When a theme park is open 7 days a week and roughly 12 hours a day, it is inevitable that attractions will close occasionally for repairs, updates and refurbishments. What is noteworthy is when a Disney attraction closes for an extended period which is the case for the Magic Kingdom’s The Hall of Presidents.
As you likely know, The Hall of Presidents is an animatronic show featuring the 43 US Presidents. The Presidents tell the story of America in dramatic and patriotic fashion. Here is a quick synopsis of the show from the Disney World website:
Stroll into the 700-seat main theater, home to 3 massive projection screens and a grand proscenium. As the lights dim, sit back and enjoy an original film—developed by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian—relaying the dramatic story of the United States of America.
During the presentation, revel in America’s enduring origins, the formation of our Constitution and the hard-fought struggles along the way—such as the American Revolution and the Civil War. Listen to the stirring words of John F. Kennedy echo throughout the theater and watch Abraham Lincoln—in attendance on stage—deliver his Gettysburg address.
Then, witness a very special display as the curtain rises to reveal each and every United States President, together for the very first time—followed by stirring speeches about the American Dream delivered by Presidents George Washington and Barack Obama.
With the election of Donald Trump as our 44th (or 45th depending on how you count Grover Cleveland) President, Disney will be closing The Hall of Presidents for many months to add him to the show. Yes, you read that right; we are getting an animatronic Trump.
There were a number of rumors about how Disney would handle the inclusion of Trump in the Hall of Presidents. Some had speculated that he would not have a speaking role. To address the issue, Disney released the following statement in June:
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. 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.
Whenever we refurbish one of our attractions, we take the opportunity to consider a broad range of enhancements. 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.
The Hall of Presidents is currently scheduled to be closed for refurbishment from January 17-June 29, 2017.