River Country may have been the first of the Disney water parks, but it was really just a test for something bigger and better yet to come.
Typhoon Lagoon came along in 1989 during the largest expansion ever in the history of Walt Disney World. It was joined by the Caribbean Beach Resort, the first moderate and the 3rd Florida theme park, the Disney-MGM Studios. With such incredible expansion, Walt Disney World was the place to be in the 90's. And the Imagineers wanted to make sure it stayed that way!
Come 1995, the third water park opened. Blizzard Beach was an instant hit. The concept of a snow resort turned water park was just too much fun, and it was hard to resist. The crowds kept growing, even as River Country was eventually left to rot.
What could be the theme for the next large expansion's water park? How about a Pirates of the Caribbean one? It was proposed sometime earlier this decade but has yet to come about. As they say, good ideas never die at Disney. Maybe it's time will come!
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)