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PHOTOS: Liberty Square Riverboat Track Exposed as Rivers of America Draining Continues Ahead of Refurbishment at Magic Kingdom

Tom Sawyer Island and the Liberty Square Riverboat have both closed for a months-long refurbishment at the Magic Kingdom, now extended through February 28, 2021. Of course, while fans of Frontierland and Liberty Square alike will miss these classic attractions for the time being, we do get a neat “behind-the-scenes” look at parts of the Riverboat attraction as part of the necessary drainage process.

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As more and more water is slowly drained from the Rivers of America, the ride track for the Riverboat begins to emerge, revealing the full outline of the boat’s trajectory. Many often believe that the boat is steered manually, but the riverboat actually travels along a hidden I-beam guide rail throughout the ride. Pilots merely look out for other river traffic, like the Tom Sawyer Island rafts. Below deck, the boiler engineer controls the throttle and reverser, or the speed of the riverboat and its direction.

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Of course, the drainage reveals some not-so-scenic parts of the river, like this black sludge by the bridge.

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This refurbishment is separate from the Liberty Square Riverboat’s annual weekly refurb, which happened this past summer. The refurbishment is now planned to last through at least March 2021, meaning both attractions will be closed for through the winter season.

Are you looking forward to taking a ride aboard the Liberty Belle once it returns to service? Let us know in the comments!

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