Growing up in a Christian household and reading the bible from front to back as a young girl, that is part of my upbringing I will never forget. To this day I carry my faith with me wherever I go.
Over the years I had always wanted to see the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland, but we were never there during a show. At Disneyland it was just offered once or twice each Christmas.
When we had to change our Halloween trip to Walt Disney World to a Christmas trip, my first thought was Candlelight Processional. I quickly discovered that there was a dinner package, so we would have seating at the show without a long wait which my husband and son never like. As soon as we hit our 90 day mark, I called and made the reservations for the dinner package.
We selected the Garden Grill because it was a character meal, and our son would love that. We had the quick service dining plan, so this meal was not paid for no matter which tier we selected. After we ate dinner we were given our pass to the Candlelight Processional. These were stickers we put on our clothing and the bottom of the sticker showed that our Illuminations, Reflections of Earth priority 'standing' was in the Showcase Plaza. We were told to arrive about 30 minutes prior to the show.
When we got to the American Gardens Theater there was a mob of people. There were several different queues to get into the theater. One for each tier of the dinner package and one for the stand-by people who did not do a dinner package. The line for our tier was very long but moved quickly. Our seating was to the left of the stage, but was a great view. The woman sitting next to me had a daughter in the yellow high school robes.
The theater was standing room only by the time the show started. The orchestra began playing as the lights went out. At this time the high school kids were filing into the theater with their candles. This was a very solemn occasion. The once everyone had filed in and the stage was full of the choir and orchestra, our narrator was introduced. When I had purchased the tickets we were supposed to have Vanessa Williams, but that was changed by the time we got to Walt Disney World. Instead, Abigail Breslin, the star of Little Miss Sunshine was our narrator. She came out and told us all how happy she was to be here, and that her whole family was here for the second year in a row as she narrated the show.
It wasn't until the narration began that I realized that this was a Christian celebration of the story of Christmas. Once the first passage was read, the tears began flowing silently down my face. I found the Candlelight Processional to be so moving. It simply touched my heart. Because of my beliefs, I found this show absolutely beautiful, stirring, moving and simply beautiful. My son, who is only seven, loved the music but was bored at other times. My husband enjoyed the show, but didn't find it as moving as I did because of the musical selections. This show is the traditional religous story of Christmas, and it is very well done.
To my surprise the story did not simply tell the story of the birth of Christ, but also the hanging of Jesus on the cross.
While the choir was singing Silent Night, the conductor turned to the crowd to conduct us as we joined in the singing. I still had tears falling, and there was no way I could sing, but enjoyed the strains of the crowd around me as they sang Silent Night.
During the Hallelujah Chorus the crowd immediately stood, and remained standing for the whole song. I am lucky to have seen the song performed live twice and both times it was an incredible experience.
The Candlelight Processional is an experience I will never forget, and I highly recommend it for everyone. This is an incredible way to hear the story of Christmas.