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Liberty Square Riverboat

1 byte added, 01:14, 7 October 2015
/* Attraction History */
The Liberty Square Riverboat is one of the few attractions that can trace its history back to before Walt Disney even created Disneyland. In fact, Walt Disney initially came up with an idea for a "Mississippi Steamboat" attraction to be housed at the Disney Studio in Burbank, California <ref name="Jack1"></ref>. Although it was soon apparent that the Burbank Studio did not have the land necessarily to build the attraction, the idea was carried over to Disneyland. In order to create the riverboat attraction (which was soon called the Mark Twain Riverboat) Disney had to construct the first American made, working steamboat in 50 <ref name="Jack1" />. With funds coming directly from Walt himself, Admiral Joe Fowler oversaw the construction of both the attraction's riverboat and dry dock (located in the Rivers of America). The Mark Twain itself was built in two separate pieces, with the hull being constructed in San Pedro, California and deck being built at the Disney Studios in Burbank. Finally, the ship was put together in Disneyland (with the pieces fitting together perfectly) and The Mark Twin Riverboat was up and running on July 17, 1955 (the opening day of Disneyland) <ref name=Jack1 /> <ref> </ref>.
Like many other Disneyland attractions, the Mark Twain Riverboat was selected to be duplicated for Walt Disney World. The East Coast version of the attraction was renamed the Admiral Joe Fowler in tribute to the man who had helped to create Disneyland and Walt Disney World (as well as the Riverboat attractions) <ref name="FowlerDatedWorld"/></ref>. Although not quite ready for opening day, the Joe Fowler Riverboat opened one day after the park, on October 2, 1971. After the Joe Fowler Riverboat opened, live entertainment could often be found on the ship’s deck (due to the fact that there were not that many sights for guests to see on the Rivers of America) <ref name=FowlerDatedWorld>.
Since Walt Disney World did not yet have enough attractions to meet demand, in 1973 a second steamboat was built. Known as the Richard F. Irvine, the new steamboat was named after Richard Irvine who oversaw the planning and construction of Walt Disney World. Besides their names, the only difference between the two steamboats was that Admiral Joe Fowler had two smokestacks, while the Richard F. Irvine only had one <ref name= Jack1>. When they ran together, Liberty Square’s riverboats were staggered in their departure times, so that when one boat was circling Tom Sawyer Island the other boat would be unloading and loading new guests.