For a number of years now, the first weekend in December has found me in Anaheim.
The main reason being to enjoy a performance of the Candelight Processional at Disneyland. That has meant one of four, being at 5:30 and 7:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday. Weather permitting. A bit different than that offered at Epcot, on a series of nights through the month.
2012 sees Disneyland take up the challenge by offering 20 nights of the performance. The first two were to be for invited guests and not even publicized as part of the events. Actor Dennis Haysbert (you may recognize his voice as he is the commercial spokesperson for Allstate, but I will never forget him as Pedro Cerrano in “Major League” – ” Is very bad to steal Jobu’s rum. Is very bad.” ) was to be the guest narrator for these performances.
Traditionally, Disneyland’s Candelight was a way to say “thank you” to the local communities around the Park. Various people would be invited to view the performances. And it was also an opportunity for Disneyland to welcome back some of it’s more illustrious retirees. As an example, former Disneyland President Jack Lindquist is one who I have seen at many of the performances, including last Saturday night.
Another tradition of sorts is the variable Southern California weather. You name it, we have had it. This past weekend was no exception with just enough liquid sunshine, a.k.a. light rain, to stop some of the performances if not outright cancel others.
While I have not heard personally, anyone complain about this, I know that people have in the past made their way to City Hall and done just so. Always strikes me as odd in that this was an event, not publicized by the Park, held in an open air venue, and yet people complained if the weather forced the cancellation. At best, the safety of the people performing should come first. Not the inconvenience of guests. But, after all, this is Disneyland! Why can’t they control the weather?
A few folks might remember that there was one year where Candlelight was held in the Fantasyland Theater. It was not the perfect venue for the event, but it was under cover. Traditionally, it has been in front of the Main Street Station, in the Town Square. With it’s small town feel, the location may have made sense in an emotional vein. Logistically, it has grown to be a nightmare at the choke point of entry and exit for guests. But I think that the Park and the cast members do a great job in getting things ready and keeping everything (and everyone) moving throughout the performances.
2013? Well, it might be that Candlelight moves to another location. The Fantasyland Theater is under construction from the Princess experience back to a theater. And there is always the Hyperion Theater, home to the guest favorite “Aladdin” show. Either one would make a good choice for these seasonal performances.
Disneyland and the Christmas holiday is a big part of the lives of many guests and cast members. Trust me, Disney as a company “gets” this. No Scrooge here. The special time for family and friends here is treasured and shared. And no, it does not hurt that there are plenty of opportunities to help with the profit margins either. What business does not look to maximize potential income? Can’t fault this one for doing it’s part.
So, as I dry out from last weekend, I can report that despite the misty weather, it was a good time in Anaheim. And I will be sharing a few more photos from the weekend with you, loyal readers, right here in the next few days. So stay dry, stay warm and enjoy as we all get into the “spirit” of the season.