May 20, 1973 – The Richard F. Irvine Riverboat Opens in Walt Disney World
“Walt Disney World’s second paddle wheel steamship, the Richard F. Irvine, was named in his honor until it was re-christened Liberty Belle in 1996.”
On May 20, 1973, the Richard F. Irvine Riverboat opened in Walt Disney World. Named after Disney Legend Dick Irvine, who was one of the first executives of WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering), the riverboat was the second authentic steamboat at the park, following the Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat that opened in 1971. In 1996, after a lavish refurbishment, the steamboat was renamed the Liberty Belle.