Florida might be at the epicentre of a shocking spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations, but that isn’t stopping the state’s iconic Walt Disney World theme park from chugging along with business as usual. That also means that the company’s been gearing up to debut the latest addition to its Hall of Presidents: an animatronic Joe Biden.
The BidenBot is set to join its fellow robotic presidential figures — like LincolnBot, WashingtonBot, and KennedyBot — onstage next month, the company said. While it didn’t offer too many details about the eerily lifelike animatronic, Disney did offer some behind-the-scenes details in a blog on Monday. We know that the table next to BidenBot’s fleshy outstretched hand, for example, features a replica pair of the president’s ubiquitous Ray-Bans. We also know the speech he’s going to give parkgoers when they walk into the Hall: a “delivery of the presidential oath of office” that Disney says was recorded specifically for the attraction.
In other words, it’s all pretty by-the-book. That can’t really be said about the last denizen Disney introduced — a RoboTrump that had a face like a geriatric Chucky doll. While Biden has a rather short roster of catchphrases to pick from, Trump’s debut into the Hall of Presidents had fans speculating what kind of family-friendly speech Disney could squeeze from the now ex-president. Four years later, there’s a good chance that staffers, just like the rest of us, are breathing a deep sigh of relief as the 45th PresiBot got carted off centre stage.
It’s worth noting here that just like his real-world counterpart, Trump’s animitronic isn’t gone gone — it’s just being placed on stage “among those who have previously served,” Disney said.
From what we can tell, this is the first time Disney had to clarify that one of these animatronics would actually remain on stage, rather than being burned at some sort of robot stake. This is probably due to the thousands of Disneygoers that have repeatedly voiced concerns to the park about introducing a Trump-bot in the first place. The park didn’t end up pulling the Trump animatronic, but it did add some incredibly pointy spikes to the stage’s edge to keep people from climbing into the attraction and taking a swing at Trump themselves. Considering how some sides of the Right reacted to Biden’s inauguration, it’s worth assuming Disney won’t be taking down those spikes anytime soon.
Disney didn’t offer an exact date for the Hall’s reopening, but said on the blog that the show “will debut to guests in August.”