Liberty Square Riverboat

See the wild frontier.

Steam into American history aboard the majestic, Colonial-era Liberty Belle riverboat and enjoy a relaxing half-mile tour around Tom Sawyer Island .

Along the way, listen to a recorded narrator—in the voice of iconic American author and humorist Mark Twain—sharing memories of Twain’s time on the Mississippi.

It’s full steam ahead on this historic, nostalgic trip back to the past!

Along the River’s Edge

During this charming, 17-minute trip, you’ll encounter a rarely seen side of Magic Kingdom park . Behold a bevy of sights from the early days of the American frontier, including:

  • An early American settlement
  • An idyllic Native American village
  • Harper’s Mill
  • Fort Langhorn
  • Wilson’s Cave Inn
  • Woodland animals

You’ll also be treated to unique views of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Haunted Mansion .

Aboard the Liberty Belle

Featuring meticulously detailed wood craftsmanship, the 47-foot tall Liberty Belle is a working reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the mighty Mississippi.

An actual steam engine converts water from the river into steam that powers the large paddle that in turn propels the boat.

There are 4 decks with limited seating available on each.

liberty square riverboat ride

Guests Also Viewed

Safety, accessibility and guest policies, times for liberty square riverboat.

liberty square riverboat ride

WDW Prep School

Complete Guide to Liberty Square Riverboat at Magic Kingdom

Complete Guide to Liberty Square Riverboat at Magic Kingdom

Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom while learning a little bit about American history? Then welcome aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat!

You’ll ride the majestic  Liberty Belle  riverboat for a half-mile tour around  Tom Sawyer Island .

On this 17-minute trip, you’ll hear the voice of iconic American author and humorist, Mark Twain, sharing some of his memories of life on the Mississippi. You’ll also encounter a rarely-seen side of the Magic Kingdom.

It’s full steam ahead for our complete guide to the Liberty Square Riverboat .

In this article

Liberty Square Riverboat Quick Facts

  • Location: Liberty Square , in The Magic Kingdom
  • Height req : None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: About 17 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Just as a time filler
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
  • Tip(s): Mostly standing room only, find a spot on the top deck to snap some good pics of nearby attractions.
  • Description: This 17-minute cruise on a steam-powered boat takes you on a 1/2 mile tour around Tom Sawyer Island.

Liberty Square Riverboat is located in Liberty Square, across from Liberty Square Market and down the way from The Hall of Presidents .

liberty square riverboat location at magic kingdom

Download the PDF

liberty square riverboat ride

How to Ride Liberty Square Riverboat

Liberty Square Riverboat has a Standby Line. There is no Single Rider Line .

Do I need to use Genie+ at Liberty Square Riverboat?

Genie+ is not available at Liberty Square Riverboat.

Rider Switch/Child Swap

As there is no height requirement for Liberty Square Riverboat, this attraction does not offer Rider Switch .

Rider Switch is Disney’s system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.

You can learn more about Rider Switch via our helpful guide.

What to Expect When You Ride

The queue to ride the Liberty Square Riverboat is shaded with some benches. The loading dock is also covered.

liberty square riverboat

The ride leaves twice an hour on the hour and the half-hour so if you don’t make the boat, you’ll be waiting quite a bit for the next one.

Ride Vehicles

The Liberty Square Riverboat is a 47-foot-tall working steamship called The Liberty Belle . It is propelled by the paddle wheel that is itself propelled by the steam engine.

It is a reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the Mississippi River.

The Liberty Square Riverboat

While it is fully functioning, it is actually guided on an “I-beam” track that is hidden by the green and brown-dyed water of the Rivers of America.

The Riverboat has a maximum capacity of 450 people.

Guests enter the ship on the middle deck. This area features a sitting room, an outside wheelhouse, and the captain’s quarters.

The Liberty Square Riverboat

On the bottom deck of the boat, you can see the ship’s boiler and pistons and you can visit the viewing platform which has great views of all the attraction’s scenes.

On the top deck, guests get the best perspective of the Magic Kingdom from the water.

Accessibility Information

Guests in wheelchairs and ECVs may remain in them to ride The Liberty Square Riverboat.

The Liberty Square Riverboat

If you are in a wheelchair or ECV, ask a Cast Member for help and they will assist you in boarding the ride up the exit ramp. There is actually a sign at the main entrance to the attraction that points those that require wheelchair or ECV access to enter to the left.

Liberty Square Riverboat

Those in wheelchairs and ECVs must remain on the middle deck of the riverboat as there is no handicap access for other levels.

On the Ride

If you prefer to keep your ride aboard The Liberty Square Riverboat a surprise, you may want to skip this part to avoid any spoilers.

liberty square riverboat dock

The Liberty Square Riverboat begins with its captain, Horace Bixby, welcoming guests aboard The Liberty Belle as well as introducing his pilot, Samuel Clemens (known to future generations as the author, Mark Twain). You are currently on Clemens’ 100th journey aboard the Liberty Belle.

Before the Liberty Belle leaves port, Sam sets the scene for the ride ahead by warning guests to stay behind the railings, as river pirates are known to frequent the area.

frontierland views from liberty square riverboat

As you sail down the river, you’ll see the sights of Frontierland, which for the purpose of the ride was once just a boom town but is well on its way to becoming a big city. Over the announcement system, Sam mentions that the large peak in Frontierland is known as Chick-A-Pin Hill (also known to Disney guests as the former Splash Mountain and future Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ).

Continuing on, the boat passes Sam’s “old stomping ground”,  Tom Sawyer Island .

Next, he points out  Big Thunder Mountain where the water gets so hot that geysers erupt. Sam explains that Native Americans used to think that the geysers were spirits and that’s why they named the mountain “Big Thunder Mountain” and the moniker stuck.

big thunder mountain views from liberty square riverboat

As your boat ride continues, you’ll see Beacon Joe and his dog Rufus in front of his bait shop.

You’ll then see Powhatan Native Americans gathering and pass by an unidentified Indian village. Down the river, the Liberty Belle reaches Cutthroat Corner where riders are told they are most likely to find river pirates.

haunted mansion views from liberty square riverboat

Before returning to port in Liberty Square, the Liberty Belle passes The Haunted Mansion . Sam informs guests that rumor has it that the mansion was built on a Native American burial ground, and now 999 ghosts haunt it.

Finally, the Liberty Belle reaches port and Sam and Captain Bixby say goodbye as the boat docks and guests are directed to disembark.

frontierland views from liberty square riverboat

One thing to note about taking a ride on The Liberty Square Riverboat: on top of the sights you see on the attraction, you will also get a unique view of Magic Kingdom. You might even be able to spot the parade or a cavalcade during your ride!

Is Liberty Square Riverboat Kid-Friendly?

This is a great ride for the whole family to take a break from the crowds of Magic Kingdom.

Strollers are not allowed in most queues at Walt Disney World. Instead, you’ll need to leave your stroller in the designated stroller parking area near the entrance to the queue.

The Liberty Square Riverboat is one of the few attractions that can trace its history back to before Disneyland or Walt Disney World even opened.

Walt Disney initially came up with the idea for a Mississippi steamboat attraction for the Disney Studio in Burbank, California. However, the Burbank Studio did not have the land to build the attraction so Walt decided to transfer the concept to Disneyland.

wigwams as seen from liberty square riverboat

In order to create the attraction, Disney had to construct the first American-made, working steamboat in 50 years. Admiral Joe Fowler oversaw the construction of what would become The Mark Twain Riverboat in Disneyland.

The Mark Twain was built in two separate pieces. The hull was constructed in San Pedro, California and the deck was built at the Disney Studios in Burbank. The ship was assembled in Disneyland and The Mark Twin Riverboat debuted on July 17, 1955, for Disneyland’s opening day.

When Walt Disney World was in development, the riverboat was one of the attractions Imagineers decided to include in the opening day plans, however, it wasn’t quite ready.

The Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat opened one day after the park, on October 2, 1971. It was named in tribute to the man who had helped to create Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as the Riverboat attractions.

thunder mountain views from liberty square riverboat

When the riverboat first debuted, live entertainment could often be found on deck because there wasn’t much else for guests to see on the Rivers of America at the time.

Since Walt Disney World did not yet have enough attractions to meet demand, in 1973 a second steamboat was built. The Richard F. Irvine  Riverboat entered into service on May 20, 1973. It was named after the late Disney executive, Richard F. Irvine, who oversaw the planning and construction of Walt Disney World.

The only difference between the two steamboats was that The Admiral Joe Fowler had two smokestacks, while The Richard F. Irvine only had one.

In fall of 1980, The Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat was destroyed in a drydock accident. Disney decided not to repair it, and the bell from the riverboat was added to the #4 engine known as the Roy O. Disney on the  Walt Disney World Railroad .

ferries to Magic Kingdom

In 1996, The   Richard F. Irvine  was completely refurbished and returned to service as The   Liberty Belle  Riverboat.

The attraction itself was renamed the Liberty Square Riverboat to make it easier to remember and to tie the boat in with Liberty Square.

With one ship gone and the other one renamed, Disney decided to pay homage to Admiral Fowler and Richard Irvine by naming two ferries that run from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom after them in 1999.

The narration aboard the Liberty Belle has expanded as more rides have been added to Frontierland . References to  Tom Sawyer Island , Splash Mountain (the future Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ), and  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad  have all been added to the script.

native american scene on liberty square riverbaot

In 1992, the Powhatan Native Americans were added to the attraction after the release of the Disney-animated film, Pocahontas .

The  Liberty Belle  underwent extensive rehab from September 2005 to September 2006, and then in 2018 it was completely overhauled with a new boiler.

Other Fun Details

  • Captain Horace Bixby, the name given to the Liberty Belle’s captain, was a real steamboat captain on the Mississippi. Horace Bixby and Sam Clemens met aboard a steamboat called The Paul Jones . Bixby agreed to take Sam on as his apprentice. About 21 years later, the now-famous Mark Twain reunited with Captain Bixby in St. Louis. The captain even makes an appearance in Twain’s book, Life on the Mississippi .
  • Inside The Liberty Belle’s Salon, there is a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.
  • Watch the Audio-Animatronic dog outside of Beaker Joe’s. Every once and a while he will turn his head as a fish jumps by.

liberty square riverboat dog

  • To pay homage to the Samuel Clemens connection, in Disneyland the attraction is known as the Mark Twain Riverboat.
  • Crates located on the banks of Frontierland are imprinted with “Tell City Tool Co.” Tell City is a real town located in Indiana on the banks of the Mississippi River. It was one of the United States’ first “planned cities.” Another crate has “71” on it to honor the year the Magic Kingdom opened and another says “Russel’s Falls” after Davy Crockett’s sidekick, George E. Russel.
  • The attraction’s landing building is one of the few in the Magic Kingdom that does not employ forced perspective. This may be to hide the riverboat from guests in Liberty Square where a steam-powered riverboat would not fit the land’s theming.

