Creepy photos of an abandoned Disney water park in Florida

Portraits of the once-busy attraction

Seph Lawless' series
When Disney River Country opened in 1976, visitors flocked to ride the winding slides and traverse the wooden bridges.

25 years later, the park closed down. It's still abandoned today.

A Cleveland-based photographer who works under the pseudonym Seph Lawless documented the abandoned park in his photo series "Dismaland." (This is also the name of Banksy's 2015 art exhibition, a fake apocalyptic theme park near Bristol, England.)

Lawless captures ghostly portraits of the once-busy attraction. Take a look.

River Country in Orange County, Florida was Walt Disney World's first water park. June 2016 will mark 40 years since its opening.

It is only one of two Disney parks, along with Discovery Island in Orange County, to close permanently. Both parks were left to deteriorate.

Lawless took about 150 photos of the decaying park, he tells Tech Insider.

Almost everything is covered in water and moss.

Vines and weeds overrun this slide, one of five in the park.

The pools look like swamps.

Leaves, paperwork, and ripped cardboard boxes fill the manager's office. Much of the wallpaper is peeling off.

A mysterious top hat lies on this bridge.

"I want the viewer to feel like their completely alone while looking at my images," he says. "I want to bring that sense of abandonment to the viewer on a very intimate level."

Lawless, who considers himself an activist before an artist, travels around the US to photograph abandoned locations.

He hopes that Disney will take notice and renovate the parks at least for the wildlife that lives there. With some sprucing up, the park could transform into a nature reserve or walkway, he says.

"I have no problem asking that of a multibillion dollar enterprise such as Disney," he says. "No corporation should be powerful enough to hide the truth and not clean up their mess."

But until then, it will remain as Dismaland.

"It's always a surreal feeling shooting anything abandoned," he says. "It was also very beautiful — like witnessing something out of this world."


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