What is the Candlelight Processional?
The Candlelight Processional is a time-honored tradition started by Walt Disney as a way to give back to the community and celebrate the spirit of the season together.
The hour-long event begins as the chorus makes its way through Main Street to Town Square and provides the musical background to the Nativity story as recited by a guest narrator between the Christmas carols and hymns. At different points in the show, featured solo artists perform songs including a show-stopping bilingual/Spanish version of “Silent Night”.
Who are the performers?
The chorus is filled with a combination of Disneyland Resort Cast Members who audition to be part of the show along with members of local school and church choirs and other singing groups from the community. They are backed by an immense and talented orchestra.
When and where can I find it?
The Candlelight Processional at Disneyland Park generally occurs the first weekend in December at Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. There are two shows nightly on Saturday and Sunday. This year’s performances occurred last weekend.
The best location to watch the opening Processional is along Main Street, but the best place to see the show is around Town Square. People often stand and wait for hours to get a good viewing spot for the show since the only available seating is reserved for invited guests of the Walt Disney Company.
Mousertainment Tip: The Candlelight Processional is also performed in EPCOT’s America Gardens Theatre at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is actually much easier to catch a show there as it runs for several weeks over the course of the holiday season with different celebrity narrators taking over every few nights, and seats can be reserved with purchase of a dining package.
Why spotlight it?
The Candlelight Processional is, aside from Flag Retreat, probably the most moving and powerful event at the Disneyland Resort.
From the slow procession as the Cast Members and choir march down Main Street holding their candles as they make their way up to the steps of the train station and form their “Living Christmas Tree” to the inspirational story of the birth of the Baby Jesus to the glorious songs performed by both the chorale and the featured soloists to the feeling of solidarity amongst all people, no matter their faith or background, who come together in this moment to celebrate the boundary-less concept of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All. I tear up just thinking about it, but it’s even more emotional to be there in the crowd to experience it.
It really is a MUST do if you ever get the chance during the Christmas season!
Have you seen the Candlelight Processional at either Disneyland Park or EPCOT? What is your favorite part of the show?
Update 12/23/16: Check out some of this show’s performances here on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel