Recently, a gruesome and tiring presidential election finally came to a dramatic close. On the late hours of November 8th and into the early morning of the 9th, the results were still pouring in and finally a winner was declared to be the upcoming 45th president of the United States. Not only is America heading for a major transition this coming January, but once again, Walt Disney World's famous Hall of Presidents attraction, located right in the heart of Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square, will be closing its doors through mid-June 2017 in order to make way for the addition of the newly elected president. The change marks the first time that an Audio-Animatronic will be added to the attraction since the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, and time will tell how the change will develop with the new technological advances that the Walt Disney Company has developed since the addition of Obama.
As our nation learned last month, our country might be more deeply divided than we may have thought. Some of those politics that has divided us has also poured its way into the Disney fan community as well as the theme park community. Many of the issues that have become one of discussion within theme park circles is in regards to Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents, both before and after the results of the election. I've seen many fans call for a boycott of the attraction. Even though they have nothing but love for it, they say they would not enter if doing so would mean seeing the inclusion of a candidate that they and their values oppose. I have seen others suggest that maybe it's perhaps time for Disney to shutter the attraction's doors permanently instead of adding a figure of a person that stand so much against the company's very core values. Rest assured, I feel the exact same emotions that many have felt this election, some of those including fear, disappointment and sadness. Now those issues have found its way into a fandom that usually offers an escape from the outside world, and a community that should be dedicated on tolerance and acceptance. Instead, the issues that have divided us have only found its way in dividing us even further.
Walt Disney World has faced this issue again and again after the outcome of each presidential election, and it certainly won't be the last time that they do. What makes Hall of Presidents such a world-class leader in its spectacle and cultural relevance is its ability time and time again to showcase the evolution of the United States through the ages. It showcases the fundamental values of America, told through its history and evolution of our democracy. Regardless of your political status, Hall of Presidents showcases that, as a nation, we have succeeded through triumphs and distressed through tragedies, but have also always made it through our dark times and rebuilt a bigger and brighter future. There have been great presidents and disappointing presidents, but Hall of Presidents isn't about what divides us, it's about what connects us. It's a showcase of our progress and our failures, and that it is only when we work together as a nation that we can truly succeed. No matter how dark the time may seem or which candidate is joining the stage in June, we are all bound together by our love of the country. Only when we come to realize that, can we succeed as a nation.
In that regard, to suggest a boycott of the show would be against the attraction's core values that it is so carefully defined to be. Sure, the Hall of Presidents is a show based on the U.S. political system, but the attraction leaves the politics at home and instead showcases our evolution as a democracy. Despite the bad times or how dark things will seem, we always keep fighting for a better tomorrow. Despite our divide, we are always united in more ways than we might imagine. Hall of Presidents teaches us not to forget about the very values that America stands on as the key to our success.
So while The Hall of Presidents heads for its long refurbishment, let's allow ourselves to realize that regardless of what our political status leaves us to believe, that this attraction reminds us to stay strong, and that things can, and will get better. That when we work together as a nation is when the country truly strives and we can all create a great big beautiful tomorrow.
Hall of Presidents will re-open in June of 2017 with the inclusion of President-elect Trump. Until then, enjoy hourly showings of The Muppets Present: Great Moments in American History located right in front of the attraction!