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River Country Returning – Kind of, Sort of

 

Years and years have past as every Disneyphile has wondered, what will Disney do with River Country? If you never had an opportunity to experience River Country, it was one of the best Disney water parks. At least this is what my 7 year old self put in my memory bank. River Country was part of the Fort Wilderness Campground and was a water park themed after Tom Sawyer with boom swings, T-bar cable ride, waterslides, and one of the best tube rides. Picture a tube ride that combines a lazy river and water slide. It would lull you into a sense of relaxation, then shake you up with splashing rapids and stomach turning drops – yahoo!  

 

 

For my family, we were always thrilled to go to River Country, but also sad. We absolutely loved it. To this day we reminisce about great family memories at the water park, from the first time I made it down the whole T-bar cable ride to when I was finally tall enough to ride the “drop-off waterslide” – a slide that ended with a 6 foot drop into the pool. What made it sad was River Country always marked the end of our Disney trip. The last day of every trip we would pack up the rental car and head over first thing in the morning. By early afternoon, after I had enough of a red glow, so we would change up and head for the airport – time to head home and get back to reality.

In November of 2001, River Country closed. River Country closing for winter was nothing new, as it would every year. Only this time it closed for good. After years of wondering what’s to come of the River Country area, all the rumors and permits are pointing to new Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort to be developed. This rumor has been circling since January 2016 when on episode 94 of The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish podcast, notable entertainment writer and fellow New Hampshire native, Jim Hill discussed the plan of the a new DVC resort themed around River Country.  

With all these rumors, my mind begins imagineering. How amazing would it be if Disney opened this brand new DVC resort themed after River Country and the central focus is the pool with aspects of the original River Country? I can picture it now, sandy bottom pool with a couple of waterslides that race through heavily wooded scenery and old school black inner tubes to float around a lazy river in. It would be everything my inner 7 year old would want.  

If everything plays out on schedule, this new River Country themed DVC resort should open in 2021.  Yes 2021, the same year as Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary. There is no better homage to Disney history than bringing back River Country. It would quickly become one of the most popular resorts with Disneyphiles and DVC members alike.  

For now, we’ll have to have an ear close to the rumor wire to see how everything plays out. If true, you better believe we will being staying here, at least one night. Maybe the last night of our trip? 😉

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