Walt Disney World Announces Dates for Epcot International Festival of Holidays and Candlelight Processional for 2018

Earlier today Walt Disney World announced that the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays this year will take place November 18 thru December 30, 2018.

Even though we have not been able to visit Walt Disney World in November or December for a few years, this time of year has always been a favorite time to visit for me and my family.  One of our favorite things to do during this time of the year at Epcot is to attend the Candlelight Processional.

The Candlelight Processional will be returning again this year and for the first time, this popular holiday tradition will debut for the season on Thanksgiving (November 22nd) and run through December 30th.

The Candlelight Processional is a holiday must-do for many Epcot guests.  The program is a retelling of the traditional Christmas story read by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a massed choir and live orchestra.

At this time celebrity narrators have not been announced.

Also…even though Candlelight Dinner packages have been popular in the past and are expected to return, Disney has not yet released any information regarding this.

A couple of months ago Disney announced the dates for this year’s “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party“.

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Walt Disney World Completes Candlelight Processional Narrator Line-Up

Walt Disney World has completed its line-up for the celebrity narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

Disney Legend Kurt Russell, who has starred in Disney films from the 1960s to 2017’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” will read the Christmas story this year – as well as gold- and silver-medal-winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez. Two veterans of the event – actress/comedienne Ana Gasteyer and Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” – complete this year’s list.

As previously announced, new narrators for this year’s lineup include Matt Bomer (“White Collar,” “The Last Tycoon,”); Star Wars fan favorite Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi;” Daytime Television Legend Pat Sajak and TV star CCH Pounder, who was recently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the grand opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar.

And returning this year are everyone’s favorite hard-driving Dr. Bailey from “Grey’s Anatomy,” Chandra Wilson – and newly-named Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of ABC’s “The View.”

Below is the full list of narrators:

  • Nov. 24 – 26 – Laurie Hernandez
  • Nov. 27 – 28 – Matt Bomer
  • Nov. 29 – 30 – Ana Gasteyer
  • Dec. 1-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak
  • Dec. 6-8 – Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 9-11 – Kurt Russell
  • Dec. 12-14 – Warwick Davis
  • Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez
  • Dec. 28-30 – Chandra Wilson

The Candlelight Processional is performed three times every night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 PM) during the holiday season at the America Gardens Theatre. Dinner packages are available which include meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances.

In addition to the lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are again available at some restaurants in and near Epcot such as Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and The Garden Grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $35 plus tax per person for adults and $21 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $44 plus tax per person for adults and $15.50 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays which includes the Candlelight Processional, takes place in 2017 from November 24 – December 30 at Epcot.

‘Holidays Around the World’ Changing to ‘Epcot International Festival of the Holidays’

In another step toward Epcot making itself the park home to almost year-long festivals, this year will see Epcot’s “Holidays Around the World” becoming “Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.”

Beginning November 19th, fifteen Holiday Kitchens will be serving seasonal food from marketplace kiosks around World Showcase.

New this year will be a “Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree” scavenger hunt, priced at $6.99 for maps.

Starting on November 24th, the Candlelight Processional begins along with the Peace on Earth holiday edition of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.