Welcome to Big Castle Travel’s Saturday Stroll series! This weekly series takes you through each land in each park in Walt Disney World. Last week we visited Storybook Circus in Fantasyland. This week we will hang a left in front of Cinderella Castle and into Liberty Square.
We have organized this in two ways. First, we have organized it into sections similar to how Disney organizes it in the My Disney Experience app: Attractions, Restaurants (Dining), Entertainment, and Shopping. Second, we listed them in order of appearance as if you took a counterclockwise path around the land, starting from the bridge next to Cinderella Castle in front of Sleepy Hollow.
Let’s get started on our Saturday stroll through Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square in Walt Disney World!
Attractions at Disney World include both rides and experiences. We have listed the permanent and daily attractions, but be on the lookout for seasonal attractions and special events while you are in Magic Kingdom!
The Hall of Presidents
This attraction was part of the opening day animatronic magic of Disney World in 1971. Based on Disney’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln animatronic at the 1964 World’s Fair, The Hall of Presidents is a staple attraction of Liberty Square.
Some modern theme park goers may not enjoy this as much as visitors used to. However, this attraction is an testament to both Disney’s and America’s past, as well as an educational and air conditioned option for families.
The Haunted Mansion is another original attraction in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. Based on the Disneyland version, this dark ride takes guests through a manor populated by 999 happy haunts.
Related to modern theme park attractions, the Haunted Mansion is a rather long ride, clocking in just under 8 minutes. Keep this in mind if anyone in your party might not like spooky scenes. There are no jump scares, but 8 minutes is a long time to keep your eyes shut if the haunts don’t seem so happy.
Liberty Square Riverboat
An authentic, steam-powered paddle wheeler is a classic piece of Disney Magic in Liberty Square. The Liberty Square Riverboat is authentically self-propelled by the paddle wheel, but it does glide along a track under the water.
Technically opened the day after opening day in 1971, the Liberty Belle can transport about 450 people at a time around a 17 minute river circuit. Enjoy scenes of Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad Railroad, Tom Sawyer Island, and other animatronics and scenery that can only be scene from this ride.
Say it with me, “Disney World food is more than just pizza and hamburgers.” Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square area has five permanent restaurants in addition to various stands and roaming vendors.
Why would we mention a restaurant as something the kids will like? For the treats of course! Sleepy Hollow has become the defacto testing grounds for seasonal and special event treats. Their daily offerings are delicious at all times of day too.
Technically the meal period is always classified as “Snack” at this Quick Service spot, but most of these are full meals!
- Breakfast Egg and Cheese Waffle Sandwich (with ham and tomatoes)
- Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich
- Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich
- Vanilla Ice Cream Churro Sandwich
Liberty Square Market
Despite being perfectly themed for the colonial area, this Quick Service location is home to the type of overpriced snacks most guests complain about. We love that Disney offers whole fruit, and it’s hard to say no to a classic Mickey pretzel or a Turkey Leg, but from a value perspective there are better food options than Liberty Square Market.
Sometimes this location has special event treats, but don’t expect too much.
Columbia Harbour House
Columbia Harbour House is a mix between underwhelming fried theme park food like chicken nuggets, and delicious northeastern fare like the New England Clam Chowder. The two biggest benefits at this Quick Service spot are Mobile Ordering and the spacious upstairs eating area.
Most guests do not realize they can proceed up the staircase after they get their food. Whether you have a large party or you just need some distance from other guests, Columbia Harbour House can be a great choice on a busy park day.
The Diamond Horseshoe
This Table Service restaurant is a confusing mix of a-la-carte selections and family-style dining options. The sometimes seasonal hours of The Diamond Horseshoe adds to the confusion of this otherwise tasty restaurant.
During lunch, when the Quick Service counter is usually open, you can choose between standard American-style sandwiches, large barbecue-style platters with sides, OR the family-style buffet. Dinner is only the family-style buffet, referred to as the Saloon Feast.
Liberty Tree Tavern
One of the reasons that The Diamond Horseshoe has experienced varying hours over the last few years is because it’s adjacent to another family-style buffet at the Liberty Tree Tavern. Similar to its next-door neighbor, the Liberty Tree Tavern offers both a-la-cart entrees and the buffet at lunch, and only the buffet at dinner.
The food here is closer to Columbia Harbour House than The Diamond Horseshoe. The family-style buffet is basically a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The a-la-carte offerings include burgers, fish and chips, pot roast, and a few other classic American dinners.
Entertainment at Walt Disney World encompasses most shows, parades, and character interactions. There are no official entertainment options due to The Muppets Present show closing in early October, 2019. Be sure to check a local times guide and ask Cast Members for any special entertainment options while you are in Magic Kingdom.
Despite having no official entertainment, this is the perfect section to mention some of the historical aspects of Liberty Square. True to Disney form, almost everything about this area of Magic Kingdom is historically accurate to the New England Colonial time period.
- There are NO BATHROOMS in Liberty Square – indoor plumbing wasn’t a thing back then. People used chamber pots to do their business. You won’t be forced to use one here, but you will have to travel to Frontierland, Adventureland, or Fantasyland to relieve yourself.
- Why is there a brown path in the pavement? – When you only have chamber pots, it becomes socially acceptable to dump them out the windows onto the streets below. While the brown path in Liberty Square is simply different colored concrete, it is representative of the path waste would take in the streets during this historical time.
- The Bell and the Seal – Both the Liberty Bell in the square and the Presidential Seal in the Hall of Presidents are accurate reproductions of the real thing!
One thing to remember about Walt Disney World is that each shopping experience is unique in some way. DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that each shop has the same merchandise and clothing or you might miss out on your new favorite item!
Here are the permanent shops in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square.
Liberty Square Parasol Cart
The first time we visited Magic Kingdom we thought the Liberty Square Parasol Cart was a prop of the area. But these period-accurate (mostly) umbrellas are really for sale! You can even have them monogrammed for a special souvenir from your time in Colonial America.
If the Haunted Mansion is your idea of a perfectly decorated home, then Memento Mori is where you can buy art and housewares to match! With the recent 50th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, and the upcoming 50th anniversary of all opening day attractions in Disney World in 2021, Memento Mori has been selling a number of unique Disney World collectibles.
Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
If you despise anything Christmas before Thanksgiving, then don’t bother visiting. But if you are like us and start planning your Christmas tree in July, then the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe is a must-see in Liberty Square.
Aside from being open year-round, this Christmas shop isn’t any different from other Christmas shops. We love collecting year-specific Disney tree ornaments here to remember each of our magical trips.
Liberty Square Portrait Gallery
We will readily admit that we never thought caricatures and silhouettes were a worthy theme park souvenir. That is until we met the lady that literally wrote the book on hand-cutting silhouettes in front of customers. We met Kathryn Flocken in Disney Springs and were lucky enough to hear her story and a brief history of silhouette artists in Disney World.
The caricature artists are equally as talented. We not recommend these souvenirs to all of our customers, and the Liberty Square Portrait Gallery is a perfect place to get one!