Please welcome guest blogger Lindsay Diamond.Â Lindsay, also known as MickeyWaffle71 “in the box” and on Twitter, Â writes for her blogs, It’s a Small Blog After All and The Disney Fashion Project, as well as for WDW Fan Zone. She has her own character entertainment business, Enchanted Rose Entertainment, and hopes to become a Disney Imagineer while also working with children around the world.
There are few things in this world comparable to the joy, love, and magic felt at Walt Disney World during the winter holidays. One of the most popular ways to celebrate in December is by attending one of the nightly celebrity-hosted Candlelight Processionals. I saw it for the first time in 2008; I had never been so moved on a Christmas Eve in my life! Less than a year later, I was performing on the America Gardens stage in that very same concert. Most recently, I performed this year in mid-December in 2 of the best performances of my life.
Being able to perform at Disney World is often a shared dream amongst Disney fanatics, such as myself. The resort is all about the art of the show, and to be a part of that show rather than to sit in the audience is so fulfilling. Disney has granted me with so much pure happiness, and anything I can do to pass on those feelings of â€œexceeding great joyâ€ is an honor for me. Through my schoolâ€™s outstanding music program, I was able to embark on my first of hopefully many opportunities to share Disney magic. Every 2 years, the department takes our choir, orchestra, and marching band to the happiest place on earth for 3 very special performances. I was blessed with the chance to do two of them.
After having a great chat with Lou Mongello in Epcotâ€™s Italy, I met the rest of my concert choir by the Venetian bridges to prepare for the eveningâ€™s later 2 performances. Backstage, everything was organized, timely, and near perfection, as one would expect from Disney. Our choir director turned out to be the same one we had 2 years ago, Dr. William Powell, who is the most energetic and enjoyable director Iâ€™ve ever worked with. The Voices of Liberty rehearsed a few tunes with us, and when they opened their mouths to sing for the first time, I couldnâ€™t believe what I was hearing. It was as if the heavens opened up and shed Godâ€™s pure light right in that very room. Before we knew it, we were in our golden robes with electric candlesticks in hand, ready to make our Disney debuts. I couldnâ€™t help but have tears in my eyes as we walked onto the glittering stage with its full orchestra. Our celebrity narrator was Isabella Rossellini, who has one of the most beautiful accents on this planet. Everything she read had a unique and soothing tone to it. Besides feeling the magic on the stage, I was so excited to be performing for some of my family members, fellow students, and my Disney family, who took time out of their weekend plans to see me perform. They made the experience all the more memorable for me.
Before I could lose the ecstatic jitters from the night before, the next day was here with a very different type of performance. That evening, Iâ€™d be marching down Main Street before the Main Street Electrical Parade. This itself had a whole other dimension of meaning to me. I thought that Iâ€™d never see the original light parade in my lifetime, and when it came back to the Magic Kingdom a few years ago, I knew Iâ€™d cherish that nostalgic moment forever. I was so happy when Disney announced it would be staying more than just a summer, but nothing beat the thrill of hearing my band director tell us we were going to be performing in it. Unlike the Candlelight Processional, itâ€™s a very short event. We did the typical Main Street to Frontierland run, which moves pretty swiftly without any floats to follow behind. My family picked their spots on Main Street 2 hours before the parade for their 3 second glimpse of me. Just as in Epcot, everything was very timely, and we made our way from behind Main Street to a crowd of cheering students and an excited tour group. Thatâ€™s when the happy tears began to form again. As we made our way about the circle, I caught a glimpse of the iced castle. I felt like I was seeing it for the first time. Nothing had ever struck me as so beautiful or flawless or even magical.
Whether youâ€™re there to walk the Streets of America to see the Spectacle of Lights, eat cookies at Mickeyâ€™s Very Merry Christmas Party, listen to the storytellers around Epcot, or just to have Lou Mongello tell you, â€œAlthough you werenâ€™t the star at the top of the Candlelight Processional tree, you were the real star,â€ being at Walt Disney World during the holidays is the best time of the year to go. The magic is multiplied a thousand times, and I know it will always hold a special place in my heart for giving me the chance to be a part of the show Iâ€™ve been watching since I was six weeks old. I hope that this Christmas, you feel within your homes those same blessings of â€œcomfort and joyâ€ that I felt while performing in a place that feels like home to all of us.