Top 5: Disney World Spots Sadly Abandoned

Walt Disney World is made up of 47 square miles. It’s a large plot of land. Some things have been built and continue to thrive on that Florida swamp land, and other things have sadly faded away. Strangely enough, some places have been completely abandoned. Let to rot away, these places are still there as if they were a ghost town. It’s like they didn’t want to toss anything out and knew people wouldn’t see it so it was just left as it was on it’s last operating day. So where are these places? Here are my top 5 Disney World spots sadly abandoned.

abandoned

#5-Discovery Island. If you are unfamiliar with Discovery Island, it’s a small island on Bay Lake (near the Magic Kingdom) originally hosting a variety of animals and birds. It was a place you paid to visit and see animals as well as walk the trails of the island. It opened in 1974 but was closed in 1999 when the animals were moved to Disney World’s new park, Animal Kingdom. The island’s inhabitants found a new home, but sadly enough, the island never found a new reason to live at Walt Disney World. Ideas floated around like Myst Island, based on the popular computer game, or Lost Island, based on the popular television show, but nothing has been decided on for the island. In the meantime, it sits abandoned with everything except for the animals that once inhabited it. Now it is overgrown with the 250+ different plant species it once prided itself on and the facilities that were used by cast members are now rotten old buildings.

#4-Food Rocks! In the 1990s, Food Rocks! was one of my favorite shows at Epcot. I loved the Land pavilion simply for this show. When it closed up, it eventually made way for Soarin’ but here is a little secret, the actual stage was never ripped out. Walls were put up and it was placed out of view. When you are in line for Soarin’ it sits just on the other side of the walls, animatronic figures and all. I know that Food Rocks! or anything like that show will never return, but I feel like this is just laziness to keep this here. In the years to come when Soarin’ changes and the queue needs to be expanded, Imagineers will tear down that wall and wonder what the heck that stage is and why it’s still there..

abandoned 1

#3-River Country. Disney’s first water park was less of a water park and more of a water playground. Both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon made River Country look like a back woods red-neck park, but that was it’s appeal and charm. It was simple and fun. River Country was opened in June of 1976 and was closed in 2001. Due to new laws about water usage in parks across America, the original Disney water park had to cease operations. Rather than fix the problems and change the park around, it was decided that the other two parks were good enough and River Country was left to rot. Music still plays through the speakers, ights still turn on at night, and the slides once slippery with water are now faded and decomposing.

#2-Wonders of Life. An entire pavilion that slowly faded away in the early 2000s. It does get used for seasonal seminars but not in the way it should. Like it’s name, this pavilion came to life with Body Wars, Cranium Command, and a slew of different activities to show you how to stay healthy. The main room has been cleared for the most part but Cranium Command and Body Wars were boarded up and just left to sit. Will the pavilion ever come back to life or be used in a meaningful way? Nobody knows, but it sits and it’s sad because some of us who pay to see these seminars can still see the signs that once got us excited to see these attractions that now sit dormant.

abandoned 2

#1-Image Works. First of all, you may or may not be in love with the changes made to the original Journey Into Imagination and what it has become. Regardless, the Imagination pavilion is really missing something and that is the second level of the building and it’s Image Works playground. There are so many things that people loved on the second level that still sit untouched, including the Rainbow Tunnel. It hasn’t been announced that the second level would reopen and it seems like it never will. That’s the unfortunate part because you can imagine it right about your head as you are riding through. All of it’s wonder, stuck upstairs and never to be played with again.

What are some of your abandoned places you wish were still around? What do you think is next to be abandoned? Will any of these places see the light of day again? Leave your thoughts and comments.

Josh Taylor
ModernMouseRadio.com
http://www.Twitter.com/ModernMouseJosh
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Posted on June 14, 2013, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. they really need to re open the old image works. It would be so well received but old Disney fans. Plus kids would love it.

    • nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  2. Salvatore DiSanto

    The Wilderness Trails at Fort Wilderness Campground were beautiful back in the day…
    My girlfriend and I got a little more than intimate, shall we say….

  3. Salvatore DiSanto

    Oh, yeah…and I life guarded at River Country for 2 years…we had to delay opening one morning due to an alligator in the ol’ swimmin’ hole….good times…..

  4. wow! I didn’t realize that stuff was still there, brings back memories! I guess just like our love for the original figment, I have found someone else who actually loved food rocks! And I miss body wars and the rainbow tunnel too. Wish they would go retro and bring more back like they did the orange bird

  5. It’s not officially an abandoned Disney spot, but Nara Dreamland in Japan was built with Disney’s help to become the official Disneyland Japan – then the deal fell through and after more than 40 year being a Disneyland clone the park was abandoned in 2006. I went there 5 times sinc3 2009 and it’s pretty amazing…

  6. #1 and #2 I have so many memories of! I miss them so much and would love to play in there still today even though I am adult (age wise). I think there is great potential for Discovery Island as well but don’t think I would be a fan of Myst or Lost even though I am familiar with both. Great post!

  7. Reblogged this on WDW Mousenger and commented:
    To all my fellow Disney Geeks who know and/lor like a dose in WDW history (perfect for Throwback Thursday!) here is a cool article from Josh Taylor at ModernMouse Radio about places in WDW that have gone the way of the Dinosaur…no, not as in the Carnotaur over at AK, but as in have gone extinct. There are 5 on Josh’s list, and there could easily be more. I may have to do a follow up article later…
    #3 on the list is River Country. It was a personal favorite of mine and I was sad to see it go. River Country was the original Disney water park back in the days before Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. You can find some pretty wild videos on YouTube of the abandoned site today, and as Josh points out, at night music still plays and lights still come on…it’s a pretty spooky looking place now. Enjoy the article, and if you have any other favorite extinct attractions, let us know in the comments!

  8. Stephanie Knorr

    The Odyssey Restaurant at Epcot is baffling to me. Great spot and yet it has sat empty for years :(

  9. I remember many of those things. While I never visited Discovery Island, it seems like the perfect place for an attraction like Tom Sawyer’s Island. We enjoyed the Food Rocks show, too. As for the rest of the Land, I miss the original song on the boat ride. I also miss the original Journey into Imagination ride that was much better and more inspiring than what’s there now. It meant a lot to me as we went there to celebrate the sale of my first novel. We also enjoyed Horizons but that’s gone.

  10. I think they should do something with the discovery island make it into a pirate theme? or have the comtemary take it over and make it a lil private beach are for there guest? river country seems to be near fort wilderness maybe that resort should take over the area and do something with it maybe a beach for the camp grounds? Restore the park and bring it up to todays laws and codes?..i would like to see the imagination second floor open up it would be awesome to see kids play in there again. I think food rocks or another show about being healthy should come back and put use to those figures again! Soarin needs a new video soarin over florida ! and that’s all I have to say!

  11. disney needs to stop expanding and being lazy they could use the discovery island for a frozen kingdom and use then abandon islands for the old things that were riped out and they could use the untouched stuff and get more money to expand all they need is to come clean and tell people hey there is a park that was this what should we use it for use what the people thinks because there a more people that think the same way as the visitors

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