Opened in 1974 as "Treasure Island", Disney's "Discovery Island" theme park attraction was closed in 1999, but this guy sneaked in and has a really cool story to share.

I love ruins.  When I was in the Army, stationed in Germany, our air base was once a Luftwaffe base, so the history there was amazing!  When there was a chance to explore old bunkers and such, I didn't hesitate.

I think that my love for 'old' stuff is why I am fascinated by closed-down theme parks and their exploration. I have even considered taking a trip to New Orleans to explore the old Six Flags (like this guy did).

This story is about Shane Perez and a few of his friends who make their way to Disney's  now-defunct "Discovery Island" in Bay Lake, on the north end of Disney's property near Orlando.

Discovery Island (Google Maps)

The story talks about an unsuccessful attempt a year prior: they were going to attempt reaching the island by boat, but realized in the 11th hour that the boat idea wasn't the best plan.  The solution?  Swim!

After taking a Disney shuttle bus to the Wilderness Campground, they made their way through the (also defunct) River Country Water Park, which provided the closest shore-to-shore access to the island.  Perez and his two friends utilized water-proof bags to carry dry clothing and the camera equipment, and they actually swam across to the island.

Once there, they changed into dry clothing, and used tactical lighting to make their way around the island, coming across landmarks from time to time; they found preserved snakes in containers, baby vultures defending their own nesting area, and lots of spider webs!  (Sounds like the makings of a great Disney movie, no?)

Not only did I find it to be an interesting (though short) read, it also make me want to go exploring!!  (Maybe I'll duck into the old WWII bomb shelter/catacombs underneath the old Federal Courthouse Building at the corner of Main and Jefferson... that should satisfy my need to explore!)

Be sure to click through to the photos and narrative of his late-night expedition!