Epcot Candlelight Processional
The Epcot Candlelight Processional is a not to be missed Disney World Holiday tradition. This spectacular musical Holiday celebration is held in the America Gardens Theater in Epcot World Showcase. Featuring a guest celebrity narrator reading Christmas passages and featuring the music of a huge choir and 50 piece orchestra this is one of those Disney Holiday traditions which make the season so special.
The Epcot Candlelight Processional is free for all Epcot guests. But it is difficult to get a seat as it is such a popular event. It is not unknown for the lines to start forming 2 hours before the event. But you can ensure that you get a seat if you purchase an Epcot Candlelight Processional Dinner Package.
There are 3 performances each evening at 5pm, 6.45pm and 8pm. The later ones do seem to have a little more atmosphere simply because they are in the dark and it seems easier to get into the Christmas spirit! The Candlelight Processional starts on November 25th and runs until December 30th, with 3 performances each night.
A word of warning. It is very popular. Not only does this mean that if you don’t get a Dinner Package you are going to be waiting a long time in line, it also means that the area in front of The America Pavilion in World Showcase gets very crowded during a performance. Last year when I was simply trying to get past the area it was a slightly scary crowd crushing experience as amazingly Cast Members just didn’t have this area well controlled. You just couldn’t get past. So plan your walking journey around World Showcase accordingly!
Narrators for Candlelight Processional 2011
November 25-27: Mira Sorvino
November 28–December 1: Michael W. Smith
December 2-3: Whoopi Goldberg
December 4-6: TBD
December 10-12: Neil Patrick Harris
December 13-15: TBD
December 16-18: TBD
December 19-21: Trace Adkins
December 22-24: Susan Lucci
December 25–27: Blair Underwood
December 28-30: Marlee Matlin
Many of the narrators have appeared at previous Candlelight Processionals, including Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Lucci and Marlee Martin.
Candlelight Processional Dinner Package
If you want to have guaranteed seating then the way to go is to book a lunch or dinner Candlelight Processional Dinner Package. As always the lunch option is a cheaper option than the dinner. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan then the Dinner Package will be for 2 full service dining credits.
You make a reservation by calling 407 WDW DINE.
Prices vary between participating restaurants:
Nine Dragons Restaurant
Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room
San Angel Inn
All the above have lunch for $38,99 for adults and $12.99 for children with dinner at $49.99 for adults and $15.99 for children.
Chefs De France
These all have lunch for $51.99 for adults and $13.99 for children. Dinner is $64.99 for adults and $17.99 for children.
The Biergarten Restaurant is a buffet for $32.99 for adults and $17.99 for children. Dinner is $50.99 for adults and $20.99 for children.
The Garden Grill Restaurant is also a buffet and is priced at $52.99 for adults and $26.99 for children for dinner only.
The Coral Reef is $51.99 for adults and $13.99 for children, with dinner at $64.99 and $17.99.
Le Hacienda de San Angel is open only for dinner and is priced at $64.99 and $17.99.
The Candlelight Processional Package includes an Appetizer, Entree, Dessert and non alcoholic beverage. For the 2 venues which are buffet the full buffet is included.
Is it Worth Booking the Candlelight Dinner Package?
It certainly can be, particularly closer to Christmas when you wait time for a seat will be long if you actually want to get a seat! The Theater is small so there are some who are turned away. However the packages are of course higher priced than the usual meals at the Epcot restaurants.
The Package seating is behind the VIP seating and is on a first come first served basis – so you will still have to arrive about 30 minutes prior to the show. Be sure to join the line on the left hand side of the Theater, the one on the right is the stand by line.
Christmas time is a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World and the Candlelight Processional is a wonderful Disney tradition. The Candlelight Processional Package is a very convenient way to experience it but if you do not want the extra expense then you can simply listen to it from the back of the Theater (but be aware that at busy times this may be almost impossible as it is so crowded).
Photo by Harshlight