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  1. #1

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    Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Hi All, I just got back from an evening trip with the family and after watching both the 5:30 and 7:30 (which was cancelled mid-way because of some drizzle) performances I've brought back some info on what to expect at this year's candlelight :



    Lottery Winners Viewing
    - **Update 12/02 thanks to malcon10t** there will be several different areas of check in. Your ticket will have a section color on it (Section Blue or Section Yellow, etc...). In front of the Mickey Floral, about 45 mins before the performance, they will have a board with where the line is for each color.

    Standard Viewing - For those who have attended Candlelight events in the past few years this aspect will feel very very familiar, and it should because the mechanics are almost exactly the same. Unfortunately, that also means the politics of getting a good viewing spot for Candlelight also returns this year.

    For the first (5:30pm) performance there are little to no boundaries set aside for camping out and once again there are some areas where the "first come, first to the front" rule will not apply and you will get no support by cast members or security, so good luck. The safest bets are still to camp on the curb adjacent the Opera House or across the way on the small stretch of curb immediately adjacent to City Hall, and as always ask a CM or better yet guest control shift lead and a security guard if it's safe to camp there as the two business units sometimes don't know one another's plans.

    For the second and final (7:30pm) performance I don't recommend the method of slipping into a good viewing area while the first performance is going on in order to get up front for the second. The reason is because security will promptly flush everyone out of the viewing areas so that they can be broken down a bit to allow foot traffic to flow through. If you show up for the 7:30 performance you really only have two options. The first is you can wait in a long line that starts forming along main street, something that every CM and security person will tell you to do (but won't mention to you that there's a line for wheelchairs and a different line for everyone else so be careful). Or, you can pop into any of the remaining viewing areas that haven't been broken down, the ones I know of for sure are on the curb next to the Disney Showcase and the Mad Hatter. There probably are some across the way by the fire house too but I'm not sure. Being in these pen's basically assures that no CM will tell you to keep shuffling down main street and at the same time, as soon as they start letting people back into the better viewing spaces you can easily hop from one area to the other and get a great spot.

    As always the easiest viewing areas to get to are the ones that run down main street. Keep in mind though that you will still be required to stand and the stage is only 10% viewable at best.

    Foot Traffic - As with any other event foot traffic is a mess. Looking from the hub towards the Christmas tree, any traffic exiting the park must go down the right side of main street while inbound traffic comes up through the left. Expect traffic to crawl and come to a stop several times. Some shops along main street closed their doors, and I can't blame them because just tonight I witnessed an ECV driver wreck an ornament display over at the China Closet during the traffic snarl going on moments after the last Candlelight ended.

    Cast Members
    - Unfortunately like years past the CMs have little idea what is going on. While they do get points for knowing certain logistical elements like where every viewing area is, what time the events will begin and end, and where event ticket holders can check in. They are reluctant to answer questions about where it is appropriate to camp, where exactly can you get in line for the 7:30 showing (some will tell you it's in the front by the turnstiles which is false.. this is only the line for the AP lottery winners holding a ticket), or if it is okay to mill about in a viewing area that has been set up but doesn't have guests in it yet. Your best bet is to ask for or find the shift leads (they're usually the ones in the navy blue sweaters and have the earpieces or walkie-talkies.

    Guests/Viewing Audience
    - Okay, the last thing I want to mention is the viewing audience. For you, the experienced Candlelight goer, this is going to be the most drastic change from any of the other Candlelights and I believe it is specifically related to the slight bump in this event's in-park advertising as well as it's extended multi-night run this year. I would say it's a safe bet this year to expect that some people in your viewing area will pack up and leave well before the performance is finished. It may even even be a benefit because if a party that's been standing in front of you happens to leave you may have just found yourself unobstructed viewing for the awesome finale.

    Based on my personal experience some people just had no idea what they were getting themselves into and had become bored of the "less than spectacle for their tastes" event that they were witnessing. And by the third reading several groups had turned around and left because apparently hearing the story of Christmas told by the President of The United States in 24 (Dennis Haysbert) and epic Christmas songs being sung by a massive choir isn't really worth seeing unless fireworks start exploding everywhere and Murphy comes tearing out of the ground to fight the one and only lord and savior (Mickey).

    Anywhoo, with this in mind you have a very very very good chance that if you happen to arrive late to candlelight you can easily slip into any of the viewing areas with plenty of breathing room.



    Please note that some of my tips may not apply for the performances where Dick Van Dyke is narrating as there may be many of his fans in the masses, like me, coming down to see him rock the story of Christmas.

    I hope you all have a great time at Candlelight this year, hopefully some of my tips will help you have a really happy and incident free time!
    Last edited by G24T; 12-02-2012 at 10:10 PM.
    Many Bothans died to bring you these fastpasses.

  2. #2

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Thx for the info!

    We didn't get tickets as we had hoped for during the lottery draw. Frankly, I didn't want to be stuck seeing something for that long and making a dent in my day. But sometimes ya gotta do what the SO wants, right? So this info will come in quite handy!

