Get a Lesson in American and Presidential History at The Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom

As you're touring the Magic Kingdom, indulging in thrill rides, character meet-and-greets, and Dole Whip floats, there is a classic attraction located in Liberty Square that should be on everyone's "must-see" list.

We're talking of course about The Hall of Presidents.

The Hall of Presidents in Liberty SquareThe Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square

Located in the heart of Liberty Square, The Hall of Presidents is housed in a building that was modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The attraction was envisioned by Walt Disney and was inspired by Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln which first debuted at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.

Once you step inside the building be sure to look up and take in the incredible rotunda. The lobby is home to presidential artifacts including personal objects from some of the First Ladies and personal artifacts from presidents including Gerald Ford, Herbert Hoover, and George Washington. The lobby also features presidential portraits of Lincoln, Jefferson, and others. The cast members will corral guests in the lobby until it is time to enter the theater.

Oval Office carpet inside the lobby of the Hall of PresidentsOval Office carpet inside the lobby of the Hall of Presidents

The theater inside The Hall of Presidents seats 700, so don't worry about not being able to find a seat. The theater is also home to three projection screens that stretch nearly 180 degrees around the theater. Basically there's not a bad seat in the house.

The show begins with the story of "We the People," a film that was developed with the help of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. The film tells of the bond between the presidents and the people and focuses on the presidents who guided the country through turbulent points in history.

The theater inside The Hall of PresidentsThe theater inside The Hall of Presidents

As the film tells the story of the Civil War, the Audio-Animatronic figure of President Abraham Lincoln stands and gives the Gettysburg Address. It is a spectacular and moving sight to witness.

The film continues with stories of Theodore Roosevelt who called the Executive Mansion "The White House," his cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt who led the nation through the Great Depression and World War II, and John F. Kennedy whose presidency was marked by the civil rights movement.

Other points of history are featured including the Challenger disaster and the events of 9/11. As the film concludes, the screen parts to reveal the stage filled with the Audio-Animatronic figures of every president with the introduction, "Ladies and gentlemen, the presidents of the United States."

All the presidents of the United States on one stageAll the presidents of the United States on one stage

The Audio-Animatronic figures are incredibly lifelike, and as their names are called each president acknowledges his name with a nod of the head or gesture.

As the presidential roll call comes to an end, George Washington stands and addresses the audience. (A bit of trivia: President Washington is voiced by actor David Morse, who played George Washington in the HBO miniseries John Adams.)

And then, as the other presidents look on, President Barack Obama recites the presidential oath of office and speaks about the American dream. This speech was actually recorded inside the White House map room.

A Celebration of Liberty's LeadersA Celebration of Liberty's Leaders

The Hall of Presidents is a great historical show for grownups and for older kids (ages 8 and up by most accounts). You can catch The Hall of Presidents show every half hour, and it runs for a little more than 20 minutes. As always, check the daily Times Guide for show times.

Is The Hall of Presidents one of your must-see attractions at the Magic Kingdom? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 07/22/2014 - 13:17:

Kristen K.'s picture

I love the Hall of Presidents, but then I'm a giant history nerd.

PirateGirl wrote on Wed, 07/23/2014 - 23:13:

It definitely is a must see for me. I'm an American History junkie.

Adam wrote on Sat, 07/26/2014 - 02:06:

Adam 's picture

That little boy who loved the Hall of Presidents at age 8? He grew up to get degrees in Political Science and International Relations! True story.

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