Trump To Have Speaking Role at Disney's Hall of Presidents

Posted: Jun 26, 2017 2:25 PM

President Donald Trump will have a speaking role in the Magic Kingdom's Hall of Presidents after all, Disney VP of Communications Jacquee Wahler confirmed on Sunday.

Since Bill Clinton, every sitting president has recited a speech during the attraction.  

A report in May from Vice's Motherboard suggested that the Trump animatronic would be silent.

However, Disney says it plans for Trump to speak.

"The same thing that we've done with other presidents, is the same plan we have for President Trump," said Jacquee Wahler, vice president of communications. When asked if Trump would have a speaking role, Wahler said that he would.

In May, during the opening of Pandora-The World of Avatar, Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNN that a script had been written for Trump’s team to edit.

“We’re hopeful that, at least by the first anniversary of his election, he’ll be there with the 44 other presidents that preceded him,” Iger said.

While the attraction features an animatronic figure of each past president, it was overhauled in 1993 and the script was adjusted to give the sitting president a short speaking role. Prior to the 2016 election, it was announced that the Hall of Presidents would once again undergo an extensive refurbishment with a show overhaul--both to install the new president's animatronic as well as to adjust the show's content.

After Trump was elected, however, a petition asking that Disney silence Trump in the new version of the attraction garnered more than 15,000 signatures.  The petition argued that Trump had "tainted the legacy" of the presidency and therefore his animatronic should not be permitted to speak at Walt Disney World.

Further, Disney said that attempts to coordinate a recording session with the White House had gone unanswered, which added more questions as to what exactly the 45th president would be doing in the show.

The Hall of Presidents was scheduled to re-open on June 30, but this has been delayed until "late 2017" due to technical difficulties.