Magic Kingdom is the first of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks to come to life back in October of 1971. This magical park is home to six unique lands, but one is truly unlike the rest! Liberty Square is home to the Hall of Presidents, the Haunted Mansion, and some seriously cool facts. Find out why this quiet Magic Kingdom land is worth strolling by on your next visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth!
Planned for Disneyland
Walt Disney always had a passion for American history and felt that this topic had a home at Disneyland. Just one year after the park’s opening in 1956, Walt announced his plans for Liberty Street. Concept art was created, and attractions were planned, but the land never came to be at Walt’s original Magic Kingdom. After Walt’s death in 1966, his brother Roy decided to move forward with the Florida Project that would become Walt Disney World and the Imagineers were finally able to create Walt’s Liberty Street vision with an all-new land, Liberty Square.
Liberty Square is set in colonial times, and Disney went all out with their theming to stick to this timeline! For example, this land is the only one in Magic Kingdom with no public restrooms. Since indoor plumbing didn’t exist in this land’s era, public restrooms wouldn’t have existed either. So, guests spending time in Liberty Square will have to visit a neighboring land, either Frontierland or Fantasyland to use the restroom! Although public restrooms aren’t available, Liberty Square’s restaurants do have restrooms. So, if you dine in this land, bathrooms are covered!
There is symbolism in every detail in Disney Parks. The large tree within the land is known as the Liberty Tree and hanging from its branches are thirteen lanterns. Each lantern represents one of the original thirteen colonies during the Revolutionary period of America’s history! This subtle detail is a perfect example of how Disney turns every aspect of their parks into a part of the story.
One of A Kind
While most Disneyland-style parks around the globe contain their own versions of certain lands such as Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, this is not the case for Liberty Square. This land is only found in Magic Kingdom! Aspects of the area such as the Hall of Presidents are so authentically detailed that they would be difficult to recreate at the same level. Liberty Square is also the only land to offer more dining options than attractions! The area offers four different dining establishments, but only three attractions.
The Hall of Presidents was an idea of Walt’s from way back when! During the creation of Magic Kingdom, Imagineers worked to bring this vision to life in the very best way. Guests have the ability to see every United States president in one place, and while you wait for the show to start there are some pretty exciting pieces of history to explore in the lobby. Artifacts from past presidents and first ladies line the walls of the lobby, each with a story or history behind the displayed item for guests to read up on! The lobby is also home to a carpet displaying the official Presidential Seal. Other than the White House, this is the only place that the Presidential Seal can be used.
Tons of Tree
Colonial towns had a tree that was designated as the Liberty Tree, so for this land to be authentic Liberty Square would need one as well! Finding an aged tree was important for area theming, since a younger tree would stick out surrounded by all the colonial detailing. Disney Imagineers found the perfect tree close by, already on Disney property in fact! This tree was a 135-year-old oak tree and it weighed over 35 tons. No matter how close the tree was to the Magic Kingdom, moving such a massive tree would be quite a feat! The tree was successfully transported thanks to an expert team who had to drill precise holes into the roots and trunk of the tree as well as prune the roots before transporting it.
Liberty Bell Legacy
The Liberty Bell found in Liberty Square is a very special replica. Created from the exact same mold as the original Liberty Bell! It was cast for Walt Disney World by Paccard Fonderie in Annecy-le Vieux, France. Only in Walt Disney World can you find such an authentic and historic gem on display!
All in The Details
Liberty Square is home to a few extra nods to the colonial era. The first is in the pavement where you’ll notice that the ground is two colors, red and brown. The brown area of the pavement represents the sewage system for this era. Since there was no indoor plumbing at the time, people would dump their waste into the streets. The second detail is in the addresses on the buildings. The number on each door represents the year in which that style of door came to be in the architectural history of this era. For example, if you add an “18” in front of any address, that will give you the corresponding year!
There’s a touch of history behind the shutters on the building windows in Liberty Square. Around the time of the Revolutionary War, England was no longer shipping metal to America to keep colonists from using it as ammunition. To make up for the lack of metal, the colonists would instead use the metal from the shutter hangings to make ammunition and hang the shutters with leather instead. Over time the leather would age which caused the shutters to shift in time! This explains the imperfections in the shutters found around Liberty Square as well.
As you can see there’s a lot more to Liberty Square than originally meets the eye! This quant Magic Kingdom land is full of just as much history and detailing as some of its more popular lands within the park. So next time you swing by the Haunted Mansion, don’t forget to pay some extra attention to the other magic to be found in this area!