Make room for the new guy, you animatronic POTUS-types.
The Liberty Square staple was originally expected to reopen June 29 after closing Jan. 17, three days before Donald Trump’s inauguration as the nation’s 45th president. A sign in front of the 46-year-old attraction states that “The Hall of Presidents is currently being prepared to welcome our new president.”
While there’s no recent update from Disney or the official Disney Parks Blog, there’s been a rash of rumors about the attraction’s months-long shutdown. Other additions haven’t taken as long.
Why the hold-up at the Hall, a popular spot for both history buffs and those just seeking to beat the heat or get off their feet at a sit-down show? Would President Trump speak, as have presidents since Bill Clinton?
Disney denied reports of any effort to retool the show in a way that didn’t feature Trump in a speaking role, both on Twitter and in a June 27 Disney Parks Blog statement by Thomas Smith, the blog’s editorial content director.
“Since the Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971, The Hall of Presidents has brought together a one-of-a-kind look at the office of the President of the United States through film and the magic of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics technology. Despite some media reports to the contrary, President Trump will have a speaking role in The Hall of Presidents, like every president since 1993,” the statement shared.
“We have been working closely with the current White House — just as we have with previous administrations — and the president’s recording session has been scheduled. The attraction will re-open in late 2017.”
Along with that new POTUS, other changes could be evident when the attraction reopens, according to the blog, the official blog for Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Line.
“Whenever we refurbish one of our attractions, we take the opportunity to consider a broad range of enhancements,” Smith wrote in the June 27 statement.
“In this case, The Hall of Presidents is getting a new show, and a complete theater upgrade including a new sound system, lighting and high-definition projection system. The multi-screen viewing experience you may have seen in prior versions of the attraction is returning with an even wider vantage point of our country’s history.”
And as anyone who lived through Campaign 2016 might expect, vantage points about the venue’s newest resident are varied.
“My family will be skipping this attraction for the next few years. We will miss it,” a commenter named Laurie wrote on the Disney Parks blog on Nov. 2, 2017 — followed four days later by the words “Make The Hall of Presidents Great Again!” from poster Hunter.