Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is known for its atmosphere of fast-paced family fun, thrilling attractions, lively parades and nighttime spectaculars. But a walk through a little land called Liberty Square inside Magic Kingdom beckons, calling on you to slow down just a bit and enjoy a look back at our nation’s humble beginnings. Guests leave Liberty Square with a renewed appreciation for our great country and the hard work that went into making it what it is today. Here are 9 things you’ll absolutely love about Liberty Square, once you take the time to slow down and enjoy them!
9. Liberty Bell
The huge Liberty Bell that sits in the center of Liberty Square is an exact replica of the original Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania. In 1976, in honor of our country’s 200th birthday, 50 replicas of the Liberty Bell were cast from the original mold—one for each state in the Union. But Pennsylvania was already home to the original Liberty Bell, so why would that state need a replica? Years later, Disney asked if it might have the replica that would have been Pennsylvania’s, and the State of Pennsylvania consented. On July 4, 1989, an exact replica of the Liberty Bell was hoisted into its place inside Liberty Square. The State of Florida had already received its replica in 1976, and to this day, Florida remains the only state to boast two exact replicas of the original Liberty Bell.
8. Liberty Square Riverboat
At Liberty Square, you can board a beautiful 3-tiered, Colonial America-inspired steam-powered boat called a paddler wheeler for a ½-mile tour around Tom Sawyer Island along Disney’s Rivers of America. The riverboat is called the Liberty Belle, and at 47 feet tall, it is quite the grand and gorgeous spectacle. Aboard the Liberty Belle, you will hear narration by American author Mark Twain and see an early American settlement, a Native American village, deer and even some very unique views of Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion. All aboard for this fascinating 17-minute tour!
7. Liberty Tree
This massive tree at Liberty Square is the largest living thing at Magic Kingdom, and the story behind it is just as big! When Magic Kingdom was being built, and it was decided that a “liberty tree” would be a centerpiece of Liberty Square, Imagineers knew they had quite the task ahead of them—to find a tree worthy of being called the Liberty Tree. The Southern Live Oak tree that now stands at Liberty Square was originally found on the east side of Disney property, approximately 7 miles from where it is planted today. At the time of its discovery, the tree was about 60 feet tall and weighed over 35 tons. It was dug up from its original location, and on June 11, 1970, the huge tree was loaded and ready to begin its slow 7 mile journey to its new home. But it wasn’t planted and installed until March 6, 1971—almost 7 months to the day before Magic Kingdom’s opening day. Today, the tree is around 150 years old. From its boughs hang 13 lanterns, which represent each of the original 13 colonies.
6. Hall of Presidents
This patriotic exhibition of our nation’s origins showcases audio-animatronic versions of the 44 men who have served or are serving as President of the United States. The Hall of Presidents building was modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The exhibit includes many Presidential artifacts, including some of George Washington’s dental instruments. Inside the 700-seat theater at the Hall of Presidents, Guests will view a theatrical presentation about the beginnings of our great country and how it has grown over the years. After the presentation, the stage curtains are lifted, and Guests are awestruck by the 44 Presidents of the United States in their robotic forms—each one so real, you don’t know why there are no paparazzi, flashing cameras or Secret Service officers. This attraction gives Guests an interesting and interactive look at the Office of President. It is one to be enjoyed by the whole family!
5. Columbia Harbor House
This quick-service restaurant inside Liberty Square is a Guest favorite—not just for its chicken, shrimp, fish, salads and sandwiches—but also for its second-floor seating with little windows that look down onto the main thoroughfare from the center of Liberty Square to the Haunted Mansion. Columbia Harbor House is a nice break from the crowds and heat—especially during the busy summer months at Magic Kingdom. Sit back, have lunch, cool off, charge your cell phones and relax before heading into the second half of your day in the park.
4. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
This charming Christmas shop inside Liberty Square is open year-round and sells Disney-themed Christmas ornaments, wreaths and other Disney holiday souvenirs. Stop by and pick up your annual Disney World ornament for the family Christmas tree back home. What a unique and meaningful memento from your time in the parks!
3. Haunted Mansion
Enter—if you dare—one of the most loved Disney World attractions of all time! Begin your journey in a spooky room that stretches. Yes, it stretches! Then board a “Doom” buggy that takes you through 15 different rooms, full of ghosts, goblins, spooks and things that go bump in the night. There are 999 “happy haunts” at Haunted Mansion, but they’re not territorial—they always have room for one more. Any takers? FastPass+ times are available for Haunted Mansion, and it’s a good idea to secure one before heading to Magic Kingdom so you don’t miss out on this frightfully fun attraction.
2. Sleepy Hollow
Stop by this window-service eatery and enjoy chicken and waffles, ice cream cookie sandwiches and best of all—funnel cakes!!
1. No restrooms
This may not be one of the things you’ll love about Liberty Square; it depends on how much water you’ve had to drink before you get there. In order to stay true to a town square in Colonial-era America and in an effort to make it as believable as possible, Imagineers purposely didn’t build restrooms in Liberty Square. After all, in Colonial American times, you wouldn’t have found any nice public restroom facilities on the square!
If Liberty Square is an area of Magic Kingdom that you and your family usually race through on the way to your next FastPass+ time, here’s hoping you slow down next time you’re in the park and enjoy all that Liberty Square has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!