When Disney announced plans for the 2021 holiday season at Walt Disney World, one bit of information that was missing was whether or not the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT would return this year. Last year it was cancelled and many have been eager for its return. Thankfully, Disney has announced it will return for the 2021 holiday season. Learn more below.
Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Shawn Slater:
As part of our Halfway to the Holidays celebration earlier this year, we gave you a sneak peek of some of the magical experiences coming your way for a spectacular season of holiday joy during the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. That wasn’t everything we have in store for you, though, and today I’m thrilled to tell you that the “Candlelight Processional” will be back this year, November 26 – December 30, as part of the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth!
“Candlelight Processional” is a long-standing Disney Parks tradition, dating back to 1958 at Disneyland park. Walt Disney World guests have enjoyed the annual “Candlelight Processional” since 1971, initially at Magic Kingdom Park and since 1994 at EPCOT. After being greatly missed during last year’s holiday season, this magnificent production will once again grace the America Gardens Theatre with a live orchestra, cast choir, and celebrity narrator retelling the traditional Christmas story in spectacular and heartwarming fashion.
Since all these performers – including cast members, musicians, singers, and narrators – will be required to be fully vaccinated, this year we are not planning to host choirs from different community groups and schools. Instead, to maintain the grandeur of the performance, we are expanding our cast member choir to fill the stage with voices. We’re optimistic that the guest choirs will be able to rejoin us next year for this special holiday opportunity.
We didn’t want to wait another minute to tell you this exciting news. Of course, we’re still working to confirm the schedule of celebrity narrators and details about “Candlelight Processional” Dining Packages, so stay tuned. We’ll share all the information with you as soon as it’s available.
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Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Sarah Domenech:
The holidays are my favorite time of year, and I’m so happy to be celebrating Halfway to the Holidays today! Because today it’s official – the merry season will begin Nov. 12 at Walt Disney World Resort during “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” marking the resort’s 50th anniversary.
Festive entertainment, whimsical décor, seasonal food and drinks, and holiday-themed merchandise will all be a part of this very special season at our theme parks, Disney Resort hotels and Disney Springs.
Here’s a sneak peek of some of the magical experiences you can expect this season at Walt Disney World Resort:
Magic Kingdom Park
Holidays are sure to be enchanting at Magic Kingdom Park, where quintessential decorations will return to Main Street, U.S.A. When the sun sets, special holiday projections will appear most nights on Cinderella Castle, alternating periodically with the castle’s transformation into a Beacon of Magic.* What a great way to celebrate the holidays and the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort!
Now, talk about an early holiday gift… “Disney Very Merriest After Hours,” a new special-ticketed event, will debut Nov. 8 before all the rest of the festive fun. It will be available on select nights through Dec. 21. The four hours of festivities will delight guests with “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks,” Disney characters throughout the park, holiday music and décor, treats included and so much more! As with other Disney After Hours events, a limited number of tickets will be sold for this event. It’s held after regular park operating hours, with lower wait times and access to more than 20 select attractions.
Tickets [are now on sale], with an early purchase window available to guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Sunset Seasons Greetings returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard will twinkle once again with projection effects, magically transforming into a snowy corner of Arendelle, a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story toy hotel, and a Dickensian village inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” This holiday show will also alternate with the tower’s nightly transformation into a Beacon of Magic.
Santa Claus will bring some North Pole cheer to a motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard. You will also be able to enjoy “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” with its festive finale featuring everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. Minnie Mouse is also returning to host her festive meal at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Minnie and her friends will be donning their holiday best – even Santa Goofy will be there! And throughout the season, vintage-themed holiday décor will shine bright across the park.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
It will be a wild holiday time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park with the return of seasonal décor and festive Disney character flotillas sailing down Discovery River to the sounds of joyful songs of the season. The park’s centerpiece – The Tree of Life – becomes another Beacon of Magic most nights during the 50th anniversary celebration. During the holiday season there’s even more magic inspired by nature as the holiday edition of Tree of Life Awakenings also takes place most nights.
You can happily discover whatever you’re after this holiday season at Disney Springs. The shopping, dining and entertainment destination will transform into a winter wonderland, full of sparkling lights, enchanting décor and holiday surprises. This year sees the return of the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll, with elaborately decorated, Disney-themed trees – some new and some inspired by “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
A magical snowfall will add a touch of wonder for holiday shoppers in Town Center.
Here, you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, including yourself. Discover holiday ornaments, matching family pajamas, festive Spirit Jerseys, and more – be sure to check your list twice so you don’t forget any holiday must-haves! There will even be themed food and beverages; one of my favorite spots, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, will once again transform into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar, with delightful décor and a delicious limited-time menu filled with festive favorites.
Disney Resort Hotels
Our Disney Resort hotels will be decked for the holidays, with iconic trees and other seasonal touches. And a guest favorite will return this year, as select gingerbread displays will once again be part of our holiday season! Also at select resorts, you will find restaurants offering holiday menus and specialty food and drink.
Where can you enjoy traditions from around the world, with inspiring music, tasty treats and family-friendly experiences? If you guessed EPCOT … … you are correct! The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will return this year, from Nov. 26 – Dec. 30, with Holiday Kitchens around the park, performances by Voices of Liberty, the guest favorite Cookie Stroll and more!
We’ll have so much more Walt Disney World Resort holiday fun to share with you in the months to come. In the meantime, be sure to be on Santa’s nice list and keep checking for all of our holiday news!
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