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Last revised Sun, 20-May-2007 18:47
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River Country

[Disney Vacation Planner]

At A Glance Disney's first attempt at a themed water park, River Country is more of a lakeside swimming hole than anything.
Update River Country is unlikely to open at all in 2002 and won't open in the future unless guest attendance is such that both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach repeatedly reach maximum capacity.

River Country was Disney's first attempt at a themed water park. It was built early in the life of Walt Disney World, and was originally considered just a part of the Fort Wilderness complex. It wasn't until the non-themed waterparks like Wet 'n' Wild and Water Mania began to open outside of the WDW borders that Disney decided to open Typhoon Lagoon and later Blizzard Beach.

River Country is located on the south edge of Bay Lake inside the Fort Wilderness campground complex. The entrance to River Country from the Fort Wilderness Campground is next to the Pioneer Hall restaurant complex. The only way to get there is by bus from the Fort Wilderness bus station or on foot, but it's quite a long trek. There is no convenient parking area specifically for River Country.

There certainly isn't as much to do as there is at the bigger water parks. also if you plan to visit during the winter keep in mind that the main section of River Country, Bay Cove, is not heated and can get quite cool.

River Country is usually closed for refurbishment during part of the Fall or Winter. Guests can call (407) 824-4321 for up-to-date information.

There are three main sections to the park:

Bay Cove

This is the area of the park with the 'Ol Swimmin' Hole theme.

The Old Swimming Hole

The Old Swimming Hole is unique in that it is actually part of Bay Lake. The water is murky, but the bottom is solid sand (not mushy muck like some lakes are). There are a number of rope swings, T-Bars, large platforms, a ship's boom and other areas from which swimmers can plunge into the water. There is a barrel bridge across this area to make it easier (albeit not by much) to cross and catch the slides...

Whoop-'N-Holler Hollow

This area of the park is actually two different "flume" slides. They are similar to the "storm" slides at Typhoon Lagoon, but are much shorter.

White Water Rapids

This ride, even with it's wild name, is tamer than the flume slides at Whoop-'N-Holler Hollow. It's a nice tube ride...not too severe, but alot of fun.

Upstream Plunge

A 330,000 gallon heated swimming pool is located between the entrance and Bay Cove. Upstream Plunge has a built in rock formation along one side which houses Slippery Slide Falls - two slides that begin high up in the "rocks" but end well above the surface of the water.

Beach Area/Mini-Bay Cove

This area is located on the inland end of Bay Cove. It offers a tamer version of Bay Cove which is better suited to younger children. There is a beach with lounge chairs along one side and a grassy area with picnic tables and a fountain which children can't seem to get enough of.

In addition there is a Nature Trail which is located along the shore of Bay Lake.


About $16 for adults, $12 for kids 3-9 years old. As with all Disney parks you can leave and return again later on in the day providing you get a hand-stamp on your way out. When you return the Castmember at the entrance will ask to see your handstamp and your ticket or all-inclusive pass.

Locker rooms are located near the entrance to River Country. Both the Men's and Women's facilities offer changing rooms and showers as well as lockers.

Large lockers cost $5 (plus a $2 refundable deposit) and smaller lockers cost $3 (plus same $2 deposit) per day.

Towels are available for rental at River Country. Each towel costs $1 but they are not very big so you may prefer to bring your own. Towels are also available for purchase at the Beach Shop.

There is a small first aid station located near the locker rooms.

Food / Drink:

Lunch is available at "Pop's Place". "The Watering Hole" is a small stand that is open during the busier seasons.

Pop's Place, a fast food restaurant, is located near the changing rooms. Hamburgers hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, salads and beverages are on the menu.

The Watering Hole opens during busier seasons and has a limited menu. You can also exit River Country and eat at one of the restaurants in Fort Wilderness's Pioneer Hall complex. Finally, Fort Wilderness's Settlement Trading Posts offers a number of items for take-out.

Picnics are welcome at River Country, although alcohol and glass containers are not permitted. There are picnic tables scattered throughout the park or guests can eat right on the beach.

The Beach Shop is the place for sunscreen, as well as pails, shovels, film, beach towels and a limited selection of swimwear.

How to get there

  • By Car - Enter through the Magic Kingdom toll booths (stay to the right as you approach them) and then follow the signs for River Country. Buses take guests from the parking lot to the River Country entrance.
  • By Bus - Buses bound for Fort Wilderness depart from the Transportation & Ticket Center regularly throughout the day. These buses will drop guests off at the Pioneer Hall bus stop in Fort Wilderness. From here it is a short walk to the River Country entrance. After exiting the bus guests should follow the path to their left. The River Country entrance will be just after the Pioneer Hall Restaurant complex on the left.
  • By Boat - Guests who are at the Magic Kingdom or the Contemporary Resort can take motor launches directly to the Fort Wilderness docks. The entrance to River Country will be straight ahead and to your right.



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