The Hall of Presidents

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The Hall of Presidents
The entrance to The Hall of Presidents (Photo: TCWMatt).
Magic Kingdom
Land Liberty Square
Opening date October 1, 1971
Ride duration 23:00 minutes
Audio-Animatronics 43
FastPass + No

The Hall of Presidents is an attraction located in Liberty Square

Attraction History

Like many of the Magic Kingdom's opening day attractions, the Hall of Presidents started out as an idea for Disneyland. In the late 1950s Walt Disney wanted to create an attraction called “One Nation Under God”, which was to be about American greatness and the Constitution. The grand finale of the attraction was going to be life size Audio Animatronics of all the United States Presidents joining together on stage, concluding with Abraham Lincoln giving a speech [1]. Technological limitations however, made the show unrealistic at that time, and the idea was eventually scrapped.

 Blaine Gibson Hall of Presidents
Blaine Gibson sculpting the face of Abraham Lincoln for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at the 1964 World's Fair

Although the Audio Animatronic technology was still under development, Walt agreed to create a show for the Illinois Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair [2]. The show that Disney came up with was titled, “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln”. The new attraction was essentially a scaled down version of the “One Nation Under God” show, however instead of focusing on all of the American Presidents, the new show focused solely on Abraham Lincoln. Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln consisted of two separate parts. The first half of the show was a film that gave Lincoln’s biography, and like its predecessor, the show concluded with the Audio Animatronic Lincoln giving a speech [2]. Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln was such a success at the World's Fair, that Walt Disney decided to move the attraction to his Disneyland park. In 1966, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened on Main Street USA [3]. The show was free for guests and once again proved to be quite popular.

Due to its popularity, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was one of the attractions considered for inclusion in (yet unopened) Walt Disney World. Instead of recreating the attraction however, Imagineers decided to revisit the One Nation Under God concept. In the time between Walt’s original idea and the creation of Walt Disney World, technology had improved to the point that creating Audio Animatronic figures for every President was possible. Furthermore, the Magic Kingdom also had the space available for such a large stage to be created.

When creating what would eventually be known as the Hall of Presidents for Walt Disney World, Disney decided that making the attraction's film live-action would be cost prohibitive. Instead, Imagineers decided to use artwork that was photographed one frame at a time to create their film. Under the direction of four-time Academy Award winner John DeCuire, the attraction's art team worked every day for two yeas to create over 85 individual pieces of art to be used in the film. Because the show features a 20 x 200 foot screen, some of the artwork created for the show's film was as large as 40 feet long.

Due to its large screen, the Hall of Presidents created a unique challenge for Disney- what kind of camera and projection system could be used to fill a two hundred foot long screen. The technical needs of the attraction were overseen by Disney Legend UB Iwereks, who decided to use five individual 70mm projections, each of which were forty feet in width and produced by their own individual projector.

In order to create the Presidential figures in the Hall of Presidents, Disney turned to Imagineer Blaine Gibson, who had sculpted Abraham Lincoln for the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Show. After doing extensive research on each of the Presidents, Gibson set out to create figures that accurately represented not only what the Presidents looked like, but who they were. According to Gibson:

 Hall of Presidents busts Blaine Gibson
Presidental busts created for the Hall of Presidents by Blaine Gibson
“My goal in sculpting is to render the uniqueness of an individual"

After Gibson finished creating the busts, the Presidents were sent to Guatemala, where wig makers created authentic hairpieces and tailors stitched period correct outfits. True to Disney's reputation for attention to detail, Imagineers included a number of specific details for each President they brought to life. Some examples of these Easter eggs include:

  • George Washington's chair was an exact reproduction of the chair the nation's first president sat in during the 1987 Constiutional Convention.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt wears a Phi Beta Kappa key to wear on his jacket
  • President's Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley all wear Civil War era lapel pins.

Renaming the attraction the Hall of Presidents, the show opened with the rest of the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. The Hall of Presidents (along with the Country Bear Jamboree and the Mickey Mouse Revue) was one of the three unique (not from Disneyland) attractions that opened with the Magic Kingdom.

