Opening in mid-1976, River Country was Walt Disney World’s first official water park. Located along the banks of Bay Lake near Fort Wilderness and across from Discovery Island, the park was designed to replicate an old “swimming hole.” River Country featured water slides, pools, swimming areas, nature trails, other water features and play areas for guests.
In late 2001 River Country closed to the public. All of the buildings and attractions remained on the property unused leading to speculation that the park may re-open. Unfortunately in early 2005, Disney announced that River Country would remain closed permanently. Until early 2019, the park remained abandoned and simply overgrown rather than demolished. It was at that time that demolition began to prepare for a new resort to be built on the property.