In a statement given to News 13, a Walt Disney World spokesperson definitively said Disney intends to give the Audio-Animatronics figure of President Trump a speaking role in the classic Walt Disney World attraction. “The same thing that we’ve done with other presidents, is the same plan we have for President Trump,” added the spokesperson.
A popular Vice article in May on the “drama” behind Trump’s addition to the attraction noted that it may the White House’s lack of speedy cooperation that could eventually lead to the Trump animatronic staying silent, if they do not allow Disney the time to record the President’s speech. Every new President of the United States since Bill Clinton has recorded a speech for Disney to use in the Hall of Presidents. President Trump, so far, has not.
UPDATE (6/28/17): Vice has retracted both the article referenced above and a more recent story of theirs on so-called “drama” behind the Hall of Presidents. In their place, a note and apology from Vice’s editor remains:
After a thorough investigation into the sourcing of two stories, “Here’s the Secret Backstage Trump Drama at Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents” and “Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Donald Trump ‘Hall of Presidents’ Installation”, and the identification of several factual errors, we have decided to retract both pieces. We are conducting a full editorial review to pinpoint how this source was vetted, and how these stories were approved and published in violation of our usual editorial workflow. We fell short of our standards, and regret the error.
The rest of our original article remains intact below.
Disney has also now stated that the Hall of Presidents will reopen with Trump added in “late 2017” at the Magic Kingdom, rather than the mid-summer debut previously anticipated. The attraction has been closed to make the changes since January 17.
Since Disney first announced that Donald Trump would be coming to the Hall of Presidents in animatronic form, fans have been split with their opinion of the addition, some even signing a petition to keep the new figure silent. (The petition only reached 14,697 supporters, 303 short of its goal.)
More recently, just three weeks ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned from Trump’s business advisory council amidst the controversy surrounding the President’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
While it is still not clear if Disney’s current plan to have Trump speak in the Hall of Presidents will actually come to fruition, it is a definite that the Magic Kingdom attraction will not reopen by June 29th, its previously scheduled debut date. This year, Independence Day will come and go while the Hall of Presidents remains closed.
Until then, Orlando visitors in search of an up-close encounter with the President can already find a lifelike wax figure of him on display at Madame Tussaud’s on an Oval Office set: