Disney Parks published an update on the Hall of Presidents attraction on Monday, including the fate of their replica of former President Donald Trump. The Hall of Presidents is full of Audio-Animatronics replicas of all the former U.S. presidents, which act out speeches and skits for theater audiences. There have been a lot of questions about whether the Trump animatronic will return to the theater, and now Disney confirms that it will.
The Hall of Presidents was closed for refurbishment shortly after the 2020 presidential election, and now it will be re-opening for the first time with a replica of President Joe Biden. In a blog post about the new addition, Disney added: "And for those who are curious about what happens to presidents at The Hall of Presidents after their term has ended, the Audio-Animatronics figure of former President Donald J. Trump will take its place on stage among those who have previously served." This confirmed that the Trump animatronic will be back on stage without addressing the widespread petitions to have it removed.
Disney has offered a first look at President Joe Biden being added to The Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom.
The attraction will reopen to guests in August. pic.twitter.com/5Q2tyiHPm8— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) July 19, 2021
Disney fans and park-goers have been calling for the Trump animatronic's removal for years, citing several scandals of his presidency as reason enough to ban him. Since Disney emphasizes itself as a "family-friendly" company, fans also argue that Trump's media reputation -- including allegations of sexual assault -- should do the trick as well. Disney has generally avoided commenting on this kind of outcry.
The latest batch of complaints came in January, when Trump falsely claimed that the election had been somehow rigged against him or stolen. After his followers stormed the U.S. Capitol building and Trump refused to denounce them, many Disney fans wanted his animatronic removed from the company of other past presidents, according to a report by Inside The Magic. A couple of weeks later, Biden's inauguration reignited the debate.
The Hall of Presidents has been closed for maintenance repeatedly since the Trump animatronic was added in 2017, and some fans on social media speculate that this is a neutral way for Disney to avoid the controversy. There is also the factor of the COVID-19 pandemic to consider since it hit the amusement park industry especially hard. Now, with the Trump animatronic returning to the reopening attraction, the debate is sure to flare up again.
The Hall of Presidents is expected to reopen soon with Biden joining all 45 of his animatronic predecessors. So far, Disney Parks has not confirmed an exact date for the reopening.