Other Attractions in Liberty Square

  • The Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Liberty Square River Boat

Liberty Square Riverboat

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Liberty Square Riverboat

See the wild frontier.

Steam into American history aboard the majestic, Colonial-era Liberty Belle riverboat and enjoy a relaxing half-mile tour around Tom Sawyer Island .

Along the way, listen to a recorded narrator—in the voice of iconic American author and humorist Mark Twain—sharing memories of Twain’s time on the Mississippi.

It’s full steam ahead on this historic, nostalgic trip back to the past!

Along the River’s Edge

During this charming, 17-minute trip, you’ll encounter a rarely seen side of Magic Kingdom park . Behold a bevy of sights from the early days of the American frontier, including:

  • An early American settlement
  • An idyllic Native American village
  • Harper’s Mill
  • Fort Langhorn
  • Wilson’s Cave Inn
  • Woodland animals

You’ll also be treated to unique views of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Haunted Mansion .

Aboard the Liberty Belle

Featuring meticulously detailed wood craftsmanship, the 47-foot tall Liberty Belle is a working reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the mighty Mississippi.

An actual steam engine converts water from the river into steam that powers the large paddle that in turn propels the boat.

There are 4 decks with limited seating available on each.

liberty square riverboat ride

Safety, Accessibility and Guest Policies

Times for liberty square riverboat.

liberty square riverboat ride

Liberty Square Riverboat Ride Review

The Liberty Square Riverboat is a classic attraction located in Liberty Square at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park. This charming riverboat takes guests on a peaceful 12-minute journey around the Rivers of America, offering beautiful views of Frontierland and unique perspectives of classic Magic Kingdom attractions. With  a ride aboard an authentic 19th century-style steamboat and narration by the iconic Mark Twain, the Liberty Square Riverboat celebrates the nostalgia of riverboat travel’s golden era. It’s a perfect way to take a break from the high-thrill rides and enjoy a relaxing voyage back in time.

Table of Contents

  • Average Wait Times
  • Height Requirements
  • Single Rider
  • Ride Duration
  • Genie+ and Lightning Lane
  • Rider Switch
  • Early Entry Ride

Best Times to Ride

  • Original Boats
  • Current Boat
  • Disembarking

Special Events

Tips for riders.

  • Tokyo Disneyland
  • Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Shanghai Disneyland
  • Disneyland Paris

The Liberty Belle Sets Sail as the Rivers of America Prepares a Return to Magic Kingdom Park

General Ride Information

Average Wait Time: The Liberty Square Riverboat typically has short wait times, averaging 10–20 minutes on moderate and busy days.

Height Requirement: There is no height requirement for this slow-moving boat ride.

Single Rider: The Liberty Square Riverboat does not offer single rider lines.

Ride Duration: The total ride duration is approximately 12 minutes as the boat navigates the Rivers of America.

Genie+ and Lightning Lane: Genie + and Lightning Lane access are not available for the Liberty Square Riverboat.

Rider Switch: Rider switch is also not offered as there is no height requirement.

Disability Access Service: Guests with disabilities can take advantage of the Disability Access Service (DAS) to receive a return time.

Ride Location: The Liberty Square Riverboat is located in Liberty Square, just across from The Hall of Presidents.

Early Entry: The  Liberty Square Riverboat is not included as one of the attractions available for Early Theme Park Entry.

The best times to ride the Liberty Square Riverboat are during the middle of the day when wait times for more popular attractions peak, first thing in the morning after riding a few headliners, and at night during the fireworks shows. Riding  when crowds are lower, especially during mealtimes and the Electrical Water Pageant, can also mean shorter wait times. Avoid exiting immediately after a performance of The Hall of Presidents, when crowds flood the area.

History and Design

The Liberty Square Riverboat has a long history, dating back to Walt Disney’s original vision for Disneyland . Walt incorporated a riverboat attraction into his plans for Disneyland, using the iconic Mark Twain Riverboat on the Rivers of America as inspiration. When  designing Magic Kingdom, Imagineers brought a similar riverboat to life on the park’s Rivers of America. The original Liberty Square riverboat was named the Admiral Joe Fowler. It operated for over 7 years before being damaged beyond repair.

The Admiral Joe Fowler was replaced in 1973 by the boat currently in operation – the Richard F. Irvine. After an extensive refurbishment in 1996, the Richard F. Irvine was renamed the Liberty Belle. The Liberty Belle is an exact replica of a 19th century paddle wheel riverboat. It stands 47 feet tall and weighs 100 tons. The boat has a maximum capacity of 450 guests over three levels. The  Liberty Belle is powered by a working steam engine that rotates the rear paddle wheel to propel the boat during its journey. While the steam engine is fully functioning, the boat does follow an underwater track for guidance and safety.