Changes Since Opening Day

 Jimmy Carter Hall of Presidents Imagineer.
Imagineers working on the President Carter figure's costume.

Following its initial opening the Hall of Presidents did not feature many changes during its first two decades. Following their election, or elevations, to the Presidency, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Regan, and George H.W. Bush were added to attraction. Despite these additions, the attraction's main show was not altered.

Things changed however, in 1993, when the Hall of Presidents was overhauled and given a new script. Columbia professor Eric Forner convinced Disney executives (including Michael Eisner) that the original show did not pay enough attention to the issues slavery and civil rights [4]. In order to enact these changes, as well as to add President Bill Clinton to the attraction, the Hall of Presidents closed in September of 1993. When the attraction reopened in October of the same year, the attraction had a completely new tone. Furthermore, the new Hall of Presidents film was now narrated by poet Maya Angelo [5].

In 2001 J.D. Hall replaced Maya Angelo as the attraction's narrator and President George W. Bush was added to the attraction. Like Clinton before him, Bush recorded a speech specifically for The Hall of Presidents [6].

In 2008 to coincide with the election of President Barrack Obama, the Hall of Presidents once again underwent major renovations. At this time, the attraction itself was renamed The Hall of Presidents: A Celebration of Liberty’s Leaders. One of the many changes that occurred to the show itself was that it was given a new script that focused on the Presidents' relationship with the American people. Other changes to The Hall of Presidents at this time included: A re-programmed Abraham Lincoln Audio Animatronic who now delivers the Gettysburg Address, George Washington stands and gives a speech, the entire show was upgraded to HD and given a new sound system, and 130 new images were added to the attraction to go along with a new score written by Joel McNeely. Finally, Barrack Obama was added to the attraction where he delivers a speech recorded by the President himself [7].

On January 17, 2017 The Hall of Presidents closed for the addition of President Donald Trump [8].

On December 19, 2017, the Hall of Presidents officially reopened to guests. Besides the addition of Donald Trump to the attraction, the hall also received a brand new script and film. It also features updated sound, lighting and projection [9].

On January 20, 2021, the Hall of Presidents closed for the addition of President Joe Biden [10]. On August 3, 2021, the attraction reopened featuring America's newest President. Outside of the addition of President Biden, the Hall of Presidents show remained unchanged. Unlike President's Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump however, President Biden does not give a speech at the attraction's conclusion, instead he simply recites the Presidential Oath.

Building Exterior and Waiting Area

The Hall of Presidents is located in Liberty Square and is housed in a colonial hall. The Hall's architecture takes its inspiration from the Philadelphia and Boston colonial meeting halls used during the time of the American Revolution. The building itself is red brick, with a peaked tower serving as its highest point. Above the entrance to the hall, the date 1787 can be read (an obvious reference to the year the Constitution was signed).

After entering the building, guests find themselves in an expansive lobby. Various portraits of United States Presidents line the walls, and a large carpet featuring the "Great Seal of the United States" can be found in the center of the lobby. Other artifacts that can be found in the waiting room include personal property of former Presidents, and even some dresses which were worn by First Ladies on Inauguration Day. Since 2018 an exhibit dedicated to Walt Disney, his fascination with Abraham Lincoln, and the development of the Hall of Presidents (including some of the original busts) can also be found in the lobby.

Attraction Plot

The Hall of Presidents presents the story of America through images, music, and Audio Animatronics. The first part of the attraction is a film shown on a 180 degree screen. This is followed by the climax of the attraction, when all of the Presidents appear on stage together.

Original Incarnation (1971-1993) [11]

The first Incarnation of the Hall of Presidents began with guests entering the theater and hearing various Americans speaking lines from the Declaration of Independence. The attraction’s narrator would then begin to tell guests the story of America, as the curtains opened and the film started.

