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10 Experiences That No Longer Exist at Walt Disney World

1) River Country water park

River Country was Walt Disney World’s first ever water park. It opened on June 20, 1976 and promised the fun of an old swimming hole for the whole family. It was located at Bay Lake behind Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds. There were water attractions of all kinds, including slides, pools, bridges and more. Among Guests’ favorites were the White Water Rapids, the Upstream Plunge and Slippery Slide Falls. Whoop ‘n’ Holler Hollow boasted two separate twisting slides—one 260 feet long and one 160 feet long—that plunged Guests into the ‘Ol Swimmin’ Hole. On River Country’s opening day, Susan Ford, the 18-year-old daughter of President Gerald Ford, was the first Guest to ride Whoop ‘n’ Holler Hollow. There was also a nature trail at River Country.

When River Country closed in November of 2001 at the end of its season, Guests fully expected it to open when the other Disney water parks reopened in March of 2002. To their dismay, however, it was the only water park that did not reopen. To this day, remnants of River Country can still be seen from a few Guest areas at Walt Disney World. Whether Disney has plans to refurbish or demolish the old water park remains to be seen.

By Rebekah Tyndall Burkett