Friday brings us a “three-hour salute to all nations but mostly America,” to quote Sam the Eagle from Muppetvision 3D. Friday is Independence Day and Dad for Disney will be taking the day off but before that, Dad will cover some of the pieces of Americana that guests can take in 365 days a year at Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World and especially the Magic Kingdom are filled with Americana. The park entrance is Main Street USA. A place meant to take guests back to the early part of the 20th century. This was Walt’s vision for the parks. To take guests back in time when things were simpler. And with that, onto the Americana.
No Main Street wouldn’t be complete without a mayor that is out there and ready to meet the citizens. Main Street USA has a mayor that is available for photographs but usually only right after the park opens and only for a short period of time. We were lucky enough to have our picture taken with the mayor on the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom.
After walking down Main Street, guests can then enter Colonial times as they head into Liberty Square. Liberty Square is all Americana. All of the attractions and restaurants are based on the early America theme. The Imagineers took this to the level. After listening to the Por Favor Podcast, I learned that are no bathrooms in Liberty Square because there were no public bathrooms in early America. Both Liberty Tree Tavern and Columbia Harbor House have bathrooms but the foot print of the Liberty Tree Tavern bathroom is in Frontierland and the foot print for the Columbia Harbor House bathrooms are in Fantasyland.
One thing that the gentlemen at the Por Favor Podcast missed was The Liberty Belle. In case you had forgotten, it’s the GIANT RIVERBOAT in the park!
This boat takes guests around Tom Sawyer Island on a short riverboat cruise. It’s one of the “forgotten attractions” so there is a rarely a line and can be easily used a way to get out of the sun and cool off while enjoying some scenery in the parks. But, I can understand how the guys can not see the big riverboat and hear the steam whistle when it departs. For another reminder, there is also a replica Liberty Bell within Liberty Square. 😉
The other attraction is the Hall of Presidents which is a Disney classic because of the animatronics. It’s an attraction that you know is going to get an update every four or eight years. The waiting area is filled with Presidential artifacts. The attraction takes guests on a brief tour of American history. This is a great summer mid-day attraction. The waiting area is all inside and you are allowed to explore the area not stand in a queue. The attraction is sit-down and air-conditioned. You can’t ask for much more in an attraction during the summer.
Next to Liberty Square, you take the short walk into the 19th century old west and Frontierland. This land is known for the two mountains: Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The Frontierland Shooting Arcade is the biggest piece of Americana in the land as guests can take shots at a target with an old-time rifle. Another piece of Americana is the Frontierland Train Station.
The train only makes three stops: Main Street USA, Frontierland, and Fantasyland. When two of three stops are Americana, it’s a piece of Americana at the parks.
Frontierland is also not very busy when the park opens especially with the opening of New Fantasyland. As everyone heads to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, take a trip to Frontierland and “fight the crowds”
Yes, that is Frontierland at park open. My daughter and I were able to ride Splash Mountain once (could have ridden it more times if it wasn’t our last day and we didn’t have a change of clothes available) and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad three or four times before the crowds started to make their way over.
Guests can also head over to EPCOT for more Americana in the parks. Almost all of the Americana can be found at The American Adventure in The World Showcase. Three pieces of Americana in the pavilion:
- The American Adventure Show
- The Voices of Liberty
- Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps
For all of the Americana that is housed by The American Adventure, the restaurant is very lacking. The best description of the counter-service there is, “Well…..I wasn’t hungry afterwards.” Not a ringing endorsement. The kiosks which serves turkey legs and funnel cakes are very good and always have a line. But, in my opinion, the restaurant needs an upgrade. Perhaps completely converting The Liberty Inn into a table-service restaurant themed after a time of American history which currently isn’t present at the parks – maybe a Chicago style steakhouse or a New England style seafood restaurant.
This is just a sampling of the Americana that can be found within the parks. I’m sure that I have missed something. If I have, feel free to leave me a comment or mention it on twitter or Facebook.
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Thanks for reading and have a great Independence Day weekend.