The Candlelight Processional and Massed Choir is an experience that almost defies description. White twinkle lights drip from the cropped limbs of thick oaks lining the entranceway into Epcot's American Gardens Theatre. Stained glass windows embrace the theatre walls on either side while white marble steps lined with soft red velvet lead up to the top of the Christmas tree shaped stage.
Candlelight Processional Choir
and the Voices of Liberty
The Voices of Liberty, a cappella ensemble, dressed in red and black (create the base of this human Christmas tree). About 68 Walt Disney World cast performers, dressed in green, make up the tree itself. On either side of the stage stands an enormous blue spruce Christmas tree dressed in white twinkle lights and gold garland - ruby red poinsettias snuggled up against the stage outline this picture perfect human tree. This Christmas tree is then outlined by cast members from all departments throughout the theme parks, carrying candles.
A river of vocalists begins flowing from behind the seating area, down the isles towards center stage one by one making their way up white marble pyramid steps until the entire stage is a sea of cream colored tunics adorned in gold trim. About 400 pink faces glow from behind dim candles carried by individual singers. Epcot's American Gardens Theatre is filled to capacity. But, select seating is available for an additional charge. Call 800-833-9806 for details.
Jon Secada, the singer, writer and performer-musician hosted this particular evening's event. As he read the story of the birth of Christ, accompanying songs from the 51-person professional orchestra and choir reinforced the message behind each chapter. Sounds from trumpeters pierced the quiet evening air to emphasize each passage, thus creating the effect of surround-sound.
Epcot is decked for the holidays.
Snow fell while the orchestra performed "Silent Night, Holy Night" in this cathedral-like setting. And, Secada's rendition of the traditional story of Christmas brought warmth and serenity to the entire show -- but was not to be outdone by the breathtaking sight of white doves soaring freely above the audience as an exquisite grand finale to this event.
Shows are performed nightly until December 17 at 5:00, 6:46, and 8:15 p.m. Celebrity narrators scheduled for this year's events are:
- Jodi Benson, Nov. 24 - Nov. 26
- Angela Bassett, Nov. 27 - Nov. 29
- Jon Secada, Nov. 30 - Dec. 2
- James Avery, Dec. 3 - Dec. 5
- Joe Mantegna, Dec. 6 - Dec. 8
- Ben Vereen, Dec. 9 - Dec. 11
- Ed Begley, Jr., Dec. 12 - Dec. 14
- Phylicia Rashad, Dec. 15 - Dec. 17
The Candlelight Processional is included in the price of regular admission. However, for a special evening you might want to try one of Disney's Candlelight Processional Dinner packages, call 407-WDW-DINE for details and pricing. Also, don't miss all the other exciting activities happening at Walt Disney World during this year's holiday celebration.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun