On October 1 this year, Walt Disney World will celebrate its 50th anniversary as it begins an 18-month celebration; and while the four parks take part in the festivities, the 50-year milestone belongs only to some places in the most magical place on earth.
In 1971, Walt Disney World opened with two resorts and a park: the Magic Kingdom. Inspired by the original Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, the Magic Kingdom debuted with its own version of Main Street, USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland, along with its own unique land: Liberty Square.
In previous posts, I’ve dealt with Then and Now: 50 Years of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Village Resort, and Adventureland; and for today I continue my virtual walk through the park with a journey through time to the Plaza de la Libertad.
So what is Freedom Square?
Magic Kingdom Freedom Square is located on the banks of the rivers of America and between Fantasyland and Frontierland. It’s also special because it’s exclusive to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, just as New Orleans Square is exclusive to Disneyland.
Themed after the colonial American era, Freedom Square hosts some of the park’s best rates, one of its most iconic attractions, and history related to both the United States and the Magic Kingdom itself.
Facts about the Plaza de la Libertad:
Fet núm. 1: The idea for Freedom Square arose from Walt Disney’s realized desire for a back-to-back show at Liberty Street and Hall of Presidents at Disneyland. The fact that the nation’s Bicentennial was approaching didn’t hurt either.
Yet, in a way, Walt Disney World’s Freedom Square is one of Walt Disney’s own dreams come true.
Fet núm. 2: When the terrain debuted with the Magic Kingdom in 1971, it still offered only 3 attractions: the Enchanted Mansion, the now-defunct keelboats Mike Fink, and the Hall of Presidents.
The Liberty Square river boat known as Liberty Belle did not yet exist. Instead, guests traveled the rivers of America with Admiral Joe Fowler, which did not open until October 2, 1971.
Fact # 3: The Imagineers strove to ensure historical accuracy in Freedom Square. For example, background music that was heard across the country only used instruments from that time period, and all of the architecture resembles the styles and venues of colonial America, including Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. . Even the shutters on the windows are crooked, as settlers often used leather instead of metal, as the latter was used for the war of the revolution.
Perhaps the most impressive sign of commitment to accuracy has to do with plumbing. Imagineers placed the baths in Columbia Harbor House and Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square so that they were technically on other floors of the park. This is due to the fact that there were no interior plumbing in the 1700s and early 1800s.
Fact # 4: Another historical detail is the Tree of the Freedom of the country that was inspired by the trees with which the Children of the Freedom would be during the period of the Revolutionary War.
Legendary Imagineer Bill Evans moved the tree of Freedom from the Magic Kingdom from the land near where the Animal Kingdom is today in the park. Although the transplantation of the giant tree was an effort in itself, the roots of the tree had to grow on the roof of the park’s underground utilities.
Fet extra: Due to the feat required to move this tree, the Liberty tree is still alive is the symbol of Walt Disney World’s horticulture department.
Fact # 5: In 1971, in Plaça de la Llibertat there was much less foliage than today, especially around the enchanted mansion. In fact, the island of Tom Sawyer, which is close to the mansion, would not even open until 1973.
Data about Liberty Square now:
Fet núm. 1: Although many of the lands of the Magic Kingdom have changed since 1971, Freedom Square has remained the same (apart from the taller trees and the extra shade!) And still has a lot of historical details, including Paul Revere’s streetlights in a Liberty Square window.
Some of Walt Disney World’s oldest items can be found inside the Presidents ’Hall lobby, such as Thomas Jefferson’s pocket watch and George Washington’s buckles.
It also features items belonging to modern presidents, including Bill Clinton’s dog tags, George W. Bush’s baseball cards, and more.
Fet núm. 2: The Muppets Present … Great Moments in History were a series of small shows starring the Muppets that were performed in the windows on the ground from 2016 onwards.
Despite its popularity, Disney cut the show; however, it is known that the Muppets, although without audio, appear in the windows of the Plaza de la Libertad during the holidays.
Fact # 3: Holidays live in Freedom Square, as Christmas decorations are sold year-round at Ye Olde’s Christmas shop and you can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal 365 days a year. in the Freedom Tree Tavern in the themed dining rooms of historical figures from the colonial era. .
Fet núm. 4: The Haunted Mansion is not the only spooky tale in Freedom Square. One of the shop windows in Ye Olde’s Christmas shop has a sign for music instructor Ichabod Crane, which some may know The legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Just across the other from this sign is the Sleepy Hollow tall window, with its own sign showing the headless knight. In fact, this same story took place in New York; and, interestingly, the architecture of the Enchanted Mansion is inspired by that of Hudson Valley, New York.
Fact # 5: In 2011, the Enchanted Mansion received a completely unique interactive queue with a pipe organ, a library with moving books, a literal watery tomb gushing water and more. However, this area of the queue may be closed due to security precautions during your visit.
Have you ever experienced the Magic Kingdom Freedom Square in its early days? Is this land one of your favorites?