Ride Experience

The Liberty Square Riverboat ride experience begins at the loading dock in Liberty Square. Guests board the boat from the middle, second deck, while ramp access for wheelchairs and ECVs is offered on the first deck. As the boat departs, guests are welcomed aboard by a pre-recorded spiel from Captain Horace Bixby. He introduces the pilot guiding this journey – none other than Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain.

Twain shares memories of his many adventures traveling along the Mississippi River as the Liberty Belle passes by Frontierland and approaches Tom Sawyer Island. Along the way, riders can spot wildlife, mining structures, and old settlements along the shores. The narration highlights various sights along the river, including abandoned mines at Cutthroat Canyon and Fort Langhorn on Tom Sawyer Island.

As the boat completes its loop around the island, the majestic facade of The Haunted Mansion comes into view. Twain remarks on legends of the Haunted Mansion being built on sacred native burial grounds as the Liberty Belle returns to dock in Liberty Square, concluding the 12-minute journey. Guests  exit the boat on the first deck and can browse photos taken during the ride that are available for purchase.

In addition to its regular operation, the Liberty Square Riverboat offers special cruises for certain hard ticket events and holidays throughout the year. During Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the Liberty Belle is decorated with Halloween theming. The boat hosts Happy HalloWishes Dessert Parties that coincide with the special Halloween fireworks show. Guests are served desserts while enjoying premium views of the fireworks bursting over Cinderella Castle. For the holidays, the Liberty Belle gets a festive Christmas overlay and operates during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It offers Holiday Wishes Dessert Parties to pair with the Christmas fireworks spectacular.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Review

The Liberty Square Riverboat also occasionally has evening cruises during Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks with unique viewing opportunities for Star Wars fans. Outside the special events, guests might catch the Liberty Belle testing its steam whistle after refurbishments and at other random times. When the steam whistle blows, it makes for an unforgettable part of the Liberty Square atmosphere. So  beyond its regular operation, the Liberty Belle delivers even more magic through special holiday cruises and one-of-a-kind experiences like the steam whistle that delight guests.

  • Arrive to board the Liberty Belle 5–10 minutes before the scheduled departure time printed on the sign at the entrance. This will ensure you get a spot and don’t have to wait for the next boat.
  • The top deck offers the best views but can get very hot in the sun. Seek shade underneath the overhangs on the lower decks if needed.
  • Bring your camera or phone to snap photos of unique magic kingdom views along the river.
  • Keep an eye out for live entertainment along the shores of Frontierland and special decorations during holidays.
  • Stop by the Liberty Square Riverboat sign near the exit after disembarking to browse onboard photos available for purchase.
  • There are no restrooms on the boat, so make sure and use the bathroom before riding

Comparison to Other Disney Riverboat Rides

The Liberty Square Riverboat ride bears many similarities to riverboat attractions across Disney theme parks worldwide. Each boat offers a scenic tour of an artificial river with references to Mark Twain and American history. However , there are some variations in narration, sights along the river, and overall ride experience between the different versions. Here’s how Walt Disney World’s Liberty Belle compares to riverboats at other Disney Parks:

Disneyland  – The Mark Twain Riverboat is a nearly identical ride experience to the Liberty Belle, complete with Twain narration and a relaxing voyage around Tom Sawyer Island and Frontierland. One key difference is Disneyland’s Columbia Sailing Ship that also navigates the river.

Tokyo Disneyland  – The Western River Railroad at Tokyo Disneyland features similar sights along the Rivers of America but follows a different path around the entire Critter Country area.

Hong Kong Disneyland  – Mystic Manor is visible from Hong Kong Disneyland’s Jungle River Cruise, offering a view of one of the park’s most popular attractions during the ride.

Shanghai Disneyland  – The Voyage to the Crystal Grotto winds through rocky caves with dazzling effects as part of its tour around Fantasyland, a very different sight from Liberty Square and Frontierland.

Disneyland Paris  – No riverboat ride exists at Disneyland Paris. Guests can walk through a full-scale replica of a frontier steamboat outside the Disneyland Railroad station.

The Liberty Square Riverboat continues to be a beloved classic, inviting guests of all ages to embark on a peaceful cruise back in time. For over 50 years, across Disney theme parks worldwide, these iconic boats offer an opportunity to recharge and appreciate the magic of Disney from a new perspective. A  ride aboard the Liberty Belle showcases Disney’s knack for blending nostalgia, nature, and storytelling into an attraction experience that stands the test of time. So be sure to hop aboard for a relaxing voyage across the Rivers of America on your next visit to the Magic Kingdom!

Location Map

Nearby Attractions

  • The Hall of Presidents – Located directly across from the Liberty Square Riverboat in Liberty Square.
  • The Haunted Mansion – A short walk from the Liberty Square Riverboat, next to the Hall of Presidents.
  • Tiana’s Bayou Adventure – Located in Frontierland, opening this summer 2024!
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Also located in Frontierland, offering a unique view of the coaster from the riverboat.

Riverboat on water near a dock

Liberty Square Riverboat

See the wild frontier.

Steam into American history aboard the majestic, Colonial-era Liberty Belle riverboat and enjoy a relaxing half-mile tour around Tom Sawyer Island .

Along the way, listen to a recorded narrator—in the voice of iconic American author and humorist Mark Twain—sharing memories of Twain’s time on the Mississippi.

