A few weeks ago, the news broke that The Walt Disney Company purchased the global rights to Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway masterpiece, Hamilton. Miranda himself appears to be on a quest for the coveted title, Disney Legend. Beyond selling the rights to his musical, the man wrote the songs for Moana, starred in Marry Poppins Returns, among other roles he’s done with Disney. As we get set to see a full, unedited live-capture filming of Hamilton with its original cast hit North American movie theaters in 2021, the potential is building for a new shakeup at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Disney has the perfect opportunity to further collaborate with Lin Manuel Miranda and put a Hamilton spin on Liberty Square, and the Hall of Presidents at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, as well as the American Adventure Pavilion at EPCOT.
Hamilton-Style American History in Disney Parks
Imagine, you just get out of the Haunted Mansion, and are starting to walk through Liberty Square back to the central hub, when a group of Cast Members in Colonial Gear comes out, gather by the Liberty Bell and start sharing stories from American History Hamilton style. (Seriously, forget about the Muppets. Imagine what a Hamilton-style telling of Paul Revere would be like.) Then you go to at and see a live show.
Or you’re taking a lap around World Showcase at EPCOT and as you reach the host pavilion, The American Adventure, and you see a Hamilton group sharing the same space as Voices of Liberty. Or perhaps even a PG-13 rated summary of the show on either stage.
Disney letting the American History focus points of its parks be influenced by Hamilton could bring a much-needed update to those areas and reinvigorate interest in American History as Walt Disney intended to from the beginning. It would also strengthen the immersion levels of those park areas.
Lin Manuel Miranda could also step into an Imagineering role of sorts and be involved with the shows himself. Growing up a Disney fan himself, this writer is confident Miranda would not throw away his shot to put his mark on Disneyland or any of the Disney parks. In fact, he would jump at the opportunity.
Will Disney Do It? Should Disney Do It?
But here’s the problem. The liberties that Lin Manuel Miranda took in telling the story of Alexander Hamilton sparked harsh criticism from those who prefer a classic and traditional style to American History. The traditionalists find sanctuary right now in Disney’s expositions of America at Liberty Square and the American Adventure Pavilion. If Disney were to include Hamilton-inspired shows, they would have to share the space with the more traditional shows already running.
Still, it would be an amazing addition to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. But after watching the , we understand how making modern updates to a timeless can backfire drastically. We can only hope at least considers making the shows.