Now that people are all fired up about Disney announcing their retheme of Splash Mountain to Princess and the Frog and social media making lists of other “problematic” attractions, a few people now think that The Hall of Presidents should be rethemed to Hamilton after Disney put it on their streaming service.
The Hall of Presidents is topping the list due to several factors such as low attendance, age, slave ownership by some presidents and simply because some people don’t like President Trump.
But there are a couple of snags with the idea that Hamilton would be the fix needed.
Hamilton as recently come under fire for being a problematic figure himself.
“The historical Alexander Hamilton was not an abolitionist, had purchased slaves for his relatives and was an elitist who favored a president for life, according to Harvard Law School Professor of History Annette Gordon-Reed.”
If Disney is changing things like Splash Mountain due to issues with slavery, and if people demand changes to the Hall of Presidents due to past presidents owning slaves, it would also be an issue to retheme an attraction to another individual who, according to a distinguished historian, bought and sold slaves.
2. Theme park rights and streaming rights are not the same thing
This was the first thing I thought about when I heard this “idea.” Just because Disney has the rights to stream or theatrically release Hamilton, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the rights to turn it into an attraction. Rights for various things like theme parks, or publication, or film can be different. That isn’t saying Disney couldn’t get the rights for theme parks, but it likely wouldn’t be without spending a lot more money for those rights.
Disney already spent $75 million just for streaming, I’m sure theme park rights would be more, even with Lin-Manuel Miranda doing a lot of work with Disney lately. I don’t know if Disney would want to costs of the use along with the cost of retheming, when they are already reportedly cutting and postponing projects that were already moving forward.
They have many other intellectual properties they could repurpose the theater to that they already own, if they wanted to do something like that. The Orlando Weekly mentioned the seasonal Muppets: Great Moments in American History show that Walt Disney World used to run in that area. I could see that being repurposed with their version of something Hamilton-esque before I would think they would actually go with Hamilton.
3. Disney has not made any announcements
There haven’t been any official announcements from Disney regarding The Hall of Presidents. I do know it’s on a rumored list of “problematic” attractions that an internal committee is looking at to see about possible changes. That’s as far as it’s gone at this time.
Some are even saying that they should just retheme the entire area to fit with Princess and the Frog instead. I personally always liked Liberty Square and hope that it will pass as people move on to other outrage of the week topics.
Right now Disney has a lot more pressing problems with their financial losses so far this year. They also have a lot of debt to repay and EPCOT’s Future World is basically a construction zone. I think they will likely focus time and money there first.
We shall see what happens. Who knows, maybe they will surprise us.
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