Fifty-five years ago today, on December 20, 1958, a tradition began at Disneyland park that continues to this day, both here at the Disneyland Resort and at Epcot in the Walt Disney World Resort. The Candlelight Ceremony and Processional is a Disney Parks holiday mainstay, in which celebrity narrators join choirs comprised of local choral groups and Disney cast members to celebrate the Christmas story. Over the years, celebrity narrators have included stars like Cary Grant, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and James Earl Jones.
To describe it in Heather’s words:
Candlelight started in 1958 at Disneyland park, but the first photo we have of the ceremony is from 1959. The colors are so vivid, and Main Street, U.S.A., looks much like it does today. It seems as if the photo was just taken yesterday. However, if you look a little more closely, you’ll notice that the members of the choir are sporting various looks from the ’50s. Look at the people in the crowd along Main Street and see how well-dressed they are.