There has been much furor in recent days over the announcement that Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents will be closed for extensive maintenance and plussing. At first, it was rumored that the long refurbishment time for the attraction was due to the fact that all of the seats were being replaced (apparently guests are, on average, much larger to day than they were back when this attraction was first opened). However, rumors quickly began to spread that significant changes were being made to the attraction itself.
What changes? To make sure that we are not accidentally spreading substantiated rumors, we’ll let Managio Blunder — supposed Disney Director of Imagination Marketing — speak for himself: “The changes to the Hall of Presidents really aren’t anything to get excited about. We have been planning to plus the attraction for years, and when we noticed that a lot of materials were being created for Hong Kong Disneyland, we just decided to make an extra set that could be used to plus our attraction. So all we’re doing is adding Disney characters in a few key areas — Mickey advising George Washington, Stitch rooting around in Lincoln’s pants, that kind of thing — which our surveys show is what guests want. They want more characters. We’ll also be removing some of the less popular presidents and replacing them with leaders of other countries — such as France, Japan, and China — in the name of diversity. Oh, and we’re replacing that sappy opening speech with Disney Channel ads. Really, there’s no reason to get all worked up.”
Recently, the family of Disney Legend Blaine Gibson wrote to the Walt Disney Company, threatening mass suicide if the changes went through. Disney responded that they believed the changes were in keeping with the attraction’s original intent, “to delight guests with the great leaders of history.”
Because Warren G. Harding is one of the presidential figures scheduled for replacement, a group protesting the changes has gathered under the banner, “Stop the War on Harding.” They have set up a Web site, are gathering e-signatures, and promise to “keep bugging Disney until they get a clue.”
We’ll keep you posted as events develop!