Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat | Disney World

Last Updated on: March 29th, 2024

Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat disney worldThe Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat was an original Walt Disney World attraction, making its debut in October 1971 with the opening of the Magic Kingdom. Along with the Richard F Irvine ship, the Fowler traveled the Rivers of America in Frontierland and Liberty Square from 1971 until 1980. During a planned refurbishment in 1980, the Fowler was damaged in an accident and was unable to be repaired. It was never replaced.

Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat disney world

Fun Facts

  • The “Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat” was one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, named after the retired Navy admiral who was instrumental in the construction of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
  • This riverboat was a full-scale replica of a classic American river steamboat, offering guests a scenic tour around the Rivers of America, located in the Frontierland area of the park.
  • The riverboat first set sail on October 2, 1971, just one day after the opening of Magic Kingdom, and it was one of two riverboats operating in the park, the other being the “Richard F. Irvine.”
  • Unfortunately, the “Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat” was retired in the early 1980s due to an accident during a routine maintenance operation, which severely damaged the hull.
  • Although the “Admiral Joe Fowler” is no longer in operation, its legacy lives on in the park’s remaining riverboat, the “Liberty Belle,” which continues to provide guests with a nostalgic river cruise experience.

At a Glance

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and