EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays decorationsPhoto credit: Matt Stroshane / Walt Disney World
The Candlelight Processional has been a part of the holiday season at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT for more than 50 years, and the tradition will continue this year with a long list of celebrity narrators.
Stars of stage and screen, music, and sports are all part of the lineup for the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays’ beloved event, which begins the day after Thanksgiving, on November 25.
And right in the middle of that lineup, just like he was for more than a dozen years in the major leagues, is Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball’s ironman will take charge at EPCOT just before Christmas, narrating the show for three nights, December 21–23.
A Superhero Start
The festivities begin with Simu Liu leading things off. The Canadian actor came out of nowhere last year to become a huge star thanks to his leading performance in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Liu will handle the first two nights of the show, which also include the Voices of Liberty acapella ensemble, a 50-piece live orchestra, a massive choir, and more as they all combine for the retelling of the story of Christmas.
Shows are held three times a night — at 5:15 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. — at EPCOT’s America Gardens Theater. For each show, a celebrity narrator tells the story of Christmas, while songs of hope and joy are weaved into the performance.
While Ripken is the only athlete in the celebrity rotation, there are plenty of singers, actors, and actresses in the lineup, along with one businessman.
A number of actors and singers will lead the show (bold indicates first-time narrators):
- Simu Liu: November 25–26
- Stand and Deliver’s Edward James Olmos: November 27–29
- Broadway veteran Raul Esparza: November 30–December 1
- Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg: December 2–3
- Blue Velvet star Isabella Rossellini: December 4–6
- FUBU founder/CEO and Shark Tank panelist Daymond John: December 7–9
- The voice of Olaf from Frozen, Josh Gad: December 10–12
- Miami Sound Machine’s Gloria Estefan: December 13–14
- How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris: December 15–18
- Law and Order veteran Mariska Hargitay: December 19–20
- Cal Ripken, Jr.: December 21–23
- Singer Marie Osmond: December 24–26
- The People vs. O.J. Simpson actor Courtney Vance: December 27–28
- Black Panther actress Angela Bassett: December 29–30
Tickets for these performances tend to sell quickly, and this year’s supply will be available starting October 6 at EPCOTholidays.com.
Those hoping to attend must also have a valid theme park admission and park reservation for the same date.
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