With the 2012 Candlelight Ceremony and Processional, Disneyland not only held a record 20 nights of the event, but also opened up all of the reserve seating to an Annual Passholder drawing. In years past only VIPs and those who purchased dining packages were able to obtain such amazing seats to this traditional Disneyland event.
The Candlelight Ceremonies were started by Walt Disney himself in 1958 as a way to thank community leaders and Walt’s VIPs during the Holiday season. The Candlelight Ceremonies have sense grown into a multi-night, annual tradition for some families. Non-Annual Passholders, or those who were not selected in the drawing, could only hope to catch a glimpse of the show from the “sidelines”, or the beyond the ropes in Town Square. Guests will typically hold their spot for hours leading up to the performances – some staking their location as early as park opening.
I was fortunate enough to have my name drawn for a Candlelight Ceremony. Actor and Disney Legend Kurt Russell served as our narrator. Russell read from scripture with emotion and a sense of humility; truly a great narrator to have. This particular performance took place on Walt Disney’s birthday, leading Russell to end the night with a happy birthday wish to the man who started it all.
“It’s been my honor to share this beautiful Candlelight Ceremony over the last three nights with you, especially tonight. This is my last night and it was wonderful to have my kids and my grandkids here, but also because this is a special day. It happens to be the birthday of a man I knew and worked with and admired and shared some very wonderful moments with, Walt Disney.” – Kurt Russell