It’s been a staple of the Magic Kingdom ever since Walt Disney World opened in 1971, but as of Inauguration Day 2021, the classic Hall of Presidents attraction in Liberty Square has closed to prepare for the arrival of President Joseph Biden.
Every four to eight years, America’s peaceful transition of power is traditionally reflected in the temporary closure of The Hall of Presidents, a patriotic audio-animatronic presentation directly inspired by Walt Disney’s interest in United States history. Every new incoming administration has been accompanied by the installation of a new robot chief executive, that appears in the roll call that serves as the show’s finale.
The bulk of the show consists of a wide-screen documentary entitled “The Idea of a President,” which is interspersed with a recitation of the Gettysburg Address by an audio-animatronic Abe Lincoln.
Beginning with President Bill Clinton, every modern President has participated in the attraction by recording a brief speech that is recited by their mechanical doppelganger at the attraction’s conclusion. President Donald Trump debuted in the Hall of Presidents at the end of 2017, following an extensive refurbishment of the facility.
January 19, 2021, was the final full day of the Trump administration, and also the final day for the 2017-2021 version of the Hall of Presidents. Walt Disney World did not confirm the closure in advance, even to their own cast members, but the attraction was marked as “closed for refurbishment” as of the morning of President Biden’s inauguration.
Disney confirmed today to the Orlando Sentinel that the attraction will reopen with President Biden, despite suggestions that the show should be retired or radically revamped. However, no reopening date has been announced yet.
We visited the Magic Kingdom on January 19 and recorded this video of the 2017-2021 Hall of Presidents finale for posterity:
For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.