by Don Myers
It’s time to continue our look at the Holiday Events going on around Walt Disney World Rersort for 2011. Part One focused on the festivities that will be taking place at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. So for Part Two, we will be taking a look at EPCOT. And when you think about the Holiday Season and Epcot Center, generally three words come to mind: The Candlelight Processional. The Candlelight Processional has been a mainstay at WDW since the beginning, as the Resort’s inagural year (1971) saw Rock Hudson serve as guest narrator. Back then the Event was held at Magic Kingdom, as it didn’t transfer over to EPCOT until the 1994 Holiday Season. Now in its 18th year at EPCOT, the first performance for this years incarnation of The Candlelight Processional was scheduled for Friday November 25th at 5pm. The Event runs throughout the entire Holiday Season, with the final performance slated for Friday December 30th at 8:15pm. The Candlelight Processional takes place at The America Gardens Theatre, just across from The American Adventure Pavilion. The Event features three shows each night: 5pm, 6:45pm, and 8:15pm. A 50-piece Orchestra, a Guest Conductor, The Voices of Liberty, and various High School choirs from around the Country are all amassed onstage along with a Guest Narrator to interpret the Biblical telling of the birth of Jesus. Here is the complete listing of the dates and narrators for this years Candlelight Processional:
Fri Nov 25th – Sun Nov 27th: Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite, Romy & Michelle’s HS Reunion)
Mon Nov 28th – Thu Dec 1st: Christian singer Michael W. Smith
Fri Dec 2nd & Sat Dec 3rd: Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own)
Sun Dec 4th – Tue Dec 6th: Edward James Olmos* (Battlestar Gallatica, Dexter) *Only appearing at the 6:45pm and 8:15pm shows
Wed Dec 7th – Fri Dec 9th: Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet, Alias)
Sat Dec 10th – Mon Dec 12th: Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, How I Met Your Mother)
Tue Dec 13th – Thu Dec 15th: Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellas, The Sopranos)
Fri Dec 16th – Sun Dec 18th: singer/dancer Chita Rivera
Mon Dec 19th – Wed Dec 21st: country singer Trace Adkins
Thu Dec 22nd – Sat Dec 24th: Susan Lucci (All My Children)
Sun Dec 25th – Tue Dec 27th: Blair Underwood (LA Law, The Event)
Wed Dec 28th – Fri Dec 30th: Marlee Matlin (The West Wing, Celebrity Apprentice)
Keep in mind that the narrator list for the Candlelight Processional has seen changes in years past, so the 2011 list is subject to change without notice. This is the list as of the writing of this blog, but changes to the narrator lineup are certainly not unheard of.
I saw the Candlelight Processional last year with my Family. We went to the 5pm show on Friday December 10th, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. It was truly an unforgettable experience, one that should not be missed if you plan on visiting WDW for the Holidays. In addition, we booked a Candlelight Dining Package, which guaranteed us a seat for the show and also allowed us access to a special viewing area inside Showcase Plaza for Illuminations later that evening. Our meal was lunch at The Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, but there were several restaurants and dining times available for booking. This year is no exception, as there are 15 different restaurants to choose from. Here’s a complete list of those participating:
Biergarten, Coral Reef Restaurant, Garden Grill, Hacienda de San Angel, Le Cellier Steakhouse, Les Chefs de France, Nine Dragons, Restaurant Marrakesh,Â Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, San Angel Inn, Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining, Tutto Italia, and Via Napoli.
Lunch packages range from $32.99 (plus tax) to $53.99 (plus tax) for Adults, and $12.99 (plus tax) to $17.99 (plus tax) for kids ages 3-9. Dinner packages range from $49.99 (plus tax) to $64.99 (plus tax) for Adults, and $15.99 (plus tax) to $26.99 (plus tax) for kids ages 3-9. Meals include one appetizer, one entree, one dessert, and your choice of non alcoholic beverage (or full buffet in the case of Biergarten). To book a Candlelight Dining Package, or for more info, call: (407) WDW-DINE or visit: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/candlelight-dinners/
But The America Gardens Theatre isn’t the only place wrapped up in the Spirit of the Season at EPCOT, as World Showcase is also home to Holidays Around the World. The festivities kicked off Friday November 25th, and run until Friday December 30th. All eleven World Showcase Pavilions participate in Holidays Around the World, with interperative stories being the main focus. Highlights for 2011 will include Santa & Mrs. Claus at The American Adventure, Helga telling the story of the first Christmas Tree in Germany, Father Christmas at the UK Pavilion, Los Tres Reyes Magos (The Three Kings) in Mexico, and a special story from a lumber jack named Nowell at the Canada Pavilion. But this is only a scratch on the surface of Holidays Around the World. Brochures with a complete listing of all the Events can be found at the entrance to EPCOT.
That’s it for the two-part look at the Holiday Events around Walt Disney World, I’ll be back soon with more from the WDW Radio Newswire………
Which Candlelight Processional narrator would you most want to see?
Don Myers covers news and recent events in Walt Disney World.Â He has been enamored with the World of Disney since his first trip to WDW in 1986. As they say, the rest is history!Â Don also has been a contributing writer for Celebrations magazine since 2009.