IDK if it's a hot take or not, but to me, Liberty Square has always been the most boring part of Disney World.
It's not that I hate riverboats, but there are no singing birds, spaceships, Disney characters, or mountains, which, to me, has always made it feel like more of a museum than a fantasy world at a Disney park.
However, in honor of Disney World's 50th Anniversary, I talked with Imagineer Gary Landrum, who said he's always had a fondness for Liberty Square. Then, he hit me with probably the funnest Disney fun fact known to mankind. Are you ready for it?
He said, "As a way to link, in a sort of design way, the background stories between Liberty Square and Frontierland, we actually mark the growth of America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean."
"So, if you start with our Haunted Mansion, which is a Hudson River Dutch Gothic mansion... [it's] solidly placing us on the Eastern Seaboard."
"We then move a little more or less to Philadelphia with the signing of the Declaration of Independence and Hall of Presidents..."
"You have the river boat landing…the Rivers of America represents a meeting of the Twin rivers to form the Mississippi"
"But what great story takes place in that setting? Tom Sawyer. Hence...Tom Sawyer's Island and the rafts and keelboats."
"You get to the Diamond Horseshoe. In the original show, Slue Foot Sue and Diamond Jim dated the show and told you it was taking place in St. Louis."
"What is St. Louis but the Gateway to the frontier?"
"Hence, literally, your gateway into Frontierland."
"And when you cross that little stream, you are symbolically crossing the Mississippi River."
"You then come in and you're faced with Colorado log cabin architecture for Grizzly Home and the Country Bear Jamboree..."
"Stacks done in adobe [are for] Arizona and Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Café."
"And then you have the train station that would be replaced by Thunder Mesa on the Western River Expedition, which was Monument Valley, Arizona rock work. The Western River was the rapid rise through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It takes me right to the Pacific coast."
"Most of what we do, we've got a comedy of ghosts going on over here..."
"You've got a documentary about the Presidents over here..."
"You've got singing and dancing saloon girls next to singing and dancing bears next to a runaway mine train."
"But because each of these architectural styles evolve after each other...you segue using music, props, and landscaping, [and] we can move the audience from incredibly diverse stories of Haunted Mansion to the Hall of Presidents to the Diamond Horseshoe to Country Bear Jamboree to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad...you know, it all just seems to work."
Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed