Secrets of Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom

Tucked away in the back of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is a tiny land with many secrets. A visit to Liberty Square is more than a visit to the Haunted Mansion or a ride on the riverboat. Take some time to explore and you’ll find a treasure of details and secrets.

There is a time period progression from the Haunted Mansion down to Frontierland. The Haunted Mansion is fashioned after the houses along the Hudson River in New York in the early 1700’s. There is an area with a succession of buildings, each with a front door. The addresses on the doors are two digits. Put an 18 in front of the numbers and you get the timeframe for that particular building.

liberty square 1

Along with the time period progression there is a geographical progression in Liberty Square. It starts in on the east coast with the Haunted Mansion and moves west. Watch the progression in style as you move towards Frontierland (American west).

Columbia Harbor House restaurant is technically located in Fantasyland and Liberty Square. Inside the restaurant, closer to Fantasyland, the restaurant is themed to Europe. As you move through the restaurant and out the door into Liberty Square the décor changes to early American.

liberty square 2

Notice the shutters in Liberty Square are all hung at an angle. This is because there was virtually no metal shipped to America from England during the Revolutionary War (they didn’t want it used for bullets). The colonials would use the metal off of the shutters for ammunition and then hang the shutters with leather. After a period of time the leather straps would stretch and the shutters would hang at an angle.

Since there was no plumbing in Colonial times you won’t find any restrooms in Liberty Square!

Look for the replica of the House of Burgesses complete with the “two if by sea” lanterns hung in the upper window.

The Liberty Tree located in the middle of the area is over 100 years old. It holds 13 lanterns, one for each of the original colonies.

In 1976 each state received a replica of the Liberty Bell in celebration of the Bicentennial. Since Pennsylvania already had the original they weren’t sure what to do with the replica so Walt Disney World asked if they could have it for the Magic Kingdom. Pennsylvania agreed and the replica now sits in Liberty Square. Florida is the only state with two replicas made from the cast of the original Liberty Bell.

There are genuine presidential artifacts located in the lobby of the Hall of Presidents. In fact it’s a federally recognized presidential museum. Make sure you take the time to see this wonderful show.

liberty square 3

The area around the Diamond Horseshoe is supposed to represent St Louis. The small offshoot stream that runs into the Rivers of America is known as the “Little Mississippi”.

Next time you visit this quaint little area of the Magic Kingdom make sure to check out all of the details!

My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a Disney Destination Specialist with Travel with the Magic. I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation or Disney cruise. My services are always complimentary. Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow me on facebook for tips, tricks and specials concerning all things Disney!

A Tour of the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World

Tucked in a quiet corner of Liberty Square, in the back of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, is a stately manor with a rather spooky feel. Come visit Disney’s Haunted Mansion, home to 999 Happy Haunts (there’s room for one more ~ any volunteers?).

The outside of the mansion is what you might find in the Hudson River Valley of New York and is perched on a hill overlooking the Rivers of America. It was important to Walt Disney that nothing inside of the Magic Kingdom would look run down or shabby so the mansion itself is quite beautiful.

HM1

As with many Disney attractions the experience begins in the queue. As you walk up to the front of the mansion an old, worn out, horse drawn hearse greets you with a taste of what’s to come. The queue includes an interactive pipe organ, a musical crypt, stone busts and infamous headstones such as “Here Lies Good Old Fred ~ A Great Big Rock Fell On His Head” and “In Memorium Uncle Myall ~ Here You’ll Lie – For Quite A While”.

HM2

These tombstones are all nods to those imagineers and artists who contributed to the Haunted Mansion and the early years of Walt Disney World.

HM3

You are greeted at the door by the housekeeper or butler and enter into the foyer of the mansion. Don’t rush through this room, take time to watch the portrait over the fireplace and take in the décor. We also meet our Ghost Host who will be our tour guide along the way. He invites us into the next room which contains portraits that look normal enough until the room begins to stretch (or is it just your imagination?). Is the ceiling moving up or is the floor moving down? This room at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland moves one way while the room at Walt Disney World moves the other direction. Can you figure it out? When the doors open move forward, don’t drag behind or the gargoyles on the wall will whisper for you to “get out”.

You will now board a Doom Buggy, an egg shaped vehicle with sound speakers, for the rest of your visit. Beginning your tour in the portrait gallery, the pictures eerily follow you on your journey down the hallway. This hallway leads to another hallway, this one without an end and with many ghosts who are dying to get out. Then in the conservatory you find you are a bit too late for a funeral.

In the next room you will attend a séance with Madame Leota. Named after Disney imagineer Leota Toombs, you might recognize Madame Leota’s voice as the same voice as Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. Here creepies and crawlies are summoned as you join in the séance and are sent a message from somewhere beyond.

Your next stop on the tour will be to the ballroom. This is an area full of details and no matter how many times you visit the mansion there will always be something new to see here. Your Ghost Host invites you to this swinging wake so sit back in your Doom Buggy and enjoy the party. Notice the place setting at the far left hand side of the banquet table – it’s in the shape of our favorite mouse! The organ is a replica of Captain Nemo’s organ in the Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Look up and down and all around this room – these ghosts know how to celebrate!

Moving into the attic you meet the bride who’s had her fair share of grooms. Something seems to have happened to all of them leaving her with wedding gifts and a heavy (and loud) heart.

Your Doom Buggy will now leave the mansion and take you through the graveyard. Here you’ll meet spooks and ghosts singing along with the Haunted Mansion’s theme song, Grim Grinning Ghosts. Can you find the grim reaper by the opera singers? Look for the cloth he is holding and you’ll see yet another Hidden Mickey.

Passing out of the graveyard you are told to hurry back and to be sure and bring your death certificate. Our friendly Ghost Host catches up with us here for his farewells. I’ll leave you some surprises but one word of caution – beware of hitchhiking ghosts!

The Haunted Mansion is a fun, tongue in cheek look at the spirit world. While there are a few loud noises and dark scenes that may be scary for young children, overall this is a light hearted experience that is one of the most beloved attractions at Walt Disney World. It is so detailed that each time you experience the attraction you will see something new. This is Disney Imagineering at its best!

My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a Disney Destination Specialist with Travel with the Magic. I’d love to help your family plan their dream Disney vacation. Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com You can also follow me on facebook