The park’s Hall of Presidents attraction will feature an audio-animatronic representation of Trump when it reopens in late 2017, Disney Parks editorial content director Thomas Smith wrote in a blog post.
“Despite some media reports to the contrary, President Trump will have a speaking role in The Hall of Presidents, like every president since 1993,” Smith wrote in the post. Disney Parks has been “working closely with the current White House — just as we have with previous administrations — and the president’s recording session has been scheduled,” Smith added.
Disney was disputing the accuracy of a report Monday by Vice’s Motherboard, which alleged that there was internal debate at Disney Parks about how to deal with Trump’s presence in the Hall of Presidents, including “whether he would have a speaking role.” The Motherboard story, citing a source close to Disney employees, has since been retracted, and Vice issued a statement citing the article’s factual errors and questions about its sourcing.
Earlier this year, nearly 15,000 people signed a Change.org petition requesting that Disney keep the 45th U.S. president out of the lineup. “The Magic Kingdom at Disney World is a place specifically designed for the enjoyment of children and families. Therefore, it is not an appropriate place for a Donald Trump speech,” reads the petition, launched in January.
Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Iger earlier this month resigned from the White House’s advisory council after Trump said the U.S. would pull out of the Paris climate accord.
The Hall of Presidents, located in the Magic Kingdom Park’s Liberty Square, is currently closed as the attraction is being revamped to include Trump.
With the addition of the Trump robot, the Hall of Presidents will get a brand-new show and a theater upgrade including a new sound system, lighting and HD projection system, according to Smith.