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Orange Bird Photo Hunt


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WDW Construction: Liberty Square


Let's explore an amazing set of very rare construction photos of Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square. These photos were taken at different stages of construction. 

In the photo above we see Haunted Mansion construction in the distance. That building on the right is The Hall of Presidents before the bell tower steeple was added. Next we see a higher view of Liberty Square with some Cinderella Castle construction in the foreground.

The Hall of Presidents building is taking shape. The Liberty Tree Tavern exterior has been almost complete for some time now. Gift shop construction begins.

Upper levels of the gift shops begin. Wait... No Liberty Square bridge yet? Very odd.

Beautiful curvy brick wall (still there today) is coming along nicely. There's that wonderful backside of Liberty Tree Tavern. It's meant to look like the frontside of "other" buildings. 

The large white building seen here is The Hall of Presidents show building. Connected to it to the north is the show building for Peter Pan's Flight. Also, we have a bridge now.

Riverboat dock, dry Rivers of America, and Haunted Mansion in the background. Notice there's no canopy over the outside Haunted Mansion queue?

Construction continues on the Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat (but not in in Liberty Square yet). Remember the story of this first boat? It began carrying passengers through Rivers of America on October 2, 1971 (the day after Opening Day). It was damaged at dry dock in 1980 and never returned to the Rivers. A second riverboat called Richard F. Irvine (with only one smoke stack) was added in May of 1973. It continues to run today under the name Liberty Belle Riverboat. In this photo I noticed the back windows are a bit different than the windows in the final product. They must have changed them at some point.

Here we can compare aerial views of Magic Kingdom construction in December of 1969 to the year-old park in December of 1972. Look at the evolution of Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake! 


Related posts:

THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]
Magic Kingdom at Night
WDW Before Opening Day 1971
WDW Construction: Magic Kingdom
WDW Construction: Polynesian Village Resort
EPCOT Construction from the Air


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Reader Comments (10)

This is absolutely fascinating! Your construction and vintage photo posts never cease to amaze. Thank you so much for continuing to share these with us!

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKJ @ Plus the Magic

Wait a second... what is all that stuff on the shore of Seven Seas Lagoon between the TTC and the Contemporary? It almost looks like pruned hedges or topiaries or something?

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

This is so cool. Thank you.

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpatrick

Love these photos! Nice job putting them together.

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan Heaton

In the 7th photo you'll notice a large cleared space between the Riverboat Landing and the Hall Of Presidents - Like the un-built Market Tower building of Liberty Square, there was also to have been an addition block of structures -these were to have "artistians shops" one being a candle maker, doll maker and another a ship model-nautical shop. The block would have created a narrower intertwined street facing the Hall Of Presidents --- and expanded the waterfront feel facing the Riverboat Landing. Whatever the reasons this additional shop block (they appear in two 1969 Herb Ryman concept paintings based on models Hall of Presidents exterior and Riverboat Landing from Liberty Square) and the Market Tower were never built, there were completely designed with full sets of construction drawings and blueprints. Was it the gas crises that killed so much of plans for early Walt Disney World or did they just decide the structures were not needed?

March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Cozart

Fantastic stuff - you don't realize how big the show buildings are until you see an arial view. Thanks for the post!

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave

The Hall of Presidents show building actually backs up against the Mickey Mouse Revue theatre (now PhilharMagic). The stages of the two theatres are back to back. The Peter Pan show building is to the left of the MMR and a sliver of it can be seen in that picture, to the left of the MMR theatre.

Awesome pictures....I just love any construction shots of Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom. Keep 'um coming!

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersteve2wdw

Fascinating photos (love birdseye construction shots). Thanks for sharing!

And interesting information on the never-built block, Mike. I love Liberty Square, especially when it had unique merch, and having those artisans would have made it even better.

March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSWW

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April 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterzonihaan154

Great article. I really appreciate it.

September 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSHARE it

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