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Planogirl
03-24-2003, 03:12 PM
One evening while hanging out at Fort Wilderness, we decided to wander down to River Country. We met a young couple coming out of the old water park. The girl was literally in tears and asked if something couldn't be done to save the place. "I used to play here when I was a child" she said. We went on in and found a park in seemingly perfect repair. The bathrooms were lighted and open and everything seemed to be well taken care of and maintained.

The pool areas were blocked off with walls but of course we peeked over as best we could. Everything we could see seemed to be intact and also in good repair.

Has anyone heard anything recently about the old River Country facility? Will this likely just be another place thats sits with no purpose? I remember a rumor that some or all of the facility could be redone to be an exclusive pool area for Fort Wilderness. I like this idea since Fort Wilderness only has little mediocre pools and this would definitely be enough to make me pay premium prices for the cabins. I could also see the Wilderness Lodge particularly the WL villas having access. The lady urged us to write Disney and to ask others to write but this hasn't seemed to help much in the past. Any thoughts or info anyone?

Another Voice
03-24-2003, 09:44 PM
The system for River Country uses water directly from Bay Lake. Since the water quality in Disney's lakes is now below acceptable levels they had no choice but to close them (according to the "rumors").

To reopen the place they will either need to build the water treatment project for the property (cancelled over a year ago) or to dam off River Country and build a recycled and purified water system. That will cost money too; more than they think is justified by selling campsites.

MELSMICE
03-25-2003, 07:41 AM
How about tearing down the raft rides, etc. that are in the lake water, closing the beach to swimming & keeping the pool open for FW guests?

What a shame that everything should sit there unused. I love FW & have always thought it would be a great idea to give the guests the RC pool as their main pool.

I guess it sounds easier than it must be.

HB2K
03-25-2003, 11:59 AM
At this rate, there will be so many relics & remains, Geraldo will do a special unlocking the secrets of WDW's Past...

MELSMICE
03-25-2003, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by HB2K
At this rate, there will be so many relics & remains, Geraldo will do a special unlocking the secrets of WDW's Past...

LOL :jester:

HB2K
03-25-2003, 12:23 PM
I can see it now....in the dark of night, Geraldo & his film crew assemble in the back of Fantasyland.....where legend has it that the quiet lagoon once housed some type of submarine ride....oh the suspense....first they pry open the gate and in go the cameras. We've got divers with the latest waterproof cameras headed down to the darkest portion of the lagoon.....Oh my god, they've found a track....

Then for a sequel (take it from the pros) they head out to the mysterious island in the middle of the lake.....

Planogirl
03-25-2003, 08:04 PM
I love the idea of Geraldo doing a special about WDW secrets of the past or maybe Leonard Nimoy could do another "In Search Of.." Maybe they could search for any trace of the reputed sinkhole where Horizons used to be or investigate the buildings that once housed both ends of the skyride. Coincidently, my son asked about both of them on this trip. Hey, one looks cute and the other holds up a waterfall. :)

And why should a River Country refurbishment be just a matter of campsites? What about more cabins? Those places don't come cheap!

But with Ei$ner in charge, I guess that I already know the answer.

bianca
03-26-2003, 08:43 AM
The campsites at FW are comparable in price to any of the resorts on property. Campsites run $50-70 per night ...... about the same as All-Stars with a discount. Considering that one Comfort Station provides showers and phone service for 50-100 campsites and that no maid service is required for each site, a profit is most definitely being made on this resort ..... in addition to the fact that it always has a higher percentage of guests staying than the other on-property resorts (with the exception of DVC). For this reason alone, they should consider cleaning up River Country and adding it to the FW amenities. FYI ..... FW is also the only WDW resort that does not have a hot tub!

KNWVIKING
03-26-2003, 09:04 AM
Last I knew, Poly didn't have one either.

owensamo
03-26-2003, 09:56 AM
This is just a rumor I read elsewhere (I think on rec.arts.disney.parks), so it's coming like 15th hand from me, but...

I read that one of the problems with River Country is that the supports holding up the slides were built out of wood rather than metal, and the wood is almost totally rotted away. The post I read said that there is fear of the safety of the demolition crews, which is one (probably minor) reason nothing's been done yet - the cost for even tearing it down is more than they're willing to spend right now. The original post did say that rumor has it that there is a remote possibility that the main pool may end up reused for FW.

Mur!

mom_rules
03-26-2003, 01:31 PM
So sad!! we really loved River Country.

MELSMICE
03-26-2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by mom_rules
So sad!! we really loved River Country.

Us too. It as (was) my favorite water park. I loved the fact that it was small enough that we could find a spot, watch DD's when they went on the raft rides & they always could see & find us no matter where they were. That's not the case at BB or TL. :(

We will miss River Country.

