Much to the dismay of Opening Day guests, the Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat opened a day later on October 2, 1971. As it’s predecessors have done, the boat took guests on a tour of Liberty Square and Frontierland via the Rivers of America.

In 1980, the boat was taken to dry dock for refurbishment. Due to an accident, the hull was completely destroyed and the boat was never to return to the Rivers of America. Based on its size and ability to accommodate guests throughout the day, it’s sister ship, the Richard F. Irvine was left to be the only boat traveling the waters from then on.

The Richard F. Irvine opened in May of 1973 as a sister ship to the Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat. In 1996 it was completely refurbished and renamed to the Liberty Belle and continues to sail the Rivers of America to this day.

The Rivers of America WDW - a History

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