At the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, The Hall of Presidents sometimes get passed by for rides and other more thrilling attractions. I feel like it is a mistake not to stop, to look around the lobby, and to enjoy the show. The history in this attraction makes up the United States and all that we have come to stand for. Here 8 amazing facts and secrets about The Hall of Presidents:
8 – The attraction changes every time a new president is elected.
Every time a new president is elected, the ride would become outdated if it wasn’t updated. After the inauguration, the attraction typically goes down for a couple of months so that the ride can be refurbished and updated with the newly elected president. The speech must be recorded, the roll call has to be done to add the newest president, the new president must be sculpted, and the animatronic created, and the presidents are shifted around to make room for the new president to take their place. It is a lot of work, but essential to keep the attraction accurate and is done as quickly as possible.
7 -It took an act of Congress to get the Great Seal of the United States displayed.
It actually took an act of Congress to get the Great Seal of the United displayed at The Hall of Presidents. Congress had to take a vote and agree that it could be displayed. It is in the carpet right when you walk in with a gate around it to prevent guests from walking on it or any damage coming to it. I witnessed a guest jump the gate to take a selfie while standing on it, and couldn’t believe how some guests just don’t appreciate the importance behind some things.
6 – For newer presidents, their wardrobes are actually clothes from the President’s closets.
When Disney cast works to record the presidential speech and prepare to add a new president, they also obtain clothes and any other items the President wants their likeness to wear during the attraction. They will provide a suit and other articles of clothing from their own closets, making their resemblance even more authentic. Bill Clinton even provided one of his own wristwatches to be worn in the attraction. This level of detail is impressive. Obviously, for most of the historic presidents, their outfits had to be created based on photographs and styles from a specific period.
5 – The attraction was one of the Walt Disney World opening day attractions.
When you think back to opening day in 1971 for Disney World, the Hall of Presidents was part of that experience and one of the attractions that guests were able to enjoy on that first day. That means the attraction has been running for nearly 50 years, with changes every 4 to 8 years, depending on new presidential elections. The attraction is still amazing and fosters a strong sense of American pride every time you experience it.
4 – The basis for the attraction started with Walt Disney’s first Abe Lincoln World’s Fair exhibit.
Abraham Lincoln was Walt Disney’s favorite president. Abe was the first president animatronic that was created. He was created to recite the Gettysburg Address at the New York 1964 World’s Fair. The recording of the Gettysburg Address was personally directed by Walt Disney himself. After the World’s Fair, he found a home at Disneyland reciting to guests at the “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” attraction. Once plans for Walt Disney World were put in motion, it made more sense to relocate him and create the full attraction that Walt dreamed of. He has since been upgraded to new versions of animatronics technology to make his movements more fluid and less rigid.
3 – There are a ton of authentic artifacts in the waiting area before the show.
Be sure to take a walk around the lobby while you wait for the next show to start. You will find that there are tons of real artifacts that are preserved there. You will find dresses from first ladies, boots, beer mugs, golf clubs, a microscope, and so much more that were actual belongings to our presidents throughout history. It is amazing to be that close to such impressive artifacts.
2 – The attraction only exists at Walt Disney World.
This attraction only exists at Walt Disney World and will likely only ever exist at Walt Disney World. With the artifacts, the Great Seal of the United States, and the personal belongings of presidents, it would be tough to replicate the attraction. It would also make the attraction less unique if there were was a duplicate attraction out there. We are glad that it remains a special piece of history right from the Magic Kingdom.
1 – The building that holds the attraction was designed to look like Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
As soon as you approach the building, you will notice that the building looks like something you would expect to see from the Colonial era. The building was actually designed specifically to be a replica to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. If you notice the sign on the outside of the building, the year is 1787. This happens to be the year of the signing of the U.S. Constitution! We feel the building was perfectly executed to bring a piece of history to life.
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