Disney World may end a 24-year tradition by silencing animatronic President Trump when he's added to the Hall of Presidents. The imminent addition of Trump to the 46-year-old attraction hasn't been without controversy—multiple petitions garnering thousands of signatures want the current president excluded altogether—but neither Disney nor the White House has commented on the plan for Trump's appearance in the Hall of Presidents. But a source "close to Walt Disney Imagineering" tells Motherboard the theme park is trying to find a "middle ground" because of "how polarizing the president is right now." The source says Disney doesn't want to look like they're endorsing "some of Trump's more controversial policies."
That middle ground might involve keeping robo-Trump from speaking. Starting with Bill Clinton in 1993, the Hall of Presidents gave the current leader of the country a speech alongside those by Lincoln and Washington. George W. Bush got one; so did Barack Obama. But the source tells Motherboard the attraction will likely end that format with Trump. The source says Disney has a number of options to justify the decision. It may reduce the attraction's overall running time, cutting other features as well. In addition, Trump hasn't been responsive to Disney's requests to record his speech. The Hall of Presidents is currently closed while Disney installs the animatronic Trump. Read Motherboard's full piece here to learn how visitors and employees have protested previous robo-presidents. (Read more Disney World stories.)