Some Disney rides, like the Haunted Mansion, pretty much advertise that they are going to be scary up front. Whereas others are just plain dull – we’re looking at you, Hall of Presidents. But then there are others that are a lot more tricky. From the bait-and-switch of a promised exotic petting zoo to the opportunity to come face-to-face with real Florida reptiles, here’s a roundup of some of the worst Disney rides for kids, past and present.
River Country (Permanently Closed)
It sounded great on paper, like so many awful Disney attractions do. A real old-fashioned swimming hole in a Florida swamp. The water would come from the attached Bay Lake, providing an extra layer of realism. Imagineers built River Country next to the popular Fort Wilderness campground in 1976 and this was a popular swimming hole for a while. Problems began though, when Florida’s local flora and fauna began to show up.
From issues with fowl fecal matter (read: goose and duck poo) to indigenous snakes and the occasional gator, River Country ended up becoming a parent’s nightmare. The prospect of swimming next to one of Florida’s less friendly reptiles and the high bacteria count also drove Disney to close Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon to swimmers in 2001. The park now sits abandoned and filled with weeds and the natural fauna that drove guests from the area in the first place.