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Holiday Favorite: Candlelight Processional

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

Reflections from Tami Schaefer, Co-owner and Founder of Dream Builders Travel

Before we officially close out 2019 and look ahead to all the exciting things to come in 2020, I wanted to share one of my favorite holiday activities this season. Every year, the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot hosts the International Festival of the Holidays – Candlelight Processional. During the processional, the Christmas story is shared by a celebrity narrator and joined by a 50-piece orchestra and choir.

This year’s narrators included: Ming-Na Wen, Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Isabella Rossellini, Alton Fitzgerald White, Gary Sinise, Pat Sajak, Geena Davis, Steven Curtis Chapman, Edward James Olmos, Marlee Matlin and Lisa Ling. The performances run nightly from November 29 through December 30, 2019 and are bound to be a holiday favorite!

During my trip recent trip to Disney’s EarMarked Program Owners Summit, we enjoyed the dining package which included dinner at the Coral Reef restaurant and guaranteed seating at the 8:15pm show. We were offered a special aquarium table (see photo above!) and our dinner included an appetizer, entree and dessert.

The Candlelight Processional is my favorite Christmas experience at Walt Disney World. It is a beautiful combination of choir music with a reading of the Gospel of Luke. Our narrator was Gary Sinise, and we were lucky enough to attend his last show of the season. He has been narrating the Candlelight Processional for 20 years!

At the end of the show, he requested that the staff raise the house lights. He then asked all of the service men and women in the audience to stand and personally thanked them for their sacrifice and service to our country. The theater erupted with applause…and many tears! It was amazing! I was blown away by his touching tribute. I have seen the Candlelight processional many times, but his heartfelt words of gratitude and joy made it an evening I will never forget. It was definitely a highlight of my holidays.

From all of us at Dream Builders Travel, we hope your holidays were blessed with peace and joy, and we wish you a very Happy New Year!

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