The Epcot Festival of the Holidays celebrates holiday traditions from around the world through storytelling and music presented throughout World Showcase. The highlight of the festival is the Candlelight Processional. The processional features a 50-piece orchestra, mass choir, and twelve different celebrity narrators. This event is held in the American Adventure Pavilion and debuted at Walt Disney World in 1993. Enjoying the processional is one of our family’s must-dos during the holiday season. Here are 5 things you need to know about the Candlelight Processional.
1 – What is it?
The Candlelight Processional is a holiday favorite at Walt Disney World. Each evening a celebrity narrator tells the biblical tale of a savior born to a virgin in Bethlehem. It is accompanied by the Walt Disney World Orchestra and a mass choir. The mass choir is made up of high school choirs, wearing the gold robes and a special Cast Member choir who wears the green robes. What is truly special about the Cast Member Choir is that they are not all Entertainment Cast Members. Cast from around Walt Disney World who work in any department can audition and volunteer their time to perform in this event! The choir is joined by the Voices of Liberty, who wear red. The choir sings traditional Christmas songs that are woven into the retelling of the Christmas nativity story. This event is offered at no additional charge. The processional lasts for about 50 minutes.
2 – Dates and Times
In 2019, The Candlelight Processional will be each evening from November 29th to December 30th. There are three showtimes each night; 5 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8:15 pm. The performances are held in the American Gardens Theater at the American Adventure Pavilion. In 2019, the processional will be performed 96 times!
3 – Celebrity Narrators
Each year celebrities are invited to narrate the Candlelight Processional. Like all entertainment offerings, it is subject to change at any time. The first celebrity narrators are usually announced in the summer. The full schedule is then finished and announced in the fall. The 2019 narrators are as follows:
Here is the lineup.
- Ming-Na Wen – November 29 through December 1
- Neil Patrick Harris – December 2 through December 5
- Whoopi Goldberg – December 6 and 7
- Isabella Rossellini – December 8 through 10
- Alton Fitzgerald White – December 11 through 12
- Gary Sinise – December 13 through 15
- Pat Sajak – December 16 through 18
- Geena Davis – December 19 through 21
- Steven Curtis Chapman – December 22 through 24
- Edward James Olmos – December 25 and 26
- Marlee Matlin – December 27 and 28
- Lisa Ling – December 29 and 30
Be aware that the celebrity narrators, dates and other entertainment are subject to change or cancelation without notice. In 2019, there were two last-minute narrator changes. One narrator had to pull out because of a sudden illness. No matter who the narrator is, the show is fantastic!
4 – Get in Line Early
The Candlelight Processional is a top-rated show during the Holiday season. All three performances each night will fill to capacity. If you want to view the show, it is recommended that you get in the standby line at least 1 hour before showtime. You will need to get in line much earlier for the popular narrators such as Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise. For Neil Patrick Harris we saw people already in line at 2:00 pm! For Gary Sinise, we also saw people in line at least two hours before the first show-time. A good strategy is to grab some snacks and relax while waiting for the show.
5 – Or Book a Candlelight Dining Package
Another option instead of waiting in line ahead of time is to book a Candlelight Dining Package. These packages allow you to dine for lunch or dinner at one of Epcot’s many restaurants. Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—each meal includes an appetizer, entrée, and dessert or one full buffet (where applicable), along with a non-alcoholic beverage. The package also gives you reserved seating for aspecific showtime. This will eliminate your need to wait on the standby line for the show, but you still will need to arrive approximately 30 minutes before show time for seating. The reserved seating area for the dining package is located in the front of the theater nearest the stage. Handicap seating is available in the reserved area as well. These seats will give you a great, unobstructed view of the entire performance. Most locations will offer preset menu and prices vary based on location and meal period. You can book the package online or by calling the dining reservation line. The Candlelight Dining package is strongly recommended if you are looking to see a specific celebrity narrator or show.
The Candlelight Processional at Epcot is a must-do for the Holiday season! The beautiful music and the Christmas story is sure to fill your heart with joy! Be sure to get in line early or book a Candlelight Dining package for the best experience, as the theater will fill to capacity. Don’t forget to check out all the other great holiday offerings at Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays during your visit!
For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.