History and photos of the Liberty Square section of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
Grab your trifold hat and step back to the colonial days in Liberty Square.
Tucked into a small area in the Magic Kingdom between Fantasyland and Frontierland is Liberty Square, a colonial-themed area unique to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. This is where you'll find The Hall of Presidents Audio-Animatronic show along with the Liberty Square Riverboat as well as the Haunted Mansion.
Liberty Square originated with Walt Disney's American patriotism. It's rumored that the 1957 Disney film Johnny Tremain influenced Walt Disney to add a colonial section to Disneyland, his flagship park which opened two years prior in 1955. Unfortunately, there really wasn't any room for a new land inside of the already busy theme park. Walt had his Imagineers look into adding a colonial section off of Main Street, U.S.A., but nothing materialized after that point.
When the Magic Kingdom was under construction in the 1960s, the colonial land that was never built in Disneyland was definitely going to be added to the new theme park in Florida as part of a move to make the two parks different. Liberty Square would become one of the six themed lands that would be part of the Magic Kingdom.
The decision to add Liberty Square was twofold.
First, Walt Disney wanted to add such a land to Disneyland. Instead of having a New Orleans Square section in the park, the Florida park replaced it with Liberty Square.
Second, the Magic Kingdom was slated to open in 1971, five years before the bicentennial anniversary of our country in 1976. Having a patriotic land such as Liberty Square would help boost the park's attendance during those early years.
Liberty Square is not exclusive to only the colonial time period and New England area.
Starting by the Haunted Mansion, you're back in the early 1700's time period and Dutch Gothic architecture of New York's Hudson River Valley. Walking forward to the Columbia Harbour House and surrounding area places you in the mid-1700's and the New England waterfront. Immediately past that around The Hall of Presidents is Dutch New Amsterdam and Williamsburg Georgian architecture, both of which were common in the late 1700's. This is also where you'll find the Liberty Tree (complete with thirteen lanterns --- one for each of the colonies) and a replica of the Liberty Bell (made from the same mold as the original Liberty Bell).
On the side of The Hall of Presidents facing the waterfront is a window with two lanterns. This represents the two lanterns that were placed in the spire of the Old North Church to warn Paul Revere of the movements of the British Army ("One if by land, two if by sea.").
Continuing on, when you head west of The Hall of Presidents towards The Diamond Horseshoe restaurant you're now in the early 1800's in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis is known as being the gateway to the west, and this point is a transition into Frontierland. The time period continues to advance as you continue walking towards Splash Mountain and then Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the end of the path.
The biggest draw for park guests in Liberty Square is the Haunted Mansion. The Hall of Presidents tends to have peaks in attendance every four or eight years as the country's electoral college elects a new president, and the show in the Magic Kingdom is updated. Otherwise, for most people, Liberty Square is simply a transition between the more popular Fantasyland and Frontierland.
Part of what makes Liberty Square so interesting (besides the catchy period-specific music) is that so much of the land is virtually unchanged from when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. Although the attractions have all received updates over the years, apart from the closing of the Mike Fink Keelboats in early 2001, today's version of Liberty Square closely resembles how it originally looked back in 1971.
In 2000 a new bridge was added that connected Liberty Square and the central hub. 2009 saw the temporary addition of Tiana's Showboat Jubilee! show on the Liberty Square Riverboat. The live show used the riverboat as a stage and performed in front of audiences in both Liberty Square and Frontierland.
Dining options in Liberty Square include counter-service restaurants The Diamond Horseshoe (NOTE - Sometimes The Diamond Horseshoe is classified as a Frontierland restaurant.), Sleepy Hollow, and Columbia Harbour House. The Liberty Tree Tavern is a table-service restaurant.
Additional photo pages for Liberty Square include:
Columbia Harbour House counter-service restaurant
Note - Each picture may be opened for a larger view. If you choose to download and share these photos, please provide a link back here to Florida-Project.com!