Dznefreek
03-28-2003, 03:27 PM
The system for River Country uses water directly from Bay Lake. Since the water quality in Disney's lakes is now below acceptable levels they had no choice but to close them (according to the "rumors"). NO, NO, for the third time NO! RC has a spillway into Bay Lake.

Even if it did supply RC the rocks in RC are the filtration system and the water was treated with Bromine.

If the lake water is bad why do people still wade in the water at the Poly, the GF, Contemp, and FW. Bay Lake flows freely over the water bridge into the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Demosthenes
03-28-2003, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Dznefreek
NO, NO, for the third time NO! RC has a spillway into Bay Lake.

Even if it did supply RC the rocks in RC are the filtration system and the water was treated with Bromine.

If the lake water is bad why do people still wade in the water at the Poly, the GF, Contemp, and FW. Bay Lake flows freely over the water bridge into the Seven Seas Lagoon.

I don't buy those rumors either. You can still go water skiing as well.

raidermatt
03-28-2003, 05:06 PM
But you can't swim, correct?

:confused:

Dznefreek
03-28-2003, 05:21 PM
But you can't swim, correct? Swim, wade, falling down water skiing what is the difference you are still in the water, and yes you can at WL.

KNWVIKING
03-28-2003, 05:27 PM
The is no swimming allowed at WL,(other then the pools), unless something has changed since Dec.

crusader
03-28-2003, 05:30 PM
You used to be able to swim within a roped area at FW but I haven't stayed there in years. For some reason it was the only lagoon resort which allowed guests to do this.

As for River Country, it was ok but it never felt really clean.

TIdoublegaER
03-28-2003, 06:06 PM
There is a problem with potentially deadly bacteria the grows in FL lakes. It has to do with the temp of the water, if I remember correctly. When I was in Orlando last April, there were reports on the news of 2 teenagers who were swimming in different lakes becoming critically ill due to this bacteria (neither were at Disney), one later died. I'll try to find a link from the paper on this one because I really don't remember the specifics.

KNWVIKING
03-28-2003, 06:14 PM
When we were at WL in Dec I asked a CM if swimming was prohibited at the WL beach because of the infamous brain eating ameba that is in the Florida lakes. I was told "no" and that WDW did not have this problem because the lake was manmade. She stated WL closed the beach because of the water craft and proximity to the docks. She also stated they were working on a solution that would allow swimming to return. But CM's have been known to pass on misimformation in the past.

TIdoublegaER
03-28-2003, 06:15 PM
Ok, I could only get the abstracts of the articles for free...so here is what I found on the internet about it though:


Q: Is it safe to swim in Florida lakes? Amoebas have been known to infect children and then some die? -- Thanks, LeRoy

A: Yes, unfortunately, there have been a few tragic deaths caused by amoebas in freshwater lakes in Florida. And no, Florida state health officials have advised against swimming in freshwater areas until it cools off.

In July 2002, two boys in the Orlando area were affected after swimming in warm lakes, where they got the infections. One boy, 12, died after being infected by an amoeba (a microscopic organism) in the Conway chain of lakes. Being infected by this kind of amoeba is almost always fatal, as it is said to travel to the brain and not respond to antibiotics. Another boy, 15, was doing better as of this writing after battling a bacterial infection caught at Lake Talmadge. He reportedly had a cut, where the bacteria may have entered his body.

These aren't the first people to be infected this way -- you may hear about such cases almost every year -- but the infection is pretty rare. According to health reports, only 150 cases of the amoeba infection have been reported (18 in Florida from 1962-2000), and there have been only 50 cases of the 15-year-old's bacterial infection. Florida may see a greater percentage of these kinds of infections because these organisms thrive in the warm muck of the lake bottoms -- and people seek the swimming holes to get a reprieve from the heat.

Florida state health officials have advised against going into Florida freshwater areas until temperatures drop. If you must go into a lake, according to the Florida Department of Health, "wear nose clips, avoid stirring up sediment and avoid swimming near lake bottoms, where organisms are more concentrated." Please see a PDF file for more information about water-borne illnesses in Florida and their symptoms, found at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Web site.

MELSMICE
03-28-2003, 06:29 PM
I remember talking to a CM one year while at RC. He said that the RC "lake area" is actually a chlorinated "pool" that has a green bottom to make it look like lake water. He said the "pool" was emptied once a year, scrubbed clean & then refilled.

Don't know is this is true or not :confused: but that is what the CM told us.

meowthew2
03-29-2003, 12:13 AM
Amoebas in Disney water have been a problem for years now. It was in August 1980 that a 10-year-old boy died from an amoebic infection after spending the day at River Country...

space42
03-29-2003, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by MELSMICE
I remember talking to a CM one year while at RC. He said that the RC "lake area" is actually a chlorinated "pool" that has a green bottom to make it look like lake water. He said the "pool" was emptied once a year, scrubbed clean & then refilled.

