Sneak-Peek-Sunday: Candlelight Processional

In 1958, Disneyland had it’s first Candlelight Processional and Walt Disney World also adopted the annual event when it opened in 1971. The Processional at Disney World moved to Epcot’s America Gardens Theater  in 1994 and has become a big must-do for anyone visiting during the holiday season. Like years past, this years Processional listing is filled with many recognizable names and of course,Epcot’s own Voices of Liberty leading the choir. If you’ve never been before, know that this show runs three times in an evening and can be packaged along with Dinner, reserving seating for you and your dining party. However, this show is free and seating does begin shortly before the show. The show lasts around 45 minutes. Guest narrators tell the Nativity story and the choir sings songs for the season. Every few days, the guest narrators change and this could be a leading factor in when you come to Walt Disney World for the holidays. So let’s go down the listing of guests for 2012’s Candlelight Processional. \

Isabella Rosselini is the first scheduled narrator from November 23rd-25th. If you are unfamiliar with her, she is most notable for being an actress as well as the television model for Lancome perfumes for over 13 years. Most notably, she had film roles in Death Becomes Her and Blue Velvet. She was once married to Martin Scorsese. If you are familiar with her work and adore her, she will be a great narrator for you. If you aren’t really familiar with her, she might be hard to understand as she was born and raised in Italy and has an accent to match that.

Everyone’s favorite child doctor, Neil Patrick Harris, will be narrating from November 26th-29th. If you are don’t know who Neil Patrick Harris is, you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years. Originally he was a child star on Doogie Howser, M.D. but has become a bigger star with his role as Barney on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother as well as other film and musical theater roles. He has been a narrator at Epcot for a number of years and is a favorite among guests. You’ll definitely have a fun time with NPH and you will probably laugh a bit as well.

Whoppi Goldberg is another perennial favorite for the Candlelight Processional. A comedian and movie star, Goldberg can put on a family friendly show while still delivering a few laughs. She will be narrating from November 30th-December 1st. She has a storied past with Disney and is always on call for them, doing voice over work in the Lion King, several documentaries, and appearing in some attractions at the Disney Parks. She will be someone to see for years to come as well as this year.

Jodi Benson will be narrating from December 11th-13th. For all the Disney Princess lovers, this might be your narrator of choice. Benson is most notable as a voice actor and voicing the Ariel from the Little Mermaid has been her biggest role to date. She also worked for Pixar as the voice of Barbie in the Toy Story films. For little girls, this narrative of the Nativity is a must-do. Tell your little girl that the lady on stage is actually Ariel and they will crumble to pieces. Truly, I’ve seen it happen.

Singing might be a big part of the show from December 14th-16th as Olivia Newton John hosts the show and narrates. A beauty most known for her role in Grease and her chart topping hits on the radio in the late 1970s and the 1980s. She would be a must see for those who fell in love with her in their youth. For a younger audience, she may be irrelevant, however she has a great voice and is another perennial favorite at Epcot.

Trace Adkins is taking over narration duties from December 20th-22nd. A country music star from Louisiana, this “good ol’ boy” would be great for anyone’s NASCAR dad. Giving the Nativity a bit of Southern hospitality and coming from a religious background, this might be a great surprise of a show for anyone visiting Epcot. He is still a very relevant star unlike some of the other narrators, and could have a big impact on making your Christmas season very special. I can guarantee someone will be crying at this show for sure.

George Sinise, like Whoppie Goldberg, has done tons of work for the Disney company, including the film for the Epcot attraction Mission: Space. He is an acclaimed actor with work in Truman, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, and many other films. If Trace Adkins doesn’t make you cry, Sinise’s telling of the Nativity is sure to. Look out for him from December 23rd-Christmas Day.

Marlee Matlin is the last of the narrators from Dec. 26th-28th currently scheduled. If you are unfamiliar with her, she is deaf, but has been a major film and television star for  decades. Her story in itself, in overcoming a disability to be a top star and rise above, shows the magic of Christmas and should be a good reason for any of us to be humbled and joyous during this festive time of the year.

Of course, there are still several other dates to be filled and announcements will come as time progresses on. Stay tuned for all of those announcements to be posted on this site when it gets much closer to the Holiday Season. In the meantime, get out to the parks and enjoy the wonderful summer heat, and everyone have a very Merry Christmas in July!

Josh Taylor
Follow Me on Twitter: @kidredo
Email Me: disneyparkhistory@yahoo.com

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Posted on July 16, 2012, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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