Disney’s famous Florida attraction the “Hall of Presidents” now features an animatronic Donald Trump amongst the likes of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
The animated facsimile of Trump, the United States 45th president, stands front and centre for the re-opening of the long-time Disney World attraction.
The figure of Trump will move his head during the roll call of US president, motioning with his arms and giving a short speech. Trump recorded lines for the attraction earlier in 2017, as part of a tradition with every president since Bill Clinton.
Debuting in 1971, the Hall of Presidents has been updated with every new president since. After its close in January this year the attraction was given an upgrade in sound, lighting and projection departments.
Many online commentators have since joked that the animatronic Trump bears a resemblance to Hollywood actor Jon Voight.
Delays in the opening of the attraction have generated rumours about internal disputes regarding Trump being displayed in the Hall of Presidents.
An online petition that reached over 15,000 signatures declared that Trump’s election platform of “hateful speech, misogyny and xenophobia” made him unfit to be featured in the family friendly attraction.
Disney however seemed to ignore this request and continued with installing the Trump animatronic. Regardless of sentiments about the sitting president, the speech he gives in the Hall of Presidents is considered fairly benign.
Declaring the need for Americans to be “optimistic” and stating he was proud to serve as president, Trump’s brief speech is unlikely to spark any controversy. In fact, omitting Trump from the Hall of Presidents would have generated more controversy from his supporters than Disney would probably have welcomed.
Apart from being compared in likeness to Jon Voight, online commentators have also drawn a likeness between the puppet and Angela Lansbury, Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future films and even Trump’s 2016 campaign rival Hilary Clinton.
The world famous wax museum; Madame Tussauds took to twitter to make a joke at Disney’s expense regarding the animatronic Trump. In a side by side image of the wax museum’s version of Trump vs Disney’s puppet, Tussauds joked saying “me at the start of 2017 vs. me now”.
The attraction will be re-opened this Christmas. It features animatronic versions of several key American presidents who each introduce each other and give short speeches about the American spirit as well as the constitution.
Trump has been a controversial president since his election last year, recently fuelling tensions between the United States and its allies towards China.
Despite Trump’s unpopularity with several Americans, analysts have said it was a smart move for Disney to continue with the puppet as planned and not make it a political issue.