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Disneyland announces dates for 2019 Candlelight Ceremony

Disneyland has announced dates for the annual Candlelight Ceremony with a 600-member choir that always draws thousands of holiday fans anxious to get into the Christmas spirit.

The 2019 Candlelight Ceremony will be held at Disneyland on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8, according to Disney officials.

Unlike the Candelight Processional that performs at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort, in past years, the candlelight choir has paraded down Main Street U.S.A. for two performances each night in Disneyland’s Town Square.

The Disneyland Candlelight Ceremony tradition began in 1958 as a way for Walt Disney to show his gratitude to the Orange County community that was home to his first theme park.

Each year, the singers include Disney employees and members of local community choirs performing along with a live orchestra, handbell players and fanfare trumpeters.

A celebrity narrator, kept a surprise until the first show, tells the story of the first Christmas between songs.

Past narrators have included Cary Grant, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, Dick Van Dyke and James Earl Jones. “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt was the narrator in 2018. “Thor” star Chris Hemsworth did the honors in 2017.

Reserved seating is limited to a few hundred invited guests that include community members, civic leaders, media representatives and VIPs.

Holding a private event in the middle of a theme park during operating hours presents a number of challenges for Disneyland, from attraction operations to show scheduling to crowd management. Crews set up the Candlelight stage beneath the Main Street train station and arrange hundreds of folding chairs in Town Square between Disneyland City Hall and the Opera House.