Don't know is this is true or not :confused: but that is what the CM told us.

Yes it is a seperate "pool" that is treated. The water from RC can flow via a spill way into Bay lake but not the other way around.
There are some good pictures that I will link to that show the spill way and a waterless RC.

Here is RC in its current empty state.. from 08/02
http://www.disneypix.com/Recreation/River/2002b/RC0802-02.htm

Good picture of the spill way.
http://www.disneypix.com/Recreation/River/2001a/River0505-02.htm


The last comment from Disney was that RC was closed due to lower attendance and it could be opened back up at any time.
However with more and more attractions closing and going to seasonal status I doubt that this will be any time soon.

Another Voice
03-31-2003, 01:38 PM
There is some concern about the various critters that live in Florida's lakes, but it's a limited concern at WDW. The water system is designed to keep water continually moving through the property as a way of controlling flooding. Amoebas and such thrive in stagnate water.

And the Cast Member was wrong, Fort Wilderness is built on Bay Lake which is a natural lake (and Discovery Island is a natural Island as well). The Seven Seas Lagoon was manmade, but it uses the same water as everyone else. In fact all of the water systems in the Parks from the Jungle Cruise and the Rivers in America to the Lagoon at Epcot are all part of it as well. All of the Magic Kingdom Resorts opened with large beach area (remember it was originally called the Grand Floridian Beach Resort) and promoted swimming proximity to boat launches and such has nothing to do with closing all the beaches.

Water from Bay Lake is drawn through a filter system (to keep out the leaves, trout and other goodies) and then circulated through River Country's water slides and main swimming hole. This place was built in the early seventies and this was a common practice many of the larger water parks across the county continue to use natural water sources. There is a spill way back into Bay Lake, but this mostly so that rain water can flow into the water system and not through the camp ground.

The bigger concern for water quality is really urban runoff. When WDW was built it was way, way outside of town. It had its own streams, its own wells and thousands of undeveloped acres and its own very large water treatment system. But with it was also a much smaller development than it is now.

WDW has become a pretty big city. During a good summer day it can have over a quarter million people on property. That's a lot of oil to runoff the roads, trash to spill down the storm drains, a lot of flushing toilets, and all the other urban and industrial waste that would plague a city of that size.

WDW had a very advanced water treatment system, but the hotel and park growth spurt overwhelmed what it could handle. So instead of trying to treat all the water on property, Disney tries to do some basic pre-treatment of just the sewage. All those chemicals, gas and oil is now simply allowed to run into the lakes and streams.

There was a very large plan to replace the water treatment system again which would have returned the water quality on property back to its formal levels. A significant amount of land was purchased and construction plans were made. But well we'll short hand this and just say budget cuts. It's just cheaper to change the name of hotel and rope off the beaches instead of fixing the problem.



As a footnote, one of the plans Disney was working on to build large ponds that would use fast growing plants to purify the water. The plants would be harvested and then mulched to produce methane gas. The gas would them be used in the turbines that Disney uses to generate electricity and chilled water for the Magic Kingdom area. It would have been a prototype for similar plants in small towns and business across the country. But Eisner deleted funding for the program although you can still see some PR pictures in all the "environmentality" marketing stuff they put out. It's cheaper to look good than the be good.

colleen costello
04-01-2003, 10:38 AM
Another Voice, thanks for the update. Some of my best memories from childhood were made at River Country. I will continue to hope it comes back! I can remember my parents leaving me there (I was about 12) to swim and meet them later. This was in the glorious '70's before parents were afraid to let their kids go to the mailbox alone... I also remember swimming every summer at the FW beach. They had a lifeguard and a big float you could swim to; I think it even had a slide. Aah, the good old days...

A Mickeyfan
04-05-2003, 01:36 PM
There is also no swimming allowed in the lakes around the resort not only for amebia's...but there are also Alligators there as well!!!! I have seen them. No they weren't in River Country...but they are in the lakes & on the Golf Course's....it is just part of Florida...and they are all over Florida!!!! Disney does what it can about controlling them but it is a part of Florida's natural habbitat.

rangebob
04-05-2003, 10:35 PM
Another thing that I don't believe is that the wood supports are totally rotten. I'm over at Disney and FW alot. I've seen workers there before and they are alot of the time on top of the mountain at RC. I know that you said that it was coming to you 15th hand but I doubt that they would allow workers on top of the mountain looking at different things but won't allow a demolition crew near it when they don't even touch the structure other than with heavy equipment.