What is Happening to the Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom? Will Donald Trump Speak?

Donald Trump is Going to be in The Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom
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The Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World closed for refurbishment over 3 months ago, with little to no announcement from Disney as to what changes were going to be made. The 2016 Presidential election was a controversial one, and that was long before a winner had even been decided. However, the real controversy now is if the current President of the United States will continue to be offered a speaking role in the attraction.

Starting in the early 1990’s, the current President of the United States was not only added to the attraction, but given a speaking role in it, beginning with Bill Clinton. George W. Bush and Barack Obama followed, provided speaking roles and also bringing about considerable rewrites and changes to the existing attraction.

While it has been confirmed that Donald Trump will be added to at the attraction in audio-animatronics form, it is still unknown if he will speak, despite the fact that we are now just 2 months away from the reopening of the Hall of Presidents.

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Rumors indicate that Disney may never even release a statement when the attraction reopens (to avoid backlash in either direction), but according to sources, Donald Trump will simply stand in the background with other presidents during the classic attraction’s stirring finale. Speaking roles in the attraction will likely be kept to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and it is not expected at this time that Morgan Freeman will return as the narrator. This is all unconfirmed at this time, but that’s at least the buzz around cast members in the Magic Kingdom.

I’m sure Disney is hoping that all of the media buzz around Pandora: The World of AVATAR will distract from the Hall of Presidents scheduled reopening in late-June 2017, but whatever may happen, we will continue to bring you updates on the fate of the opening day Magic Kingdom attraction.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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  • This will be a major break of precedent to not have Donald Trump speak. I will be disappointed. Perhaps they should consider a compromise. Let all the modern presidents give a parting salutation with Donald Trump saying “Make America Great Again.”

    • Ronald Reagan’s slogan was actually “Let’s Make America Great Again”. Had that extra word. Clinton and Obama had some memorable words. You might want to re-think the airing of those like “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky” and ” If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.”

      • I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize that boasts of unwanted sexual aggression was the same thing as a consensual relationship. Regardless of which, it must really speak of your character that you need to rely on the argument of “but this guy did something bad, so it must be ok for this guy.” I’m not even going to touch the Obama quote because that’a clearly just something that personally bothers you because you must’ve had to change doctors and they won’t prescribe you the same erectial disfunction medicine.

        • By your standards, not a single President is worthy to stand on that stage, because you can find something offensive or ill-advised documented being uttered by every one of them. (Don’t even get me started on how racist Lincoln was!) It doesn’t excuse any of them for what they’ve said in public or private, but it also doesn’t disqualify any of them from being up there.

          Then again, considering how you haven’t contributed anything to this mostly civil debate except trollish insults, you likely don’t have any standards to speak of.

        • Nice for you to recast the argument. I was merely saying memorable quotes should be aired if you want to go there and you apparently do want to go there. Clinton’s and Obama’s lies should be aired for everyone to hear. They are so fun to hear again. “Make America Great Again”

    • Keep your comments to yourself, you do not deserve the forum your leaving your racist comments on. He was voted in by the citizens of this country whether you like it or not. We had to survive with 8 years of the last president who tore this country almost into civil war.

  • ISTR that when Obama was added he wasn’t given a speaking role right away. It was only added a few years afterwards. Am I remembering that right?

    I would think they would do it the same way with Trump.

  • I assure you, liberals are no more upset now than I was when Obama won. I still visited and enjoyed HOP, however, as the attraction is greater than one person. Yet another example of no actual tolerance from the party that constantly preaches it.

  • What’s the precedent on this? Did Disney announce what changes were being done with prior presidents this far out still from opening, or are you trying to stir up controversy for clicks? Due to my occupation I have to remain unbiased on what I think of him, but this just seems like a stretch of a post here.

  • I can remember many rude things said during ‘W”s speech when he was president. And we, as a people, are way more divided now than we were then. This seems like a good call to me.

  • I can see Disney NOT giving a speaking role and taking away speaking roles from the current POTUS and just leaving the founding fathers. That actually makes some sense.

    But, I find it very very hard to believe the would just throw the current POTUS in the background somewhere with everyone else. That would cause more controversy than if he did have a speaking role. I dont see that happening.

