Editors Note: The source of the story, mainstream media outlet Vice News now says their source has retracted his comments and that the story has “factual errors.” Vice says they are conducting a “full editorial review” of the story.
The White House has released a statement to media claiming that there is no quarrel between the Trump Administration and Disney Imagineers, and that the President is schedule to record his speech later this summer. Disney says the Hall of Presidents is expected to open sometime this fall.
Proving there is no battle too small for the Trump Administration to undertake, the White House is now in a feud with the House of Mouse—Disney—over what an animatronic President Trump will say to tourists who visit the Hall of Presidents.
Disney is eager to add President Trump to its lineup of American leaders in the Liberty Square attraction at its Disney World resort in Orlando, Fla., and confirmed they’d be adding Robot-Trump early in 2017. Disney Imagineers say they have a mechanical bust of the Republican all ready to go.
But robot-Trump has to speak; each American President has his own auto-animatronic body double in the Hall of Presidents, and each gives a short speech to tourists. The sitting President goes last, and typically gets to deliver the longest message to Disney’s millions of visitors.
According to Vice, Disney’s Imagineers typically work with the incoming Presidential administration to write a short speech that is positive and uplifting, but also reflects the new President’s personal themes and agenda.
This time around, though, a source close to the matter told Vice, Trump’s team said they wanted to author the speech alone, and politely avoided speaking any further with Disney’s engineering team. “When Disney tried to get this process started earlier this year, Trump’s people said, ‘We’ll be writing the speech that the president’s audio-animatronic figure will be saying.'”
That, of course, leaves Disney in a lurch: President Trump could end up delivering a long-winded, bizarre speech that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the robot Presidents. And that would mean Disney would be forced to edit or change the speech, or rewrite it altogether—or even reopen the attraction with no President Trump.
None of those outcomes will win resounding praise from the White House. In fact, it could be rough on Disney if things don’t go well. President Trump—even Robot President Trump—wields unmistakable power over the social media hordes, and Team Mickey Mouse knows it.
“They’d particularly like to avoid him tweeting about this situation,” said the source. “It would most likely result in a call for conservatives to boycott Walt Disney World, which is the company’s biggest fear.”
The White House, for its part, says everything is going smoothly, even if the timeline is a little protracted. In a statement to the media, Trump’s press team said that the Administration has been “working closely” and harmoniously with the Disney team, and that “the president’s recording session” has been scheduled.
Disney is mum on the issue, but would say that they expect the Hall of Presidents, which has been closed since January in anticipation of robo-Trump, will open again to the public later this fall.