Celebrating Christmas in July with the Candlelight Processional

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Mid-summer might seem like an odd time to start thinking about holiday plans, but when it comes to Walt Disney World, it’s just the right timeThis month, reservations opened for one of my favorite holiday events, the Candlelight Processional. 

Disney’s Candlelight Processional: A Holiday Tradition

Disney’s Candlelight Processional has become a family tradition for me. Each year, my mom and I choose a day around the end of November or beginning of December to attend. We have shared our tradition with various friends and family members over the years and it is always something we look forward to. 

The Choir Makes Their Entrance

The show features classic Christmas songs sung by a choir that includes Cast Members, adults, and high school students. The Christmas story is told by a celebrity narrator, with music interwoven into the storyThe performance takes place 3 times per night throughout the holiday season. 

I have seen several narrators over the years and have enjoyed each one. My favorites so far have been Neil Patrick Harris and Alfonso Ribeiro, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Each narrator adds their own personal touch to the performance, making each show unique. 

Candlelight Processional
Gary Sinise Tells the Christmas Story

The show is included with admission to Epcot, however, the demand for this show is high. Because seating is limited, it is highly recommended that you book a Candlelight Dining Package to ensure that you will have a seat for the performance 

Booking a Candlelight Dining Package

If you want guaranteed seating for the show, you can book a dining package through the Walt Disney World website or by phone. You will then select a dining reservation at one of the many Epcot or Boardwalk restaurants that participate. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are available and the price of your package varies by restaurant. The time of your dining reservation will determine which performance you attend. Keep in mind that it may not be completely dark for the first show of the night. 

Candlelight Processional
Audience Sings Along with the Choir for the Hallelujah Chorus

Shows with popular narrators and certain dates fill up very quickly, so book early if possible. This year, payment is required at the time of booking. This is a recent change that caught me off guard when I booked my reservation. I should have paid more attention when I hit that confirmation button, but I didn’t, and got a surprise on my credit card statement. Whoops! 

Viewing Options Without the Dining Package

You are not required to purchase a dining package to see the show. Standby seating is also available. I would recommend getting in line very early if you would like to try for a seat in the standby line. If you don’t mind standing, there is usually a little space at the back of the theater or across the walkway in front of the America Pavilion. Your view may not be perfect, but you should still be able to see, hear, and enjoy the show from there.  

In my opinion, the dining package is worth it. Enjoying a nice meal with my travel companions before the show puts me in the holiday spirit and makes the whole day seem special. Trust me, there’s a reason I have booked a dining package 5 years in a row! 

Whether this holiday season will be your first time at the Candlelight Processional or your 6th time, like me, there is something magical about this event. So, while you are trying to stay cool this summer, think about the holidays and start planning for and booking your Christmastime vacation…in July! 

Have you ever caught the Candlelight Processional? Do you typically book the dining package? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter!

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