Roughly four years ago we wrote an article asking the question: should Disney close the Hall of Presidents permanently? This was just after Donald Trump had won the election by a fairly thin margin. The country was divided more than ever and at the time it seemed like a topic worth exploring.
Now here we are in 2021 and the United States has come together. Democrats and Republicans are able to agree to disagree. The divisiveness has stopped and not only have elected officials been able to create peace and unity, so have the American people. You can see it in the comments section of any article written about politics.
Of course, that’s total bullshit. If anything, the fire that continues to burn inside the dumpster that is American politics has had gasoline poured on it almost daily over the last four years. This comes from all sides.
Which brings me to this. If you see someone comment on this article with typical political BS about Democrats/Republicans or Trump/Biden being part of the problem, those people are the reason why we need to look at the Hall of Presidents closing. They read the headline (and not the article, certainly not this paragraph) and made a gut reaction. If you choose to respond without reading the article, I can send you several social media accounts that post thought-provoking memes that may be more your speed. I digress.
All too often in modern times, people’s knee jerk response to politics is anger. Just flat out hatred of one side or the other. Many just hate the thought of politics because you can’t get away from it online, on television and even at your family dinner table. People need an escape.
Yet, when you visit the Magic Kingdom (ya know, a place designed as an escape from reality) at Walt Disney World, you have an option to visit an attraction that centers around politics. Now to be clear, the newest version of the Hall of Presidents (in my opinion) is the best version of the show that has ever run since 1971. It’s well written, profound and actually entertaining.
However, despite the show being written in such a way that avoids party politics altogether, Disney knows the topic of the Presidency is controversial. Since the new version has opened, two to three Disney security cast members are stationed in the theater and rotunda for every show. Why? To try and keep the peace in case someone decides to create a scene.
No other time in Disney history has an attraction (I’m sure the internet will correct me if I’m wrong) had to staff security just in case there is an incident due to the controversial nature of the attraction.
I’m not here to dispute any election results. I’m not here to tell you that this is anyone’s fault. You can believe whatever you want. However, at what point does merely having a show named “The Hall of Presidents” no longer become part of the escape that is the Disney experience?
Simply by having the sitting President speak in the show it eliminates roughly 49.6% (give or take) of the American population from walking in the doors. You’ve heard it and so have I. “I’m not going in there as long as (insert President name here) is on stage.”
Fun fact: that (insert President name here) is a robot that doesn’t give a damn whether you come in the theater or not. By merely occupying a seat in the audience, many people believe that it somehow shows allegiance to the current (robotic) President. Yet, somehow if you weren’t a fan of what Nixon did in Watergate, it doesn’t seem to stop people from visiting the Hall of Presidents. (Yes, he’s in there too.)
As of the writing of this article, Disney has yet to even announce or hint at a closure of The Hall of Presidents to install a Joe Biden animatronic. Why? Despite, the electoral college certifying that he has won, there are doubts that our democratic system was upheld during the last election. Between Congress and several rallies, it seems we may not have a smooth transition of power. I’m not here to tell you who is right or wrong in that fight. Please calm down. More to the point, it shows that (yet again) the Presidency and politics are a hotbed of controversy that gets folks fired up at the mere mention of it.
The controversial nature of a sitting President isn’t going away anytime soon. Neither is the divisiveness, the name calling and the anxiety that comes along with the word “politics”. Thus, if not now, when is the right time to pull the plug on the Hall of Presidents? Your thoughts?
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