It’s full steam ahead on this historic, nostalgic trip back to the past!

Along the River’s Edge

During this charming, 17-minute trip, you’ll encounter a rarely seen side of Magic Kingdom park . Behold a bevy of sights from the early days of the American frontier, including:

  • An early American settlement
  • An idyllic Native American village
  • Harper’s Mill
  • Fort Langhorn
  • Wilson’s Cave Inn
  • Woodland animals

You’ll also be treated to unique views of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Haunted Mansion .

Aboard the Liberty Belle

Featuring meticulously detailed wood craftsmanship, the 47-foot tall Liberty Belle is a working reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the mighty Mississippi.

An actual steam engine converts water from the river into steam that powers the large paddle that in turn propels the boat.

There are 4 decks with limited seating available on each.

liberty square riverboat ride

Safety, Accessibility and Guest Policies

Times for liberty square riverboat.

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  • Slow moving 20 minute boatride aboard a real steam-powered riverboat
  • Take a lap around the Rivers of America, with great views of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Haunted Mansion
  • Perfect for a relaxing break during the middle of a busy Magic Kingdom day

Introduction | Attraction | RIde Logisitics |  Interesting Facts

liberty square riverboat ride

INTRODUCTION 

Enjoy a slow cruise down the Rivers of America aboard an authentic steam-powered sternwheeler. The Liberty Square Riverboat is located in Liberty Square across from the Hall of Presidents and to the left of the Haunted Mansion .

liberty square riverboat ride

 The Rivers of America wind their way around Tom Sawyer Island . The half-mile journey takes just under 20 minutes to travel. The Liberty Belle departs several times a day from the Liberty Boat Landing . Although there are some seats, most areas are standing room only.

liberty square riverboat ride

From on board the Liberty Belle, you’ll spot great views of Tom Sawyer Island, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, along with some sights of Frontierland natives — which can only be seen from the boat.

liberty square riverboat ride

RIDE LOGISTICS

 This is a good place to go for a break from the hectic walkways of the Magic Kingdom . Kids can walk around on board and burn off a bit of energy — though this is usually more loved by adults.

Accessibility: Guests may remain in wheelchair/ECV.

liberty square riverboat ride

INTERESTING FACTS

The original boat, an authentic sternwheeler steamboat called the Admiral Joe Fowler , was built in dry dock at Walt Disney World and set afloat when the attraction opened on May 20, 1973. The Richard F. Irvine was later added as a second boat. After its extensive rehab in the ’90s, the boat was renamed the Liberty Belle in 1996.

liberty square riverboat ride

In 1980, the Admiral Joe Fowler was sent to dry dock maintenance and never returned.

Admiral Joe Fowler was in charge of construction at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World .

Dick Irvine worked as an art director at Disney in the 1940s and was an early executive of WED Enterprises . His projects included planning and design for the theme parks and the World’s Fair projects.

How long is Liberty Square Riverboat?

The ride takes 16 Minutes Find all the attractions by their length

Will Liberty Square Riverboat make me motion sick?

The motion level is Low. Gentle boat ride Details on handling motion sensitivity on your visit

Is Individual Attraction Selection available for Liberty Square Riverboat?

No Liberty Square Riverboat is not eligible for Individual Attraction Selection Find Individual Attraction Selection attractions

Is Liberty Square Riverboat included in Genie+?

No Liberty Square Riverboat is not included in Genie+ Find Genie+ attractions using our search

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Five Things to Know About the Liberty Square Riverboat

The Liberty Square Riverboat attraction docks at – you guessed it – Liberty Square. The boat itself is named the Liberty Belle. It’s an old-timey (read: historic) steam-powered paddle-wheel riverboat that travels around the Rivers of America. As you ride, you’ll hear a recorded narrator share memories of Mark Twain’s time on the Mississippi. If you want to paddle along with us, keep reading. Oar (dad pun) to skip to the whys, wheres, and hows, here’s your shortcut .

1. You’ll take a step back in time.

The Liberty Belle Riverboat is a large (47-foot tall) working reproduction of the boats that ran up and down the Mississippi River in the 19th century. It’s loaded with amazing details, as you might expect. The wood craftsmanship throughout is absolutely meticulous! The large paddle is powered by an actual steam engine that functions by converting water from the Rivers of America into steam, turning the paddle to propel the boat.

liberty square riverboat ride

2. It’s full steam ahead!

The ride begins as its captain, Horace Bixby,  welcomes guests aboard. He introduces his pilot, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and lets you know you’re in good hands, since this is Clemens’ 100th trip piloting the Liberty Belle. You depart from the dock and navigate the winding “river”.  Along the way, you’ll get views of the Magic Kingdom you just can’t get anywhere else. You’ll see Tom Sawyer Island, Harper’s Mill, and Fort Langhorn from a new vantage point. Other sights from the American frontier include settler’s cabins, old mining paraphernalia, a Native American village, animatronic wildlife, and even Wilson’s Cave Inn from Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. The riverboat also offers unique perspectives of the Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. From the top deck especially, you’ll see Frontierland and Liberty Square in a whole new way.

liberty square riverboat ride

As you ride, Sam Clemens offers his recollections of riding up and down the Mighty Mississippi. He points out various landmarks and shares a little about what he learned during his time on the river. Periodically, the horn and bell system are used, so you have to be prepared for the occasional and unpredictable ear-blasting loud outbursts. (I found that being toward the stern, rather than the bow, made the horn a bit more bearable.)

