One of the highlights of a holiday trip to Walt Disney World is the Candlelight Processional in Epcot. This event takes place each year from the end of November until just after Christmas. There’s a lot to consider if you want to see the show, so let’s discover all you need to know about attending the Candlelight Processional this year.
What is the Candlelight Processional?
The Candlelight Processional welcomes a celebrity narrator to share the Christmas story in Epcot. Behind them, you’ll find a large choir and live orchestra, and it’s the biggest event in the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays each year. The event is planned to begin this year on November 26th and will run through until December 30th, 2021. While there are still some details to come about this year’s Christmas celebrations in the parks, this is one event you won’t want to miss.
One thing that will be slightly different this year is that Disney isn’t planning to use choirs from local schools. Instead, they will be increasing the number of Cast Members involved in the show and come together to share their love of singing. On top of that, the Voices of Liberty are one of the main components of the show, and they are backed by the full orchestra. There really is nothing else like it at Walt Disney World during the holiday season, and you’ll have an incredible time regardless of who is the narrator of your show.
Getting into this popular show can be a challenge, particularly with some of the more popular narrators in store. Let’s take a look at how you can set yourself up for success and guarantee that you see the show this year.
Where Does the Candlelight Processional Take Place?
The show takes place each year in the America Gardens Theatre. This is found opposite the American Adventure, located in the center of the World Showcase. It’s a seated theater, which is why it’s quite limited in its attendance for each of the shows. Typically, the show will take place three times each day, with all of the shows being incredibly popular.
Who Are the Narrators for 2021?
Most of the narrators for this year have already been announced. We are excited to see many past narrators return, but there are also some new ones to see this year. So far, the narrators who have been announced include Auli’i Cravalho, Chita Rivera, Jodi Benson, Alton Fitzgerald White, Bart Millard, Lisa Ling, Andy Garcia, Ana Gasteyer, Courtney B. Vance, Steven Curtis Chapman, Blair Underwood, and Pat Sajak. Each narrator brings their unique flair to the show, so you may even want to consider seeing it more than once if you are able to this year.
Candlelight Processional Dining Packages
One of the best ways to guarantee your entry to the event is to book one of the Candlelight Processional dining packages. These book up incredibly quickly, so make sure you are online at the right time so that you don’t miss out. This year, the park is offering the choice of four restaurants for the packages, and you can choose between lunch and dinner depending on where you are dining. You are guaranteed a seat at the show after your dinner, depending on the meal you select. You’ll receive a three-course meal or full buffet and one non-alcoholic drink with each package. Prices will vary depending on where you choose, but there’s something to suit everyone.
Biergarten Restaurant is available in the Germany pavilion and is a great option for kids and adults. It’s a large buffet with plenty of choices, so you certainly won’t leave feeling hungry. Head under the sea in the Coral Reef Restaurant, which can be found in The Living Seas. This is the most pricey package at $74 per adult but offers a more upscale dining experience. Garden Grill Restaurant in The Land Pavilion is another fun option for your whole family. Finally, the Rose & Crown Dining Room in the United Pavilion is the last option and offers you a three-course meal dining on traditional British food. We recommend booking 60 days in advance for any of these restaurants, as the number of restaurants this year is much lower than in the past.
These dining packages are only offered during this time of year, and you’ll need to guarantee your reservation with a credit card. Upon finishing your meal, you’ll receive a Candlelight Processional seating badge. This tells you the time and day of the show you can attend, and you can’t switch out for another one due to the popularity of the event.
There is then a separate queue for you to enter the theater, and you are still seated on a first-come, first-served basis. For that reason, you’ll still want to arrive very early for the show if you want to have the best chance of being near the front and center. While seating is guaranteed, if you arrive just before the show starts, you’ll likely end up at the very back. You will still need a park reservation for the day of your dining reservation, so make sure you book this at the same time to avoid any issues during your trip.
Waiting to Get Into the Candlelight Processional at Epcot
Waiting to get into the Candlelight Processional at Epcot isn’t an easy task, as you will need to plan ahead to make sure you get into the showing you are there for. People queue three to four hours in advance to see some of the most popular narrators, as it’s become a family tradition. You might find the last show is slightly less popular than the other earlier showings, and you won’t have to get there quite as early.
Even if you don’t end up at the front of the show, you might still be seated in the theater to enjoy the show. If you find that you can’t get into the show, you can always try and stand at the very back of the theater. As the show is spread across the whole stage, you’ll find that you can get a good picture of what is going on regardless of where you are seated.
The Candlelight Processional is something we highly recommend doing on a holiday trip, but the earlier in the season you can see the show, the better. The show lasts a good length of time, usually running for about 45 minutes. We recommend making sure you don’t rush your plans for the day if you are doing the dining package, as it’s something you’ll want to make sure you enjoy as much as possible during your visit. Of course, at this time of the year, there’s so much else to see and do at the Epcot Festival of the Holidays. Make sure you check out our other post about the holiday at Walt Disney World to plan how to make the most of your visit this year.
Are you planning a visit to the Candlelight Processional this year? It’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate the season in Epcot and brings some holiday spirit to the park at this time of the year. Make sure you book your dining reservation well in advance or show up with plenty of time to spare to the show to avoid disappointment. You’ll find this to be one of the highlights of your Christmas visit, and it’s something you’ll want to return to each year as part of your family’s holiday celebrations.