    He will be upfront but NOT speaking is my guess

    • LOL even if they put him in the background, his day-glow orange skin tone will still be blinding. Honestly, I avoided it when Obama got in there and I’ll still be avoiding it with Trump. And god bless whatever poor sound tech has to do 100 takes with “President Word Salad” to get something intelligible recorded.

  • Disney has the perfect place for liberals… Fantasyland.

    Disney should stay true to the exhibit and in tradition of the past 3, have Mr. Trump speak.
    People don’t like it, they can easily do what the folks who didn’t care for President Obama did…
    grow up and sit through it, or go on “It’s a Small World” instead. No one is forcing anyone to go in.
    Plenty of choices.
    Keep politics OUT of Disney!

  • As someone who personally believes that Trump is the worst thing to happen in American politics in my 40 years on the planet, I think it would be an insult for him not to at least be invited to speak. When I last went to the Hall of Presidents in 2012, I was leery of Obama’s speech, because I feared claps and boos from the crowd. I believe there was one loud shout in approval for Reagan, but no boos for Obama. Normally, the Hall is a pretty dead attraction – people are more interested in a few minutes of air conditioning with some good AAs and a harmlessly uplifting message about America, not to make political statements.

    BUT…

    As I will be returning to the ‘World on and after Independence Day, I fear tensions might be high. I am afraid people might shout boos during the roll call (maybe starting as far back as FDR) and then having the show turn into a shouting (or at least cheering and booing) match between the butt-hurt on both sides. I would feel angry if someone booed Kennedy, Clinton, and Obama and shouted the typical conservative talking points (see above). I would also be upset if liberals jeered Bush and Trump, thus upsetting a conservative family in the audience with their talking points (also see above). Certainly liberals like me can always boycott the attraction and there is plenty left to do – I can barely avoid shouting profanities at my television whenever President Trump is on the news. However, I SHOULD be enough of an adult to go back to one of my favorite attractions and appreciate how Disney spins Trump’s role in history – especially if he draws on the Andrew Jackson section of being the voice of the common man, which was a major theme of his election (even if some find it disingenuous). If at any time in our history, we need a voice of reconciliation, it is now.

    Disney should not be just escapism. There IS a political message in the park – that imagination “sparked” by science, literature (especially film), and history should lead us to love each other and try to make the world a better place. As saccharine as some of this rhetoric can be (RIP Dream Along with Mickey), it is acceptable to most people, including children, and is part of ideally any political ideology. We DO need dreams and the hope that “dreams do come true” is why Disney World is more than just a place to ride a roller coaster.

    • Gregory – I completely agree with your sentiment. And yes I agree that the POLITICAL message of all the Disney parks is science, american ingenuity, history, literature etc. Clearly all of us on this board enjoy the Disney parks and the Disney brand of things.

      The themes of the HOP should be a larger inspiration to us, but I truly feel in the most respectful terms that Trump and his enablers are not representative of the our Republic. We often have a narrow and myopic view of our own history, and yes I also feel we must have a common reconciliation as a people.

      Boy I wonder how you folks would feel if Iger ran in 2020…

    • Libertarian/constitutionalist/classical liberal here (fiscally conservative/socially liberal). I’m not a fan of Trump…or Hillary…or Gary Johnson…or any of the presidents in recent history. Not sure if we’d agree politically, but I definitely agree with and appreciate your sentiment. Thanks for taking the time to write it. Much respect.

    • I too shall not be hapy that the great orange Baffoon will be joining the honestly elected Presidents of the Iunitef States. But I think I have a solution if he speaks: stick your fingers in your ears, close your eyes, and hum the Battle Hymn of the Republic!!!

      I do wonder however how WDW will handle it when 45 is arrested and hauled off to jail for Treason. Perhaps they will change the setting to 45 awaiting hanging and all the real Presidents applauding?????

      • You miserable little twerp….it is because of people like you I m unable to successfully convey the important message of social justice and economic equality. You bray like an ass which only turns people away from our progressive values that can be used to battle the right wing in this country. How can anyone take us seriously when you complain about an animatronic representation of Trump!!

    • Wonderfully well reasoned and intelligent comment, Gregory.

