Whether it be the infamous Abraham Lincoln animatronic at the classic Hall of Presidents attraction or actual famous presidential speeches that have taken place on Disney property, U.S. Presidents have a unique place in the history and attractions of the Disney Parks. Here are 10 Presidential facts you may or may not have known:
- Every President since Eisenhower has paid a visit to a Disney Park: usually either before or after their time in office.
- Walt Disney’s first appearance on a U.S. Postal Stamp: We have Reagan to thank for that. He propositioned the U.S. Postmaster General to waive the limit requiring that a certain number of years pass after a death before you can be eligible to be on a stamp. He was granted the permission in 1968, two years after Walt’s death.
- Andrew Jackson was the first President to appear in mannequin form: He made his grand appearance in the Davy Crockett exhibit in Frontierland, it was later moved to Tom Sawyer’s Island.
- Johnson awarded Walt with the Presidential Medal of Freedom: In 1964 Walt was given the highest award to a civilian. According to some, Walt found this odd as he was not a fan of President Lyndon Johnson personally and felt as though he did this in order to win his vote in the upcoming election.
- Abe and Disney: Walt called Abraham Lincoln his personal hero.
- Clinton records a speech for The Hall of Presidents: in 1993 making it the first time that a President other than Lincoln spoke at a Disney attraction. This also marks the first time that a sitting president recorded his voice specifically for the attraction.
- Nixon and Disney: Believe it or not, Nixon was a huge supporter of Disney, visiting there quite often. Disney even took Nixon on a monorail trip around Disneyland to cool off without warning, delighting the Nixon’s. The President’s Secret Service detail was not as pleased.
- Nixon’s press secretary was a Jungle Cruise Skipper: That’s right, his press secretary was a former Skipper on the classic ride.
- Nixon’s famous speech: Due to his love of Disney the title of “The happiest place on Earth” Nixon choose to deliver his famous “I’m not a crook” speech in 1973 at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort.
- Reagan christens EPCOT: In October 1982 President Reagan would become the first sitting President to be on hand for such an occasion. However due to scheduling conflict, they actually had to arrange a second “grand opening.” Reagan officially christened the park then on March 8, 1983.
Did you know any of these? Which one surprised you the most?
For additional facts, and further in depth information please see: http://www.celebrityletters.com/disney-and-the-u-s-presidents/