Liberty Square

Directly behind Cinderella Castle, Liberty Square offers the fewest attractions and eateries of any land, but what is offered is all above average in terms of quality. Hall of Presidents is a perfect way to spend a hot afternoon, while Haunted Mansion is quintessential Disney.

Columbia Harbour House across from Haunted Mansion is our favorite quick service, offering a delicious fried shrimp platter, in addition to salads, unique sandwiches, grilled salmon, and excellent soups. Sleepy Hollow Refreshment serves excellent waffle sandwiches from 11am – 5pm, in addition to funnel cakes, waffles, and other ice cream treats. Liberty Tree Tavern is one of our favorite table service restaurants for lunch, when it offers a reasonably priced a la carte menu. The dinner buffet no longer features characters and it’s expensive out of pocket.

Across from Hall of Presidents is Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe which offers primarily Christmas related merchandise. Yankee Trader Gourmet Shop near Haunted Mansion’s exit offers the full line of Haunted Mansion merchandise, in addition to mostly kitchen related items.

{ 0 comments }

Hall of Presidents

by josh on May 14, 2010

Opened: October 1, 1971, reopened after extensive refurbishment on July1, 2009

Location: As you cross the bridge from The Hub into Liberty Square, you’ll see it on your right after passing Sleepy Hollow Refreshments.

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: Yes

Type: Animatronic theater show

Similar To: The American Adventure

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Zero, unless seeing George W. Bush or Bill Clinton reprise their role as Commander in Chief will be too upsetting.

What to Expect: Similar to The American Adventure at the United States Pavilion in Epcot, the Hall of Presidents is a theater show featuring film clips and animatronics of all 44 of the United States’ Presidents.  The show is patriotic in focus and serves to expound on the hardships and triumphs of the United States through the years.  The theater is air-conditioned, comfortable, and seats over 700 people, which makes it a nice and easy attraction to enjoy in the afternoon heat.  The queue area features some impressive artifacts and memorabilia, including a collection of dresses worn by the First Ladies of the United States, George Bush’s inaugural cowboy boots, and the actual eggs from the annual White House Easter egg hunt.

[click to continue reading..]

{ 0 comments }

Haunted Mansion

by josh on May 14, 2010

Haunted Mansion

Opened: October 1, 1971

Location: Haunted Mansion is located across the way from Columbia Harbour House.  From Frontierland, you’ll see it on your left before arriving in Fantasyland.  From Fantasyland, it’s on the right after you pass it’s a small world and Peter Pan’s Flight.

Extra Magic Hours: Evening

FastPass+: Yes – moderate priority. Consider using FastPass+ here after using the initial allotment of three pre-booked experiences.

Type: Dark ride

Similar To: Spaceship Earth

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Medium.  Haunted Mansion is intended to be a fun and goofy ride – not a frightening experience.  You won’t see anything gruesome or disgusting and there aren’t any sudden drops or surprises that will pop up unexpectedly.  Still, it is a haunted house full of ghouls and the ride is almost entirely in the dark, which may be enough to make youngsters apprehensive about riding.  Chances are they won’t be frightened by anything they see during the ride, but they may be too scared from the thought of a haunted house to enjoy the attraction.

What to Expect: The queue is outdoors underneath a canopy that protects from the rain, but it won’t do much to keep the afternoon heat out.  In fact, it can make it seem even hotter because there isn’t a lot of air flow.  In 2011, Disney installed an interactive queue near the entrance to the mansion. All standby riders walk through the interactive queue while FastPass+ riders have no choice but to bypass it.

Once it’s your turn to enter the Mansion, you’ll be greeted and led in by two caretakers.  After a neat room-expanding pre-show, you’ll be let into another larger room where you’ll wait to board your “doom buggy,” which is a small ride vehicle similar to those found at Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Journey into the Little Mermaid.  Unfortunately, this room has become more and more crowded and it can be a bit of a hassle to walk with hundreds of other people down the narrow corridor.  Grab a hold of children to make sure you don’t lose track of them.  The vehicles move on a conveyer belt and will occasionally turn 180 degrees automatically so your buggy is facing the correct direction.  Your slow ride through the Haunted Mansion will take about eight minutes to complete and features some of the best, most detailed scenes and animatronics in all of Disney World.  For a detailed explanation of the story and the different scenes, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haunted_Mansion.

[click to continue reading..]

{ 3 comments }

Liberty Square Riverboat

by josh on May 14, 2010

Liberty Square Riverboat

Opened: May 20, 1973

Location: Liberty Square Riverboat boards across from Columbia Harbour House.  As you pass Haunted Mansion on your right, you’ll see the entrance shortly after.  Heading up from Liberty Square, you’ll see it on your left before arriving at the Haunted Mansion.

Extra Magic Hours: No

FASTPASS: No

Type: Boat ride

Similar To: Unique

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Zero

What to Expect: The Liberty Square Riverboat is an “authentic” three-tiered paddle wheel boat that has a capacity of about 300 people.  It slowly circles around Tom Sawyer Island and offers fantastic views of Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and several other popular attractions.  The voice of Mark Twain narrates your journey of about one half mile.

When To Go: The Liberty Square Riverboat is a fantastic attraction to ride in the middle of the afternoon when the Magic Kingdom is at its hottest and most crowded.  There are plenty of seats on the boat and it’s much cooler than most other areas at the Park.

Expect to Wait: Because of the large capacity and relative unpopularity of the ride, it’s rare that you’ll have to wait any longer than it takes for the boat to return to the dock.  The boat boards every half hour, on the half and full hour.

Length: 17 minutes

Rating: 7/10

Commentary: This is a great ride if you’re looking to relax and get away from the crowds for a while.  You won’t necessarily be missing much if you can’t fit it into your schedule though.  It’s basically a slow moving tour of what you’ll see while walking around the Park.  It does give you a nice opportunity to slow down and appreciate some of the details of the Magic Kingdom though.  Ride this if you need a break in the afternoon, but skip it if you don’t have the time.

{ 1 comment }