Magic Behind the Music: Epcot – Candlelight Processional – 01 ~ Shout for Joy
Over the decades things at the Disney theme parks have changed quite a lot. And while it’s safe to say Walt may have done some changes differently had he been around to see them, change was firmly rooted in the parks’ DNA by his own design as he is famous for saying, “Disneyland will never be finished.” Still, over the years, some things found their place in the Disney theme parks and continue to remain, as time-honored traditions, which Walt also enjoyed.
The Candlelight Processional at Epcot has been on the D-COT Jukebox since November 15, 2008, but it is a Christmas tradition that has its roots deep in Disney theme park history. Walt loved Christmas, so in December 1955 when Disneyland was just a few months old, carolers were invited to sing throughout the park and a choir performed songs at the Grandstand for Disney’s Holiday Festival. In 1956 the event grew exponentially to include 8 visiting choirs and the Disneyland Band performing on the steps of the Main Street Station. In 1957 the event included more choirs and a parade. It was so well received that in 1958 the first official Candlelight Processional was performed. In 1960, celebrities were invited to narrate the First Christmas, as told from the Gospel of Luke in the Bible, between the songs. And so the annual tradition has continued to endure.
The Candlelight Processional was first performed at Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom in its opening year of 1971. It remained there until it was moved to the American Gardens Theater at Epcot in 1994. The Candlelight Processional at Disneyland continues to be performed for 2 shows on one weekend every December, but the one in Epcot is performed 3 times every day from Thanksgiving Day through December 30th.
This first track of the performance, “Shout for Joy” has a play count of 5,533 with a weekly count of 18. It includes the opening song, “Shout for Joy,” followed by narration from the Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 1, verses 26-31. It then continues with the hymn, “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The track is a favorite of 39 members and Supporters have added it to 26 custom playlists. It has a 4.9/5 average rating with 35 votes.
But don’t stop at this track! The Jukebox has the entire performance! If you’ve never heard it, hearing it alone is worth the listen. If you’ve never seen it, it is truly a unique spectacle. Visitors to Walt Disney World this time of year get to enjoy this and many other Holiday sights and sounds that paint the parks and resorts in a whole new way that make them even more joyful experiences than they are the rest of the year!