At some point during your visit to the Magic Kingdom you are going to have to pass through Liberty Square. There are three ways to get into Liberty Square, from the hub on Main St, Frontierland and Fantasyland. If you are a history buff like me, ( okay history dork) you will find a lot of interesting items to look at, we will discuss a few as we walk through. As we walk into Liberty Square from the hub, be aware of your surroundings, they tell of the time period you are in once you enter. On your left there are crates of tea, on your right is a plaque that tells of thirteen colonies that have banded together to declare independence from the bonds of tyranny and how tradesmen and farmers leave the safety of home to become heroes. As you cross over the wooden bridge and enter Liberty Square, to your right is a quick service eatery known as Sleepy Hollow, which serves the Presidential Sweet and the Liberty Swirls Slush which are tasty treats on a hot day. At Sleepy Hollow you can also find the Nutella and fresh fruit waffle which is one of my wife’s favorite treats. So, why would there be a quick service restaurant called Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square? The reason is simple, the story of Sleepy Hollow is set just after the Revolutionary War where the settlement of Tarry Town, New York is haunted by a war soldier who was decapitated by a cannon ball and is now in search for a new head. The name of the restaurant further ties in by the author of the Sleepy Hollow stories, Washington Irving, who was a writer during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s and is one of the earliest American fiction writers that is still popular today. On the opposite side of the street you will find the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe where you can find a number of Disney related Christmas decorations. Don’t forget to look around the shop, not just for the decorations, but other Disney related hidden gems and even a tie in to Sleep Hollow. Behind the shop is a Victorian garden where there are character meet and greets and a kiosk for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. In front of Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe is the Liberty Tree, Court of Flags and the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Tree is based on an elm tree near Boston Common where members of the revolution would meet in defiance against the British Government. There are two plaques that explain the Liberty Tree in further detail. The Court of Flags represents the thirteen colonies that banded together to defy the British and become a free nation. The Liberty Bell came to the Magic Kingdom in 1989, the bell was cast from the original Liberty Bell that hangs in Philadelphia. Next to the Court of Flags is one of my favorite places to eat, The Liberty Tree Tavern. Inside the restaurant you can find all kinds of antiques from the colonial time period. Along with a multitude of items to look at, the Liberty Tree Tavern has a great lunch menu filled with comfort foods and a frozen drink aptly named Patriot’s Punch which is served in a Liberty Tree Tavern souvenir glass. Unlike lunch, dinner is served family style and is all you care to enjoy (Disney speak for all you can eat). After feasting your eyes and stomach at the Liberty Tree Tavern, take a stroll to the Hall of Presidents, an opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Before entering the building, notice the similar architecture to Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the year, 1787, this is the year that Constitutional Congress met in Independence Hall and ratified the U.S. Constitution. The lobby of the Hall of Presidents is an attraction unto itself, most notably having the seal of the United States which is a replica of the one in the Oval Office at the White House. Other items on display are donated from presidents, such as a saxophone from President Clinton or boots from President George W. Bush. There are also items on display used by presidents Washington and Adams, make sure to show up early to a show or go in between shows if you want to explore these artifacts. The Hall of Presidents is narrated by Morgan Freeman and is twenty three minutes long. The show combines the use of film and audio animatronics to tell the story of the American Presidency. All presidents are represented with audio animatronics. Although all of the audio animatronics give nods when they are announced and fidget through out the program, President Lincoln and President Obama are the only presidents that speak. President Obama’s speech was given in his own voice, a tradition that was started by President Clinton. After leaving the Hall of Presidents, head over to the stocks for a photo op with your favorite family trouble makers. Once you have been released from the stocks, take a ride aboard the Liberty Belle along the Rivers of America. Here you can get a great view of the Magic Kingdom while listening to a narration from Mark Twain about the various sites. The attraction is about thirteen minutes long and makes a complete trip around Tom Sawyer’s Island giving you a unique views of the island and a glimpse of a Native American village. After disembarking the Liberty Belle, head to the Haunted Mansion if you dare. The Haunted Mansion was an opening day attraction and has been extremely popular ever since. Your hauntings begin in the queue, where you first see a horse drawn hearse and continue down a path that has comical and interactive head stones. Inside the attraction is a marvel with all of its illusions and trickery from the second you get in the building starting with the stretching room. When you exit the stretching room, you board your “Doom Buggie” to take you through the mansion. Then you travel through a hallway where ordinary paintings transform before your eyes before entering the library which is full of ghost stories and has busts of the most famous ghost writers. After checking out the books, you head down a series of hallways that have wall to wall creeps from the wallpaper to the doors. The hallways bring you to the seance room where Madam Leota brings the spirits to you and they materialize right before your eyes in the ballroom. The effect is simple but very effective. After the ballroom, you head to the attic where you meet the bride whose many husbands have come to an early demise. When you unceremoniously leave the attic via a window you tour the grounds of the mansion complete with cemetery. In the cemetery you can find all sorts, there is a watchman and his dog, ghouls, ghosts and singing busts. When you leave the cemetery watch out for hitch hiking ghosts and “hurry back”. Our final stop before finishing Liberty Square is the Columbia Harbour House. My wife loves the food and I love the scenery. The Harbour House has a nautical theme (hence the name) and menu. Adorning the walls, banisters and wood work are various items you can find on old time sailing vessels. There are also model ships, maps and ropes tied in knots commonly used by sailors. The menu is on the healthier side with humus or tuna sandwiches. There are also chowders and chili’s on the menu, I know what you are thinking, not what you want on a hot Florida day, but I can attest the chowder is excellent. When you have finished rushing around, walk through Liberty Square again and enjoy all sights and history it has to offer in the details. I leave you with one last tidbit: have you ever noticed that dark brown path that runs down the middle of Liberty Square and wonder why? Well this dark path represents the fact that in colonial times they did not have indoor plumbing, so all the waste was thrown into the streets. All streets were sloped to the middle so all the sewage and trash would end up there and would not interfere with pedestrians.
Hopefully you enjoyed our trip through Liberty Square. Please leave a comment on here, like us on Facebook at Disneyhelp or follow us on Twitter @Disneyhelp.