Fifteen years ago, a place where dreams came true was abandoned to be engulfed by the natural elements. Consumed by the dense undergrowth and left to rot under an onslaught of weeds, Walt Disney's first water park has been left largely forgotten since 2001.
Now though, it appears a brave photographer has summoned up the courage to enter the off-limits premises in an attempt to piece together a memory of the adventure park's former glory.
Before being officially banned from all Disney theme parks (ever!) for entering this decaying wonderland, Seph Lawless managed to capture the following eerie images from River Country:
The park in Bay Lake, Florida, was first opened back in 1976, bringing joy to families from all over America. However, Disney World was forced to close after a young boy contracted a deadly infection while visiting with his family — a rare amoeba went up his nose and seized his brain and nervous system. As a result, he died shortly after, sending River Country into shock and eventually, absolute disarray.
Lawless now hopes that his photographs bring recognition and awareness to the fact that Disney left the park without any efforts to clean up what they had built. Writing on his Facebook, he said:
"So Disney is upset at me, but why do they get so upset anytime someone gets too close to the abandoned Discovery Island. What are you hiding Disney? Stay tuned for the strange and bizarre oddities of the Disney Conspiracy."
The artist says that he also had the chance to interview workers who operate Bay Lake. They revealed that these days, it is far too dangerous to swim in the area's waters — allegedly, Disney's colorful little boats and nightly fireworks have polluted the surrounding natural habitat and poisoned all the fish.
Ultimately, what was once deemed as the 'happiest place on Earth' has descended into a unsettling nightmare.
See more of Seph's work over at the artist's website or his Instagram.
Have you ever visited an abandoned area?