      I am basically a Liberal, and I cannot abide Trump, the Bushes, or Reagan. But I would not dream of vocally reacting in such an attraction. I like to think I’m secure and mature enough to view it as you stated… a harmlessly uplifting message about America.

      I would NOT want to do anything to spoil the experience for others, especially when you consider many families are there on a Once In A Lifetime visit, or maybe there are Make A Wish kids there.

      The LAST thing they’d need would be me, or anybody else, acting in a loud, boorish manner, no matter how we feel politically.

      Yes, Disney IS about the politics of Dreaming A Better World, through Imagination and Education. That message overrides any other politics.

  • If you don’t support him, thats your choice. I personally don’t agree with everything the man says, but I am not sure if I can say that about any president that has ever been elected. Regardless, I’m going to the attraction and judging it on how good the attraction is, not because Trump will be in it.

  • If they let the orange man speak, I won’t visit the attraction. He’s an embarrassment to this nation, and represents all the good and fairness that Disney stands for.

  • I’m not a big Trump fan, but I am really hoping for the best for our country. With that being said Donald Trump should absolutely speak in The Hall Of Presidents, it would be a shame for someone to make a decision for him not to speak based on their own personal beliefs. Regardless of what people think he is our President and I hope that he does well and makes some good things happen.

    • Agreed. I hate #45s politics -BUT- he IS our president. Not to have him in the hall, speaking as do all the others would be the beginning of making a mockery of the one attraction that Disney has done a decent job of keeping up with.

      I think he fits in well with the “imagination” thee Disney has. Let him imagine…

  • If there is one thing that I cannot stand, it is a person that constantly throws their politics in your face. The number of simpering fools that contribute to the comments section is staggering.

  • It’s probably for the best that they retire the speech for the current President, putting my personal politics aside, we’ve simply allowed ourselves to become too divided that when we feel we need to shout at a robot version of the current President, maybe it’s time to leave the speaking to Mr. Washington and Mr. Lincoln, that way Disney doesn’t have to worry about appearing to support or not support any particular president or political affiliations.

  • Unbelievable. This attraction is a history of the United States President’s and of our country. Of the 44 people that have held the office many if not all had political views that were opposed by Americans. Should we only keep the ones that were good? Be careful because it will depend on who makes the determination on that. It’s a theme park attraction please get in with you’re lives !

  • I think it comes down to whether he wants to speak or not. He’s not exactly the biggest fan of ABC, he may not want to volunteer his time to speak in the attraction.

  • If the other modern presidents are speaking, then Donald Trump should too. If it’s just the Founding Fathers, I’m fine with that as well.

    The argument that somehow Donald Trump should be excluded from speaking but other modern presidents like Obama and Clinton (or even W.) should not is ludicrous though. If disagreeable politics or serious character flaws were the criteria for exclusion from the Hall of Presidents, then NO ONE would be in it.

    FDR and Woodrow Wilson were racists. JFK had affairs. Clinton? Woah. The list goes on and on.

    The man was fairly elected president just like everyone else up there, and should be treated as such. Disney having a Hall of Presidents is a historical attraction about politicians, but is itself not inherently political. When they start picking and choosing which presidents are acceptable and which are not…that’s when things change.

    • Did you say “fairly” elected? Have you watched the news in the last 4 months? There is NO doubt that the election was tampered with by outside forces (cough..Russia). Not to mention the fact that he lost by 3 million votes. Lets not forget, Dump himself said the election was “rigged and fixed”. So yes he was elected…but it was not fair nor is he even a legitimate president .

      • Hi Brandon…

        Yes. Fairly elected. Despite the media hyperventilation over the Democrat loss, the Russians weren’t actually “hacking” anything having to do with the election process itself, which includes things like voting machines. The DNC leak…so what of it was leaked? None of it was false. If anything it gave voters MORE legitimate information to work with.

        At most you could say the Russians ran an online false information campaign, but have you seen the NYU and Stanford study concluding that fake news DID NOT impact the election in any significant way? Also, how is this any different than what the U.S. attempted to do in the Israel presidential election a couple of year ago?

        Trump did not “lose” by 3 million votes. He was legitimately elected in the same way every president has been elected since 1804. If he is not legitimate, than neither are John Quincy Adams, Hayes, Harrison, W., etc.

