Disney River Country: The Music Still Plays

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


For many, Disney’s River Country was the best water park ever. It closed in 2001, but the music still plays on.


Disney River Country: The Music Still Plays is an album of songs inspired by the now-defunct Disney’s River Country. Released on May 15, 2017, the album features songs written and performed by various artists, many of whom were Inspired by their visits to the water park.

Disney’s River Country was the first water park built at Walt Disney World. It opened on June 7, 1976 and closed on November 2, 2001. Despite its popularity, the park was ultimately closed due to high operating costs and declining attendance.

In the years since its closure, Disney’s River Country has become something of a cult classic among Disney fans. The park has been featured in numerous articles and videos, and there are even websites dedicated to preserving its memory.

Disney River Country: The Music Still Plays is a tribute to Disney’s River Country and a love letter to the fans who continue to hold it dear in their hearts.

What Happened to River Country?

Disney’s River Country was the first water park to open at Walt Disney World. Located near Discovery Island, it operated from 1976 until 2001. After closing its doors, the park remained abandoned for nearly two decades. In 2018, Disney finally announced plans to demolish the abandoned park.

So, what happened to River Country? Why did it close and why did it take so long for Disney to demolish it?

There are a few theories about what led to the closing of River Country. The most likely explanation is that the park was simply too small and outdated to compete with the other water parks that were opening at Walt Disney World. Additionally, the park was located in a remote area of the property, which made it less convenient for guests.

However, there is another theory that suggests something more sinister caused the closure of River Country. This theory points to the death of an 11-year-old boy who drowned in one of the park’s rivers in 1980. The boy’s family sued Disney, claiming that the death was preventable and that Disney did not do enough to warn guests about the dangers of swimming in the river. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court, but some believe that it led Disney to decide to close River Country.

Whatever the reason for its closure, River Country remained abandoned for nearly two decades. In 2018, Disney finally announced plans to demolish the abandoned park. demolition began in 2019 and is expected to be completed by 2020.

The Music of River Country

Though it has been years since Disney’s River Country closed its doors, the music of the park still lives on.

Composed by Mark Hammond and performed by the River Country Band, the songs of River Country were an integral part of the park’s atmosphere. From the upbeat “Up A Lazy River” to the more reflective “Shadows of the Past”, the music of River Country was perfect for a day spent exploring the great outdoors.

Though we may never again hear new original songs from River Country, we can still enjoy the tunes that made the park so special. Thanks to YouTube and other online sources, the music of River Country can live on forever.

The Legacy of River Country

When Disney River Country closed its doors for the last time on October 1, 2001, it marked the end of an era for Disney fans. For many, River Country was their first introduction to the magic of Disney. It was a place where families created lasting memories, and where friends made lifelong bonds.

Though it’s been nearly 20 years since River Country closed, the memories of those who loved it remain strong. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in all things River Country, as fans old and new alike reminisce about the good times they had at this unique Disney park.

For some, revisiting River Country through photos and videos is enough. But for others, the desire to hear the music of River Country once again is powerful.

Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, it is now possible to enjoy the music of River Country anytime, anywhere. A number of digital channels have sprung up in recent years that offer streaming audio of Disney’s lost park music. These channels are maintained by passionate fans who ensure that the legacy of River Country lives on.

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