Mickey dressed in holiday clothes in front of a Christmas tree.
  • On Jan 3, 2023
    Greg from GA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi Amy! Northern transplant living near Jacksonville. We are already looking at Christmas 2023. Do you recommend the Candlelight Processional? If so, do we need a dinner package and where is the best place to sit in the theater?

    Hey there, Greg!  

    Thank you for bringing your question to me at planDisney! We may just be starting the new year but I love that you’re thinking ahead to the most magical time of the year at the Walt Disney World Resort! The Candlelight Processional at EPCOT is one of my favorite experiences, and my family just enjoyed this a few weeks ago so I’m happy to share some advice.

    I recommend that everyone experience the Candlelight Processional if they are able. No matter what your beliefs are, hearing the story of Christmas told by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a full choir, EPCOT’s Voices of Liberty, and an orchestra is a moving experience that truly brings the spirit of the season. In my casual observation, there are not many children in attendance, but I feel it’s an amazing show for all ages! My son was entranced at his first viewing at four years old with the music, lights, colors, and enthusiasm of the performers. The America Gardens Theatre is a partially covered outdoor venue so it is not too formal for little ones.

    While a dining package is not required, I find it helps me to prioritize the show and provide structure to our schedule that day with a reserved dining time. A Candlelight Processional Dining Package is the only way to truly guarantee a seat, which is great peace of mind on the evenings hosting some very popular narrators. You make this reservation as you would a traditional Disney Dining Reservation but be sure to reserve the package option. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for details of the 2023 holiday season dining packages later this year.

    When you finish your meal, you will be given a colored ticket (it has a removable backing to become a wearable badge) which allows you entrance to the dining package queue. Guests without the dining package will line up separately as standby. Dining package guests are allowed into the theatre about 40 minutes ahead of showtime, and nearly half of the theatre is reserved for them even once they open the standby queue.

    I was a little ambitious and got in line too early this year, so I had the luxury of choice in selecting my seat! A good friend advised me to sit near the center of the stage. My second row, center seat was perfect! I especially loved the contagious enthusiasm of the conductor from that vantage point. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house, and the stage is elevated so everyone can see. I noticed the first few rows to the left of the stage were not filled, and I think this is due to the impressive percussion section setup. Their strong sounds may dominate and their large presence may partially block the view of the singers, if you are in the very front rows. The moving performance and holiday spirit will spill beyond the theatre into the American Adventure pavilion at EPCOT so be assured you will have a great experience no matter your perspective.

    Please bring any additional questions to planDisney as you look ahead to your next trip!

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Meet the Panelist: Amy, Virginia

Hi friends! I'm Amy, a lifelong Disney dreamer from horse-and-wine country, Virginia. My family of three is BIG on fun and treasures every adventure together. We've been making memories at the Walt Disney World Resort and aboard Disney Cruise Line since my son was a toddler; we love our family traditions balanced with "what's new" each visit. I have a passion for Disney details, a love of digital tools, and an eye for practical planning. I can't wait to help you make the MOST of your magical vacation! Learn More About Amy

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