Guest Disgusted After Others Politicize Walt Disney World Experience

in Walt Disney World

Left: A screenshot from a TikTok - a woman smiles at the camera next to the logo for Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary with text that says "my bad/sad experience at disney world." Right: A still image from the Hall of Presidents, featuring Abraham Lincoln sitting center stage.

Throughout the last few years, we’ve reported an uptick in political disruptions at Disney Parks. From political clothing choices to protests boldly flying Nazi flags, the United States’ tumultuous political climate has made its mark on Walt Disney World Resort.

One Guest detailed a disheartening, politically-charged experience she had at Magic Kingdom on TikTok:

@darnelladunham

I know I chose simple words to describe this experience at @Walt Disney World, but #bad and #sad feel the most appropriate. @Disney Parks delivers great customer service, and it’s unfortunate that a complaint from me would change absolutely nothing. #Disney #HallOfPresidents #DisneyWorld #WaltDisneyWorld #DisneyParks @Disney

♬ original sound – Darnella Dunham

Darnella Dunham visited the Disney Park with her two nine-year-olds. It was their first visit, and she wanted her children to witness Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Dunham visited Walt Disney World Resort when she was around the same age and vividly remembered watching The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square. She said she “really appreciated” the experience, especially the audio-animatronic figures of each United States President.

hall of presidents joe biden
Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, Dunham had a less-than-magical experience revisiting The Hall of Presidents with her children. As each president’s name is called, a spotlight shines on his respective audio-animatronic figure. For most of this scene, Dunham said other Guests were quiet and respectful.

“President Trump…people, like, burst out in applause,” Dunham recalled. “That’s cool if you support Trump, but that’s not what people were doing. Everybody was just being respectful.”

hall of presidents
Credit: ABC

Dunham wasn’t upset by the cheering but was disgusted when what appeared to be the same Guests booed for President Joe Biden. “If you cheered for Trump, that’s one thing. But to boo Biden was just so disrespectful because, at the end of the day, I’m sure plenty of people in that auditorium were not supporters of Donald Trump. But they didn’t boo him when his name was announced, and his figure started moving.”

“It was really disheartening that people brought that energy to Disney,” Dunham said. “It just seemed inappropriate. Hopefully, the divisiveness in our country when it comes to politics will die down sooner than later because it’s a really good experience. But it just kind of sucks that people ruin this wonderful, educational opportunity for children by bringing politics and making it feel so hateful when, ultimately, Walt Disney just wanted to celebrate the Presidents of the United States.”

Hall of Presidents at magic kingdom
Credit: Disney

In the caption, Dunham noted that while Walt Disney World Resort is known for excellent customer service, she was disappointed that a complaint about this behavior at The Hall of Presidents would likely make no difference.

More on The Hall of Presidents

hall of presidents
Credit: Disney

The Hall of Presidents opened alongside Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. After each presidential election, a new audio-animatronic is added to reflect the nation’s latest leader. From Disney:

Behold all 45 Presidents of the United States in a stirring show tracing the nation’s history. 

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.

hall of presidents
Credit: Disney

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 witnessed a disruption at The Hall of Presidents? 

View Comments (8)