Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat

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Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat
Disneyworld, Orlando, FL, summer 1972 07.jpg
The Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat in 1972
Magic Kingdom
AreaLiberty Square
Opening dateOctober 2, 1971 (1971-10-02)
Closing date1980 (1980)
General statistics

The Admiral Joe Fowler was a riverboat named after Park Construction Administrator Joe Fowler, a former US Navy rear admiral who was in charge of the construction of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.[1][2]


The riverboat was built by Tampa Ship Repair & Dry Dock Company in Tampa, Florida, the same place where the Walt Disney World Railroad's (WDWRR) four steam locomotives were refurbished.[3]

The Admiral Joe Fowler riverboat hadn't entered service yet until a day later, after the Magic Kingdom park opened on October 1, 1971.[2] On May 20, 1973, a second riverboat named the Richard F. Irvine, which would later be renamed as the Liberty Belle in 1996, have entered service.[2]

But in late 1980, the riverboat was accidentally dropped from a crane, attempting to lift it into the dry dock area for a routine overhaul, and its hull was completely destroyed beyond repair.[2][4] The damaged riverboat was taken to a boneyard for awhile before being broken up for scrap, after determining that the Magic Kingdom no longer needed two riverboats on the Rivers of America, and the Admiral Joe Fowler suffered some mechanical problems.[4][5] The riverboat's steam engine machinery was being shipped to Tokyo Disneyland as part of the Mark Twain riverboat's.[3]

In 1997, the Magic Kingdom II ferry, which crosses the Seven Seas Lagoon, taking guests between the Transportation and Ticket Center and the Magic Kingdom park, was renamed to Admiral Joe Fowler along with the Magic Kingdom I ferry renamed as Richard F. Irvine.[2][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat". D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e Mongello, Lou (September 17, 2007). "Liberty Square Riverboat". WDW Radio. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Spence, Jack (March 4, 2010). "Liberty Belle Riverboat - Part 1". AllEars.Net. Archived from the original on September 9, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c "Admiral Joe Fowler and Richard F. Irvine Riverboats". Walt Dated World. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Liberty Square Riverboat". Archived from the original on May 25, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]