The Search for a Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow: Performing Utopia with Non-Human Bodies in the Hall of Presidents

  • Joseph R. D’Ambrosi


The Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents is steeped in Walt Disney’s vision of a utopian society, a framework that inspired plans for Disney parks worldwide. This patriotic spectacle about the American presidency provides its viewers a vision of a faultless American past using lifelike Audio-Animatronic performers. D’Ambrosi’s essay interrogates the form and function of utopia within the Hall of Presidents through the role of these Audio-Animatronics and the alterations made after the politically divisive 2016 presidential election. Given the behavior of then-candidate Trump during the campaign, many guests protested the inclusion of an Audio-Animatronic Trump in the attraction, citing his “Un-Presidential” behavior. The company’s approach to his script strives to present an inclusive, conflict-free atmosphere that idealizes American identity arguing that Audio-Animatronics can be better model citizens than real people.


Disney world Hall of Presidents Trump Audio-Animatronics Utopia Patriotism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph R. D’Ambrosi
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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