I ended up at a work dinner last night and got home late...so know Disney photos uploaded yet. However, I'm just dying to talk Disney, so I thought it might be fun to share some interesting Disney "Did you knows." Specifically, these relate to now defunct or unfinished Walt Disney World hotels/attractions. Who knew that these things were hiding at WDW? You will after today! :-)
Disney's Pop Century Legendary Years
Many of you will probably already know about Disney's Pop Century Resort. The resort that many know and love also has a more specific name: Disney's Pop Century Classic Years.
Why the distinction, you ask? Well, because across Hourglass Lake and Generation Gap Bridge sits this unfinished phase 2 construction: Pop Century Legendary Years.As you can see, The Classic Years cover the 1950s throguh 90s. The Legendary Years were meant to show the 10s through 40s. Construction was promptly halted following 9/11 and the ensuing drop off in tourism. For nearly 9 years now The Legendary Years have sat just across the lake unfinished.
The talk on Disney message boards and blogs is that Disney plans to finish The Legendary Years and turn them into family suites. Whether this is true remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it's always seemed weird to me that Disney lets them sit unfished and unthemed. Many guests of The Classic Years with views of Hourglass Lake can also see the unfished Legendary Years. Given Disney's usually zealous attempts to keep all on-property views tightly Disney themed, it just seems odd. Until, hopefully, Disney finishes The Legendary Years, they will continue to serve as a unique bit of Disney history and trivia.
Disney's River CountryJust off of Bay Lake (the lake the Contemporary Resort sits on) sits a now defunct water park. In fact, if you take the Disney transport boats from the Contemporary or Fort Wilderness and you look very closely, you'll actually be able to see yellow water slides jutting out of the woods!
Apparently, River Country, the world's first fully themed water park, was built six feet or so higher than Bay Lake so that runoff from the water park would flow into the Lake. Well, at some point water from Bay Lake contaminated the water park and the ensuing environmental nightmare would have cost too much to clean up vs. the amount of revenue the park brought in. That's all web speculation, though. Nonetheless, River Country sits eerily abandoned.
Disney's Discovery IslandHave you ever wondered where the animals for Animal Kingdom came from? Well, many of them came from AK's predecessor park: Discovery Island. DI served as a sort of walk-through zoo, tropical paradise themed. I was shocked to learn that DI was open when we went to WDW when I was a kid. I never remember hearing about it!
And, that is one of the major reasons it was closed! So, many of the animals were moved over to AK and DI now sits, abandoned, as a bird sanctuary.
Do you have any "Disney Did You Know's" to share? Did any of you ever visit DI or River Country...or have you seen the Pop Century Legendary Years for yourself? Please share!