Liberty Square Riverboat
(October 1, 1971 - present)
History and photos of the Liberty Square Riverboat on the Rivers of America in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
Located in Liberty Square is the Liberty Square Riverboat, a recreation of a 19th-century-themed steam-powered paddle steamer riverboat.
Originally known as the Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat, the attraction had changed its name to Liberty Square Riverboat by the early 1980s. By January of 1997 the ride had been renamed Liberty Belle Riverboat, and the 450-passenger boat changed names from the Richard F. Irvine to the Liberty Belle. In 2001, the ride's name had been changed back to its current name of Liberty Square Riverboat.
On the Liberty Square Riverboat, guests board the Liberty Belle for a leisurely cruise along the Rivers of America and around Tom Sawyer Island. The entire voyage is narrated by the steamboat's captain, and he uses jargon and terminology from that time period. The boat ride offers great views of Liberty Square and Frontierland, especially Big Thunder Mountain, Tom Sawyer Island, and the Haunted Mansion. The ride also has unique scenery such as the old fisherman and his dog, a Native American camp by the river, and even a hidden cove used by river pirates.
Although this is a steam-powered paddle wheel boat, it still runs along a track hidden on the bottom of the shallow river. Even though the ship stays on a track, it does have to be aware of the free-floating rafts that sail back and forth to Tom Sawyer Island. Don't worry about any potential collisions; the cast members are very well trained and keep a wide berth of the riverboat.
In 2009, the Liberty Square Riverboat was used as a show platform for the temporary show Tiana's Showboat Jubilee!, a stage show straight from the animated film, The Princess and the Frog.
The Liberty Square Riverboat is a classic Magic Kingdom attraction and something easy to enjoy by people of all ages. This ride tends to have peak crowds in the early afternoon when the park nears its capacity and the wait times for other rides are moderate to extreme. Otherwise, the Liberty Square Riverboat is normally peaceful later in the morning and towards the early evening. Be sure to check the hours of operation before planning your trip on the riverboat.
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