3. This Belle has quite a back story.

The first boat to sail the Rivers of America in the Magic Kingdom was the Admiral Joe Fowler. Named after Disneyland’s construction supervisor, it debuted on October 2, 1971, the day after the park’s official opening. In 1973, a second boat, the Richard F. Irvine, debuted. It was named after the Disney executive who oversaw the planning of Walt Disney World. Both boats ran on the river until 1980. The Richard F. Irvine was overhauled and received an all-new superstructure of aluminum and vinyl. The boat was renamed the Liberty Belle, and the attraction itself was renamed the Liberty Square Riverboat to make it easier to remember and to tie the boat in with Liberty Square. (Side note: two of the three ferry boats running from the Transportation and Ticket Center to the Magic Kingdom are now named the Admiral Joe Fowler and Richard F. Irvine, so their memory lives on!)

liberty square riverboat ride

The scenery along the Rivers of America has been updated over the years. Tom Sawyer Island was added in 1973 and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in 1980. Similar versions of this attraction have also been added to other Disney Parks. At Disneyland Paris, it’s called the Rivers of the Far West. At Hong Kong Disneyland, there is no Frontierland, so the Imagineers merged the Rivers of America with the classic Adventureland Jungle Cruise attraction.

4. The Liberty Belle has her secrets, too.

Captain Horace Bixby, the Liberty Belle’s captain, was  a real steamboat captain  on the Mississippi. Horace Bixby and Sam Clemens met aboard a steamboat called The Paul Jones. Bixby agreed to take Sam on as his apprentice. About 21 years later, the now-famous Mark Twain reunited with Captain Bixby in St. Louis. The captain even makes an appearance in Twain’s book, Life on the Mississippi.

Inside The Liberty Belle’s Salon, there is a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

liberty square riverboat ride

The riverboat actually travels along an I-beam guide rail, so the pilot  doesn’t really steer the ship. But that doesn’t mean he’s doing nothing. Rather, the pilot watches for other river traffic, like the Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island, and communicates to the boiler engineer who is on the bottom deck towards the stern. This is where the throttle and reverser are located, so the boiler engineer controls the speed and direction of the riverboat.

5. The Nuts and Bolts.

You can catch a ride on the Liberty Belle at the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. There are no health or safety advisories and no height restrictions. Guests may remain in a wheelchair/ECV to ride the Liberty Belle.  Sign language interpreters may be available, depending on when you visit. It’s truly a ride that everyone can enjoy.

The Liberty Belle has a maximum capacity of 450 people. You board the boat at mid-level; disembarking guests exit from the lower deck. There are 4 decks with limited seating available on each (some inside, some outside) but with plenty of space to stand and move around.

liberty square riverboat ride

The Liberty Belle provides a stable, gentle ride. I’m vulnerable to motion sickness/sea sickness but have no trouble whatsoever riding the Liberty Belle. It’s a great idea to move around on the deck during this 17-minute trip to be sure to see all the different views.

Bad weather can affect the operation of the Liberty Belle Riverboat. Genie+ is not available, but there’s no need for it. There’s no bad time of day to ride the Liberty Belle. It departs roughly every half-hour and usually the only waiting is waiting for the boat to leave or return. A good time of day to enjoy your ride is when you want a break from the crowds! But it’s worth noting that it closes earlier than the park and other park attractions; there is also no Early Theme Park Entry and no Extended Evening Theme Park hours.

The Bottom Line.

We ride the Liberty Belle nearly every time we visit Walt Disney World. But it’s not for thrill-seekers, to be sure. It’s perfectly peaceful – unless of course you’re right underneath the horn which is jarringly loud. It’s a great way to get out of the crowds, rest a bit, and enjoy a fun ride for every member of the family.

Have you ridden the Liberty Belle Riverboat? What was your favorite view? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bob Jacobs lives in Wisconsin where he retired as Editorial Director for a well-known catalog company. He and his wife Cristie have four children, seven grandchildren and a cocker spaniel named Penny the Dog. They’ve visited Walt Disney World regularly since 1992.

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Liberty Square Riverboat

Image of the Liberty Square Riverboat at the port where guests can get on. The Riverboat is designed to look like the old Steamboats that would travel the Mississippi River.

The Liberty Square Riverboat allows guests to set sail to a bygone era aboard the Liberty Belle.

Ride Information   Restrictions     Accessibility   Location   Fun Facts   Top 5 Tips

Ride Information

Opening Day: October 2, 1971

Type of Ride: Boat

Age Recommendation: All ages

Duration of Ride: 16 minutes

Typical Queue Time: Short; about 30 minutes, or the length until the next departure

Single Rider Line: No

Chicken Exit Available: No

Baby Swap Available: No

Type of Vehicle: Boat

Type of Restraint: None; guests can walk around as they please

Attraction Open During Extended Evening Hours: No. See our Extended Evening Hours page for more information.

Ride Photo Available For Purchase: No

liberty square riverboat ride

Ride Restrictions

Height Requirements: None

Flash Photography or Video Allowed: Yes

Safety, Accessibility, and Guest Policies

Accessibility: May Remain in Wheelchair/ECV

Guest Policies: Children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.

