Epcot's Candlelight Processional
The Candlelight Processional in Epcot is one of our families favorite holiday traditions. Every time we go we schedule our vacation around seeing this show. In fact, for us Christmas doesn't start until we hear these guys blow their horns ...
Photo by BestofWDW
Each year this wonderful Christmas tradition starts the day after Thanksgiving and runs through Dad's birthday (it always ends on Dad's birthday). Three shows every day and every one is packed. Overflowing. It's amazing.
What is it?
The American Gardens Theater is home to the show. During each show a celebrity narrator reads the story of the birth of Jesus from scripture. The readings are accompanied by music that talks about the section just read. This is the 39th year for Disney to host the show.
The music is provided by a 50 piece orchestra, a 500 member choir, and the Voices of Liberty. It's quite a show. Disney cast members try out to be part of the Christmas Tree (in the middle of the choir) and high school and college choirs from around the country are invited to join.
Joy to the World
Here is a list of some of the music you will hear (the music changes a bit from year to year, but for the most part the classics are always there).
- O Holy Night
- Shout for Joy
- What Child is This?
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- Hallelujah Chorus
- Rejoice with Execeeding Great Joy
- Away in a Manger
- Angels We Have Heard on High
- Silent Night
We love listening to the CD we got when we went to the show. We listen to it regularly. If you'd like a copy you can download a copy from Amazon.com.
Dates for this years Candlelight Processional are November 29 (the day after Thanksgiving) through December 30 (Dad's birthday). There are three shows each evening. (Shows are sometimes cancelled due to inclement weather, but it takes more than just a little rain.)
The guest celebrities for 2014 are.
- Nov. 28-29 Jodi Benson
- Nov. 30-Dec. 2 Neil Patrick Harris
- Dec. 3-4 Jonathan Groff
- Dec. 5-6 Whoopi Goldberg
- Dec. 7-9 - LeVar Burton
- Dec. 9-11 - Edward James Olmos
- Dec. 12-14 Joe Morton
- Dec. 15-17 Chita Rivera
- Dec. 18-20 Ana Gasteyer
- Dec. 21-23 Marlee Matlin
- Dec. 24-25 Isabella Rossellini
- Dec. 26-27 Blair Underwood
- Dec. 28-30 Steven Curtis Chapman
These can change without notice.
The Candlelight Processional and Massed Chior started in Disneyland in 1958. Uncle Walt loved Christmas and wanted a really special celebration. In 1994 the show began at Epcot.
The Dinner Package
To get a guaranteed seat for the show you need to sign up for the dinner package. Most of the theater is reserved for guests that have reserved a dinner package.
Photo by Zengrrl
There are limited seats available for general admission. They are toward the back of the theater. You must get in line early to get a seat. You will be allowed into the theater about 15 minutes prior to the show and after the Dinner Package guests are inside. (Guests have been known to line up as much as 45 minutes before the show.)
You will be able to hear the show all around the American Pavilion.
Dad's Bottom Line
This is one of the those extra things that Disney does that sets them apart from other theme parks. In Dad's opinion this is one of the best Christmas celebrations around.
Don't miss it.