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.
#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..
#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.
#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.