Whether you live here or are just visiting the United States for vacation, did you know you can learn about American History while you are at Disney World? These are the two attractions you must go while at Disney if you are interested in learning more about our amazing history including about all the American Presidents.
The Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom
ABOUT THE ATTRACTION: Located at Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom. This attraction shows you all 45 Presidents of the United States in an amazing show going over the nation’s history. It is open to any height and any age. The show is approximately 25 minutes long and it runs continuously throughout the day. Make sure to check the large clock hanging under the marquee for the next showtime.
HOW IT WAS BUILT: It was originally opened as animated wax figures show, however, the Presidents didn’t meet Walt Disney’s approval. Walt wanted it to be the best, so he tasked Walt Disney Imagineering to develop the first audio animatronics figure in human form. The result is what you see today, the groundbreaking Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, which debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The Hall of Presidents built upon the show’s legacy, expanding it to all Presidents when it opened in 1971. Each time that there is a new President elected, a new animatronic is added.
THE EXPERIENCE: In the waiting area, you will see presidential memorabilia along with pictures and painting of our Presidents. Then once you are inside, you will take a seat in a beautiful theater, home to 3 massive digital projection screens and a grand proscenium. You will watch an original film that was developed by a Pulitzer Prize winning historian, that tells the dramatic story of the nation’s founding. The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine, online journalism, literature, and musical composition within the United States.
You will learn about the formation of our Constitution and the hard-fought struggles along the way, such as the American Revolution and the Civil War. You will listen to the amazing words of John F. Kennedy echo through the theater and watch Abraham Lincoln right there on stage, deliver his Gettysburg address. You will then watch the curtain rise to reveal amazing realistic looking audio animatronics replicas of every President of the United States. You will see them all together standing side by side. Then, you will hear a speech delivered by George Washington and a recorded performance of the oath of office by the newest addition to the Hall, 46th President Joe Biden.
The American Adventure at EPCOT
ABOUT THE ATTRACTION: Located at the World Showcase at EPCOT. In this attraction, you will feel the spirit that propelled America to greatness in an inspiring retelling of our nation’s history. The attraction is open to any height and any age. The show is approximately 29 minutes long and is a dramatic production featuring 35 audio animatronics figures, digital rear projection images on a 72-foot screen and amazing patriotic songs, you will watch America’s story unfold right in front of your eyes.
HOW IT WAS BUILT: This is a work of Art, a huge success to Disney World. The American Adventure took Disney Imagineers 5 years to complete. The stunning building in which it is housed was intended as a “people’s mansion,” taking design cues from the classic Georgian style of the late 1700s, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the Old State House in Boston. As the end result, pivotal moments in history appear and disappear seamlessly through the use of a massive computer-controlled movable device. Ten different sets are stored under the stage and are moved forward or backward on cue by this American technological marvel.
THE EXPERIENCE: Inside you will take a seat in a grand Colonial Theater and meet Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain, your guides on this trip to the past. You will witness landmark events like landing of the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, the winter at Valley Forge, the penning of the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War and the Great Depression. Then, you will encounter luminaries like Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Jefferson, Chief Joseph and Teddy Roosevelt, among others.
So on President’s Day, Fourth of July or any other day, go on an American learning adventure at Disney World. First, because why not? And second because there’s a greater appreciation that gets created once we learn all the things that had to happen in our history in order for the United States of America to be the nation that it is today. I feel extremely lucky and grateful to be here and I will never take it for granted.
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