Between the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort and the upcoming winter holiday season, visitors to Florida’s Disney theme parks will be able to partake in some incredibly special events in the coming months. In particular, one longstanding Disney holiday tradition is back in 2021 after taking a break during pandemic restrictions last year.
The Candlelight Processional at EPCOT is a heartwarming show featuring celebrity narrators telling the biblical Christmas story. Accompanying the storytelling is a live orchestra and a choir made up of Disney cast members singing “songs of hope and joy.” The Candlelight Processional will take place from November 26 to December 30 and is part of the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays.
According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Candlelight Processional dates back to 1971, when it first took place at Magic Kingdom Park. It moved to EPCOT in 1994. Typically guest choirs from community groups and schools perform in the festive celebration. However, since all of the performers need to be vaccinated this year, an expanded cast member choir will take to the stage.
The detailed schedule and list of celebrity narrators, which in the past have included world-famous singers, actors, and professional athletes, will be released at a later date. Details on dinner packages that include a seat at the Candlelight Professional are also forthcoming.
More Holiday Fun At EPCOT, Other Parks
In addition to the Candlelight Processional, guests who visit EPCOT between November 26 and December 30 will be able to sample holiday-themed food and drink at kiosks in the World Showcase, where 11 different countries are represented.
Visitors can also stroll through the World Showcase to find five distinct spots where seasonal cookies are sold. Sample each one on the Holiday Cookie Stroll and get your Festival Passport stamped.
Meanwhile, the holiday fun starts as early as November 8 at Magic Kingdom, with the Disney Very Merriest After Hours. The after-hours celebration takes place from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., but ticket holders will be let into the park as early as 7 p.m. Then guests can enjoy a special fireworks show, Christmas parade, “snowfall” on Main Street, and special colorful lighting and music to mark the holiday season.
Hollywood Studios features the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard. At Animal Kingdom a variety of characters, including jolly old St. Nick himself, make their way down Discovery River in specially themed flotillas.
Learn more about the Walt Disney World Resort holiday happenings here.