Park Map of Magic Kingdom:

MKMapPin

Other Rides/Attractions In the Area:

This attraction is located in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square .

Shopping: In Liberty Square, guests can have a silhouette or portrait drawn at “Liberty Square Portrait Gallery,” purchase Haunted Mansion-inspired merchandise at “Memento Mori,” and shop for Christmas items all year long at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe .

Dining/Refreshment: Three counter service restaurants ( Columbia Harbour House ; Liberty Square Market ; and Sleepy Hollow ) are located in Liberty Square, offering seafood, sandwiches, and various fruits. Table service dining for lunch and dinner is available at Liberty Tree Tavern .

Restroom: The closest restrooms are located in Fantasyland, just past the Liberty Square border. Restrooms were purposely excluded from Liberty Square because plumbing didn’t exist in colonial times.

Smoking Location: Smoking is permitted in designated smoking areas only. Disney parks are smoke free.

Liberty Square Riverboat Fun Facts

Did you know.

  • Liberty Square Riverboat is a steam-powered paddle wheeler, a replica of a vessel that one may have seen sailing the Mississippi River during the 19 th century. Liberty Square Riverboat does not, however, operate solely on steam power; it is aided by a submerged rail.
  • The vessel’s official name is Liberty Belle , a moniker it has held since 1996. From 1973 to 1996, the riverboat was entitled Richard F. Irvine , after a Disney executive.
  • The Liberty Square Riverboat embarked on its first voyage on October 2, 1971, one day after the Magic Kingdom opened. Titled Admiral Joe Fowler , after a retired navy admiral who was instrumental in the building of both Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom, this vessel was inadvertently destroyed during a 1980 refurbishment. Richard F. Irvine / Liberty Belle has served as the Magic Kingdom’s sole paddle wheeler since 1980.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat has four decks from which guests can view the lush wilderness of Tom Sawyer Island , as well as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad , and Haunted Mansion .
  • A voice actor portraying Mark Twain narrates the voyage.
  • Guests are often, though not always, upon request allowed in the Pilothouse , where they can interact with the captain and “steer the ship” with the big wheel—the boat is guided on rail, so there’s no danger here.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat is currently the only boat to sail the Rivers of America. Previously, “Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes” operated from opening day, October 1, 1971, until 1994; and “Mike Fink Keel Boats” sailed from opening day through April 29, 2001.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat’s counterpart at Disneyland is Mark Twain Riverboat . Disneyland also offers two seasonal vessel experiences: “Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes” and “Sailing Ship Columbia ,” a replica of Columbia Rediviva , an 18 th -century merchant ship.

The Back of the Liberty Square Riverboat showing the water wheel at the back.

Top 5 Tips for Liberty Square Riverboat

  • Experience Liberty Square Riverboat during the afternoon, when crowds are especially heavy at the park’s headliner attractions.
  • Explore the various decks of the vessel.
  • Enjoy the scenery around the vessel.
  • Inquire about sailing in the Pilothouse for a different perspective of the voyage.
  • Snacks and drinks are not allowed aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat, so prepare to eat either before or after your voyage.

Privacy Overview

IMAGES

  1. Guide to Liberty Square Riverboat at Magic Kingdom

    liberty square riverboat ride

  2. Liberty Square Riverboat

    liberty square riverboat ride

  3. Liberty Square Riverboat

    liberty square riverboat ride

  4. Liberty Square Riverboat Overview

    liberty square riverboat ride

  5. Liberty Square Riverboat

    liberty square riverboat ride

  6. Magic Kingdom Liberty Square Riverboat Ride

    liberty square riverboat ride

VIDEO

  1. Seen From the Magic Kingdom Liberty Square Riverboat Liberty Belle Walt Disney World

  2. Liberty Square Riverboat Cruise and walking tour at Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando, FL

  3. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Boat Ride

  4. Liberty Square Riverboat

  5. Liberty Square Riverboat, Orlando

  6. Liberty Square Riverboat Magic Kingdom Orlando FL

COMMENTS

  1. Liberty Square Riverboat

    For Walt Disney World dining, please book your reservation online. 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call. Cruise the picturesque Rivers of America aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat in Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.

  2. Liberty Square Riverboat Full Ride in 4K at Walt Disney World ...

    Welcome aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat for an unforgettable journey through the heart of Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. In this stunn...

  3. Complete Guide to Liberty Square Riverboat

    Ride Vehicles. The Liberty Square Riverboat is a 47-foot-tall working steamship called The Liberty Belle. It is propelled by the paddle wheel that is itself propelled by the steam engine. It is a reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the Mississippi River.

  4. Magic Kingdom Liberty Square Riverboat

    Enjoy a ride on the Liberty Square Riverboat at the Magic Kingdom in 4K! This was filmed on January 3rd 2023 from around 3pm - 3:30pmThanks for watching! Lik...

  5. Liberty Square Riverboat

    Apr 2018 • Solo. One of the oldest attractions in the Liberty Square section of Disneyworld's Magic Kingdom is this showboat-type paddlewheel riverboat. Since it is a two decker, it accommodates a lot of passengers and you should not have to wait very long to board - that is a plus at this theme park, where some rides have one-hour long queues.

