Saturday, August 18, 2012

Disneyland's Candlelight Processional: From 2 To 20

Disneyland's Candlelight Processional
A Disney Parks Blog Photo

One of the highlights of the Christmas season at Disneyland has been the traditional Candlelight Processional. Since the event has only taken place over one weekend per year during the holiday season I have never seen it myself but those who have report that its a wonderful experience during the Christmas activities. Of course WDW's EPCOT has their own Candlelight Processional which performs twice nightly to overflowing crowds for about a month or more. Now Disneyland is going to a swing at bringing their intimate Candlelight Processional to the big time expanding the 2 night affair to 20 nights for an audience of Annual Passholders and those who purchase.....wait for it.... expensive dining packages. Disney gave preliminary details, sketchy as they may be, in a posting in their Disney Parks Blog this past week.

That's how the do it in EPCOT - tie the traditional Christian Christmas story to moderate to high priced dining packages and there are no shortage of takers. When Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I were making plans for a Christmas trip to WDW a few years ago, a booking for the Candlelight Processional was tops on our list of things to do and we succeeded with a lunch reservation at Le Cellier then over to the CP stage with our celebrity narrator being Brad Garrett from Everybody Love's Raymond and 'Til Death fame. Of course, that trip never happened due to unexpected surgery but that was the plan....

Now Disneyland will try to duplicate the massive success of the WDW event and of course, pocket some profits along the way. Traditionally, Disneyland's Processional is held in the Town Square with the stage set up in front of the railroad station and as of now, there is no indication that this will change but it does lead to some logistic questions. That space is small and right at the park entrance, how will CP event attendees and regular park visitors co-exist without creating massive gridlock type of conditions? That area is also right on the parade route and what about the nightly running of the VERY popular Christmas Fantasy Parade? Will they leave up permanent seating for the event in place during the day detracting from the beautifully decorated Town Square area and home of the Disneyland Christmas tree?

Some have speculated that the now unused Fantasyland Theater, now vacant, would be a better choice and it certainly makes sense to me. Time will tell as the details are released. And let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas.

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