Related Questions. EPCOT’s New Mexico Pavilion Merch Features Mickey, Minnie, and Friends! It was such a relaxing day. Read more: These 10 major retailers are each closing at […] The park featured a rustic wilderness theming, complete with rocks and man-made boulders. I got a hair wrap that I LOVED! The pools in the campground are very basic. Read more About us or Advertise And if people are going to keep coming back to Disney, Disney has to morph and grow. We visited River Country when our children were ages 5 and 8. To be honest it was creepy going by it and seeing small parts of the park totally rotted out and abandoned. Thought it was a good place to go with the kids and just relax. Would you believe that the Walt Disney Company allowed a full theme park to rot away in the middle of Walt Disney World for nearly two decades? It would be a great location for a new vacation club property – with beautiful natural views and boat access to the Magic Kingdom. It seemed very odd that WDW didn’t go in and raze it completely. Sometimes it shouldn’t be about bigger and better. My kids grew up going to River Country on non park days. I was 8. “River Country is the kersplashingest, kid laughingest, slippery slidingest, raft ridingest, rope swingingest, swan divingest, summer swimmingest, sun snoozingest, picnickingest, old-fashioned, good, clean wet American fun you've ever had!" It was not as fun as I remember and the park seemed dated. Prior to 2009 the last time I went to WDW was 2002. In the 70s and 80s, Disney was focused on making Walt Disney World the “Vacation Kingdom of America”. Thank you for your support. We were surprised to find it closed. Not thrilled that the land is going to be, yet another hotel (a timesharing one, at that). My family always included River Country in our plans just like the Magic Kingdom. The first signs of demolition have been spotted at the old location of Disney’s River Country water park. I won a cannon-ball contest there on the 4th of July when I was 10 and still have the pin I won and the memory. Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. We were there on our Honeymoon back in 1981. After the other water parks opened and drew the people away from River Country, I hoped it would become the pool area for Fort Wilderness Campground. If the park was so popular, why is it closed? The legend goes that Jeffrey then talked with Michael and convinced him that Disney needed another water park, and that is why the company decided to build Typhoon Lagoon – which opened in 1989. I met the queen of hearts, goofy and chip n dale. This place was amazing in the eyes of an 8 year old! Your email address will not be published. I’m not sure it would stay such a quaint place if it were still open today. In June 1976, River Country's grand opening attracted more than 700 reporters and their families. I did not start going to WDW until River Country was closed, but I have to ask after reading about it: Why did Disney get rid of something that was close to resorts and parks, and then just leave the land sit unused? Were they planning something else for it 10 years ago? Take a Tour of Our Awesome Planet In This New Film at Disney’s Epcot! One of the primary theories revolves around the idea that the closure was due to a brain-eating amoeba that was present in the park’s water. We had a great time. with us. In fact, in those early days guests could go swimming in Bay Lake itself, and the River Country pulled its water supply from the lake. There have been many theories bandied about online as to why River Country closed. We respect your right to privacy. I anxiously waited to hear what they would be doing with the area only to be disappointed to hear another resort. The proverbial “other shoe” dropped on November 2, 2001, when River Country closed for its annual winter refurbishment… and didn’t reopen with the other two water parks. In fact, it was so successful that it was constantly full. As a child I went to the water park anytime my family stayed in Fort Wilderness. But here were two problems with that set up. I miss it. I was always hoping Disney would find away to bring the water park back. 2,087 posts. I was at WDW in the 70’s and knew of River Country but water parks were not my thing. NEWS! We thought nothing about it and went back to swimming. The resort, which will features rooms and theming based on films including  Bambi, The Fox and the Hound, Brother Bear, Pocahontas, and The Princess and the Frog, is scheduled to open in 2022. loved to stay there but with all the changes will rethink vacations to Disney! This made the water park the second of only two Disney parks in the company's history to close perman… It was a fantastic place to go and we would go a lot because our family could afford that but not the bigger parks. My DH and I went to WDW a lot from 1999 till it closed and just never made it. Disney built the water park in 1976. I went when I was 6 years old in 1994. Note that visiting the now-closed River Country is a really bad idea. Even before River Country’s closure in 2001 there were rumors of what may be headed to this lakefront site. We’d forgive you for being skeptical, as the story sounds completely antithetical to Disney’s usual M.O.. I was very sad to hear of the closing and cherish our time in this terrific place. I was lucky enough to go to River Country on a trip back in 1977 it was one of my fondest early memories of The World. We visited WDW in 1992 and enjoyed going, we have been back a few times since and I know it's closed but I can't remember even where it was. [The Walt Disney Company]River Country was a staple of the Walt Disney World attraction lineup for 25 years, and over that period it was witness to the evolution of the vacation kingdom. And now given to Reflections DVC cabins. I think of them often. I’ll be the first in line! AllEars Quiz: Finish the Lyrics — Disney Attraction Song Edition, Universal’s Chief Creative Officer States That The Wizarding World…, PHOTOS! Loved it. It was a really great and unique Disney dining / character experience (where else could adults have unlimited beer and wine included in their buffet meal, where else can kids dance hand in hand with Goofy to a live band?). Back then there were only two parks and not nearly as many guests. Status: False Art and text from a 1993 handout given to River Country guests I remember visiting River Country when I was in elementary school and it was magical… remaining in my memory 40+ years later. He really enjoyed swimming with the “tiny fish”. For awhile, one rumor specul… We visited River County several times in the early 90’s when our children were young. Since its closure, Disney has basically let the area rot. By 2001, that roster had expanded to include three more theme parks, over 30 hotels, and – perhaps most damaging to River Country in the long run – two more water parks. Over the next two years, the company continued tearing down and removing the park despite making no official announcement of what they’d be doing with the land. Took our girls there in 98 it was a nice and quiet diversion from all the crowds- Sad to see it go e but like other attractions, restaurants or entire islands “Pleasure” all things must keep up with the times or be replaced to keep the Disney adventure magical . 1 decade ago. PHOTOS: Go on a 2020 Walt Disney World Christmas Tree Tour! We loved our days at River Country. This would have been a great addition for the Campground experience. I guess our mom thought we should have gone back to the Contemporary, which was ridiculous because we couldn’t have ridden the boat anyway with all the lightning. The site has sunk into disrepair. Lv 7. I’ll always have those awesome memories! If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. Other Disney resorts have specialty themed pools. My wife and I went to River Country and Discovery Island on our Honeymoon in 1984. We would stay at the campground every year and went to river country every time. Answer for question: Your name: Answers. Great Loss. One of the primary theories revolves around the idea that the closure was due to a brain-eating amoeba that was present in the park’s water. I was so surprised to hear it closed. Why did Disney World's River Country close down permanently? A man who calls himself Adam The Woo trespassed onto River Country property, and Disney has now banned him from Disney property for life. Favorite Answer .

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