Liberty Square

BACKSTORY: Edited from Wikipedia:

Liberty Square is one of six "themed lands" and is exclusive to the Magic Kingdom, a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Themed after colonial America, replicas of both the Liberty Bell and Liberty Tree can be seen here. One of the most popular attractions in the Magic Kingdom, The Haunted Mansion, is located in this land. Presiding over the square is the Hall of Presidents, an American History show featuring an audio-animatronic figure of every President of the United States. Liberty Square has a long waterfront on the Rivers of America and the Liberty Belle Riverboat steam paddleboat departs from a landing here. The land affords excellent views of the river and Tom Sawyer Island in adjacent Frontierland.

Originally conceived as an annex to Main Street USA for Disneyland in Anaheim, the idea was revisited when the Magic Kingdom was being designed in the late 1960s. The need arose for an area analogous to, but distinct from, New Orleans Square at Disneyland. Walt Disney Imagineering decided on an early American, eighteenth century theme, with special concentration on the American Revolutionary War, as the Bicentennial would occur soon in 1976.
Liberty Square opened as part of the Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World's grand opening on October 1, 1971 as one of the original six themed lands. It is located in the northwest corner, bordering Fantasyland and Frontierland. The Square also has bridges to the park's central hub, as well as Adventureland. Forming its western border is the Rivers of America, on which the Liberty Belle travels. It is also the smallest land by guest area in the Magic Kingdom.

The Liberty Belle Riverboat at its mooring
As of 2007, it is the only land yet to undergo a major refurbishment. All of the attractions, original from October 1, 1971, still exist in some form or another. No major additions have been made. The theming in the Square is comprehensive and accurate to the time period, from major architectural and engineering homages to the small antiques and artifacts peppered throughout the many attractions and dining locations.


BACKSTORY: Walt Disney wanted to create an exhibit for Disneyland that would dramatize American history. "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" was created for the 1964 New York World's Fair and was moved to Disneyland when the Fair ended. For Walt Disney World in Florida, the idea was expanded to include very single American President, with the addition of new ones as they were elected. Thorough research for the creation of these audio-animatronic figures included hairstyles, jewelry, fabrics, tailoring techniques from each President's time period, diaries, paintings, and information from government archives. Each detail was as authentic as possible, from the cushions on George Washington's chair to the braces on F.D.R.'s legs. The Hall of President's Rotunda includes the Great Seal, which needed congressional approval. Only two others exist: at the White House in Washington, D.C., and at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bill Clinton's 1993 figure was the first to actually speak in addition to Abraham Lincoln, and he did the recording for his audio-animatronic doppelganger from the White House. Poet Maya Angelou narrates the show.

BE SURE TO NOTICE: In a window near the Hall of Presidents, you'll see 2 lanterns at night. This is a nod to "Paul Revere'sRide," the 1861 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("One if by land, two if by sea").