Urban Legend: The Liberty Bell in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom is from a series of 50 replicas made of the Liberty Bell for the Bi-Centennial.
According to the story, in 1976, 50 replicas of the Liberty Bell were cast and molded in honor of our country’s 200th birthday, one for each state. However, the state of Pennsylvania had a problem. They already had the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Why would they want a replica? Years later, Walt Disney World realized Pennsylvania had the replica and asked if they could have it for Liberty Square. Pennsylvania agreed and on July 4th, 1989 the replica Liberty Bell was hoisted and lowered into its permanent spot inside Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom where it still sits today. Florida remains the only state with two of the 50 replica Liberty Bells.
Status: False. :(
The Real Story: If you google “Liberty Bell Walt Disney World”, this story pops up EVERYWHERE! While the bell in Liberty Square is an exact replica of the original, the above story gets everything wrong.
The state replicas of the Liberty Bell were actually cast in 1950, as a huge publicity stunt for the Liberty Bell Savings Bond Drive (see link at end of post). 55 replicas were made, one for each of the 48 states, Washington D.C., and the nation’s territories.
Pennsylvania still has their replica. It is held at the Liberty Bell Museum, located at the historic Zion’s Reformed United Church of Christ in Allentown, PA.
But the biggest hole in this urban legend? The plaque in front of the Bell at Liberty Square actually says “It was cast for Walt Disney World Resort in 1989”. According to the Disney Parks official blog, “The bell was cast for Walt Disney World in Annecy-le Vieux, France by the Paccard Fonderie, using the exact same mold as the original Liberty Bell. […] It was hoisted into its present location by a crane, just in time for the 1989 Independence Day Celebration.”
“Mammoth Savings Bond Drive to Start in May” - St. Petersburg Times, April 6, 1950.
“Let Freedom Ring on Independence Day” - Disney Parks Blog, July 4th, 2010.