The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square at Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971. This phenomenal attractions features all 43 of the Presidents of the United States of America sharing the history of our country. This building is modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Prior to entering the show, you will have an opportunity to view several unique artifacts from past presidents. In the main theatre, you will find three massive screens that show a film of the history of our country including wars, presidential speeches, and historical events that helped shape our country. After the film, the screen will rise and all 43 presidents in audio-animatronic form will be introduced. This is an incredible sight for me! Presidents George Washington and Barack Obama give speeches about the American Dream. Abraham Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address.
This attraction was a spin off of Walt Disney’s “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” that debuted in the 1964 World’s Fair. It is a 20-25 minute show that runs every half hour. Adults and teenagers will appreciate this attraction more than children. Most children find this boring! However, it is a great time to get the kids inside the air conditioning for a power nap!
- Yes, Obama is the 44th president. There are only 43 in the Hall of Presidents because Grover Cleveland served 2 terms as the 22nd and 24th president.
- This attraction is wheelchair/ ECV accessible. Assistive Listening Devices and Reflective Captioning are available. See a cast member for assistance.
- There is not a FastPass+ option for this attraction. You shouldn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes though.
- “James” is a cast member who works at Hall of Presidents. He is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Presidents of the US. Try to find him prior to the show and see if you can learn something!
- When a new president is elected, every 4 or 8 years, this show will be updated to reflect the newest president. If your trip is planned after a new president is elected, check to see if this attraction will be open.
- Inside the rotunda, you will find an authentic Great Seal of the United States on the rug. The only other one is found in the White House. It took a vote from Congress to get this to Walt Disney World. It is otherwise only seen in the White House.
Liberty Square Riverboat in Liberty Square opened on May 20, 1973. The Admiral Joe Fowler was the original steamboat used when the attraction opened. A second boat, the Richard F. Irvine was later added. In 1996, after an extensive rehab, the boat was renamed the Liberty Belle.
|view of Liberty Square|
This attraction is a 17 minute, half a mile journey through America’s early frontier on the Rivers of America. It departs every half hour and you usually only have to wait for the boat to return. I’ve never waited and not been able to get on the next boat. Families with strollers are not allowed to bring the stroller on board, but guests can bring their ECVs and wheelchairs on board without transferring. There are some limited seats on all 4 decks of the Riverboat, but majority of the space is standing room.
|Tom Sawyer’s log raft|
This steam powered paddleboat has 4 decks and is a working reproduction of the historic boats that carried people up and down the Mississippi River. While this steam engine actually converts the water from the river into steam to power the paddle, the boat is on a track to keep it on course. Disney tints the water a dark green/ brown color to hide the tracks under the water.
|Native American Village|
While on the Riverboat, you’ll hear Mark Twain narrate your journey as he tells about transportation and unique discoveries. Along the journey, you’ll see unique sights such as an early American settlement and a Native American village. You’ll also see landmarks from Tom Sawyer’s Island. Along with views of some animals, you’ll be able to see unique perspectives on some popular attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and The Haunted Mansion.
|Big Thunder Mountain|
|my favorite view of the Haunted Mansion|
- If you enjoy taking photographs of the park and attractions, the top deck will be the best place for this.
|Frontierland from the top deck|
- If you ride during the 3:00 parade, you’ll get a great perspective of the parade as it goes through Frontierland.
- During special events at Halloween (MNSSHP) and Christmas (MVMCP) the Liberty Belle may have special entertainment or trick or treat stations.
- If you need to take a break from the heat or the crowds, this is a great place to go.
- This attraction is typically closed each January for refurbishments.
- Melissa from Rolling with the Magic, has more details in her post about this wheelchair accessible attraction.
|selfie from the top deck!|
I’ve shared with you many times before how Main Street USA is my favorite area of the Magic Kingdom. One of the reasons it’s my favorite is for the shopping options! I truly believe you can find something on Main Street for every person on your “I have to buy a souvenir for…” list!
A few of my favorite Main Street shopping experiences are:
- Box Office Gifts– Here you can find Disney Pins & Vinylmation, Gifts & Housewares.
- The Chapeau– Everyone who makes their first trip to WDW needs to stop by this shop to pick up their embroidered Mickey Ears!
- Crystal Arts– This is where you can find that special gift for friends who don’t want a traditional stuffed Mickey, but a glass sculpture Mickey. You can also watch a glass blower inside the shop.
- Emporium– We spend most of our time here looking at and buying toys, gifts, collectibles, clothes, pins, and stuffed animals! We could spend hours in this shop. It’s also a great place to be to wait out the rain.
- Uptown Jewelers– This is another shop for “nicer” gifts such as art, collectibles, jewelry, china, clocks and Disney figurines.
- Main Street Confectionary– When our family isn’t in the Emporium, you’ll find us picking out our favorite foods, snacks, drinks and housewares gifts here. I make at least one trip to the Confectionary each trip!
- Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square. Yes, I buy a Christmas ornament from this shop on each trip.
- Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar at the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean. This is where my son could spend the afternoon trying on all the Pirate attire. You can also experience The Pirate’s League here.
- Buzz’s Star Command in Tomorrowland at the exit of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We like this shop because we love Buzz and Toy Story. Plus, we like to crawl in “jail” with Zurg and get a photo!
- Tomorrowland Light and Power Company at the exit of Space Mountain. We enjoy shopping and playing the arcade here!
- Heritage House in Liberty Square beside The Hall of Presidents. My husband is a history nerd, so this is the perfect spot for him! He loves looking at all the history books about our country and presidents.
- Big Top Souvenirs in the new Fantasyland is the one shopping experience I’m most looking forward to on our next trip. It was not quite opened on our last visit. It appears that you can buy snacks AND great souvenirs here!
Did you know that Walt Disney World had to obtain approval from the U.S. Congress to place the Great Seal of the United States on the carpet in the Hall of Presidents?
photo courtesy of Disney
As the nation’s 42nd president stood before a microphone and video cameras — set up to film his gestures and facial nuances for Audio-Animatronics® programming — he remarked to an assistant, “Have you seen [The Hall of Presidents]? This is a great show!” President Clinton continued into the microphone, “I feel like I should sing a Disney song. Heigh ho, heigh ho…!”