A History of Presidential Visits to Walt Disney World
The Hall of Presidents isn’t the only place to have hosted our Commander-in-Chief.
I knew that President Nixon visited the Contemporary Resort in 1973, but I was surprised to find that several presidents have made the trek to Walt Disney World.
In December, President Trump will be the next chief executive to make an appearance on property.
The Dec. 7 fundraiser being held by Florida Republicans at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort will be President Donald Trump’s first visit to Disney World as commander-in-chief.
But presidents have made a habit of visiting Disney World since the resort opened in 1971.
The first such appearance by a sitting president is also the most historically significant. President Richard Nixon, his administration already engulfed in the Watergate scandal, came to the Contemporary Resort on Nov. 17, 1973, to speak to the annual conference of managing editors for the Associated Press.
Some other interesting historical notes posted by Gregory:
- Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, did not visit Disney World while in office, but all six presidents since then did.
- Jimmy Carter came to the Magic Kingdom in 1978, speaking from a podium decked out with flowered for the 26th World Congress of the International Chamber of Commerce.
- Ronald Reagan made two trips to Epcot during his time in office, the first on March 7, 1983. His second trip on May 27, 1985, was billed as the President’s Inaugural Bands Parade.
- George H.W. Bush followed suit with two visits of his own to Epcot in 1990 and 1991.
- Bill Clinton didn’t set foot in a Disney park, but did visit the Disney Institute in 1996.
- George W. Bush also stayed out of the parks, making speeches at the Contemporary Resort in 2003 and the Grand Floridian in 2006.
- On Jan. 19, 2012, Barack Obama gave a speech on travel and tourism set in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, joking that his appearance: “I confess I am excited to see Mickey. It’s always nice to meet a world leader who has bigger ears than me.”
Did you know?
President Nixon’s speech at the Contemporary Resort included the most memorable line of his presidency:
And in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I could say that in my years of public life, that I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook. I have earned everything I have got.”
Keep your browser here on MickeyBlog.com to learn how President Trump’s upcoming visit will affect Walt Disney World in December.