Peeking out of the drained Rivers of America waters at Walt Disney World is the Liberty Belle Track. Disney’s refurbishment is imminent as the river lies empty.
Tom Sawyer Island and the Liberty Square Riverboat have both been closed for quite some time as the Magic Kingdom refurbishments go through the end of the year. Having closed on October 5, 2020, the schedule appears to reopen around Jan 2nd according to the My Disney Experience calendar. What’s really neat is we are getting a sort of “backstage look” at the workings of the Riverboat.
The Drained Rivers of America
As the waters recede from the scheduled draining, you can see not only the sculpted banks giving way to a dirt riverbed but also the Liberty Belle Riverboat track. So many Disney guests are surprised to understand the boat is not free piloted but is guided along a track. The pilot guides the boat with the throttle and reverse functions, much like Jungle Cruise skippers do.
Below we see not only the track but one of the docks for Tom Sawyer Island. The ferries, modeled like river rafts, are indeed independently driven, with onboard motors and steerage. The ferries must wait for the Riverboat to pass, but it doesn’t take too long to reach the bankside docks for some island fun.
Disney describes the island to Guests saying, “Wander dusty dirt roads lined with tall trees, explore whirling mills and amble across creaky suspension bridges. Navigate narrow passages amid secret mined caves and uncover a frontier fort.”
Not only are Magic Kingdom guests getting a sneak peek, but the Liberty Square and Frontierland birds are getting a treat. Craning and wading into what little water is left, the birds (and possibly ducks) forage for bugs and snacks in what reflects a natural habitat.
Have you ever been able to ride the Liberty Square Riverboat? Leave us a comment about your sailing memories onboard.