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Liberty Square - Magic Kingdom
Liberty Square was a part of the Magic Kingdom we often rushed through on our way to Fantasyland when the girls were younger. It is situated between Fantasyland and Frontierland and we spent a very pleasant afternoon there last year.
This is a slice of America dating back to the late 1700’s. Originally designed for Disneyland in 1958, Liberty Square was built especially for the Magic Kingdom when plans for putting it in the California park fell through.
You will see the majestic 135-year-old live oak tree, the Liberty Tree, which commemorates the communal meeting place of the Sons of Liberty as seen in the Disney live-action film Johnny Tremaine. This tree was transplanted from another area on Disney property and had a full-grown weight of 35 tons when moved. It is said to have fathered more than 500 trees from its acorns!
There is also a replica of the famous Heritage House. Here you can buy historical items, early-American gifts, flags, and t-shirts.
The girls loved the Haunted Mansion where you hop aboard a doom buggy for a ride through a spooky 19th century mansion. Look out for the hitchhiking ghosts!
Be sure to visit the Hall of Presidents, we found it a great way to teach the girls about Americas history. Wait for the film, it runs every half hour and lasts about 25 minutes and includes all 42 Presidents of the United States. This really is a classic with a wide screen film and Disney Storytelling, even the adults felt more enlightened.
At the conclusion of the film, the screen parts to reveal a stage filled with lifelike versions of each of the US presidents. Each of the figures moves, nodding a head or gesturing in some way, as their names are called. The programme concludes with speeches given by the current president, George W. Bush, and the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, who actually rises from his chair!
No visit to Liberty Square is complete without a journey on the Liberty Belle. This has been closed since our visit last year for new paint and a lot of mechanical updating but has recently re-opened (August 2006). This genuine replica of an early American steam ship allows you to take a journey back in time and cruise the rivers of America. The cruise, which goes around Tom Sawyers Island, takes about 20 minutes.
The day we visited Magic Kingdom was relatively quite and we were fortunate to get a table for The Character Dining at the Liberty Tree Tavern although we did not have a reservation. However I would strongly recommend you pre-book for this All You Can Eat dining that starts each day at 4.00pm
Your Mouse hostess invites you to eat from a hearty American meal of roasted turkey, marinated flank steak and other colonial favourites with all the trimmings. Here you will meet Minnie and all her friends who will be happy to join you for photographs.
For those who do not want Character Dining the Liberty Tree Tavern also have a section that serves traditional roast turkey, freshly prepared seafood, poultry, salads and sandwiches. If you prefer a Colonial Dinner is also served, this has carved meat and the traditional accompaniments.
Whilst the girls had proceeded onto Fantasyland with Granddad to complete their evening my Mother and I stayed in the Square for some early Christmas shopping.
We visited Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, which was especially made for Walt Disney World and located in the Square in 1989. Here you can buy Christmas gifts and decorations that are either Disney-themed or traditional.
We then went on to The Yankee Trader, where you can buy interesting and unusual kitchenware, Mickey pasta, jams and jellies, pots, dishes and more.
Liberty Square really is worth spending some time in if your children are no longer toddlers.
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