Disney’s abandoned River Country is not the only park at Disney World that has been shut down for good and abandoned. Have you ever heard of Discovery Island?
Discovery Island was not always Discovery Island. When Disney World opened in 1971, it was just an island called Blackbeard’s Island in the middle of Bay Lake. Then, in 1974, it opened as Treasure Island. Treasure Island was supposed to have a pirate theme, but that was overlooked by the… animal exhibits! Yes, Treasure Island was like a mini Animal Kingdom! Then, in 1978, Treasure Island was renamed Discovery Island. It lost all of the pirate theme, and focused on more stuff like the animals. Discovery Island had a Dusky Seaside Sparrow, until 1987, the year the bird died. Then, in 1990, the bird became extinct, but the island was still an amazing place. You were able to get close to the animals, (closer than at Animal Kingdom), and it was a beautiful place to go sightseeing.
Why did Discovery Island close?
So, you are probably wanting to know why exactly Discovery Island closed. Well, Animal Kingdom opened up on, April 22nd, 1998. After this new park focused on animals opened, the attendance of the island went down… a lot. The island was twenty-five years old when it closed on April 8th, 1999, the same day it opened as Treasure Island twenty-five years ago.
The only thing I wish I knew was why they left it abandoned and didn’t use it for a hotel or new park. Discovery Island will always be remembered, and not just because it still sits on Disney World property today. But, also because there is a land in Animal Kingdom named the same thing.
It will still be cherished, by the people who went to the wonderful Discovery Island as a child.