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Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Look Back at Disneyland's 2013 Candlelight Processional

I guess it was always Walt Disney's intention that the Candlelight Processional was for Disneyland sponsors, VIP's, and regular park supporters, but now that the number of Annual Passholders is somewhere around 900,000 (and almost all of them think they are special), the Processional (which ran about 50 minutes or so) has taken on a different aspect. Yes, the VIPs still get ushered to their seats. Those seats that aren't filled are given to standby's who put their name in when the park opens. There is some bench seating but again, those benches were claimed at 8:00 am for a 5:30 performance on a first come, first served basis. For everyone else, the Candlelight Processional becomes another Disneyland waiting game like Fantasmic or World of Color on a busy night. It's an ordeal.

We waited out in front of the Disneyland Opera House for about 4 hours to listen to grand music of the holiday season and for actor Kurt Russell to narrate the same story of the birth of Christ that Linus recites in about 2 minutes of A Charlie Brown Christmas. The processional as a spectacle is nothing short of moving as orchestra and choir put everything they have into the beautifully arranged music. The Candlelight Processional was a wonderful highlight to my holiday season but was it worth the 4 hour wait?

Yes, but as Mrs. DisneylandTraveler said, we probably wouldn't do it again. We are at an age where we are beyond the point where we follow the Disneyland custom of sitting on the ground to wait for something. I did that a few years ago for Fantasmic and swear it was the starting point of some of the arthritis areas I now have. So if you don't sit on the ground, you stand, and stand, and stand some more. Sometimes you can find something lean against and I will be forever grateful to a garbage can in front of the Lincoln theater which helped prop me up.

And after 4 hours, I did get to within about 50 yards of Kurt Russell who just happened to be the star of one my all time guilty pleasure movies, Captain Ron. In his early 60's now, he still looks in great shape and gave a good (but not great) reading of the Christmas story. Glad I saw it. Won't do it again if the opportunity comes up in the future. The waiting is a killer.

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