Affordable Disney Vacations: the Candlelight Processional
While Disney World may be in the midst of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, for many guests, their vacation planning focus is on the upcoming Holiday Season. So today, let’s answer a few questions about one of the most popular events during this “most wonderful time of the year”, the Candlelight Processional, and specifically discuss if this is an event that you will want to attend.
What is the Candlelight Processional?
The Candlelight Processional is a narration of the Christmas story which runs nightly from November 26 through December 30, 2010 with three performances each night, at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 pm. Each show runs about 40 minutes, and features Guest Narrators who read the story, accompanied by a mass choir and orchestra. That is the basic description. Beyond that, you will want to know that it is spectacular, moving, inspiring….and if you love Christmas carols you will likely find this to be a tremendously uplifting experience. For us, it is a “must see” when we visit during this time of the year.
Is there a cost for the Candlelight Processional?
Technically speaking, no, there is no cost beyond that of general admission to Epcot.
However…..there is a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package that there is a fee for.
And while you don’t HAVE to have the dinner package to get in to see this concert….not having it will mean that you will wait in line for at least 45-60 minutes prior to the show, and hope that there are still seats available by the time you get to the front of the line. During the peak of the holidays, there are not likely to be many…or any…seats available after the Dinner Package people have taken their reserved seats.
With the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package, you remove the stress about getting a seat (although you will still need to get in line prior, but you are guaranteed a seat), you have a sit-down meal at one of Epcot’s great restaurants, and you also receive access to a preferred viewing area for Illuminations.
What You Need to Know About the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package
You schedule your Candlelight Processional Dining Package meal for before the performance you will attend. So if you will attend the 5 p.m. performance, you will do the Lunch Package. For the 6:45 show, you will schedule a Dinner Package for dinner between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., and for the 8:00 performances, your Dinner Package will be for dinner between 5:00-6:00 pm.
Pricing is in 3 tiers, based on the restaurants you choose, and range from $32.99-$51.99/adult and $12.99-$17.99/ child for lunch and from $46.99-$61.99/adult and $15.99-$23.99/child for dinner. This year, you may choose to eat at any of the following for dinner: Biergarten, Garden Grill, Rose & Crown, Le Cellier, Coral Reef, Nine Dragons, San Angel, Marrakesh, Teppan Edo & Tokyo Dining, Chefs de France and Tutto Italia, and all of the above EXCEPT Garden Grill for lunch.
Meals include appetizer, entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. If you wish to use the Disney Dining Plan, it will cost two Table Service credits.
Should I Buy the Dinner Package?
The answer to this depends on several things:
- How badly do you want to see/hear the entire show?
- Do you have children that will be willing/able/interested to sit for close to an hour for this?
- Is it in your budget?
Probably the major consideration here is if you have young children, because most are not going to be thrilled to sit in one place for the duration of this show. For anyone who wants to see/hear this show, if you have young children, in my opinion you might find that it is easier to stand along the promenade and listen from there, rather than trying to get a seat…in which case you certainly don’t need to spend the money for the dinner package. You will still be treated to an exceptional performance…but will also have the ability to move on when the little ones get restless.
As to the other two considerations, everyone is different, but for our family, we budget around this, it is that important to us. In fact, I am making sure that we arrive for our New Year’s trip in enough time to catch the final show of the season on December 30th. If you love Christmas music, massed choirs, and inspiring performances….then I would strongly recommend you get the dinner package to insure that you don’t miss a minute!