        The electoral college exists for a very good and still very valid reason, particularly if you look at large states have effectively become a single party state like California or Texas, and who could easily manipulate other states due to their position of power. The United States is a Republic, not a direct democracy…we do not elect presidents by popular vote.

        Either way, it is not Disney’s job to decide who IS or IS NOT a legitimate president.

      • Yes. Fairly elected, Brandon. You may want to at least glance at the Constitution to see what’s in it. There’s alot of good stuff in there!

        Between the countless cowardly attacks on voters and supporters, the riots, the censorship by violence and all the personal name calling and insults that are constantly being thrown around, I seriously doubt that a large faction left has the maturity to handle this. You can just look at just this string of comments and see how many insults, explicatives, and even threats are in here and easily deduce which side of the aisle they are from. And this is even in a forum where we all largely get along and agree and have an appreciation for the attraction.

        But that doesn’t mean he should be removed. Giving in to the squeaky wheels especially when they refuse to AT LEAST BE RESPECTFUL and engage in well reasoned, factual debate would be a shame and counter productive to everyone.

        He IS the President. You can disagree with his politics. But for 15 freakin minutes be respectful of the office, the country, and your fellow citizens. There is no place in WDW for idiocy and no place in our society anywhere for violence just because you disagree with someone else’s views.

        And btw, yes I did vote for him. Not necessarily for him but for the supreme court and against HRCs record. He was actually my 11th choice in the Republican debates. I do think he is doing an ok job so far considering he is dealing with a horrificly dealt hand and a group of so many vile obstructionists that seem to rather burn the country down than compromise. Again, it is ok to disagree but let’s stay in reality, be reasonable and respect each other. I don’t know when it became ok to be so foul and inconsiderate. We have very real enemies in this world and we need each other in order to be stronger.

        I think we’ve been ‘celebrating diversity’ for so long that we’ve forgotten our similarities and commonalities.

  • A comment this stupid could only have been written by a Trump supporter in an effort to make us progressives that oppose this presidents look bad. There is possibly no other explanation. Calling you an idiot would be an insult to other idiots.

  • I want to have my President in the Hall. I didn’t vote for President Trump by the way but I am an America first!!

    • Completely agree. I haven’t agreed with most presidents in my life on many issues. But I respect the office and I am an American first and foremost.

      Even presidents that I did not like or vote for, I pulled for them every day to do a good job for us and hoped for their safety.

      We seem to be dealing with a different mentality now. Not sure if it is generational, social media, or what that is caring it, but it isn’t productive or good for the country.

  • Katie, go clean your room and leave the booing to the Trump supporters. Kids don’t need to be subjected to misbehaving adults.

  • I Said it before and I’ll say it again. You don’t have to believe in your government to be a good American. You just have to believe in your country.

  • I wonder if the reason why they haven’t said anything about whether he will speak or not is because they haven’t been able to write a speech either party is happy with. Plus Trum as been busy with other things and may not have been able to work a recording schedule it.

  • Guys, guys, guys! Can’t we all just agree how excited we are to know the new HoP will be up on disflix soon?! #notmystreamingservice

    • Let Millard Fillmore speak as well. His parents named him Millard for goodness sake, at least let him have this.

  • I dont think it matters either way. The year after an election is always the highest attendance for the HOP. So if he speaks or not we all know that your going to go and see what happens or what he says. Then next year the attendance will drop again and we will all have a nice quite place to take a nap again.

  • Look at all the bickering that’s going on in this thread a lone.

    Disney is really in a no win situation here.

    My gut tells me Disney will NOT have any of the current Presidents speak.

    I bet they also release some kind of statement saying each individual has the option to attend or not attend the attraction. Its up to the individual

  • Disney, it’s products and its park experiences will always be whatever people choose to take from them. They have always balanced conflicting goals and messages in a way that could simultaneously appeal to and anger both liberals and conservatives. They’ve preached environmentalism, but then partnered with companies like Exxon and Monsanto. Their movies have pushed traditional “family values” while behind the scenes they’ve been early industry leaders in the provision of domestic partner benefits to LGBT employees. In other words, they are experts at knowing just how to be just enough to enough consumers. However they handle Donald Trump’s inclusion into the HOP, they’ll have done as much market research as possible. If the skyrocketing costs of a WDW vacation haven’t kept us all away, I doubt we’ll draw the line at whether or not 45’s animatronic figure spits out a few platitudes.

