The EPCOT Candlelight Processional is a long standing Disney tradition featuring a celebrity narrator, 50-piece orchestra, and a massed choir. This experience is extremely popular and seats for the performances fill up quickly with some guests waiting hours before the show to get a seat!
This is why the EPCOT Candlelight Processional dining package is such a great option so you know you have a guaranteed spot at this Christmas event.In my Candlelight Processional dining package review I will cover the restaurant option we enjoyed, how early to line up for seats, and our experience watching the performance. And of course: is this dining package worth the cost?
Keep reading for my Candlelight Processional dining package review and our experience at Biergarten in the Germany pavilion.
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EPCOT Biergarten Candlelight Processional Dining Package Review
The EPCOT Candlelight Processional is a part of the Festival of Holidays celebration at Walt Disney World that runs throughout the end of November through December. There are a variety of restaurants that offer dining packages for the performance and I choose the Biergarten in the Germany pavilion for our dining experience. This is a buffet style restaurant which is also accompanied by live performances during dinner.
My son is a picky eater so I usually have to navigate our dining experiences with some care to make sure he will actually eat what I pick! I found the Biergarten to be a great choice for picky eaters as there was a great variety of German classics but enough of them were familiar enough (like German style mac and cheese!) that he loved this restaurant. In fact, he said it was his favorite in EPCOT!
Since we dined during Christmas at Walt Disney World, the performers in the restaurant played a variety of holiday themed melodies. Every area in the restaurant offers a good viewing spot for the stage. Just keep in mind that these performances are not constant so it will depend on the time you eat at.
The buffet offered a variety of German classics like pork schnitzel, Sauerkraut, German sausages, roasted potatoes, German potato salad, liverwurst, and more.
The buffet options were great, there were so many options although I did struggle a bit to find vegetarian options. I think vegans would have a harder time at this buffet and may want to opt for a different restaurant. I've spent a large portion of my life living in Wisconsin, where many locals have German heritage, so I was familiar with many of the dishes. The Kasespatzle (German mac and cheese) was a hit and is one of the more popular dishes at this buffet. This was our favorite but meat eaters will enjoy the pork schnitzel which is another popular item at this buffet.
The desserts were also fantastic but my favorite was the apple strudel! My son ate so much Kasespatzle that he didn't leave room for dessert. Suffice to say, I might need to buy myself a spatzle maker so I can perfect those dumpling style noodles at home.
There is also a large selection of German wine and beer you can purchase at an additional price. I ordered a glass of Dr. Loosen riesling and was surprised to see how large of a glass I was given. Always a nice surprise! Of course, the German approved choice is to order yourself a liter of beer. I was amused to see that this restaurant offers shots of Jagermeister but of course, this makes sense!
We were given our tickets to access the performance of the Candlelight Processional at the dining experience and the waitress recommended we line up at least an hour before it began to give us the best spot.
Overall, I really enjoyed our experience at Biergarten in EPCOT and we will definitely return to this restaurant on a regular EPCOT day. The atmosphere was great as the restaurant attempts to immerse you in the setting of a little quaint German town, the food was fantastic, and the German musicians were a great unique experience.
EPCOT Candlelight Processional Dining Package Review
I took the recommendation of the cast member to arrive an hour before the start of our 7PM showing of the Candlelight Processional and we were still had about 30 people in front of us. You are guaranteed a spot with your dining package but if you want to have your pick of viewing then lining up early will help that.
We were able to get a spot right in the front only two rows from the stage but we were a bit off center. If I was determined to get a center view towards the front then lining up about 90 minutes before show time might be the way to go. But for us, this was just fine. They started seating the line about 30 minutes prior to show time. So at the very least, you need to be in line before then if you don't want last choice of seating before standby is let in.
Although there is an advantage to sitting further back so you can get a better vantage point of the entire performance which utilizes the entire stage and at times even the side platforms. But I still felt we had a great view and it was a joy to see everything so close up.
The celebrity narrator for our performance on Christmas Eve was Marie Osmond and we were seated close enough to get a good view of her as she spoke. I did set an alarm to wake up right when the dining packages went live to secure our dining reservation which is one of our strategies for getting those hard to get Walt Disney World dining reservations. It was also an advantage that we were staying at a Walt Disney World hotel so I could book all of our dining 60 days from the first date of our stay. Guests staying off-site can only book 60 days in advance for each day of their visit. Since our arrival date was on 12/19, I had no issues finding dining options on Christmas Eve since I had a few days head start over others.
The way the performance is organized is lively enough to keep most kids entertained although smaller children may get a bit restless. If you need to get up and leave you just tell a cast member and they will let you back in. We noticed a few unhappy babies (after all, it was probably a long day at Disney for them!) that had to step out and the parents had no issues. My estimation of the crowd is that everyone was extremely understanding of this and parents were considerate to take a quick walk with their kiddo if their noise level increased. Reminded me of that same understanding you would have at church or a Christmas play like the Nutcracker. This is a performance for everyone- not just adults.
This was my first time experiencing the EPCOT Candlelight Processional and it was a beautiful performance. It was especially perfect seeing it on Christmas Eve and it was a magical way to spend the evening. The narrator, in our case Marie Osmond, will read the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The story is broken up with traditional Christmas songs that correspond with the story. Some of the songs that were performed included Silent Night, Joy to the World, O Holy Night, and others. A crowd favorite for this performance was clearly Rejoice with Exceeding Joy and the ending chorus of Hallelujah Everyone on that stage was immensely talented and as someone who enjoys theater this was the highlight of my Christmas Eve. I highly recommend it, this is a not miss experience if you visit Walt Disney World during the International Festival of Holidays at EPCOT.
The dining package was absolutely worth the cost for us as we were seeing the performance on Christmas Eve and it was an extremely popular experience for guests on that day. During our visit, the price for the Biergarten dining package was $65 per adult. Since I was planning on a sit down restaurant experience in EPCOT anyways this cost balanced out nicely. We saw people lined up in the regular standby for hours before the performance hoping to get a spot in the theater. I was happy to instead spend that time wandering the World Showcase and hopping on Frozen Ever After one more time.
The theater is big enough that there may be enough seating on other days but of course, this also depends on who the celebrity narrator is! That will definitely be a game changer in terms of popularity of that performance. Since there's no guarantee and you would have to spend a portion of your time at EPCOT in line to make sure, I think an EPCOT Candlelight Processional dining package is worth it!
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