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