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Disneyland Article
Captain Marvel Star Brie Larson Narrates Candlelight Processional
Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
The secret identity of the Disney celebrity that is typically kept under wraps until the last possible moment as a surprise for VIP visitors invited to the annual Candlelight Processional at Disneyland has been revealed for this holiday season.

“Captain Marvel” and “The Marvels” star Brie Larson will narrate the 2023 Candlelight Processional at Disneyland on Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. each evening, according to social media posts.

The Academy Award winner for best actress in 2016’s “Room” has also starred in “Fast X” and “Avengers: Endgame” on the big screen and “Lessons in Chemistry” on television.

Disneyland rarely officially announces the Candlelight Processional celebrity narrator in advance. The Wonders of Magic posted the identity of this year’s Candlelight narrator on Twitter.

Most years the narrator’s secret identity leaks via social media as the celebrity rehearses on Main Street U.S.A. in advance of the Candlelight Processional — and in clear view of thousands of smartphone-wielding Disneyland visitors.

The celebrity narrator tells the story of the first Christmas between songs. Past narrators have included Cary Grant, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, Dick Van Dyke, Kurt Russell, Molly Ringwald, John Stamos, Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jane Seymour, Chris Pratt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sterling K. Brown and James Earl Jones.

The Disneyland Candlelight Ceremony tradition began in 1958 as a way for Walt Disney to show his gratitude to the Orange County community that was home to his first theme park.

Each year, the 600-member candlelight choir parades down Main Street U.S.A. for two performances each night in Disneyland’s Town Square. The singers include Disney employees and members of local community choirs performing along with a live orchestra, handbell players and fanfare trumpeters.

Reserved seating is limited to a few hundred invited guests that include community members, civic leaders, media representatives and VIPs.

Limited standing room-only standby viewing areas are available near City Hall, the Opera House and behind the seating sections in Town Square on a first-come, first-served basis.

Disneyland does little to promote the Candlelight Processional to uninvited guests, but it is possible to catch the shows if you don’t have reserved tickets.

Candlelight fans have been known to wait all day for the limited standing room-only spots behind the seating area. For those not willing to wait, it’s possible to hear the ceremony along Main Street and see the choir arranged on risers in the shape of a Christmas tree.

The second show each night tends to be less crowded for visitors hoping to watch the ceremony from behind the seating areas.

Holding a private event in the middle of a theme park during operating hours presents a number of challenges for Disneyland — from attraction operations to show scheduling to crowd management.

The crowded and busy special event tends to jam foot traffic near the main entrance to the park. Backstage passageways behind the Main Street U.S.A. shops are typically opened during the Candlelight performances to ease congestion in the high-traffic area.

Crews set up the Candlelight stage beneath the Main Street train station and arrange hundreds of folding chairs in Town Square between Disneyland City Hall and the Opera House.

In years past, the Candlelight ceremony has limited the attraction hours of the Disneyland Railroad, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Jungle Cruise and the Main Street vehicles. Similarly, shop hours around Town Square, including the Mad Hatter and Disney Gallery, have been impacted by the ceremony.

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