Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom is the most patriotic land in any Disney park, taking its inspiration from the original 13 colonies during the Revolutionary War. Imagineers did their homework when designing Liberty Square with loads of details hidden in plain sight. See how many of these little-known Liberty Square facts are new to you!
Liberty Square was originally planned for Disneyland
Liberty Square is inspired by “Liberty Street,” a land that Walt Disney had announced for Disneyland in 1956 that never came to be. Liberty Street would have been an offshoot of Main Street U.S.A. offering Guests a mix of patriotic gifts and souvenirs as well as a look back at the Colonial era.
The concept never took off at Disneyland, but it gained traction as Imagineers went on designing the Magic Kingdom. The Liberty Street concept was already top of mind to have a patriotic-themed land in place for the park’s opening in 1971, and the bicentennial was coming up only five years into the Magic Kingdom’s history prompting Imagineers to think ahead of attractions the park should have by 1976.
The Liberty Tree is inspired by its real-life counterpart in Revolutionary Boston
The Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree has quite the history! The park’s Liberty Tree is inspired by the original tree that stood in Boston in 1773 and served as a meeting gathering place for the Sons of Liberty. The Magic Kingdom’s tree was moved from a different area on Walt Disney World property in 1971, and at the time, this large live Southern oak was already about 130 years old. The tree weighed about 38-tons when it was moved to the park, requiring a massive team of contractors to replant the tree with a 100-ton crane.
The tree is decorated with 13 lanterns, with each one representing one of the original 13 colonies. The lanterns are illuminated each night, making for one of the most beautiful (and vastly underrated) evening views in the Magic Kingdom.
The hearse outside the Haunted Mansion is one of the oldest props at Walt Disney World
The Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion attraction is filled to the brim with authentic antiques, and one of the oldest can be spotted before Guests even enter the attraction. The horse-drawn hearse in the attraction’s queue is over 100 years old, originally produced in the late 19th century.
The hearse also had its own 15 minutes of fame outside of Walt Disney World in a John Wayne film of all places. If you happen to watch The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), you may recognize the hearse in the background that enters the frame around the five-minute mark.
What about the horse? As you may have guessed, the reason why we can’t see the horse accompanying the hearse is because it’s a ghost of course! And, on a more morbid note, Cast Members at the Haunted Mansion on a backstage tour shared with me that the horse’s name is Elmer…
The shutters are authentic, not broken
The windows in Liberty Square are adorned with shutters that appear to hang at slight angles. To the unknowing Guest, this may look like some inferior carpentry took place, but really the window shutters are just sticking to their authentic, real-life counterparts.
During the American Revolution, colonists had to repurpose a number of materials for the war effort when shipments were not coming from England. One result of this is the metal fixtures that would normally hang shutters were taken down and used to make ammunition. Instead, the shutters were fastened to windows using leather, resulting in their somewhat uneven appearance.
Liberty Square is historically accurate….The land has no restrooms!
Indoor plumbing did not exist in Colonial America, and as a result, it does not exist in Liberty Square. Of course, if you are dining at one of Liberty Square’s restaurants, you will have access to a restroom, however, no public bathrooms exist as standalone amenities in the land. If you need to find the nearest restroom, just a short walk to Fantasyland or Adventureland, you can follow the brown line marked in the street. (The brown line is another detail as it hints at the Colonial sewage system of throwing waste out into the streets.)
Liberty Square is loaded with details, and we will share even more of them in a later post! For now, we hope you enjoyed learning more about the Magic Kingdom’s most patriotic land, and you can take in some of these details on your next trip to Walt Disney World.