An original attraction that opened with the Magic Kingdom in 1971, The Hall Of Presidents has gone through several incarnations since then, owing mostly to the change of subject matter which the show centers around.
That subject matter was revealed in the name of the attraction: Presidents – in this case of the United States, both former and the present. Of course, as the chief executives of the country, the history surrounding them is inextricably tied to that of the country itself.
With that in mind, the show takes viewers through a brief history of the United States, in both narration and video, starting with the first President of the United States George Washington and ending with current President Barrack Obama. Intertwined in the show, life-like audio-animatronics are used to represent the Presidents with short speeches given by Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Obama.
Lasting approximately 23 minutes, guests are treated to patriotic vision sure to inspire the citizen in all of us. Of note, the Obama audio-animatronic is the most technically advanced of any used since the creation of the show.
Walt Disney himself originally wanted a show similar to the present-day Hall of Presidents added to Disneyland in the 1960’s. His plans called for an extension of Main Street, U.S.A. to be called Edison Square, here his new show would include wax figures of the Presidents. But, always wanting to plus-it, Walt decided the Presidents should be audio-animatronics instead. However, technology and other constraints limited his vision to just one President, his favorite, Abraham Lincoln. Used first in the 1964-1965 New York Worlds Fair, a show surrounding the 16th President was created at Disneyland called Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, the basis for the Hall of Presidents in Disney World.
When Walt passed, Disney Imagineers went back to his original Edison Square idea and revived the complete Presidents idea, creating a version of the Hall of Presidents we see today.
To see the second half of the show including most of the audio-animatronics, see the video above (thanks to Knabbell77 for providing it).