Liberty Square, a reproduction of a colonial era town is one of the smallest lands in the Magic Kingdom but they definitely pack in the theming. It feels a bit more low key than the rest of the park but I loved it. The buildings are gorgeous and it has a really patriotic feeling. There are only three rides but we spent ages looking around and found plenty to see.
Loads of weather vanes and clapboard buildings make it a super pretty area. We headed first for the Liberty Bell. Apparently for the 200th birthday of the USA they cast and moulded 50 replicas of the Liberty Bell. Each state was to get one, Pennsylvania already had the original in Philadelphia so gave their replica to Disney World. It was placed in Liberty Square and to this day Florida is the only state with 2 of the 50 replica bells.
Husband and Son did of course have to climb into the stocks for the requisite pictures before we had a closer look at the buildings.
Look carefully and you can see the shutters are all a little bit wonky. Apparently during the revolutionary war they took the metal hinges off the shutters and melted them down to use as bullets. They rehung the shutters with leather straps, the leather stretched over time and the shutters hung at a wonky angle. Plenty of attention to detail in the Magic Kingdom, they hang at a tilt here too.
We found another detail from those days – the path way has a different coloured area in the middle. This symbolises the sewage that would have flowed down the streets in the 1700’s. Thankfully this is only a visual effect.
Son was keen to get going with a ride so we headed first to the Haunted Mansion. We are wimps and not keen on ghosty or creepy stuff but loved this place. It sits up on a hill and right from the moment you enter the gates the theming is superb. We walked through a graveyard full of funny tombstones and were approached at the door by a creepy butler who took us to the “stretching room.” Some great special effects then we boarded our Doom Buggy to ride through the mansion and its rooms. All full of friendly and cute ghosts, we saw a ballroom, a graveyard and plenty of mild and non scarey special effects. The hitch-hiking ghosts at the end did not disappoint. We all gave this place a big thumbs up – full of atmosphere, charm and just classic Disney. One last thing we did before leaving was to check out the ghost hearse at the back.
Next up was the Hall of Presidents – about a half hour show in a really impressive theatre modelled on Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. They have every US president represented on stage during the show but apparently they focus on those who guided America through its most trying times. Such a patriotic show and they bring waxworks to the very next level here. I loved the glimpse into history and was blown away by how lifelike and realistic those presidents looked.
Outside in the lobby area – most people just left straightaway – we lingered a while as they have the most fascinating collection of presidential memorabilia in glass cases. As well as some First Lady dresses there were the cowboy boots George W Bush wore at his inauguration, Bill Clinton’s golf balls and so much more.
After all of that it was time for something relaxing – a trip on the Liberty Belle Riverboat. This was a nice, gentle 15 minute ride on a 3 storey paddle steamer replica all around Frontierland and Tom Sawyer Island. Very relaxing, great views and a nice break from all the running around and heat.
Before our dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern we had a quick look at the Liberty Tree. Apparently in colonial America it was traditional for each town to have its own liberty tree, symbolising the fight for independence. It is no different here.
Thankful we had booked dinner well in advance at this restaurant – it was seriously busy and we still had to wait 20 minutes for a table. Our server announced our arrival in the restaurant with a proclamation of “Hear Ye, Hear Ye” and our name. Son loved that. Inside we found some nice Colonial style decor but I did think it was a little lacking in atmosphere. Food was certainly plentiful – served on vast platters in the middle of the table. No choice, it was a set menu but we watched agog as massive plates of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and sweet potatoes arrived. All very nice but the three of us barely made inroads into it. A giant’s portion of apple cake and ice-cream followed and nearly finished us off. Home after all that to sleep off the food overload.