If you didn’t think Disney could get any more magical, then clearly you have never been to Disney World at Christmas. (And I highly recommend that you plan a visit.)
While we have spent many magical days at Disney World during the season over the years, one thing we have never done was to attend Epcot’s Candlelight Processional. I have often heard people rave about the Christmas tradition, but one reason or another we have never been. Now that we have been, you can add me to the list of people who rave about the processional. It was beautiful, spectacular and inspiring.
Goosebumps, a lump in my throat and a tears in my eyes. I was moved by Disney’s Christmas pageant that this year marks its 43rd year.
Epcot’s Candlelight Processional takes place at America Gardens Theatre and features a 50-piece orchestra, a joyful choir and a celebrity narrator. With more than 400 performers taking the stage to retell the story of Christmas in song, the Christmas spirit fills the amphitheater. The unique choir is made up of professional singers, cast members and local choir groups — many of whom are teenagers. In fact, my 15-year-old cousin will be singing in the processional later this month.
As carolers poured onto the stage weaving their way through the audience carrying battery-operated candles my five year became mesmerized, and while her gaze never left the stage I couldn’t stop watching her joy as she experienced the Christmas pageantry like only Disney could perform.
As the choir formed a living Christmas tree, Gary Sinise took the stage to narrate the story of Christmas. And between each break in the story, the choir erupted into jubilant song.
In the words of my daughter,”It was awesome.”
Tips you should know:
While admission to the processional is included with your ticket, stand-by seating is limited and the line very long. (I have no idea what time people began lining up, but it was a very long line.) Preferred seating is given to those who purchase a Candlelight Dinner Package. With the Candlelight Dinner Package you are guaranteed seating for the processional and access to a special viewing location for the award-winning fireworks show, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.
Dining packages feature a 3-course meal or full buffet and are available for lunch and/or dinner, depending on the location. If you don’t want to spend your day waiting in line, this is the way to go. Packages sell out, so book early.
2013 Celebrity Narrators
- Gary Sinise – November 29 to December 1, 2013
- Neil Patrick Harris – December 2 to December 3, 2013
- Ashley Judd – December 4 to December 5
- Whoopi Goldberg – December 6 to December 7, 2013
- Sigourney Weaver – December 8 to December 10, 2013
- Dennis Haysbert – December 11 to December 13, 2013
- James Denton – December 14 to December 16, 2013
- Edward James Olmos – December 17 to December 19, 2013
- Trace Adkins – December 20 to December 22, 2013
- Steven Curtis Chapman – December 23 to December 25, 2013
- Blair Underwood – December 26 to December 28, 2013
- Amy Grant – December 29 to December 30, 2013
Show times take place 3 times during each day of the event at 5:00 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:15 pm, except on December 8, 2013, when show times take place at 6:45 pm and 8:15 pm only. Celebrity narrators, dates and other entertainment are subject to change without notice.