More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

The Liberty Tree’s Patriotic Roots

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

I couldn’t think of a better story to tell on this lovely Fourth of July than that of the Liberty Tree at Magic Kingdom Park. This tree, which many rush past on their way to Hall of Presidents or The Haunted Mansion, is actually modeled after a real symbol of American history and also has ties to the film that inspired Walt Disney to create a Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom Park.

The Liberty Tree’s Patriotic Roots

Our Liberty Tree, which sits across from Hall of Presidents, is based on the original Liberty Tree in Boston that served as a gathering place for the Sons of Liberty in the months leading up to the Boston Tea Party.

The Liberty Tree’s Patriotic Roots

The events of this time period (and the tree) were featured in the 1957 Disney film, “Johnny Tremain,” which follows Johnny, a young silversmith’s apprentice, in the days before the start of the Revolutionary War. In one scene, Johnny and his friends parade through the streets singing the song “The Liberty Tree” and stop to hang lanterns on its branches.

During the making of this film, Walt Disney became excited at the possibility of adding a similarly themed Liberty Street to Disneyland park. His vision eventually grew into a whole “land” that was added to the plans for Magic Kingdom Park.

Today, our Liberty Tree illuminates each evening with the light from 13 lanterns. Each light represents one of the 13 original colonies.

The Liberty Tree’s Patriotic Roots

Fun fact: Walt Disney’s youngest daughter, Sharon, had an uncredited role in the film, “Johnny Tremain,” playing a friend of Johnny’s. (Pictured above, right).


  • I love this! I had never heard this “secret” before! We will definitely look for the Liberty Tree next time we are at the Magic Kingdom~

  • I can’t take credit for noticing the details. We had a wonderful tour guide for the Keys to the Kingdom tour who pointed out so many amazing little details I had never noticed. Definitely worth the money if you love little Disney secrets like I do!

  • PS: Thanks to Gene Duncan, who took the awesome night shot of the Liberty Tree!

  • I love the attention to detail in this whole area. Have you ever noticed there are no flowers in Liberty Square that are not red, white, or blue? I also love the lanterns in the window in just the right place (one if by land, two if by sea) and the rifles in the windows to signify the call to arms if needed. Little details make the biggest difference, or “the Disney difference” as they say 🙂

    • Wow, you noticed a ton of tiny details! I’ll have to take another walk through the area.

  • One of my favorite aspects of Walt Disney World is the attention to detail every cast member pays. 13 lanterns. There could just be “some” lanterns in the tree, but someone, somewhere along the way took the time and care to think “Hey! Let’s make it a number that means something.” I think Walt would be proud.

    • I know…I loved that detail.

  • This is awesome…always a new gem in the world of Disney. Thank you 😉

  • Thanks for sharing this information. I love to read stories about our Nations history and how Walt liked to incorporate them in to his park.

    • Thanks. Hope you had a great Fourth.

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