In the beginning of the video, Jake Williams welcomes the viewers to his new series called "Abandoned". He explains that videos in this series will not be uploaded regularly due to the work that is done on every episode. In every video, he will explain the origins, construction, operation, closure and future of the place. He then proceeds to the first location that he will discuss: Disney's Discovery Island.
Discovery Island Edit
Before Discovery Island Edit
In the 1900's, the island was known as "Raz Island", named after the island's owners who once lived there, the Raz Family. Later in the 1930's, the island was purchased for $800 by Delmar Nicholson and he renamed the island to "Idle Bay Isle". He lived there along with his wife and his pet crane. It was later renamed to "Riles Island" after being sold again. Finally, Walt Disney purchased the island in 1965 as part of his huge Florida Project.
Plans and construction Edit
Early maps showed that the island would become an island themed after Tom Sawyer (from Williams' perspective). The Buena Vista Construction Company added 15,000 to 50,000 cubic yards of dirt to increase the area of the island to 11.5 acres.
The island, now named "Treasure Island", opened its doors to the public for the first time on April 8, 1974, three years after the opening of Magic Kingdom. It was later renamed to "Discovery Island" three years later, and dropped its pirate theme as a result. The island hosted more than 140 animal species and over 250 plant species, all being taken care of by the management. The attraction normally operated from 10:00 AM until dusk (usually around 6:00 or 7:00 in the evening, depending on the season). The attraction's sponsor was Friskies, a brand selling cat food that is owned by Nestlé.
Discovery Island closed to the public on April 8, 1999, just a year after a larger park, Disney's Animal Kingdom opened. Maintenance continued until July, where they slowly dismantled exterior portions of the island, such as the ship wreck and the main dock entrance. The rest of the island remained abandoned to this day. The closure was due to Disney's new park, Animal Kingdom, essentially being a replacement over the smaller Discovery Island. He also mentioned that the central hub of Animal Kingdom (where the Tree of Life is) is named "Discovery Island", which was renamed from "Safari Village" from when that park opened in 1998. All the animals from Discovery Island were transferred to the new park.
Disney, at one point, partnered with the developers of the video game, Myst, to develop the island into an interactive experience like the video game. However, it was not pushed through and the concept was abandoned. Another plan that was known less was to turn the island into a "honeymoon place".
Several rumors have been circulated online, such as in 2008, one person saw some of the lights were still turned on at Discovery Island; they were later shut off by Disney around that same time.
As of 2014, the island remained abandoned.
Other appearances Edit
After this episode was uploaded, two videos with the same topic were uploaded to the channel.
- Williams discussed about Discovery Island again in the 21st episode of Abandoned, uploaded on September 16, 2016.
- Williams himself explored Discovery Island in 2017.