June 20, 1976 – River Country Water Park Opens in Walt Disney World
“The fun loving, carefree spirit of Huck Finn is alive in River Country.”
On June 20, 1976, the water park River Country opened in Walt Disney World, right next to Fort Wilderness. Designed to resemble an old-fashioned swimming hole the likes of Huckleberry Finn, Imagineers created a miniature mountain range for the five waterslides. Part of the nearby Bay Lake, the Bay Cove area was a half-acre lake with a sand-bottom, and held almost 330,000 gallons of water. The popularity of River Country led to Disney opening two more water parks: Typhoon Lagoon in 1989, and Blizzard Beach in 1995. River Country was permanently closed on September 1, 2001, and was left as an “abandoned” park within Walt Disney World’s property.