The First Candlelight Processional at Walt Disney World

The Candlelight Processional has always been a part of Walt Disney World since the park opened in 1971.  In Walt Disney World’s early years and before EPCOT, the Candlelight Processional was held on Main Street with the narrator reading from balcony area of the Main Street Train Station.

The processional was just one part of the Magic Kingdom’s Christmas festivities.  Town Square in 1971 featured a 50-foot Christmas Tree and there was a special holiday parade which ran daily from December 10th to January 2nd.  The Candlelight Processional was a two-night affair on December 18th and 19th with the show starting at 6 pm.  The narrator in that first year was movie star, Rock Hudson.

Rock Hudson #1

Hudson would go on to narrate the processional at Walt Disney World again in 1973, 1974, 1977, and 1980.  The processional stayed at Walt Disney World until 1993 when it moved to the American Gardens Theatre in EPCOT.

Christmas at Disney has come a long way since that first Walt Disney World Christmas in 1971.  Now, we have Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which starts in November, Christmas Around the World at the EPCOT World Showcase, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios with the Candlelight Processional still taking place in the American Gardens Theatre in EPCOT.

List of Walt Disney World Candlelight Processional Narrators (Magic Kingdom)

Rock Hudson: 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1984

Cary Grant: 1972

Dean Jones: 1975, 1987

Joseph Campanella: 1976, 1983, 1990

Ross Martin: 1978

James Hampton and Darrin McGavin: 1981

Pat and Shirley Boone: 1982

Howard Keel: 1985, 1986

Walter Cronkite: 1988

McLean Stevenson: 1989

George Kennedy: 1991

Paula Zahn: 1992

Information for this article was pulled from:

The Rock Hudson Project

Mouse Planet


Park Bag Essentials

One of the most important things to have on a Disney vacation is a quality bag to bring into the parks.  It should be big enough to carry a lot of stuff.  However, it should be small and compact enough to not take up a lot of space in the Disney buses or on the airplane to and from Disney World.  For our family, we found a bag that worked for us on our very first trip.  It’s a collapsible LL Bean day bag.  It can fold up into an airplane carry-on bag or it can be used as carry-on itself.  Most of the time, we used it as a carry-on.

backpack #1

This leads to the question, what are the most important things to put into the park bag.

Continue reading Park Bag Essentials

Week in Review – March 29, 2015

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a week in review article.  With four articles published this week, I felt it time to put up a recap of this weeks articles:

Take a closer look at my athletic side with a review of my team’s performance at the City of Ottawa Curling Bonspiel.

There are lots of quick service restaurants at Walt Disney World.  I write up what, in my opinion, is the best quick service location in each park.

Join me on the Orange Loop of The Magical Blogorail as I give you a great free tip on getting free water at quick service restaurants locations.

After spending two days writing about quick service restaurants, I close out the week talking about the best snacks at Walt Disney World.

Thanks for reading!


Yesterday, I gave you a great tip on a free item at Walt Disney World which can help you save some snack credits.  Today, I’m going to help you spend some of those saved snack credits on some tasty Disney snacks.  Disney snacks come in all shapes and sizes.  I’m going to bring you some of my favorites and maybe some of my favorites are some yours as well.

So, let’s bring on those Disney snacks.

Continue reading WHO WANTS A DISNEY SNACK!

Free Water at Walt Disney World Counter Service Locations

counter service meal

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Orange. Enjoy the ride as we share our tips for free items at Disney Parks.

We see them all the time at every counter service meal….the paper Disney cup.  But did you know that you could to that same counter service location at any time and they will give a paper cup full of water for free.  Think about that for a second.  No need to spend a snack credit or $2.75 to $3.00 on a bottle of water and then filling that bottle with water from water fountains.  You can go to any counter service at any time and get free water.  Not once per day.  You could go multiple times per day.  You can multiple cups per visit.

On a typical visit, my family would get a couple gallons of water for our water bottles that we would take into the parks.  After we finished that water, we would head to the counter services for a refill.  Once we started doing this, we noticed that we need to purchase less water for the room.  Now, we were saving on two fronts.  We were saving our snack credits or $3.00 for a bottle of water and now we saving even more money since we needed to purchase less water for the room.

As someone who is very susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, this tip is a life saver.  On a hot day in the parks, I could easily go through a half-gallon to a gallon of water just to stay hydrated and stay out of the first aid station.  I’d much rather spend my time relaxing and cooling off in a counter service restaurant than at the first aid station.

No need to buy these while in the parks!
No need to buy these while in the parks!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is FOR THE LOVE OF DISNEY.

1st Stop – Dad for Disney – Free Water at Walt Disney World Counter Service Locations

2nd Stop – For the Love of Disney – Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

3rd Stop – Superheroes and Teacups – Free Fun at Epcot’s Club Cool

4th Stop – Adventureland Pam – My 5 Favorite Free Things to Do at Disney World

5th Stop – Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze – Freebies From Your Disney Resort Hotel 

Final Stop – This Roller Coaster Called Life – Freebies at the Disney Parks: Park Maps