  • This thread is certainly going to make for an interesting “World of Psychotic Comments” segment on this weeks WDW News Tonight

  • ,Sure its breaking with tradition but just having Donald Trump as our so-called President is breaking with tradition. Never before have we had someone so controversial and unpopular as our leader. As a company that prides itself on diversity and inclusion–Donald Trump doesn’t really embody any of those things. This is not a slight on Republicans either, I know many Republicans who would tell you Donald Dump is not a Republican or Democrat –he’s a Fascist sociopath. Had a Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush or John Kasich been elected nobody would have any problem with them speaking.

    • Never before?

      So…was Abraham Lincoln not controversial and unpopular when he was president? Now, Trump is no Abe, but to say that we’ve NEVER BEFORE had such a controversial or unpopular president shows a lack of historical perspective.

      Lincoln still holds the record for the lowest popular vote total ever won by a president. The Republican losses after his election were enormous. There were talks of a military revolt after his first election.

      Donald Trump ISN’T a Republican, and he’s not a conservative, and he’s not a libertarian…he’s a Blue Dog Democrat. He’s also a populist, but then again…so was Andrew Jackson. Also…none of that matters. He is president and it isn’t Disney’s job to decide who IS or IS NOT legitimate. Either he talks with all the modern presidents, or none of them should talk.

  • No current president should have a speaking part. I’m tired of visiting the Hall of Presidents just to hear and see people giggle and make snarky comments when the current president speaks. It doesn’t matter which way you lean, there is ALWAYS someone doing it. The Hall of Presidents is not about that. Show some respect.

    • Agreed.

      Disney should now have NO current POTUS speak during the attraction.

      Leave it to Washington and Lincoln and that’s it.

      People who don’t like that DON’T go. It’s that simple

      Now, since Trump is the current POTUS whether people like it or not, Disney would have to have his animatronic in the front row or some
      prominent place to represent he is the current.

      If i were a betting man this is exactly what Disney will do.

  • People are assuming the choice to have RoboTrump not speak is a political one. Recording dialog is like work and Trump would rather golf than do work. That’s all.

  • Hohnestly this whole topic is a stupid one are people seriously this idiotic to think thatdisney wont be tastefull and respectable in his inclusion this is disney were talking about the same company that time and time again receive criticism and blow it out of the watand if people are seriously having this argument or letting their political views cloud their judgment it just shows how chilidish they really are it could be compared to a child throwing a tantrum because he doesnt get their way now personally i hate the guy i think hes an idiot but ive had that opinion long before he was president and will have it long after he is but i dont let it get in the way of me living my life if you have an issue right someone about it people seem to forget it not just him making decisions if you have an issue contact your legislators or work to help solve it yourself dont complain about something and not try to fix it or offer some solution

  • I am an annual pass holder at WDW and I have always loved the Hall of Presidents but if trump is ever included, I will NEVER visit this attraction again!!!!!

  • If “The Donald” is put in the President Hall Of Fame, I will never visit it again. Disney is not obligated to include a president that was elected by Russia.

  • Please keep the orange clown out of the HoP as he is a national embarrassment. He is a sad reflection of the moral emptiness of American society. Put his likeness out by the dumpsters as this would be the perfect metaphor for our current president – White Trash.

  • This is total disrespect for our President and sends out a very poor message . You may not like our President but you also have an impeached President in the hall that is allowed to speak. Shame on Disney for even considering doing this. I have brought my 4 children and now my 3 Grand children into the hall as an annual pass holder since 1999 . To single our him would be a disgrace.Disney should not get involved in politics …its bad for business.

  • I feel it is a bad move on Disney’s part. If they feel the need to do this, then shut the exhibit down and put everything in storage. No bias should be made. Silence all 45 Presidents if you feel the need to keep the exhibit open.

  • What’s with Disney and ABC cancelling Last Man Standing most likely because Tim Allen was a conservative and made political comments and now they are not sure if President Trump will speak? Shame on you Disney. Remember that millions of Republicans throw money into your pockets every single day and it is disrespectful to cast President Trump aside and in the background in the Hall of Presidents.