In recent years, the Disneyland Resort has described the Candlelight Ceremony as “an event to thank special groups and individuals for their partnership and support throughout the year.” The event has evolved since it was first held on Main Street in 1958, but certain elements have remained consistent. There is live music, a massed choir, a reading of the Christmas story as detailed in the Bible, and a celebrity reader who narrates the story of the birth of Christ.
Walt Disney was able to call upon a glittering array of narrators over the years, and today the Walt Disney Company continues the tradition. For 2016, the chosen performer was Ginnifer Goodwin, one of the stars of the hit ABC TV series Once Upon a Time and the voice of Judy Hopps in Zootopia.
This must have been a dream come true for Goodwin, who has stated in many interviews that she is an unabashed Disney fan. In her personal greeting at the conclusion of Candlelight, she said the following: “It’s an honor to be a part of one of Mr. Disney’s many great traditions. This is the home of great stories and this one has been a joy to share with you all. There are many traditions and many ways to celebrate this wonderful time of year and however you and your loved ones choose to do so, I hope it is with magic.” She concluded, “From one Disney nut to another, Happy Holidays!”
The following songs are performed during the Candlelight Ceremony:
“The First Noel”
“Away In A Manger” (with soloist)
“Now Is Born the Divine Christ Child”
“Angels We Have Heard on High”
“What Child is This” (with duet)
“We Three Kings”
“Silent Night” (with soloist and audience)
“Joy to the World”
You can also watch the full ceremony on our YouTube channel: