Mickey dressed in holiday clothes in front of a Christmas tree.
  • On Dec 31, 2022
    Dave from NC Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Wondering if we are guaranteed badge to the candlelight processional for next year if we have a reservation at one of the participating restaurants even if we don't have a dining plan?

    Happy new year, Dave!

    Welcome to planDisney! While the holiday season is winding down, I love that you’re already thinking about your special vacation planned for this December. The Candlelight Processional at EPCOT is one of my all-time favorite experiences at the Walt Disney Resort; hearing the story of Christmas told by a celebrity narrator with the gorgeous sounds of an orchestra and choir is so moving. My family enjoyed this magical performance just two weeks ago, so I’m happy to help you with some strategies for seating at the America Gardens Theatre.

    While the Disney Dining Plan is not currently available, there are Candlelight Processional Dining Packages which are the only way to truly guarantee a seat for the show. Regular dining reservations at a restaurant offering the dining package are not eligible for guaranteed seating; I’ve observed that about half of the theatre appears to be reserved for dining package guests for each show.

    When you finish your meal reserved as a Candlelight Processional Dining Package, you will receive a colored ticket (which has a removable backing to become a wearable sticker badge) that grants you entry into the queue for dining package guests. There is a separate standby queue for those without this reservation. Dining package guests may begin entering about forty minutes prior to showtime, and there are sections of the theatre which remain reserved once they open the standby queue.

    In the past, dining packages were available for specific restaurants in EPCOT and included an appetizer, entrée and dessert or one full buffet (where applicable), and a non-alcoholic beverage per person. You can make a reservation for a specific dining package on the Walt Disney World website or My Disney Experience mobile app just as you would other dining reservations, but they do fill up quickly. In 2022 there was also an option for same-day Quick-Service dining packages. The updated details of these packages will be announced later in the year, so keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for specific offerings in the 2023 holiday season.

    I’ve enjoyed dining packages at Biergarten Restaurant, Teppan Edo, and Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in past years. I find the peace of mind knowing I have a seat for this special performance is worth the effort of securing a reservation and the cost of the meal includes everything we need for a great dining experience.

    There’s nothing like the holiday season at the Walt Disney World Resort! Please bring any additional questions you may have this year to planDisney, we’re here to help you make the most of your special 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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