Have you ever dreamt of meeting all the various presidents of the United States? Inside Magic Kingdom Park's The Hall of Presidents, you can come face-to-face with them all! This classic Disney World attraction is a way to learn the history of our country's presidencies inside a replica of Philadelphia's Independence Hall ( and not to mention a good opportunity to rest our froggy legs). The secret history of The Hall of Presidents dates back to even before the opening of Magic Kingdom!
The Secret History of The Hall of Presidents
The Hall of Presidents opened with Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park on Oct. 1, 1971. The idea of the show dates back to the creation of Disneyland Park. Via D23.com, there was a never-built addition to Disneyland known as Liberty Street. In this area was to be an elaborate presentation on our nation's presidents and history. Of course, as you know now, Liberty Street was never actually added to Disneyland!
While Liberty Street at Disneyland never actually came to existence, Walt Disney kept working on the creation of the historical show. At first, he envisioned the attraction (to be called "One Nation Under God") to be filled with wax figures of presidents. This wasn't going to be realistic, though, because Walt wanted the figures to speak and move. For this kind of technology, the show would need sponsors! In preparation for presentation at the 1964-65 New York World's Far, Walt wanted to create a full-size Audio-Animatronics of his favorite president, Abraham Lincoln.
The successful creation and presentation of this Audio-Animatronic figure led to the design of the attraction we now know as The Hall of Presidents. Of course, it also led to Disneyland's Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln! Right now, The Hall of Presidents is closed for the addition of President Donald Trump's Audio-Animatronic. We can look forward to a new show, upgraded sound system, lighting and high-definition projection system when it reopens in late 2017!
The Hall of Presidents Fun Facts
- President Bill Clinton was the first current president to have a speaking role for the show! President Clinton recorded the speech for the show with five Imagineers visiting the White House in September 1993.
- Speaking of President Clinton, he actually provided one of his own wrist watches for his Audio-Animatronic to wear.
- The Hall of Presidents is the only other place besides The White House that the Presidential Seal can be displayed!
- Blaine Gibson sculpted the first 43 presidents, but handed over the sculpting of President Barack Obama to Valerie Edwards. Gibson was 90 years old!
- Each time a new president is voted into office, The Hall of Presidents closes down to add the new Audio-Animatronic.
- Walt asked James Algar, director of the "True-Life Adventure" series, to research the United States presidents and the founding documents of our nation. Walt wanted to be as accurate as possible.
Have you ever seen a newly-installed President at The Hall of Presidents? Let us know in the comments below! And don't forget to check out The Hall of Presidents wait times and more.