I had the distinct honor of attending the naturalization ceremony which took place at the Magic Kingdom earlier this morning in which 1,000 immigrants (including 25 cast members) were sworn in as new citizens of the United States.
The ceremony, with keynote speaker actor Andy Garcia, was an incredibly moving experience as the new citizens were sworn in. The event also featured performances by Voices of Liberty and appearances by the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps and Mickey himself. After the ceremony and group photo, the citizens and their friends and family made way to experience the newly enhanced Hall of Presidents (more to follow on that later).
I didn’t have the best view and the photos will attest to that but I hope you enjoy them even a tiny fraction as I did having the opportunity to share them with you.
As always, you can click on individual photos to see them full size, or click on the PicLens link to start the slideshow.
(photo captions to come)
Update: The ceremony is titled ‘Celebrating the American Dream’ and will take place at 8:20 AM, prior to park opening. We are told the ceremony is by invitation only and that guests will not able to view the ceremony.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In a stirring celebration of citizenship, more than 1,000 immigrants will gather on Main Street, U.S.A. July 3 to be “sworn in” as American citizens.
And as the country kicks off Independence Day weekend, these brand-new Americans will attend a premiere performance of the newest Walt Disney World attraction, a re-imagined Hall of Presidents, now featuring a lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of President Barack Obama.
From more than 100 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 82, the immigrants will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during a Friday 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 will preside over the ceremony on the forecourt of Cinderella Castle. The event will feature 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 – will deliver 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 “Oceans Eleven.”