Journalist and TV anchor Dan Rather visited with Mickey Mouse today, Aug. 16, 2009 at Epcot. Rather was on vacation at the Walt Disney World theme park.
Photo by Matt Stroshane
More than 1,000 immigrants gathered on Main Street, U.S.A. early this morning to become American citizens.
From more than 100 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 82, the immigrants took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during a morning ceremony jointly hosted by Disney Parks and Resorts and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
USCIS’s highest-ranking official, Acting Deputy Director Michael Aytes, presided over the ceremony on the forecourt of Cinderella Castle. The event featured a welcoming address by Walt Disney World Resort President Meg Crofton, the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Actor Andy Garcia — a naturalized citizen himself — delivered a keynote address during the ceremony. Garcia, originally from Cuba, is an acclaimed actor known for roles in films as diverse as The Untouchables, The Godfather: Part III and Ocean’s Eleven. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Tampa-based Senior Airman Brenda Langdon of the U.S. Air Force, an immigrant from Columbia who became a United States citizen during the ceremony.
Here is a video summary of the event, including the Oath, clips from Garcia’s speech, and Mickey Mouse showing up for a unique photo opportunity in front of Cinderella Castle before leading the new citizens to the recently updated Hall of Presidents attraction:
Also during the ceremony, Voices of Liberty, the a capella singing group most well known from their regular appearances within the American Adventure at Epcot, sang a song for the crowd:
You can also watch this video in HD on YouTube.
Find more photos from today’s event below and in our photo gallery.
Video by Ricky Brigante / Photos by Matt Roseboom
Wayne Allwine, the actor who voiced Mickey Mouse for more than 30 years, has died.
The Walt Disney Co. says Allwine died Monday of complications from diabetes, with Russi Taylor, his wife of 20 years and the voice of Minnie Mouse, by his side. He was 62.
“Wayne dedicated his entire professional life to Disney,” chief executive Robert Iger said in a statement Wednesday. “Over the last 32 years, (he) gave so much joy, happiness and comfort to so many around the world by giving voice to our most beloved, iconic character, Mickey Mouse.”
A Southern California native, Allwine joined Disney in 1966 when he took a job in the mail room. He went on to work in the sound effects department and began voicing the company’s main mouse in 1977.
Click Here to read the rest of the Associated Press story on the Orlando Sentinel’s Web site.