Day 5, Part 2: Candlelight Processional & Dinner on the Set of Lights, Motors, Action!

OK, so Candlelight Processional…. I knew that this was supposed to be a big deal—for many people, it’s their absolute favorite part of Christmas at Disney. And I was ready to like it—I like Christmas! I like singing! And don’t get me started on candles and processing! But after it was over, I still wasn’t sure whether I liked it. Maybe it’s been overhyped. Maybe (as I just read somewhere on the Internets) it’s a shadow of its former self. Maybe it was the fact that we had to see it in broad daylight and D23’s seats were at the very back of the theater…

Uh-oh—looks like Patrick was bored!

The narrator that night was Chita Rivera. She was good, but I didn’t realize just HOW good until I saw Abigail Breslin narrate a few days later. She made Rivera sound like Dame Judy Dench!

Sign-language Interpreter

I'll bet this guy is just itchin' to bust out a crazy drum solo!

Chita Rivera: "Wha—WHOA, where did YOU guys come from?!"

Patrick must've been REALLY bored!

If this was his view of the show, I don't blame him…


…So I dunno about Candlelight Processional. I love Christmas music—it’s the one thing that instantly gets me in the Christmas spirit. But I think I was expecting something a little more pro… It felt very unpolished, and not in a charming way—certainly not in a way I would expect from Disney. I would say it felt like a high school production, but I hear those are almost as slick as Broadway these days, so… I did enjoy getting to sing along to the Hallelujah Chorus, but it made me realize I’d rather be singing, not watching others sing. I’ll bet it is amazing to be *in* the Candlelight Processional!

About two-thirds of the way through the show, I realized we had left our Magic & Merriment ID badges back in the room, and Patrick—either from sheer devotion to his wife or sheer boredom from the show—volunteered to sprint back to the room and get them. He may have clocked a new record for travel between Beach Club Villas and American Gardens Theater, because he made it back with time to spare before they loaded us on a bus to Hollywood Studios!

Waitin' for the bus…

Ooooh! Backstage…ish!

It's like you're THERE!

How we felt after all of Patrick's running

The bus took us into DHS and dropped us behind the Lights, Motors, Action area, on the studio tour tram route. Patrick accidentally took this picture of Walt’s plane.

It’s going to be hard to show you what it looked like cuz it was so dark, but the setup was pretty dang cool – the entire back of the stunt show set, in front of the buildings, was lined with buffet tables.

I dunno if I can match the names up with each picture, but here’s a list of the placards Patrick photographed:

  • Yukon Gold Potato-Crusted Lobster-and-Crab Pie topped with Aged Cheddar (favorite!)
  • Sweet Potato Mash with Toasted Marshmallows
  • Thyme-Roasted Pork Loin with Apple Dressing and Cranberry Jus
  • Sage-Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy
  • Crushed Peppercorn Strip Loin o Beef with Sun-dried Tomato-Tarragon Sauce
  • European Greens with Heirloom Tomatoes, Euro Cucumbers, Carrots and Olives
  • Hot Grilled Seasonal Vegetables with Acorn Squash
  • Carrots with Dill

It was quite tasty!

Here's what the table settings looked like, if you care…

They had a free Mickey there, so we figured we’d prolly better get a picture with him.

Where the stunt cars sleep

I love stuff like this—99% of the guests will never see this poster, but here it is!

Patrick getting a call, prolly about the Pee-wee Herman build

Dueling badges!

Never thought I'd get to walk the pavement they burn up daily at Lights, Motors, Action!

One of the fun parts of this D23 event was getting to meet up with DISer MyMuse (Michelle) who was flying solo and having a grand old time. It was nice to already know someone there, plus, she offered to take a picture of us on the set.

After about an hour and a half, they rounded us all up and walked us over to Toy Story Mania for one private spin. It was funny to know that just a little while later we’d be back here taking dozens of private spins at DISapalooza.

Toy Story Mania as you've never seen it… empty!

I s’pose I should go easy with these pictures, cuz in a few more posts I’ll have bonafide Root photos of this ride!

As they ushered us out of Pixar…land to our dessert party, we saw them setting up for DISapalooza.

The dessert party was… interesting. Maybe I’ve been spoiled to only associate dessert parties with fireworks shows, but… it was just a bunch of desserts set up at the counter-service seating area for Studio Catering Co. Maybe if they’d been serving actual, identifiable desserts, I would have been more interested. Instead we got a ton of high-falutin’, unappealin’ fruity nonsense drenched in liqueur and a ton of gas-inducin’ cheese. Who were they trying to impress? Seriously, every dessert had some kind of alcohol in it. Um, what about, like, chocolate chip cookies?

We grabbed Michelle and chose a spot as close to Osbourne Lights as possible.


"I can haz a cookie?"

Me and Michelle retaining our girlish figures by not eating any of the desserts

Up Next: Osbourne Lights Presentation + DISapalooza ’09!

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11 Responses
  • Katie
    October 20, 2012

    I saw the Candlelight Processional at night on Christmas eve which I believe is what made it magical. Edward James Olmos was the narrator too and my husband is/way way into Battlestar Galactica so that helped…but generally I agree with you. If I saw it weeks away from Christmas in daylight; yea pretty meh.

    • Carrie
      October 21, 2012

      Wow—I’d say you saw the PERFECT Candlelight Processional! I too am a BSG fan, and I think Edward James Olmos would be a phenomenal narrator.

  • GranderGirl
    June 4, 2012

    Singing in Candlelight is my favorite thing at the holidays, other than building on the big Grand Gingerbread house and building all the little houses. The green costumed singers are the 70-80 volunteer cast members, who sing either 1 or 2 shows a night of the 3 shows. We do it for the fun! Also, there are non-pay incentives, but its cool to say you could have reach out and smacked the voice of Ariel on the back of the head (I’m of medium height, so right in the middle of the V shaped break in the tree directly behind the podium). The 150-200 (I think) gold costumed singers are visiting high school choirs, so it IS a bit like a high school show. And the red costumed singers are professional Disney singers, also often seen in the Voices of Liberty.

    • Carrie
      June 5, 2012

      Thanks for this great information! I especially like the part where you can smack the voice of Ariel on the back of the head! 😀

  • Norma
    July 22, 2011

    The dinner party they set up for you, is this how they would set it up for a wedding? Is the Lights, Motors, Action! show area even a useable wedding venue?

    • lurkyloo
      July 24, 2011

      Yes, this is how they would set up a wedding reception (although probably on just one side or the other, since they’re usually smaller events than these big convention get-togethers). I think they would encourage you to have the wedding ceremony elsewhere, though.

  • lurkyloo
    December 15, 2010

    Hmmm… I’ll have to ask Patrick if he remembers where he shot that one… there’s no context, is there?

    • Chilly
      December 15, 2010

      where ever it is I like it

  • Chilly
    December 14, 2010

    where is the hidden mickey? I’ve not spotted him before.

    • lurkyloo
      December 14, 2010

      It’s SO hard to see – it’s in the chicken’s EYE! The closer shot kinda shows it, but we’re going to have to go back and use a macro lens next time!

      • Chilly
        December 15, 2010

        Not that one sorry should have been specific, the big one in the photo next to the photo of a snowman above!

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