From the very beginning, the appearance of the animatronic robot representing former U.S. President Donald Trump at Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando has been controversial in one way or another.
For example, some Disney fans wanted the Trump figure removed from the attraction, a demand that spiked during both of Trump’s impeachments and was exacerbated by Trump’s incendiary rhetoric about massive-scale voter fraud in the 2020 election that incited a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Others thought the entire attraction should be removed, due to its inherently political nature.
A third issue has plagued the statue since it was first unveiled in December 2017: Some thought the statue’s face resembled Trump’s 2016 political rival Hillary Clinton. Thus the rumor was born that Disney, expecting Clinton to prevail in the 2016 election, had built a Clinton robot, only to hastily repurpose it after Trump won.
Here me out on this. Clearly Disney had Hilary's robot ready to go and then they had to try and make it look like Trump. Don't hate me. This is just a necessary and painful fact we all need to deal with. pic.twitter.com/biSirfwE59
— Shannon O'Neill (@spotastic) December 19, 2017
Others thought the robot looked like actor Jon Voight.
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) January 3, 2018
The Trump animatronic figure has also been the subject of several petitions signed by thousands of fans.
One now-closed petition sought to block the Trump figure from giving a speech, stating, “Donald Trump ran a Presidential campaign on hateful speech, misogyny, racism and xenophobia. In doing so, he has tainted the legacy of the American Presidency forever.” It garnered more than 15,300 signatures.
Another petition, signed by almost 3,400 fans, demanded that Disney redo the statue because it looked like “Hillary Clinton with a wig on.”
We reached out to Disney with questions about the display and will update if we receive a response. The Hall of Presidents is currently closed as Disney refurbishes the attraction and adds a new animatronic figure of U.S. President Joe Biden.