As the rest of the country began their Independence Day weekend, 1000 newly-minted Americans attended a premiere performance of the newest Walt Disney World attraction, a “re-Imagineered” Hall of Presidents now featuring a lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of President Barack Obama. The 1000 immigrants represented more than 100 countries and ranged in age from 18 to 82. They took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during a morning ceremony jointly hosted by Disney Parks and Resorts and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Actor Andy Garcia – a naturalized citizen himself – delivered a keynote address during the ceremony. Garcia, originally from Cuba, is a well-known actor know for such works as “The Untouchables,” “The Godfather: Part III” and “Ocean’s Eleven.”
A remarkably lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of President Barack Obama takes center stage in a revised and refreshed Hall of Presidents show at Walt Disney World Resort. - Photo Credit WDW
“This year, Disney parks are asking our visitors ‘What Will You Celebrate?’,” said Walt Disney World Resort President Meg Crofton in her welcoming address. “And on a weekend when our entire nation celebrates its independence, we are honored to host – and celebrate – 1,000 individuals who are embracing American citizenship.”
After an eight-month makeover, said to be so significant, that Disney renamed the attraction The Hall of Presidents: A Celebration of Liberty’s Leaders. Additional updates included the re-programming of Abraham Lincoln – he now delivers the Gettysburg Address. George Washington stands and delivers a stirring speech, and the show now tells a moving story of the bond between the presidents.
“Our goal with every major Disney attraction is to completely immerse our guests in a compelling story,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “The stories associated with the American presidency are some of the most engaging and relevant our guests will hear while they are with us. And, like all great stories, these stories inspire, motivate and teach us to appreciate the challenges and personal triumph that comes with overcoming adversity.”
Don’t skip the presentations of the Hall of Presidents – it’s truly stirring and the interation before the show with the cast members is fabulous. The show will take place daily beginning July 4 and is included with Magic Kingdom admission. For video of President Obama in the White House Map Room recording his audio track for the Hall of Presidents attraction, may visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/.