A beautiful tradition continued at Disneyland this weekend in the form of the Candlelight Processional. The Candlelight Processional is the telling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator, choir, handbell choir, orchestra, and soloists. The ceremony begins with the choir processing down the parade route singing Christmas carols while holding candles. The eventually end up a stage that has been erected in front of Main Street Station in Town Square. Once there, the choir fills the stage and the living Christmas tree and begin to musically tell the story with the help of a celebrity narrator. This year, the narrator was Gary Sinise, perhaps best known for his role in Forrest Gump as Lieutenant Dan.
Saturday night was windy and Sunday night was cooler but this did not dampen the spirits of those in attendance. People bundled up to survive the elements and enjoyed the Christmas spirit that was in the air. At the lighting of the holiday tree on Saturday it was humorous to hear people yell “Merry Christmas” instead of the customary “Happy Holidays” as the tree came to life. The weather didn’t dampen spirits of the performers either. The music was beautiful. The soloists were amazing. The experience was magical. Perhaps one of the most beautiful moments of the night was when all in attendance were invited to join in singing Silent Night by a soloist and director Nancy Sulahian. As everyone sang together they shared a smile that just encompassed what Christmas is all about.
Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional has roots dating back to Walt Disney’s choral festival in 1955. It occurs on the first weekend of December and if you missed it this year, plan on checking it out next year. Details of this event at Disneyland usually won’t be found on the Disneyland schedule as there just isn’t a ton of room for people to watch. If you do want to see the Candlelight Processional, show up by 3:00 pm standing room viewing spot for the 5:30 pm show or show up during the first show on Main Street, USA to queue for the 8:00 pm show. Candlelight is only presented on Saturday and Sunday so if weather is iffy, go on Saturday. If you would like more information on Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional, or would like to ask a question about it, please leave a comment below.