Disney’s Deserted Discovery Island Nearly Turned A Myst Theme Park

Long exposure of a spinning Amusement park ride


Disney’s Discovery Island shut greater than 20 years in the past, nevertheless it doesn’t get spoken about a lot. It lies within the coronary heart of Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida, usually surrounded by thriving crowds and a park in full swing. But it surely’s an island surrounded by strangeness.

Discovery Island was as soon as a part of the Disney World. It served as a ‘jungle hub’ full of animals and birds, nevertheless it’s been deserted for the reason that late Nineteen Nineties. Guards often patrol the island and its surrounding lake, and visitors are strictly forbidden from travelling to it.

The explanation for its closure was by no means made public, making the island one of the intriguing locations on Disney property.

One extensively believed cause for the closure in 1999 was the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the mainland of the park, leading to lowered curiosity in Discovery Island. However logical reasoning apart, this hasn’t stopped Disney followers from speculating wildly in regards to the island’s ‘true nature’.

It additionally hasn’t stopped YouTubers like Matt Sonswa sneaking onto Discovery Island to seize footage of ruined buildings, overgrown bushes and decaying racks full of medical gear.

When the island was shut, all animals had been relocated and distributed throughout different zoological parks. However a variety of the theming and gear of Discovery Island was left the place it was.

So the island is now full of the rotting remnants of the previous exhibit. And loads of YouTubers who’ve managed to infiltrate the island have managed to movie some fairly spooky discoveries.

However Discovery Island was virtually saved by Myst

It’s been greater than twenty years since Discovery Island was shut, nevertheless it virtually escaped its destiny within the late Nineteen Nineties, due to award-winning online game Myst.

Myst was using an outstanding wave of recognition on this interval, gathering dozens of accolades and turning into one of many highest-selling video games of all time.

Given its affect on the time, there was as soon as plans to show Discovery Island right into a Myst-inspired theme park.

myst discovery island
Picture: Myst

For years, these plans had been extremely secretive, however they had been ultimately revealed in 2016 when Myst creator Rand Miller confirmed to A.V. Membership that Disney had begun work on a Discovery Island revival venture impressed by the sport:

“In some unspecified time in the future, there have been some actually cool plans to do some stuff with Disney. We had been it as the last word incarnation of our world. Principally, there was a spot down in Florida—it’s one of many island areas that they’d that wasn’t used very a lot. But it surely had some walkways amongst bushes, and an island space, and we went down and checked out it and walked round it, and it was extremely Myst-like.”

The expertise deliberate would have included puzzles and an aesthetic designed to evoke Myst. As reported by Jim Hill in 2004, it might have been extremely interactive and brought the type of a “day-long” journey for visitors.

Sadly, plans for the attraction allegedly fell by way of as Disney determined it didn’t slot in with its bigger plans for Disney World in Florida.

Nonetheless, the thought is an intriguing one.

In 2021, Discovery Island stays deserted — however Myst is at present experiencing a comeback within the type of a remake for VR (which simply acquired introduced for PC and Mac) and a possible TV present. It’s unlikely plans for a ‘Myst Island’ will even return, nevertheless it’s an concept that may work.

Given nothing else is occurring at Discovery Island, it is perhaps the right time to present the island a facelift and permit Myst the modern-day recognition it deserves.


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