Why So Many Celebrities Go to Disney World at Christmastime
This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure
If you see Kurt Russell while chowing down on a churro at Epcot over the next month, don't be surprised — he's just one of the many stars making their way to Florida later this year.
Walt Disney World stages a seasonal Candlelight Processional at Epcot each winter, filling the park with Christmas cheer. The live performance hosts a full orchestra and choir, but more importantly, a rotating cast of celebrity narrators, bringing Olympians, actors, musicians, and other stars to Disney World every night between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.
The end-of-year showcase, which recites the biblical Christmas origin story, combines music and readings for a rousing performance three times each night between November 24 and December 30. With 50 instrumental musicians, a stage full of singers, and celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Laurie Hernandez appearing live at the annual event, it's no surprise Epcot's seasonal display is one of the most popular events in the park and the easiest way to see a superstar at Walt Disney World.
Consider it an early holiday gift, too, because you won't even have to pay extra to watch A-listers like Neil Patrick Harris in person. Epcot's Candlelight Processional is included with park admission, allowing Disney guests some free face time with their favorite entertainers.
Famed actors such as Matt Bomer, Ana Gasteyer, Chandra Wilson, and Warwick Davis are also set to appear, as well as musicians like Trace Adkins and TV personalities including Pat Sajak. Even Disney celebrities, like Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in "The Little Mermaid," will take part in the showcase which brings new superstars to Walt Disney World every year.
All seats for Epcot's thrice-nightly Candlelight Processionals are offered as standby, but visitors can guarantee their spot to witness a certain athlete or actor onstage with Walt Disney World's Candlelight Dinner Packages. Offered for breakfast, lunch or dinner at restaurants throughout the park, the packages will ensure excited vacationers don't miss that up-close moment with their favorite famous talent.
Epcot's soulful show is just one of the many festive events arriving at Walt Disney World this November. The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays will bring traditional food and drink as well as entertainment and stories from customs around the globe to the park's World Showcase, while nighttime performances of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth starting November 24 will include an uplifting "Peace on Earth" segment at its end.