Even in colonial New England, visitors can always find something new and exciting in Walt Disney World’s Liberty Square. In the summer of 2009, Liberty Square added current U.S. president Barack Obama to the Hall of Presidents, and Princess Tiana can be seen throughout Liberty Square in a parade in front of the Liberty Tree Tavern, and behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe at a character meet and greet. There’s even a New Orleans style musical riverboat celebration to get guests excited about The Princess and the Frog animated feature, which will introduce Tiana to Disney Princess fans everywhere.
None of the attractions at Liberty Square are considered wild rides, so this all-ages area is perfect for shopping, dining, and soaking up a little history. The Liberty Tree at the center of Liberty Square is a popular spot for photographs and a pleasant shady resting spot for guests as they make their way around Magic Kingdom in the Florida heat. The Hall of Presidents and The Haunted Mansion are original attractions from Walt Disney World’s opening in 1971, but they have been recently refurbished. Disney excels at updating old rides with just enough modern special effects to attract new audiences, while maintaining enough aspects of the original attraction to appeal to die hard Disney fans.
For visitors who plan to cut through Liberty Square on their way to neighboring Fantasyland or Frontierland, be sure to stop and enjoy the following shops, restaurants and attractions in this historically themed land at Magic Kingdom:
- Shopping: Guests will find plenty of colonial (and Mickey Mouse) themed kitchenware, coffee, candy and other foodstuffs at the Yankee Trader Gourmet Shop. As the name implies, it is Christmas 365 days a year at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, where shoppers can find keepsake Walt Disney World ornaments and other holiday items. The Heritage House also sells historical memorabilia, making it a unique shop amongst the more traditional shops in Liberty Square as well as other parts of Walt Disney World.
- Dining: A Magic Kingdom tradition, the Liberty Tree Tavern is located in the Liberty Square area just steps away from the famed Hall of Presidents. Patterned after an 18th century New England inn, guests are greeted by servers in period costumes and are invited to dine on traditional American fare. Lunch entrees include the New England Pot Roast, a Pilgrims’ Feast with roast turkey and herb bread dressing, and a generous portion of Colony Salad. Kids’ meals are served on a Mickey ears plate (featuring slightly more modern pizza and burgers). For dinner, guests can order an “all you care to enjoy” turkey dinner served family style. Call 407-WDW-DINE for reservations up to 180 days in advance. There is no character dining at Liberty Square, but there are plenty of characters parading past Liberty Tree Tavern as part of Princess Tiana’s new Mardi Gras style celebration.For guests looking for a quick sit down meal without any reservations, the Columbia Harbour House serves up fish and chicken baskets, chowder, and beverages. Like many of the Walt Disney World “fast food” establishments, customers line up on either side of the cashier to place their orders, and then proceed to the counter to receive their food. For meals on the run, visitors can also check out the Liberty Square Market, or enjoy funnel cakes and ice cream at Sleepy Hollow.
- Attractions: The Haunted Mansion might appear to be tucked away in Liberty Square, but this popular attraction continues to lure visitors inside, especially after its 2007 refurbishment. The Haunted Mansion used to have the Disney Fast Pass option, but it is not using the Disney Fast Pass at this time. The Haunted Mansion elicits far more chuckles than screams, and the updated special effects make the ride fun for the whole family. The best part is the tag along “ghosts” who join the riders at the end of the attraction.The Hall of Presidents is another Liberty Square favorite. Even though the animatronics technology has long been associated with the early days of Walt Disney’s theme parks, the multimedia presentation for the 2009 refurbishment brings history to life for young audience members. Sitting presidents have been invited to record a speech for the Hall of Presidents since Bill Clinton took the oath of office in 1993, so the Hall of Presidents is always updated every four or eight years. After the latest refurbishment, the presidents with animatronic speaking parts are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Barack Obama.
After soaking up some history in Liberty Square, catch a ride on the Liberty Square Riverboat, which recently premiered a new musical revue in honor of Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. No one does a better job than Disney at promoting a new animated feature or introducing a new princess. The Liberty Square Riverboat is an authentic 3-tiered paddlewheel steamship journey that circles the Rivers of America at Magic Kingdom for a scenic, half-mile tour of Frontierland, Liberty Square and Tom Sawyer Island. Guests can board and depart the boat at the Liberty Square Riverboat Landing near The Hall of Presidents.
Even in the middle of Florida, Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square makes it possible for visitors to learn a little more about the original thirteen colonies. With discount Disney World tickets and Disney World vacation packages, there is no better time to have the best of both worlds in sunny Orlando.
The Lands of Magic Kingdom: