Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are the six Disney parks open to the public. What few visitors know is that the company also has two other parks abandoned for decades and whose access is prohibited.
The brazilin journalist Felipe van Deursen of the blog Terra à Vista, was recently near the entrance of the two attractions. He discovered the stories behind the River Country water park, closed in 2001, and the Discovery Island theme park, which ended its activities two years earlier.
Discovery Island operated as a kind of zoo located on a small island of Lake Bay Lake between the years 1974 and 1999. Crossing the same lake, you arrive at the famous Magic Kingdom, one of Orlando’s most famous parks today.
The other park, River Country, was the first water park opened by the company. After success between 1976 and 2001, the structure was abandoned because more modern parks were inaugurated.
In an interview with the BBC, the photographer Seph Lawless, a specialist in portraying abandoned parks, said he was near to both parks to record their images. However, according to him, the area is heavily guarded and it is not possible to get even 15 meters of the entrance of the establishments, which are closely watched by security guards on boats.
In both cases, Disney did not touch the structure that had been built for the parks. The old toys and attractions continue in the same places where they were built, creating a mystery around these parks.
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April 1, 2016 Disney World just gave me lifetime season passes to all Disney World theme parks and announced transforming both abandoned areas of Disney World into environmentally friendly scenic nature reserves. Discovery Island will be a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna and other geological wonder. We applaud the Disney's corporations announcement and its willingness to work towards bettering the environment for us all. April fools everyone.