After being closed for nearly an entire year, Walt Disney World’s The Hall of Presidents attraction has reopened with an audio-animatronic Donald J. Trump representing his role as the 45th president of the United States.
In the historic show, which first debuted on Magic Kingdom’s opening day in 1971, a rousing montage honors the spirit of the nation before a stage filled with audio-animatronics of each past U.S. president is revealed. As is tradition, this refreshed version sees the reality television star, real estate businessman and nation’s current leader giving a short speech about the unwavering optimism of the American people and how they have served as the building block for our nation’s history.
The Hall of Presidents’ re-opening has been met with criticism, and there’s no doubt Trump’s addition will make it a polarizing attraction in the coming months. Both Disney security and local police were on hand at the unannounced “soft launch” of the show, according to fan website WDW News Today, and security is expected to stay on hand.
The lengthy attraction closure, which took six months longer than originally scheduled, left many wondering if the current president would indeed be added. Word has it the extended delay was due to Trump’s speech not having yet been recorded, but Hall of Presidents itself also went through a small redesign during the hiatus.
Sound, lighting and show segments have all been updated, along with an opening montague that plays prior to the nation’s past leaders appearing onstage. There are also new displays honoring the attraction’s origin — a revolutionary audio-animatronic of President Abraham Lincoln that debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair — as well as details highlighting the sculpture-building process and the show’s history.
The attraction’s focus has been and continues to be moreso on the nation’s history than any one political party, but those in search of a more bipartisan experience — or simply a laugh — can find respite outside. There, an outdoor hourly performance of The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History will spotlight the former state of the nation with jokes, music, and a powerful leader everyone can agree on: Miss Piggy.