The Disneyland Candlelight Processional is an annual tradition at the Disneyland Resort that dates back to the days of Walt Disney. Each year (except for a few in Fantasyland), a mass choir, orchestra, handbell choir, fanfare trumpeters and celebrity narrator come together in front of Main Street Station and tell the story of the original Christmas with music, narration, lights, and of course candles.
Through the years there have been so many different celebrity narrators (a list can be found here). Daps Magic has been filming the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland since 2007 when Jane Seymore was the narrator. Through the years, there have been so many magical moments and incredible storytellers that have been filmed by the team. There were also incredible narrators beforehand as well, like Dick Van Dyke in 2005! Through the years that Daps Magic has filmed, however, there have been certain narrators that stand out. Maybe this was because of a magical moment, maybe this was because of the style of narration, or perhaps just the experience that was had during the wait or during the performance. So without any further adieu, here are 5 of the most memorable narrators that were filmed by the Daps Magic team at Disneyland in no particular order.
In 2019, Lin-Manuel Miranda was the celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland. He brought the energy and spirit that Lin-Manuel Miranda is known for to his narration. He seemed to genuinely enjoy the performance and the audience definitely enjoyed his weekend as he told the Christmas story with the accompaniment of the musicians.
In 2018, Chris Pratt narrated the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland. His performance was full of heart and Pratt definitely was happy to be telling this story. He brought his personality into the story, and at times improvised the story that was being told… which led to some humorous moments. He also explained what he was reading a couple of times throughout the story. Oh, and did I mention he also decided the paraphrase the story at one point? Pratt narrating the Candlelight Processional brought passion and humor to the night at Disneyland.
In 2017, Chris Hemsworth narrated the Candlelight Processional. A fan favorite, Hemsworth definitely received no shortage of cheers when arriving for both his mic check and then when he returned to actually narrate the story of Christmas. His narration was solid and at times it was hard not to think about the fact that it was Thor reading the story of Christmas.
Kurt Russell was the narrator for Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional in 2013. In this year, there were two narrators with Blair Underwood narrating on Saturday and Kurt Russell on Sunday. Russell did a fantastic job and it was fun to see this Disney Legend share the story of Christmas. It was also fun to watch him appear to be enjoying watching the sign language interpreter. This was a memorable year with a lot of Christmas magic.
Dick Van Dyke
2012 was the year of 20 nights of Candlelight Processional at Disneyland, as the weather permitted. This was also the year that there seemed to be a lot of rain. One of the most notable narrators of all time at Disneyland, and during this 20-night run, is Dick Van Dyke. One of the nights he narrated was on December 13, which also happened to be his birthday. It also happened to rain that night, delaying the show. Dick Van Dyke ended up with an umbrella and the crowd singing happy birthday to him. It was an absolutely magical evening at Disneyland! The umbrella is brought out at around the 50-minute mark if you want to skip to it.
There have been so many other amazing narrators through the years that have been memorable. Honorable mentions have to go to Gennifer Goodwin (2016), Gary Sinise (2011), and of course John Stamos (2008). If my memory serves, my first Candlelight Processional at Disneyland was in 2002 with Stephen Collins. 20 years later, the Candlelight Processional is still a beautiful tradition that I love to experience every year. I love the anticipation at Disneyland of guessing who will be the narrator, the waiting to see the show with loved ones, and then the beautiful experience of the actual performance of the Candlelight Processional.
Who are your favorite narrators through the years for Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional? Do you have any favorite memories? Please take a moment and share them in the comments below! Merry Christmas!