  6. Guide to Liberty Square Riverboat at Magic Kingdom

    Liberty Square Riverboat Basics. Liberty Square Riverboat is a leisurely boat ride at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The ride. does not have a height requirement. does not offer rider switch. does NOT have a Lightning Lane. does not have a single rider line. is NOT a part of Early Entry at Magic Kingdom. is about 15 minutes long.

  7. Liberty Square Riverboat

    Join us for a relaxing ride on the Liberty Square Riverboat, The Liberty Belle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. This steam-powered boat takes you ...

  8. Liberty Square Riverboat

    New or existing Disney Resort hotel reservations and tickets: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Dining reservations, technical support and other enquiries: daily from noon to 10:00 PM. Cruise the picturesque Rivers of America aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat in Magic Kingdom park ...

  9. Liberty Square Riverboat

    Magical Moments. The views from the Riverboat are fantastic, and are unlike those you'll see wandering around the park (particularly for the Haunted Mansion and Tom Sawyer Island). Visit the Liberty Square Riverboat at night when its lit by hundreds of brilliant white lights. Listen closely to the ship's captain as you tour the Rivers of ...

  10. Liberty Square Riverboat Ride Review

    The Liberty Square Riverboat is a classic attraction located in Liberty Square at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park. This charming riverboat takes guests on a peaceful 12-minute journey around the Rivers of America, offering beautiful views of Frontierland and unique perspectives of classic Magic Kingdom attractions. With a ride aboard an authentic 19th century-style steamboat and ...

  11. Liberty Square Riverboat

    The Liberty Square Riverboat is located in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom® Park. Guests board and depart the boat at the Liberty Square Riverboat Landing located near The Hall of Presidents (to the left of The Haunted Mansion). The duration of the attraction is about 17 minutes. The boat holds approximately 450 guests and has three ...

  12. Magic Kingdom

    Liberty Square Riverboat. Opened: October 1, 1971. Ride length: 12 minutes, 45 seconds. Lightning Lane: No. ARTICLE: Taking a Ride on the Newly Reopened Liberty Square Riverboat. Overview/History: The Liberty Belle is an authentic replica of an old paddle wheel riverboat. It travels down the Rivers of America and circles Tom Sawyer Island ...

  13. Liberty Square Riverboat

    For assistance with your Walt Disney World visit, call 00 800 2006 0809 * (freephone) or 00 44 203 666 9911 ** (charges apply). Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT) *Calls to this number are generally free, but some charges may still apply from a landline or mobile ...

  14. Liberty Square Riverboat

    Liberty Square Riverboat. This large paddle-wheel riverboat navigates the waters around Tom Sawyer Island and Fort Langhorn, passing settler cabins, old mining paraphernalia, an Indian village, and a small menagerie of animatronic wildlife. A beautiful craft, the Liberty Belle provides a lofty perspective of Frontierland and Liberty Square .

  15. Liberty Square Riverboat -- Magic Kingdom

    The Liberty Square Riverboat is located in Liberty Square across from the Hall of Presidents and to the left of the Haunted Mansion. ATTRACTION. The Rivers of America wind their way around Tom Sawyer Island. The half-mile journey takes just under 20 minutes to travel. The Liberty Belle departs several times a day from the Liberty Boat Landing ...

  16. Full POV Ride on Liberty Square Riverboat

    The Liberty Squa... This video takes you on a full, point-of-view (POV) ride on the Liberty Square Riverboat at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Florida.

  17. Five Things to Know About the Liberty Square Riverboat

    The Liberty Square Riverboat attraction docks at - you guessed it - Liberty Square. The boat itself is named the Liberty Belle. It's an old-timey (read: historic) steam-powered paddle-wheel riverboat that travels around the Rivers of America. As you ride, you'll hear a recorded narrator share memories of Mark Twain's time on the ...

  18. Liberty Square Riverboat

    The Liberty Square Riverboat allows guests to set sail to a bygone era aboard the Liberty Belle.. Ride Information Restrictions Accessibility Location Fun Facts Top 5 Tips. Ride Information. Opening Day: October 2, 1971 Type of Ride: Boat Age Recommendation: All ages Duration of Ride: 16 minutes Typical Queue Time: Short; about 30 minutes, or the length until the next departure

  19. Liberty Square Riverboat at Disney World's Magic Kingdom

    Take off on a scenic half-mile adventure into the wilds of old America aboard a steam-powered paddler wheeler. Board the Colonial-American-inspired, 3-tiered...

  20. The Secret History of Disney Rides: Liberty Square Riverboat

    The Secret History of Liberty Square Riverboat. Like I mentioned above, the Liberty Square Riverboat, named the Liberty Belle, began sailing the day after Magic Kingdom opened. The idea of a Mississippi Steamboat inside the park started with Disneyland. Walt Disney knew from the early days of planning Disneyland Park that he wanted to include a ...

  21. Disney riverboats

    Liberty Belle at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The Magic Kingdom theme park in Bay Lake, Florida has a Liberty Square Riverboat attraction, in which the boat is named Liberty Belle. This ride is similar to that at Disneyland in which the boat travels around Tom Sawyer Island and features scenic views of the park.

  22. Magic Kingdom Liberty Square Riverboat Ride

    Take a ride on the Liberty Square Riverboat at Magic Kingdom, filmed in 4K UHD 60fps! Many of you have been asking me to film this, and I finally did yesterd...