It doesn't seem like Disney to keep a park just sitting there like that. They should try to fix it up and make it part of the resort rather than a seperate gate. It would probably be a big draw to the resort if it was included with your stay.
I posted links to that site a while ago, I forget but the discussion was about but I've always been curious about that place and it looks like it was a fun little waterpark. It's a shame how it looks now with them keeping it around like that.
I believe it was deemed redundant when Animal Kingdom opened its gates. No need for the smaller animal park when the larger one was open.
I'm really sorry I never went there. My mother and brother went while my father and I spent time in the Magic Kingdom on Space Mountain- two rides they had no interest in (although my mother ended up riding it later on).
OK I am going to have to check my DVD they sent me when I started planning my trip. But I swear I saw R.C. on there. If this closed in 2001 they need to update their DVD's. I will rewatch the video to make sure but for some reason it sticks out as being on there.
Oops, I stand corrected. I was mistaking River Country with Discovery Island.
In that case, I think that RC closed soon after Blizzard Beach opened. That was probably around the time Animal Kingdom opened so it makes sense that it was officially "removed" as an attraction around 2000.
Also there were talks of problems with the water system and FL regulations or something like that. RC takes it's water in from Bay Lake. That would explain why they closed it for everyone and not just make it available for camp ground guests.
I think it could be saved as well, and even with the bigger parks, it could find a niche if the price was noticeably lower as described in the Wiki. I remember watching the Disney vacation videos back in the 90's and I thought it looked like alot of fun and wish I would have been able to visit before it closed.
Also in the Wiki, it mentions how they were thinking of re-theming the original Discovery Island around the MYST video game, which could have been interesting.
I went to River Country a couple times. It was nice and all in it's day, but it was small, used much lake water and sand and really didn't have a lot of variety. There was only a small pool and spa for filtered water. It served it's purpose, and when it's sad to see it close, many better things would open to replace it. It would be nice to see them use the land again, but for something other than a waterpark.
*** Edited 3/4/2007 9:16:54 PM UTC by john peck***
While wikipedia isn't always right, but here's what was also said for the closure.
It was commented by a Disney employee that a contributing reason for the closing was new state rules concerning water parks. Pools and water activities must have their water originating from municipal water systems, not natural bodies of water. Water snakes were also said to have been a problem.
Sound like many factors were part of the decision.