Disney’s Discovery Island closed over 20 years ago, but it isn’t talked about much. It sits in the heart of Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida, normally surrounded by a thriving crowd and thriving park. But it is an island surrounded by strangeness.
Discovery Island was once part of Disney World. It used to serve as a “jungle center” filled with animals and birds, but has been abandoned since the late 1990s. The guards frequently patrol the island and its surrounding lake, and guests are strictly off limits. ‘get there.
The reason for its closure has never been made public, making the island one of the most intriguing places on Disney property.
One of the widely held reasons for the closure in 1999 was the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the park’s mainland, which reduced interest in Discovery Island. But logical reasoning aside, that hasn’t stopped Disney fans from wildly speculating on the “true nature” of the island.
He also hasn’t stopped YouTubers like Matt Sonswa from sneaking to Discovery Island to capture footage of crumbling buildings, overgrown trees, and decaying racks full of medical equipment.
When the island was closed, all the animals were moved and distributed to other zoos. But much of the Discovery Island theme and gear has been left where it was.
So the island is now filled with the rotten remains of the old exhibit. And many YouTubers who have managed to infiltrate the island have managed to film some pretty frightening discoveries.
But Discovery Island was almost saved by Myst
It has been more than two decades since Discovery Island was closed, but it almost escaped his fate in the late 90s, thanks to an award-winning video game Myst.
Myst was riding a phenomenal wave of popularity during this era, garnering dozens of accolades and becoming one of the best-selling games of all time.
Given its influence at the time, it was once planned to make Discovery Island a Myst– inspired theme park.
For years these plans were very secret, but they have been finally revealed in 2016 when Myst Creator Rand Miller confirmed to AV Club that Disney has started work on a Discovery Island revival project inspired by the game:
“At one point there were some really cool plans to do stuff with Disney. We saw him as the ultimate embodiment of our world. Basically there was one place in Florida — it’s one of the island areas they had that weren’t heavily used. But there were walkways among the trees and an island area, and we went down and looked at it and walked around, and it was amazingly minet-like.
The envisioned experiment would have included puzzles and an aesthetic designed to evoke Myst. As reported by Jim Hill in 2004, it would have been very interactive and would have taken the form of a “day” adventure for interested guests.
Sadly, plans for the attraction reportedly failed as Disney decided it did not match their larger plans for Disney World in Florida.
Still, the idea is interesting.
In 2021, Discovery Island remains abandoned – but Myst Currently enjoying a comeback in the form of a remake for VR (which was just announced for PC and Mac) and a potential TV show. It is unlikely that plans for a ‘Myst Island ‘will also be returning, but it’s an idea that could job.
With nothing else happening on Discovery Island, this might be the perfect time to give the island a facelift. and To allow Myst the modern recognition it deserves.