Question: I want to book the candlelight processional dinner package for 5, but not sure how to do this. I don’t think you can do it on-line and not sure if there is a number we can phone from the uk. We are staying at the WDW Dolphin just outside of Epcot, and as it’s not a Disney hotel I don’t know if we can use the dining reservations or not. Hope you can help as I don’t want to disappoint the kids who are desperate to go.
For those that don’t know the Candlelight Processional is a celebration of Christmas, held in Epcot at the America Gardens Theatre. It includes a large choir singing carols, an orchestra and a reading of the Christmas story, narrated by a celebrity. It is meant to be magical and is extremely popular. In 2011 it will be held on dates between 25th November and 30th December 2011. The narrators are currently as follows, but are subject to change:
- 11/25 – 11/27: Mira Sorvino
- 11/28 – 12/01: Michael W. Smith
- 12/02 – 12/03: Whoopi Goldberg
- 12/04 – 12/06: TBA
- 12/07 – 12/09: Isabela Rossellini
- 12/10 – 12/12: Neil Patrick Harris
- 12/13- 12/14: TBA
- 12/16 – 12/18: TBA
- 12/19 – 12/21: Trace Adkins
- 12/22 – 12/24: Susan Lucci
- 12/25 – 12/27: Blair Underwood
- 12/28 – 12/30: Marlee Matlin (interpreter: Jack Jason)
So, tickets. To see the processional, you don’t actually need tickets – it is theoretically available for anyone to go see, as long as you have a park ticket. However, the theatre isn’t huge and it fills up fast (queuing for hours) so to guarantee a seat, you can book a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package. I’ve been told that at times, it is the only way to see the show – those lining up may not get in at all if all the seats are given out to the dinner package guests. The Dinner Package includes dinner at one of the Epcot restaurants, guaranteed seating in a specific section of the theatre and a reserved viewing area for IllumiNations (the evening fireworks). Tickets went on sale on Monday (26th July) and they can sell out so now that they’re available, I suggest you get it booked as soon as possible – which it sounds like you’re trying to do.
Don’t worry you absolutely can book a dinner package for this – even though you’re not staying at an official Disney resort and even though we’re in the UK. (On a side note, if you’ve not been before, the Dolphin is a beautiful hotel, with almost all of the WDW Resort guest perks – and is near both Epcot and Hollywood Studios – great choice!) Unfortunately you do have to phone the US number to book it, (there isn’t an online option or a UK number). The number is 407-WDW-DINE. To make that call from the UK, don’t forget to add the country dialling code first – so what you actually dial will be: 001 407 939 3463. The phone lines open at 7amEST – which is 12pm in the UK – so you’ll need to make the call in the afternoon. Obviously that means an expensive call to the US. We handle this by using skype and making the call over the internet, which is far cheaper. You download this or use an app on a smart phone (I know the iPhone has it). As long as you don’t phone right at 12pm, when lines open, assuming you’re only booking this, you shouldn’t be on the line for more than 5 minutes, so if you do use a landline, it shouldn’t cost you too much, I hope.
When you phone make sure you state that it is the Candlelight Dinner Processional that you wish to book – you don’t want to end up making a regular reservation for a restaurant instead! You’ll need to know which restaurant you’d like to take the dining package at. I would also have some back up options, in case they’re sold out for your first choice. Prices include appetiser, main meal, desert and non-alcoholic beverage (or a full buffet if appropriate) and range from $32.99 for an adult lunch at Biergarten to $64.99 for many of the adult dinner options. The participating restaurants are Biergarten, Chefs de France, Coral Reef, Garden Grill, La Hacienda de San Angel, Le Cellier (lunch only), Nine Dragons, Restaurant Marrakesh, Rose and Crown, San Angel Inn, Tepan Edo, Tokyo Dining, Tutto Italia and Via Napoli.
I hope this helps and that you get the package you’re hoping for!