2021 Candlelight Processional at EPCOT: How to Get Your Seat

by | Nov 30, 2021 | EPCOT, WDW Blog, WDW News

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The 2021 Candlelight Processional at EPCOT is going to be a hot ticket for the duration of the Festival of the Holidays. Here’s how to make sure you see it this year.

The Candlelight Processional at EPCOT is a solid Christmas tradition for many families. Whether you’re new to the phenomenon or just need all the 2021 Candlelight Processional deets, keep scrolling to secure your seat.

What Is the Candlelight Processional?

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Candlelight Processional. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

The Candlelight Processional is a nightly show from November 16 to December 30 that showcases the story of Christmas through narration and glorious song. Though it started in Magic Kingdom years ago, it’s long been a staple of the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays.

A cast of celebrity narrators (see below) are scheduled for the season, each performing for a few nights. The narrator will relate the story of Christmas, with intermittent songs via a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir.

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The musicians at the Candlelight Processional are so talented! Photo by Ernie Carr

Will the Candlelight Processional Continue in 2021?

Yes, the Candlelight Processional was put on pause in 2020 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. This year, the halls will ring again with cheerful song and the triumphant story of Christmas because the Candlelight Processional is back for 2021.

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Christmas at its finest. Photo by Tina Chiu

Is the Candlelight Processional Free?

Yes. The Candlelight Processional, like most any show at the America Gardens Theatre in EPCOT, is included in your park ticket price. Bystanders can even watch the show from the walkway in front of the America Pavilion and hear it from all over the area.

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The Candlelight Processional at EPCOT is free, but getting a spot to sit is not guaranteed. Photo by Rich Ramos

The real challenge lies in getting a seat. If you are a fan of seeing the performers up close (or even 15 rows away), you’ll need a strategy to get your coveted spot. Keep scrolling to see how to guarantee a spot on the benches.

2021 Candlelight Processional Celebrity Narrators

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Chita Rivera at the Candlelight Processional during the 2021 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays. Photo by Ernie Carr

Disney has announced the full list of Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators, and the list includes some good’uns this year.

  • Auli’i Cravalho
    • November 26 through November 28
  • Chita Rivera
    • November 29 through December 1
  • Jodi Benson
    • December 2 through December 4
  • Alton Fitzgerald White
    • December 5 through December 7
  • Bart Millard
    • December 8 through December 10
  • Lisa Ling
    • December 11 through December 13
  • Andy Garcia
    • December 14 through December 16
  • Ana Gasteyer
    • December 17 through December 19
  • Courtney B. Vance
    • December 20 through December 22
  • Steven Curtis Chapman
    • December 23 through December 25
  • Blair Underwood
    • December 26 through December 28
  • Pat Sajak
    • December 29 through December 30

How Do I See the Candlelight Processional?

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Set a strategy to see the Candlelight Processional. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

To get a spot for the Candlelight Processional, you need to get to EPCOT early. Showtimes are 5:15, 7:00, and 8:30 each night.

Be sure to go into the My Disney Experience app and click “Add to My Plans” so that Disney Genie knows you want to hit up this experience, and you’ll be reminded throughout the day to hustle over to America Gardens Theatre.

How close do you want to be to the stage? Figure it out and then choose your own adventure:

Stroll By

If you’re not interested in sitting for the entire show, or you just want to glimpse a celebrity, you can see Candlelight Processional from afar.

Just grab a snack at the American Holiday Table booth and hover near the walkway. No need to get in any lines—you’re free to watch the show as you like.

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If you don’t get a seat for the Candlelight Processional, you won’t have close-up views like this one. Photo by Ernie Carr

Wait to Maybe Get a Seat

Queue up in advance. Sometimes waaaay in advance.

Popular celebrity narrators have garnered 2-hour lines in the past. You’ll likely hear the previous Candlelight Processional showings if you’re trying to get into a later show. Send someone on snack runs and take turns going to the bathroom. You’re in it for the long haul.

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You’ll wait for a long time, but even so, a good view is never guaranteed. Photo by Rich Ramos

Waiting an hour or more usually means you’ll get into one of the three showings by the time you get to the front of the line, but it’s a first-come-first-served basis: A seat isn’t guaranteed. There’s only one way to do that …

Guaranteed Seat

Get a dining package. These packages include a meal and guarantee your seat at America Gardens Theatre.

How does it work? You’ll report to a restaurant of your choice from the list below, then after the meal, your party will receive badges that designate you as a dining package participant. You’ll have a special queue line for your Candlelight Processional showtime.

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A Candlelight Processional Dining Package guarantees you a seat. Photo by Laurie Sapp

NOTE: Getting a dining package badge just gets you in the line. It is still a first-come-first-serve basis, so even with the dining package, you’ll want to head over to the line early if you truly want your seat of choice.

Candlelight Processional Dining Package Prices

  • Biergarten Restaurant: Adult, $62.00; Child; $35.00
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room: Adult $63.00; Child $25.00
  • Garden Grill Restaurant: Adult, $71.00; Child, $46.00
  • Coral Reef Restaurant: Adult, $74.00; Child, $25.00

The meal includes an appetizer, entrée, and a dessert or a full buffet (at Garden Grill or Biergarten), plus a non-alcoholic beverage.

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Get a Candlelight Processional Dining Package to guarantee seating for views like this. Photo by Ernie Carr

According to Julie de la Fe, one of our in-park reporters, EPCOT has added day-of walk-up reservations at Regal Eagle and Spice Road Table, so if you missed a dining package, try there on your visit!

2021 Candlelight Processional Review: Is It Worth the Wait?

In years past, various members of the WDW Magazine team have seen the Candlelight Processional (why hello there, Neil Patrick Harris!). We can all say, 100%, it is worth the wait.

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Julie’s great seat at the 2021 Candlelight Processional. Photo by Ernie Carr

On Dec. 1, WDW Magazine reporter Julie de la Fe attended the Candlelight Processional as part of a special media preview. She gave us her thorough review of the 2021 Candlelight Processional:

“Once the show started, all my stress just melted away. They start with the orchestra stringing melodies that will put you in the Christmas spirit. Then the Voices of Liberty come on stage along with a sign language interpreter (check with Cast Members to make sure about this availability should you need this service).  

As they begin to softly carol, a full choir with candles in hand parade onto the stage. Everything is just so beautiful. Finally, the celebrity narrator joins the group, and the whole theater is filled with voices, melody, and music that just fill your soul.

For me, it represents everything good about Christmas. The narrators are always fun. Ours was Chita Rivera, who was just full of joy. Starting with such fun, playful songs and ending with the Hallelujah Chorus and a short personal tiding from the narrator it is definitely a highlight of the holiday season that I missed last year.

Thank you Walt Disney World for having us and for continuing traditions that make the season bright!”

– Julie de la Fe

WATCH: Footage from the 2021 Candlelight Processional

Written by Rain Blanken

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Rain Blanken is the frying pan-wielding editorial director for WDW Magazine. She is a published author who has been working in digital media for 15 years. She is a DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, former Disney Vacation Planner, and would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night. Did you like this article? Tip Rain in tartar sauce...
Rain Blanken

Written by Rain Blanken

Rain Blanken is the frying pan-wielding editorial director for WDW Magazine. She is a published author who has been working in digital media for 15 years. She is a DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, former Disney Vacation Planner, and would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night. Did you like this article? Tip Rain in tartar sauce...