Disney debunks story about Hall of Presidents drama over Trump


Disney has refuted stories describing tension at Disney World over the installation of Donald Trump in the Hall of Presidents attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, and the publication that printed the stories has retracted them.

Vice Media's Motherboard reported that Disney would likely revert to the pre-1993 version of the attraction, when only the Abraham Lincoln and George Washington likenesses had spoken lines, as a way to avoid giving lines to Trump.

In a Disney Parks Blog entry, editorial director Thomas Smith wrote, "Despite some media reports to the contrary, President Trump will have a speaking role in the Hall of Presidents, like every president since 1993."

Smith said Trump's recording session has been scheduled.

"We have been working closely with the current White House -- just as we have with previous administrations," he wrote.

The Hall of Presidents is closed for refurbishment and is due to reopen in late 2017. The attraction was last updated in 2009, when Barack Obama's likeness was added.

Motherboard retracted two stories it published on the subject, titled "Here's the Secret Backstage Trump Drama at Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents" and "Behind the Scenes of Disney's Donald Trump 'Hall of Presidents.'" One was published in May and the other in June.

Motherboard said it investigated the sourcing of the two stories and discovered "several factual errors." The publication said its source at Disney World who spoke about tension regarding the Trump installation "did not have direct confirmation from anyone at Disney's corporate level as originally reported."

Motherboard also said that Disney denied any tension at the Hall of Presidents after its most recent story was published.

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