Candlelight Procession & Ceremony (Disneyland Resort)

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Disneyland Resort > Disneyland Park > Holidays at the Disneyland Resort > Candlelight Procession and Ceremony

Dating back to 1958, the Candlelight Procession & Ceremony is one of the oldest and beloved holiday traditions at Disneyland Park. Every year, choir members from local communities and Disney Cast Members carry lighted candles in a procession down Main Street, USA.

The procession ends in Town Square where the choir forms a giant Christmas tree near the Main Street Train Station. On the roof of the station, eight fanfare trumpeters help bring harmonious sound to the ceremony.


Special Tips

Location: Main Street Town Square.
Show Type: Procession and Ceremony.
Dedicated Seating: Yes but usually pre-arranged via dining packages or to company employees.
Outdoor: Yes.
Show Length: Procession: 10 minutes, Ceremony: 25 minutes.
Typical Showtimes*: First weekend in December, 5:10pm and 7:45pm
Suggested Arrival: Several hours prior to showtime. See Special Tips to the left for more information.
*Showtimes may vary. In addition, other factors (such as weather) may delay or cancel the show.

Fun Facts

  • The first Candlelight Procession & Ceremony was held at Disneyland in 1958.
  • In 1956, before the first official Ceremony at the park, the park Christmas Carolers and eight Guest choirs were accompanied by the Disneyland Band for a similar event.
  • The concept for the current Disneyland Candlelight Procession was developed by Dr. Charles C. Hirt.
  • Actor Dennis Morgan was the first celebrity narrator to read portions of the Biblical Christmas story in 1960.
  • "The Living Christmas Tree" made of the choir singers was introduced in 1960.
  • By the time Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971, the Candlelight event was so popular that it was introduced at the inaugural holiday season of the Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World Resort). The event has since moved to EPCOT where it can be seen several times each holiday season.
  • In 1999, the Candlelight Procession & Ceremony was held at the Fantasyland Theatre to be able to accommodate more viewers. The change in location was not very popular and the show returned to it's much more difficult location at the park entrance in Town Square.

Safety and Accessibility

  • Safety Considerations: None.
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes. Guests may remain in wheelchair or ECV to experience this show.
  • Hearing Disability Services: No.
  • Visual Disability Services: No.


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Show Details

Celebrity Narrators

  • 1961-1964: Dennis Morgan
  • 1965: Dick Van Dyke
  • 1966: Dennis Morgan
  • 1967: Dean Jones and Gregory Peck
  • 1968: Henry Fonda and Rock Hudson
  • 1969: Gary Grant
  • 1970: Charlton Heston and Dean Jones
  • 1971: John Wayne
  • 1972: Rock Hudson
  • 1973-1974: Cary Grant
  • 1975: Jimmy Stewart
  • 1976: Rock Hudson
  • 1977: Buddy Ebsen and Ed Asner
  • 1978: Cary Grant
  • 1979: Elliot Gould and Joseph Cotton
  • 1980: Michael Landon
  • 1981: Ed Asner and Jason Robards
  • 1982: Pat and Shirley Boone
  • 1983: Darren McGavin
  • 1984: Joseph Campanella
  • 1985: Kevin Dobson
  • 1986: Craig T. Nelson and Elliot Gould
  • 1987: Howard Keel
  • 1988: Joseph Campanella
  • 1989: John Forsythe
  • 1990: James Earl Jones
  • 1991: Robert Urich
  • 1992: George Kennedy
  • 1993: Michael York
  • 1994: Peter Graves
  • 1995: David Ogden Stiers
  • 1996: Mary Hart
  • 1997: Joseph Campanella
  • 1998: Richard Crenna & Edward James Olmos
  • 1999: Olympia Dukakis
  • 2000: John Tesh & Barry Bostwick
  • 2001: David Ogden Stiers
  • 2002: Mickey Rooney & Stephen Collins
  • 2003: Louis Gossett, Jr. & Marie Osmond
  • 2004: Marie Osmond
  • 2005: Dick Van Dyke
  • 2006: Andy Garcia & Hector Elizondo
  • 2007: Jane Seymour
  • 2008: John Stamos
  • 2009: Jon Voight
  • 2010: Tom Skerrit
  • 2011: Gary Sinise

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