Abraham Lincoln as he appeared at the end of the Hall of Presidents (prior to 1993)

The Hall of President’s film began with the Constitutional Convention in 1787. George Washington (the president of the Convention) and Benjamin Franklin were heard trying to persuade their fellow delegates to sign the Constitution. Although the founders admit that the Constitution is not perfect, all but three eventually sign the document and the states agree to ratify it.

Leaving the Constitutional Convention, the story moved forward to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1789. Here, newly elected President George Washington faced one of his first challenges as President when Pennsylvanian farmers began to riot over federal taxes. Washington and Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Mifflin could then be heard arguing over whether or not Washington had the power to use armed forces to stop the rebels. Washington said that the Supreme Court affirmed his authority, and he was then shown on horseback leading federal troops towards to Pennsylvania. Fortunately, the narrator informed guests that the riots ended without bloodshed, and Washington was able to show Americans that the President would use force in order to "ensure domestic tranquility".

Following the Whiskey Rebellion, the scene once again shifted. Guests now found themselves in South Carolina some 40 years later. The Nullification Crisis was featured, and an angry crowd was being addressed by a speaker. The speaker informed the mob that, "The Federal Government's Tariff Acts are hereby declared null, void, and no law in the State of South Carolina." The speaker then went on to warn that any use of force by the government would lead to the secession of South Carolina. Following his speech, an image of President Andrew Jackson was shown on the screen, and he declared that he was determined to keep the Union together. The narrator then informed guests that with the support of Congress, Jackson was able to end the Nullification Crisis without any bloodshed. It was apparent however that the “union of the states” was in danger.

Once again moving forward in history, guests next found themselves listening in on the 1858 debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. During the debate, Lincoln declared that he knew slavery was wrong, and that "this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. A house divided against itself cannot stand". Although he was being heckled by the crowd, Lincoln continued on, saying that if the people did not believe in the words of the Deceleration of Independence, then they should go and destroy it. Reluctantly, the crowd admitted that he was right, and the narrator told guests that although Lincoln lost (that) election, his words were not forgotten.

Following Lincoln’s speech, the scene once again cut. Guests then saw (the now) President Abraham Lincoln in the White House. He was alone, contemplating his responsibility to protect the union. Lincoln claimed that he knew there was a God, and that that God hated slavery. He then resolved that with God’s help, he would end slavery and win the war. At this point, images of the American Civil War flashed on the screen and the narrator said:

"After four weary and wounding years, the conflict ended. The Union was saved. The Constitution had survived the fiery ordeal. America was one nation, finally and forevermore."

Following the summary, triumphant music would begin to play and images from the century following the Civil War appeared on the screen. Images of Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, auto racing, and nickelodeon movies all flashed before guest’s eyes. The montage of American progress finally ended with the Saturn V launching from Cape Canaveral to the moon, ending the film portion of the attraction.

After the film ended, a curtain behind the screens would rise to reveal all of the Presidents of the United States. A roll call would then be taken, and a spotlight would shine on each individual President as they were introduced. Finally, Abraham Lincoln would rise and give a final speech.

All of the Presidents of the United States together on stage.
This government must be preserved in spite of the acts of any man or set of men. Nowhere in the world has presented a government of so much liberty and equality. To the humblest and poorest among us are held the highest privileges and positions. What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not the frowning battlements, or bristling seacoast, our army and navy. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up among us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves, must be its author and its finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time, or die by suicide. Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite to exist only for a day. No. No. Man was made for immortality.

Following Lincoln’s speech, the Battle Hymn of the Republic played as the curtain closed and guests left the theater.

From 1971 until 1993, the only major change to the Hall of Presidents were the additions of newly elected Presidents: Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.

Second Incarnation (1993-2009) [12]

The 1993 version of the Hall of Presidents once again opened with the Constitutional Convention in 1786. Now however, instead of debating the merits of the new Constitution, the delegates could instead be heard arguing about whether or not slavery had a place in the new country [4].

