Hall of Presidents: Never Built Disneyland

Never Built Disneyland

The Hall of Presidents currently operates in the Magic Kingdom to this day, but its life began long before Walt Disney World was even a concept.

Liberty Street was an early planned expansion of Disneyland, intended to extend from Main Street USA into the area between Tomorrowland and Main Street USA, based on the colonial and revolutionary period.

This land was intended to have two major attractions, both stage shows, one of which eventually developed into the Hall of Presidents.

One Nation Under God was supposed to be a wax museum attraction featuring figures of the US presidents. But as Walt Disney and Imagineering started developing audio-animatronics in the 1960s, this gradually shifted into an animatronic stage show.

But the concept was just not realistic at the time the show was being planned. Animatronics were still relatively simple, and had not yet developed beyond the levels seen in the Enchanted Tiki Room. They were not ready to adequately recreate a realistic human, much less the dozens that would be needed for this attraction.

Disney would first develop realistic human audio-animatronic technology with a president though, for Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. They were enlisted to create an attraction by the State of Illinois and it gave the company their first chance to try out the new technology for the public, and in a setting outside Disneyland. 

The show proved so popular that it was cloned to Disneyland, being the first show to ever operate in two locations at once. This would however doom any hope of the original plan for a show featuring all the presidents.

No good idea ever dies at Disney though, and it would be revisited for the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The Hall of Presidents made this original idea a reality, utilizing the advancements Disney had made in animatronic technology since the idea was originally planned. It continues to entertain and educate guests every day.

This show would never come to Disneyland, but it would give inspiration to an opening day attraction at the second Disney Park, coming to life when the technology to make it a reality was finally developed.

Thanks for exploring this show with us and be sure to come back next week when we look at the other never built show planned for Liberty Street at Disneyland. In the meantime check out the entire series so far here.