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Disneyland recognizes Daniel Rodriguez with special award

On July 17, 2002, Disneyland celebrated its 47th birthday with a ceremony held at Town Square.

The highlight of the celebration was a performance by tenor Daniel Rodriguez of the New York Police Department who has represented the department and the city with his voice over the past months.

Cynthia Harris: To celebrate this momentous occasion with us we are extremely privileged to be joined by a man who is come to represent our nation’s best and bravest, as an officer with the outstanding New York City Police department he has become an ambassador for faith, hope and triumph.


And as you are about to experience his beautiful voice rings out to represent the tremendous spirit of Americans everywhere.

Daniel Rodriguez: Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to be here in the Magic Kingdom and to share this wonderful day. I feel very, very privileged and honored to be here. Not only representing the New York City Police department but being here in beautiful California enjoying the weather. Thank you, God bless you all.

Daniel Rodriguez at Disneyland

Cynthia Harris: The past ten months Daniel has represented not only the New York police department but also the citizens of New York as well as sharing in the spirit of America. Through his voice he inspired millions in our country and around the world.


When the cast members of our security, fire and health services department found out you were coming they wanted to bestow upon you a very special recognition and a remembrance of being here for this very special day.


This elite set of service excellence recognition coins that are framed here is awarded only to those individuals who have courageously gone above and beyond the call of duty in the protection and safety of others. It is an esteemed mark of distinction that has never been bestowed upon any outside of the resort previously. Now on behalf of all of us we are thrilled to make this first ever presentation to you and the entire New York Police Department. 


Daniel: Thank you, I’m honored, really. On behalf of the police department, all the brave men and women in New York and the world, thank you so much.

After the ceremony and several songs by Daniel, time to meet some of the audience. Anthony Hopkins also greeted guests and posed for a few pictures. Hopkins attended the event but did not partcipate in it.


Afterwards Michelle Smith has the opportunity to speak with Daniel and learn a few things about his relationship with Disney:


Daniel was born and raised in Brooklyn, in the Sunset Park section. Although he'd been to Walt Disney World a few times, as a kid he'd dreamed of going to Disneyland. He fully realized the difference, he said, when he was in Walt's apartment this weekend. (It was his very first time visiting Disneyland, and he got a tour as well as rehearsal). It finally hit him, as he stood there, that this Walt's park. He'd lived here; he'd made the dedication speech right where he'd been standing a few minutes earlier.


When Daniel started in the music business, he wanted to be in a Disney live show like Kids of the Kingdom or Hunchback, he says. When Cynthia announced that Mickey Mouse would be presenting his award, Daniel took a visible gasp and clutched his microphone to his chest, as excited as a little kid.


Such is the power of Mickey Mouse. At that moment, his dream came true; he got to sing in a Disney park with Mickey Mouse by his side.

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