Bill Clinton George Bush Hall of Presidents.
In the second incarnation of The Hall of Presidents, Bill Clinton and later George W. Bush gave speeches (Photo: Lauren Javier)

Continuing on, the new version of the Hall of Presidents omitted the Whiskey Rebellion scene that had once followed the Constitutional Convention. Instead, the film jumped straight to the Nullification Crisis, where once again the issue of slavery was interjected. Now the South Carolina crowd who supported nullification also voiced their approval of slavery. Like in the previous incarnation of the Hall of Presidents, the film next then featured the Lincoln-Douglas debate, during which Lincoln gave his famous "House Divided" speech. The Civil War portion of the show also remained mostly the same as the previous incarnation [4]. Although the portion of the film that focused on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War remained intact, the post-Civil War scene was radically altered. Instead of focusing on the American technological achievements in the century after the war, the film instead focused on the civil rights struggles of women, immigrants and African Americans. The film then concluded with the narrator saying "We the people must mean all the people" and the Saturn 5 launching into space [13].

Besides featuring a brand new script, the second incarnation of the Hall of Presidents also include a speech by the (then) current President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Clinton’s speech was given before Abraham Lincoln (who was now voiced by Peter Renaday) addressed the audience [4]

Although the Hall of President’s script remained mostly unchanged from 1993 until 2009, the attraction was altered slightly in 2001. During this renovation, President George W. Bush was added to the attraction, and J.D. Hall replaced Maya Angelou as the Hall’s narrator [14]. Like his predecessor, George W Bush recorded a speech for the attractions finale.

Third Incarnation (2009-2016) [15]

In 2008 to coincide with the election of President Barrack Obama, The Hall of Presidents once again underwent a major refurbishment. At this time the attraction received a new script which focused on the relationship between the Presidents and the American people.Other altercations included a re-programmed Abraham Lincoln Audio Animatronic who now delivers the Gettysburg Address. George Washington also now stands and gives a speech. Barrack Obama was added to the attraction where he delivers a speech record by the President himself.
 Hall of Presidents painting
The Pennsylvania State House circa 1778 as seen in the Hall of Presidents
Furthermore, 130 new images were added to the attraction to go along with score written by Joel McNeely [16]. Finally, at this time the attraction's rotunda was also changed, so that it now showcases many artifacts that belonged to the Presidents themselves. When the attraction reopened, it was renamed Hall of Presidents: A Celebration of Liberty’s Leaders.

Like the previous incarnations of the Hall of Presidents, the third version started with the shadows of Americans repeating phrases from the Deceleration of Independence. The films narrator (now voiced by Morgan Freeman [17]), then shifted the scene back to American Revolution. On the screen, guests then see images of Valley Forge, and of Americans eventually winning their independence. The narrator then told guests that from the beginning, the dream of a government run by "We the people" was already facing a threat.

At this point, the film moved to a time after the Revolution. Due to the war, the colonies were bankrupt and soldiers unpaid. In the background, some American veterans could be heard calling for an end to democracy and for George Washington to be crowned king. Washington then spoke, saying that he believes in the democracy that he fought for. After hearing his words, the unrest amongst the solders was quelled.

 Deceleration of Independence painting Hall of Presidents
"Declaration of Independence" by John Trumbull.

Following Washington’s speech, the scene changed to the Constitutional Convention, where the Founding Fathers agreed that Washington should be the country’s first President. Washington once again spoke, showing the audience some of his trepidation:

"I fear my country will expect too much from me. I walk on untrotted ground, there is scarcely any part of my conduct which may hereafter be drawn into precedent."

The narrator informed guests however, that Washington set an amazing precedent, "The man who could have been king, stepped down after two terms".

Like the previous incarnation of the Hall of Presidents, the Whiskey Rebellion scene was omitted from the film. Instead, the film moved on to the Presidency of Andrew Jackson. Instead of focusing on Nullification Crisis (as previous incarnations of the attraction had), the scene now focused on President Andrew Jackson and his relationship with American people. The narrator informed guests that Jackson was not an aristocrat (as previous Presidents had been) and that instead he was "one of us". A new image then appeared on the screen, showing 20,000 Americans descending on Jackson's inauguration. A women staff member of the White House commented that if they had not put free punch on the lawn, "commoners" would still be in the White House.

Moving forward through history, the narrator began to discuss how in the mid-19th century slavery had begun to tear the country apart. He stated that a new President was needed to rise to the challenge. At this point, the Lincoln-Douglas debates were once again shown and Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech. An image of Lincoln being elected in 1860 followed, as the narrator talked about how we needed a leader who could hold the country together, even as it was seemingly falling apart.

The next image to appear on screen showed Abraham Lincoln alone and talking to himself. He said:

"I know that there is a God, and that he hates injustice and slavery. And I see the storm coming, I know his hand is in it. If he has a place of work for me, and I think he has, I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. And with God's help I shall not fail. "
 Abraham Lincoln painting Hall of Presidents
Abraham Lincoln in the White House just prior to the beginning of the Civil War.

The beginning of the Civil War at Fort Sumter was then shown, before the conflict was depicted through images of Union and Confederate soldiers. The narrator then told guests that after 500,000 Americans had died, America needed meaning to come from all the tragedy.

At this point, the film screen rose to show an Audio Animatronic Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address.

After his speech, the narrator said that with the Civil War over, America was united at last. Images of the Continental Railroad and the Western Frontier were then shown, representing the idea that America had grown and moved west. Teddy Roosevelt then appeared on the screen and the narrator informed guests that although he was born an aristocrat, Roosevelt fought for the working class. In fact, Roosevelt was the one who refused to call the Executive Mansion by its name, instead just calling it a "White House". The next president mentioned was Franklin Delenor Roosevelt, who guests were told was called upon to the lead the nation through its darkest hours since the Civil War. The Depression and the Stock Market Crash of 1929 were then depicted, followed by WWII. The narrator said that when America's confidence was shaken, FDR was there to reassure us. A fireside chat was then heard, with FDR saying:

"Let us unite in banishing fear, together we cannot fail"

Following his chat, various Americans were heard writing letters to FDR, to both thank him and explain their situations.

Moving forward to the 1960s, a video clip of John F. Kennedy was shown where the President said:

"Let the word go forth, from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans."

The film noted that Kennedy inspired Americans into new civic activism, as images of Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists appeared on the screen. The images then changed to a large picture of the Lincoln Memorial as the narrator gave a short speech.

It has always been the role of Presidents to remind us of our roots, to call us to our future. At their best moments they speak words that are already there in our hearts, especially in times of tragedy.

A montage of Presidential speeches was then shown including:

  • Lyndon Johnson after John F. Kennedy was assassinated- "All I have, I would have given gladly, not to be standing here today."
  • Ronald Reagan after the Challenger explosion- "We mourn seven heroes; we mourn their loss as a nation together."
  • Bill Clinton after the Oklahoma City Bombings- "You have lost too much, but you have certainly not lost America. For we will stand with you."
  • George W. Bush at Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 attacks- "I can hear you! I can hear you; the rest of the world hears you!"
 President Obama Hall of Presidents
A close up of the President Obama Audio Animatronic (Photo: Lauren Javier)

Finally, the narrator gave one final speech as the Space Shuttle Columbia was shown launching for the first time:

"And as our journeys continue, what once seemed revolutionary, now seems profoundly simple. That we should choose our own leaders. That our hopes should be their hopes, our fears their fears, and our dreams their dreams. Ladies and gentlemen the Presidents of the United States."

As the narrator was finishing, the video screen on the main stage rose, revealing Audio Animatronics of every United States President. A Presidential roll call was then taken, where each President was introduced and spotlighted. After the roll call George Washington began to speak:

"My fellow citizens, no event could have filled me with greater anxiety then that notification on the 14th day of April 1789, that you had selected me to head our nation. But it is with the confidence of my fellow citizens that I took an oath, 35 simple words that have been repeated by every American President throughout history. As long as that oath is taken, and solemnly fulfilled, the American Dream will endure."

After Washington was finished, Barrack Obama began to recite the Oath of the President.

"I Barrack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States. And will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God."

