The Candlelight Ceremony and Processional will be returning to Disneyland’s Town Square this December. This year, 2012, will mark the 54th year for the time honored, holiday tradition.
The Candlelight Ceremony, one of the oldest traditions at Disneyland, includes a choir made up of Disney Cast Members, an orchestra playing classical Christmas hymns and a celebrity narrator who reads the story of the first Christmas as told by the Bible. It is a wonderful and popular Disneyland tradition. Over the years, the Candlelight Processional has been a tough-to-get ticket, and park guests would stand for hours in an attempt to watch the ceremony. In response to this demand, Disneyland has announced they will hold a record 20 nights of the Candlelight Ceremony and Processional for the 2012 Holiday season. 18 of the 20 nights will be open to guests, with the first two nights being invitation-only events. Disney has also announced that the performances scheduled for December 3-20, 2012 will be open to registered Annual Passholders free of charge.
(At the time of publication, Disney had not yet announced registration details. We will update this article when they do). Disneyland is also making a limited number of dining packages available, which will include reserved seating for selected performances. (Details and costs to be announced soon).
There is still quite a few announcements which have yet to be made regarding the 2012 Disneyland Candlelight Ceremony and Processional, however Disney has confirmed via their official Twitter account that all 20 nights will be held in Town Square. Rumors began to circulate quickly following this announcement that Disney was considering holding the ceremonies in the recently vacated Fantasyland Theater. We can also expect this year’s celebrity narrator announcement as we get closer to the Holiday season.
UPDATE, Oct 26: This year’s Candlelight Ceremony narrators have been announced. You can view the list here.
UPDATE, Nov 5: Disneyland has announced that they will not be offering dining packages for the 2012 Candlelight Ceremony performances and that Annual Passholders will have the opportunity to enter a “sweepstakes” to attend one of the two nightly ceremonies from December 3 – 20, 2012. Annual Passholders can enter the drawing starting November 12 by going to this web page.
UPDATE, Nov 12: Disney has released all of the information for the Annual Passholder drawing for the chance to see one performance for the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland. Passholders may enter here for a chance to see one performance between December 3 and December 20, 2012. Performance times are either 5:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. each night. AP holders are encouraged to enter multiple times and dates to increase their chances, but you can only attend once. Each AP holder can enter to bring up to three guests (for a total of four). The entry period will close at 11:59 p.m.(PST) Sunday, November 18, 2012 and the winners will be notified with their dates and times by email “around” November 26, 2012.
Disney also makes note to remind guests that the Candlelight Processional is an outdoor event and is subject to cancelation for inclement weather or technical difficulties. In years past the show has been canceled due to rain. You can read all the rules and enter the drawing on Disneyland’s site.
UPDATE, Nov 26: Disney has started to distribute emails to annual passholders who entered for a chance to attend one of this year’s Candlelight Ceremonies. Both those who have been selected to attend, as well as those who were not, are receiving confirmation emails. The email contains the information needed to gain entry into the event, including the date, time and preparation instructions. Those selected are required to print the email to show on the night of the event, the email explicitly states that emails on electronic devices will NOT be accepted. In addition to the printed email, you must also be present with your entire party along with all valid Annual Passports and photo ID’s. Those attending the event will also receive complimentary parking on the day of the event at Mickey & Friends or Toy Story parking lot.
Attendee’s are to check in at Main Entrance Ticket Booth 4 (the numbers face the esplanade on the buildings), beginning at 12:00 p.m. You must check in no later than 30 minutes prior to the start of the event on the day you were selected. Once checked in, you, and all members of your group, will receive wristbands for admittance into the ceremony. Seating will begin 30 minutes prior to the start of your selected ceremony time and will close 10 minutes prior to the start. Late arrivals will not be admitted.
If you or your guest’s AP has expired, or is blacked out on the day selected, Disney will present you with a 1-Day, 1-Park ticket for admission to Disneyland to view the Candlelight Ceremony performance. You must be present with the email, all AP’s and ID’s.