Complaints Grow About “Stupid” Guests Interrupting Disney’s Most Political Show

in Walt Disney World

hall of presidents

Credit: Quartz

When visiting Walt Disney World, what exactly first comes to mind? Fast rides like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster? Creepy dark rides like Haunted Mansion? Maybe even the iconic Cinderella Castle in the center of Magic Kingdom? All of these are good answers and are what most people first think of when planning a Disney trip.

American history, on the other hand, may not even cross your mind when visiting the Disney Parks.

disney world american flag with cinderella castle
Credit: Disney

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While it may come as a surprise to some, American history is a crucial part of the Disney Parks. Walt Disney had a fascination with history as well as the future. This was a key component of the original idea behind EPCOT.

“EPCOT,” Walt explained, “will take its queue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed. But will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and new systems. And Epcot will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise… an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will always be in a state of becoming it will never cease to be a living blueprint of the future where people can actually live a life that they can’t find anywhere else in the world.”

While EPCOT has certainly changed both in its design and aesthetic, EPCOT’s future leans closer and closer to what Walt originally set out to create.

The exterior of Connections Eatery under Spaceship Earth.
Credit: Disney

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But back to the topic at hand.

Disney World features many attractions that are both enjoyable and educational. At Magic Kingdom, Guests can kick back, enjoy the air conditioning while giving their feet a break while learning about the various Presidents at the aptly-titled Hall of Presidents.

Walt first created Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln for Disneyland and then had the idea to expand that idea at Walt Disney World Resort with The Hall of Presidents. The show was Walt’s idea, which is exciting as it is an attraction he thought up that Guests can only enjoy at Magic Kingdom. However, Walt passed away before his vision came to life.

magic kingdom crowd levels memorial day weekend
Credit: Inside the Magic

Walt Disney, of course, also had a fascination with railroads, something critical to the early development of America as we know it today. Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World feature a railroad and train that Guests can hop aboard.

When Walt passed, Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, took charge to keep the Disney legacy alive and growing, and he remembered how much Walt loved the idea of having The Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom. Because of this, Roy decided that he was going to make sure that his idea would come to life.

Now, nearly 50 years later, the attraction still stands with fantastic animatronics and high-quality technology running the show.

hall of presidents
Credit: Quartz

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Unfortunately, because of the political nature of the show, some Guests experience heckling, cheering, and general interruptions the show. The current political climate in America certainly has something to do with the uptick in crowd “participation” during the attraction.

In the past, we have covered examples of situations where Guests cheered after former President Donald Trump was announced at the attraction. This actually lead a Cast Member to warn the Guests to quiet down and not disrupt the show.

A discussion was sparked on this very topic after a Guest complained about the show being interrupted online. The full post reads:

“Hey everyone, first post here!

Me and my SO are on our trip to WDW, and today is our first full day at Magic Kingdom.

In the morning we visited the Hall of Presidents, and to our surprise at the end when they are naming all of the presidents- Trump got some big cheers, followed by someone shouting insults when Biden was saying his swear in. Which was promptly followed by more people yelling ‘Shut Up’!

Our last trip was in 2019 (before Covid), but we never experienced that then.

What are other peoples recent experiences of the ride? Did we encounter a bad egg? Or is this happening frequently now?”

hall of presidents joe biden
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney World Attraction Permanently Removed Days Early

While this isn’t the most pressing issue facing the Walt Disney World Resort at the moment, it is sad that Guests’ experiences can be tarnished due to crowds who may choose to interrupt the show. Guests are always encouraged to stay silent and put away all phones and devices before any show starts at Walt Disney World.

Responses to this post ranged from frustration, confusion, anger, and laughter. Many called these interruptions, which some had also encountered themselves, “embarrassing” and “cringe“.

One user said:

“Dread that stuff like this will happen is why I can’t ever bring myself to go in there anymore. The cheering and booing I’ve experienced a couple times is so so cringe.”

Another said:

“I can’t believe people pay hundreds of dollars for a trip to a theme park just to act like that”

Another user put it quite bluntly:

“People are stupid. Just the idea of cheering on any politician like you would a sports team is idiotic. Much more so with an animatronic.”

50th castle disney world
Credit: ITM

Of course, Disney encourages its Guests to remain seated and not to interrupt any of its live entertainment offerings. The Hall of Presidents has been a pretty hot topic in the Disney Parks community since the 2016 election. In fact, Disney fans did not hold back voicing their opinions regarding Disney’s Hall of Presidents attraction as Disney closed the attraction to make way for a new animatronic showcasing President Donald Trump.

A now-removed petition garnered over 15,000 signatures at one point, with “passionate” Disney fans wanting the theme park to break tradition and not allow the Trump audio-animatronic to speak within the attraction. And, once the Donald Trump animatronic debuted, other Disney fans demanded it to be redone.

Disney World continued on with the planned refurbishment, and eventually, a Donald Trump animatronic was added to the Hall of Presidents. And more recently, Disney continued this tradition and added our now President — Joe Biden — to the Liberty Square attraction.

hall of presidents
Credit: Disney

It is important to remember that Walt Disney World has quite a few rules laid out for Guests to follow when visiting. The following activities are prohibited on the property:

  • The sale of goods or services, or the display of goods or services, unless prior written approval has been obtained.
  • The distribution of printed or recorded materials of any kind unless prior written approval has been obtained.
  • Engaging with other Guests or impeding operations while posing as or portraying any character in costume.
  • Engaging in any unsafe act or other act that may impede the operation of the Walt Disney World Resort or any part thereof.
  • Unauthorized access or entry into backstage areas or areas designated only for Cast Members.
  • Unauthorized events, speeches, or use of any flag, banner, sign or other material for commercial purposes, or as part of a demonstration.
  • Photography, videotaping or recording of any kind, or otherwise engaging in any activity, for unapproved commercial purposes.
  • Unauthorized solicitations of any kind, whether commercial, religious, educational or otherwise, or conducting any unauthorized commercial activities, including solicitations of money or other contributions or donations.
  • Obstructing sidewalks, entrances, driveways, patios, vestibules, stairways, corridors, halls or landings.
  • Hanging any clothing, towels, bedding or other similar items over or on balconies at a Disney Resort hotel or from fire suppression sprinklers.

More on The Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom below:

In the Presence of the Presidents

Take your seat in the stately theater, home to 3 massive digital projection screens and a grand proscenium. Watch an original film—developed by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian—that tells the dramatic story of the nation’s founding.

Learn about the formation of our Constitution and the hard-fought struggles along the way—such as the American Revolution and the Civil War. Listen to the stirring words of John F. Kennedy echo through the theater and watch Abraham Lincoln—in attendance on stage—deliver his Gettysburg address.

The Presidents Will See You Now
Watch the curtain rise to reveal startlingly realistic Audio-Animatronics replicas of every President of the United States—together for the very first time. Hear a speech delivered by George Washington and a recorded performance of the oath of office by the newest addition to the Hall, 46th President Joe Biden.

Wondering why there are 45 and not 46 figures onstage? Because Grover Cleveland served 2 non-consecutive terms as both the 22nd and 24th president.

Creating the Presidents

Originally conceived as animated wax figures, the Presidents didn’t meet Walt Disney’s approval, so he tasked Walt Disney Imagineering to develop the first Audio-Animatronics figure in human form.

The result was the groundbreaking Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, which debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The Hall of Presidents built upon the show’s legacy—expanding it to all Presidents—when it opened in 1971.

Have you ever encountered any issues or interruptions at Walt Disney World?

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