Barrack Obama was then introduced by the narrator before he gave the final speech of the attraction:

"The American dream is as old as our founding, but as timeless as our hopes. It is born every day in the heart of every child, who wakes up in a land of limitless possibilities, in a country where "We the people" means all the people. We may come from different places and believe in different things, but what makes us Americans is a shared spirit. A spirit of courage and determination, of honor and generosity. It is a spirit grounded in the generations that have gone before us, but open to the unimaginable discoveries and possibilities on the horizon that lies ahead. Let us enjoy it, cherish it, defend it, and pass it on to our children as the bright and beautiful blessing it is. This enduring American Dream"

As the curtains closed and guests exited the attraction, the Battle Hymn of the Republic plays.

Fourth Version (2017-Present)

The current version of the Hall of Presidents begins with a brief dedication to Walt Disney. The show itself then opens on large screens with a scene depicting the end of the Revolutionary War. After briefly recapping George Washington’s victory over the British, it then cuts to Philadelphia in 1787 where the Constitution has been completed. As part of the new government the narrator states:

Curators working on the new Hall of Presidents lobby exhibits.
"They imagine something new in the history of the world. A leader not born to power like a king or queen, a leader who has not ceased power through conquest. A leader who is not seprate from the people, but elected by the people, from among the people. We the people. This is a new idea, an American idea, the idea of a President".

As images of George Washington crossing the Delaware River and fighting the British flash on the screen, the narrator notes that although the American people don't fully know what a President will be, they know Washington will be the first one. The military leader had not used his victory to create a dictatorship, but instead resigned from the army and went home to Mount Vernon.

When he receives the notification that he has been elected as the first President of the United States of America, Washington states, "Integrity and firmness is all I can promise". Despite these reservations, Washington is perfect for the role, and almost every move he makes is set as precedent. Perhaps most importantly, Washington steps down after two terms in office.

At this point, the film begins to quickly show the Presidents that America elects to succeed Washington. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan all briefly appear on screen as the narrator points out that America chose very different Presidents in its infant years. After 15 Presidents however, the country finds itself in crisis.

 Young Lincoln Hall of Presidents
A young Abraham Lincoln as shown in the Hall of Presidents.

As images of slavery appear on screen, the narrator notes that the institution continues within the new republic. As the country pushes west, there is bitter debate about whether slavery will be allowed to spread with it. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln appears on the national scene and gives his famous "house divided" speech. With his election however; the United States does divide.

As the bombardment of Fort Sumter is depicted, the Civil War begins and eleven states succeed from the Union. With images of the war flashing, the narrator notes that the inner strength and character of Abraham Lincoln was tested. The 16th President was raised on the frontier and suffered many personal losses in his childhood. Despite his struggle with depression, he is determined to rise above it, and leave the world a better place.

In the midst of the war, the narrator tells the audience that Lincoln fights to keep the Union together and end slavery. The scene then cuts to the battle of Gettysburg, six months after which Lincoln gives his famous dedication. At this point the middle of the screen rises to show an Audio Animatronic Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address.

Following the end of the Civil War, slavery was ended and the country exploded west. As the nation approached the 20th century, immigrants poured into the United States and the economy tripled. As cities emerged and the county became a superpower, a young Theodore Roosevelt moved west to escape his personal troubles. As images of the industrial revolution and the conflict between labor and management appear on screen, the narrator notes that change was needed. With this unrest as background, Theodore Roosevelt became President, crusading for workers’ rights and promising a "square deal for every man and every woman in the United States". At this time, Roosevelt and his commitment to the natural parks is also briefly shown.

 Hall of Presidents Donald Trump
The Audio Animatronic of President Trump delivering his speech.

Moving forward to the 1930s, images of the stock market crash of 1928 and the beginning of the Great Depression appear on screen. In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt is elected President. After showing Roosevelt's fireside chats, the narrator notes that even with the Depression going on, Roosevelt must guide the country through WWII. As images and video of the American mobilization effort play on screen Roosevelt declares:

"We must be the great arsenal of democracy. This is an emergency as serious as war itself."

After the end of World War II, images of the 1940s and 50s America are shown. Brief speeches of 20th century presidents are then played. Including:

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Space Race (1960)
  • John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address (1961)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson's We Shall Overcome Speech (1965)
  • Jimmy Carter signing the Camp David Accords (1978)
  • Ronald Reagan's Berlin Wall speech (1987)
  • Bill Clinton's speech following the Oklahoma City Bombing (1995)
  • George W. Bush's speech at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks (2001).
 Hall of Presidents Joe Biden
The Audio Animatronic of President Biden delivering his speech in the current version of the attraction.
  • Barack Obama's speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches (2011).

Following the end of the montage, the screens rise to reveal the 44 Presidents of the United States on stage. After a roll call is taken, George Washington then briefly remarks:

My fellow citizens, no event could have filled me with greater anxiety than that notification on the 14th day of April, 1789, that you had selected me to lead our nation. But it was with the confidence of my fellow citizens that I took an oath—35 simple words that have been repeated by every American president throughout history. As long as that oath is taken and solemnly fulfilled, the American dream will endure.

After Washington’s comments, President Biden repeats the oath of the Presidency. At the conclusion of President Trump’s oath, the narrator reinforces that the Presidency is entrusted to the President by "We the people". Following these remarks, the curtains lower and the show ends.

Cast [18]


Narrator- Lawrence Dobkin

Abraham Lincoln- Royal Dano

George Washington- Paul Frees

Stephen Douglas- Paul Frees

Governor Mifflen- Paul Frees

Andrew Jackson- Dallas Mckennon

Benjamin Franklin- Lawrence Dobkin


Narrator- Maya Angelo

Abraham Lincoln- Pete Reneday

Bill Clinton-Himself


Narrator- JD Hall

Abraham Lincoln- Pete Reneday

George W. Bush- Himself


Narrator- Morgan Freeman

Abraham Lincoln- Royal Dano

George Washington- David Morse

Barrack Obama- Himself



Abraham Lincoln-

George Washington- David Morse

Donald Trump- Himself

Joe Biden- Himself

Watch the Show!

To watch the Hall of Presidents click below. The picture gets much clearer about 40 seconds in.

Fun Facts and Trivia

Blaine Gibson George W. Bush Hall of Presidents
  • Disney Legend Blaine Gibson sculpted every President in the Hall of Presidents, except for Barrack Obama and Donald Trump [19].
  • President Obama was sculpted by Gibson's protegee Valerie Edwards with oversight by Gibson [19].
  • Other than the White House, The Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World is the only other place where the Presidential Seal can be used. In fact, it took an act of Congress to allow Disney to use the seal [20].
  • Bill Clinton's speech was written by lyricist Tim Rice [21].
  • First Lady Hillary Clinton got the final say about how her husband's Audio Animatronic should look [22].
  • The Presidential roll call must be re-recorded every time a new President is added [23].
  • The Audio Animatronics of Presidents Lincoln, Washington, Obama and Trump are some of the most technologically advanced in Disney World [24].
  • John DeCuir was in charge of Art Direction for The Hall of Presidents [25].
  • During his Presidency, Donald Trump gave the following speech in the Hall of Presidents final act:
"From the beginning, America has been a nation defined by its people. At our founding, it was the American people who rose up to defend our freedoms and win our independence. It is why our founders began our great constitution with three very simple words: we the people. Since that moment, each generation of Americans has taken its place in the defense of our freedom, our flag, and our nation under God. These are the achievements of the American spirit, the spirit of a people who fought and died to bring the blessings of liberty to all our people. Above all, to be American is to be an optimist, to believe that we can always do better, and that the best days of our great nation are still ahead of us. It's a privilege to serve as the president of the United States, to stand here among so many great leaders of our past, and to work on behalf of the American people."


  2. 2.0 2.1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3
  19. 19.0 19.1
  25. Sklar, Marty. Dream It! Do It!: My Half-century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms. Disney Editions, 2013. Print.