Once of the opening day attractions at Walt Disney World was the riverboat on the Rivers of America. Much like the Mark Twain at Disneyland, the Admiral Joe Fowler plied the waves around Tom Sawyer Island. A couple of years later in 1973, the Richard F. Irvine joined the fleet, sporting one smokestack to the Fowler’s two. The Irvine would prove to be the more resilient of the two boats, still sailing today under her newer name, the Liberty Belle.
Last October, the Magic Kingdom moved the Liberty Belle to dry dock so they could replace the I-beam track under the water. While all this was happening, talented teams freshened up rock work and paint around the area. The classic steamer got some new paint as well, but its return to the park would be even more impressive!
Check out the video of the work done and the Belle as it made its voyage back to its home. The open-water trip across the Seven Seas Lagoon was impressive enough, but once the boat hit the narrow and shallow waterways around the Magic Kingdom itself, Cast Members had to drag her through by hand. It’s impressive enough seeing this 47-foot steamer work its way past the Contemporary Resort and Cinderella Castle, but it’s something else to see it work through locks to get back to the Rivers of America!
Now that the classic is back in its home environment and the rivers have taken on water, the Liberty Belle can chug past Liberty Square and Frontierland once more. It’s great to see her back on her waterways once again. Check her out the next time your family is in the neighborhood!
If you and your family are ready to travel again, now is the time! Contact one of your expert travel planners at ConciEARS and they will wow you with their service. Whether this is your family’s first trip or fiftieth, we will plan out your best trip yet!