The big slides at River Country were some of the best things at Disney world. We had a great time there…

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  27. EmilyMarie Says:

    I think that if they used water that didn’t come from natural bodies of water and made some slide improvments it could be a waterpark again and it could look like a ghost town and for some weird reason everyone left. from the photos 5 and 12 they should just fix the slides and clear the tree away in photo number 5. it would look so cool.

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  28. What troubles me is to know that all that land is just being wasted and the company hasn’t even cared to uninstall the rides and clear the land. The least a responsible company can do is to clear the ground so that at least some sort of natural growth of the land space which as of today is just being wasted.

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  29. Pooka Says:

    I loved River Country. It’s really sad to see it’s closed, but Disney saw it as an overflow park only with failing popularity. Wow, these are just heartbreaking photos.

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  30. m Says:

    I remember going there when I was a little kid. Even then I thought it was gross.

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  31. Great, another cool thing destroyed by government do gooders.

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  32. Wild Bill Says:

    My wife and I went to this park when we were on our honeymoon in 1976. Was part of a package deal they offered back then. Sad to see it in this condition, it was a lot of fun. We have several snapshots of us in and around the pool.

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  33. alex Says:

    i swear one of these photos was in a dream i had a while ago s: i’ve never been to america nor herd about this water park or anything s: creepy

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  34. This thing looks old as dirt lol

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