    This is what MC is all about! Thx agagin!!!
    ~Jay

    "Ahh-chooo!" ~ Walt Disney
    "Bless you." ~ My Grandfather
    (Disneyland, circa 1957)


  3. #3

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Thank you for the informative post.
    (I almost did not read it, since I thought it was just another question about "What to expect?")

    Are the number of seats and standing areas about the same as previous years?

    Quote Originally Posted by G24T View Post
    Lottery Winners Viewing - AP Guests with event tickets will check in at the front right after the turnstiles and will proceed to the seating area through a roped off path. I saw cast members checking guest's tickets several times as they walked along to their seats so it's probably best to keep out and treat them like fastpasses.
    The first 2 nights are all invited guests, so they are ticketed. The first night for AP Lottery winners is Monday, and they will receive wristbands. The seating process should be very similar.

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Quote Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
    Are the number of seats and standing areas about the same as previous years?
    Yes, it is near identical to past years.
    Many Bothans died to bring you these fastpasses.

  5. #5

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Thanks for the info - we're going Tuesday to the 7:30 performance - looking forward to it

  6. #6

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Great information! We will be there tomorrow for the 7:30 performance.
    Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy.

    “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past...and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” - Walt Disney, Disneyland Opening Day Speech 1955


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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Quote Originally Posted by G24T View Post
    Lottery Winners Viewing - AP Guests with event tickets will check in at the front right after the turnstiles and will proceed to the seating area through a roped off path. I saw cast members checking guest's tickets several times as they walked along to their seats so it's probably best to keep out and treat them like fastpasses.
    Just to be clear, there will be several different areas of check in. What the poster was seeing last night was the invited guests. Even they had different areas of check in. Your ticket will have a section color on it (Section Blue or Section Yellow, etc...). In front of the Mickey Floral, about 45 mins before the performance, they will have a board with where the line is for each color.
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  8. #8

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    Just to be clear, there will be several different areas of check in. What the poster was seeing last night was the invited guests. Even they had different areas of check in. Your ticket will have a section color on it (Section Blue or Section Yellow, etc...). In front of the Mickey Floral, about 45 mins before the performance, they will have a board with where the line is for each color.
    Thanks for the 411 on that. I wasn't aware that they would implement that kind of system, even though it's been something in use for WOC. I'll update my original post.
    Many Bothans died to bring you these fastpasses.

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Another thing to expect: It to be cancelled at the slightest existence of precipitation. Tonight's 7:30 performance was cut short just minutes into it simply due to a light mist falling. I had a short-sleeve shirt on and didn't even feel any rain coming down when they announced the cancellation. When they turned on the spotlights, you could see the rain but it sure didn't seem like anything serious enough to cancel it.

  10. #10

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkILIS View Post
    Another thing to expect: It to be cancelled at the slightest existence of precipitation. Tonight's 7:30 performance was cut short just minutes into it simply due to a light mist falling. I had a short-sleeve shirt on and didn't even feel any rain coming down when they announced the cancellation. When they turned on the spotlights, you could see the rain but it sure didn't seem like anything serious enough to cancel it.
    The same thing happened to last night's 7:30 performance. Dennis Haysbert sounded a little disappointed but calmly explained that there's no telling if the drizzle would turn to rain and that the singers voices and the orchestra's instruments would be damaged if the show were to continue.

    The super irony about last night is that the drizzle cleared up completely no more than a minute after Haysbert made that announcement and it didn't come back for a half hour or so.
    Many Bothans died to bring you these fastpasses.

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    What can you tell those of us who aren't seeing a Candlight performance and just want to enjoy the rest of the park? For instance, what affect does this have on viewing the parades? Do those with Candlelight tickets automatically have day-long access to the parks? (Hoping not, for crowding sake.)

    Thanks.

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Quote Originally Posted by webg33k View Post
    What can you tell those of us who aren't seeing a Candlight performance and just want to enjoy the rest of the park? For instance, what affect does this have on viewing the parades? Do those with Candlelight tickets automatically have day-long access to the parks? (Hoping not, for crowding sake.)

    Thanks.
    Not much on parades with the exception that there are no nighttime parades and that the parade route skips the main street cul-de-sac and makes a hard right out of the gates when starting from Main street (and a hard left when returning).

    As far as people that have tickets (invites) for Candlelight, most are current AP's and some with newly expired AP's that will receive a 1 day 1 park ticket. Pick up for Candlelight wristbands and tickets start at noon each day.

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Thanks for the info!
    For the love of Disney....

  14. #14

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    Quote Originally Posted by webg33k View Post
    What can you tell those of us who aren't seeing a Candlight performance and just want to enjoy the rest of the park? For instance, what affect does this have on viewing the parades? Do those with Candlelight tickets automatically have day-long access to the parks? (Hoping not, for crowding sake.)

    Thanks.
    Some will have passes for just DIsneyland, invited guests have access to both parks. And some will have their AP.
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  15. #15

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    Re: Candlelight Ceremony - What to Expect

    When was the lottery draw? I never get e-mails from Disney any more except for movie stuff.

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