Video Shows Joe Rohde Placing His Child In Fountain at Animal Kingdom

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Left Image Credit: Disney / Right Image Credit: Screenshot via Parkeology

Beloved Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who was known for his work on Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well as other projects, announced his retirement from The Walt Disney Company late last year. Rohde’s last day at Walt Disney Imagineering was on January 4, 2021.

Rohde oversaw several projects while he was part of the company, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Expedition Everest, and Pandora: The World of Avatar. And as he oversaw these projects, he was very involved — consistently visiting the theme parks and experiencing the projects for himself.

Credit: D23

But, there was one element of Animal Kingdom that not many knew existed — a fountain in front of Countdown to Extinction, now known as DINOSAUR, that children could actually play in!

Twitter user Melinda B. (@StarVoyager) Tweeted to Joe Rohde, informing the former Disney Imagineer that a video is circulating that shows Rohde placing a child in a fountain at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

@Joe_Rohde just thought you’d like to know that a video of you putting a child in a fountain at WDW is circulating. The topic of conversation is why on earth would parents allow their kids in those sewers! I certainly don’t have any answers.

Joe Rohde replied to Melinda, explaining that the child seen in this video was actually his own and that the fountain was actually designed for children to play in:

That was my child and that fountain was, at the time, designed as an accessible water amenity at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But…it did get shut down after about three months.

This fountain is something that not a lot of people knew about! In fact, after Rohde Tweeted back to Melinda, another Twitter user, who goes by animatronic uncle Orville (@no_privacy64) — which by the way, is a fantastic Twitter username — replied to Rodhe saying:

Wait there was a fountain at animal kingdom you could bathe in?

To which Rohde replied, explaining that the fountain was designed as an “accessible water play feature”:

Kind of. The original pool in front of Countdown to Extinction (Dinosaur) ride was intended as an accessible water play feature.

The video that Melinda B. was referring to can be seen below, courtesy of Parkeology. Within the video, you can see a very young Joe Rohde with his child near the fountain at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

Personally, I never knew there was a fountain located outside of Countdown to Extinction that children could actually play in! And it is great to see Joe Rohde spending quality time with his children inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a theme park that holds a special place in the former Disney Imagineer’s heart.

Did you know that there used to be a fountain designed as an “accessible water play feature” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below.

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