Are you celebrating the magic of the holiday season at Walt Disney World resort with your family and loved ones? All through Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll find special holiday events, entertainment and attractions. During this festive time it’s easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on all there is to do during this magical time of year. However, you won’t want to miss the understated Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

epcot candlelight processional

Epcot Candlelight Processional – a Holiday Tradition in Sight & Sound. Photo Credit: Tara Settembre/VIP TravelingMom

All through Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll find special holiday events, entertainment and attractions, but here’s one you won’t want to miss.

This season for the first time, my family and I attended Epcot’s annual Candlelight Processional, a Disney tradition now in its 45th year! This magical performance features rich storytelling, inspiring guest narrators and moving musical performances from the mass choir and live 50-piece orchestra. This festive holiday event is inspired by Disneyland’s original Candlelight Processional, a similar holiday tradition that takes place on Main Street U.S.A. and features a full Orchestra, Christmas Tree Chorus performing renditions of traditional Christmas songs and a retelling of the Christmas Story by a celebrity narrator.

We were lucky enough to have Meredith Vieira as the celebrity host during out visit. Her voice was warm and professional due to her years of TODAY anchoring. She admitted to tearing up though during her first performance earlier that night.

Remaining Candlelight Processional Celebrity Narrators:

  • Dec. 15-17: America Ferrera
  • Dec. 18-20: Chandra Wilson
  • Dec. 21-23: Daniel Dae Kim
  • Dec. 24-26: Edward James Olmos
  • Dec. 27–28: Blair Underwood
  • Dec. 29-30: Amy Grant

Seating & Admission

epcot candlelight processional standby entrance

Candlelight Processional standby entrance. Photo Credit: Tara Settembre/VIP TravelingMom

The Candlelight Processional takes place outside in the America Gardens Theater in the America pavilion in the World Showcase and are approximately 40 minutes long. The program runs three times nightly, beginning at 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. We went with the 6:45 p.m. showing since it wasn’t quite completely dark yet during the 5 p.m. show and we wanted to have the full candle glow effect.

Fortunately, the event is included in regular Epcot admission. However, people start lining up at the Stand-by Entrance queue at least an hour before each show time.

Instead of waiting in line though, go VIP with a Candlelight Dinner Package, where you can enjoy guaranteed seating at the Candlelight Processional and a special viewing area for the Epcot fireworks, plus have a nice meal prior. It’s worth the price.

You can always stroll by the theatre area though to listen to the music without sitting too.

Will Young Kids Enjoy the Performance?

Yes and no. While this event doesn’t feature Disney characters, the live music should still entertain and it’s a great opportunity to expose children to classical music and symphony recitals. The young toddler seated next to me though took the opportunity to fall asleep across his parents laps lulled by the choir, which was surprising considering the trumpeters sounding their horns. Lots of tweens and teens were in attendance with their families though and awake, lol.

Be prepared though, the “storytelling” isn’t a rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ but readings from the scripture. I’m not religious, so wasn’t expecting that, but at the same time I didn’t mind hearing the story of Jesus’ birth in between songs.

For more great holiday events happening at Walt Disney World, read TMOM’s WDW holiday guide and 11 Tips for Navigating Holiday Crowds at Disneyland. Traveling Mom recommends Parksavers for discount Disney World tickets- use Traveling Mom exclusive code TM2 for a $2 off per ticket. Affiliate