President Donald Trump will headline a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Florida at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort later this year, according to Spectrum News 13.
After the party’s annual Statesman’s Dinner was unexpectedly postponed earlier in the week, Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed to reporters that Tuesday that President Trump would headline the Dec. 7 fundraiser. Spectrum News 13 was the first to report that the event would be held at Disney’s Grand Floridian.
The dinner is a key contributor to the state party’s political war chest. In 2018, the event raised more than $500,000.
Disney World is no stranger to U.S. presidents. Since Richard Nixon’s November 1973 visit to the Contemporary Resort — where he famously declared “I’m not a crook” in the midst of the Watergate investigation that led to his resignation nine months later — nearly every U.S. president has made an appearance on Disney World property during their term in office.
The lone exception until Trump had been Gerald Ford, though he did visit Disneyland in Anaheim in 1975.
Barack Obama made two trips to Disney World while in office, both in 2012; first for a speech at the Magic Kingdom and then a June 2012 visit to the Contemporary Resort for the annual conference held by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Days earlier, his Republican opponent in that year’s presidential election, Mitt Romney, had spoken at the same conference.
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s visit.
During Trump’s term in office, Disney World has not been immune to the political polarization that’s become commonplace across the country. The decision to give Trump’s Hall of Presidents animatronic a speaking role — which has been granted to every sitting president since Bill Clinton — drew an online petition asking Disney to end that tradition.
Since the animatronic debuted in Dec. 2017, there have been intermittent reports of politically-motivated disruptions at the attraction, including a comedian who chanted “Lock him up!”
Trump supporters have also brought their politics into the Magic Kingdom.
49-year-old Dion Cini was banned from Disney World for life after twice unfurling “Trump 2020” banners in the park in 2018, including on Splash Mountain, which violated Disney’s rules about displaying signs and banners. In Feb. 2019, he earned a ban in Disneyland after hanging another pro-Trump banner from the Mark Twain boat along the Rivers of America.
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