Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014 Disneyland Candlelight Processional - Beau Bridges

Another year and another visit to Disneyland to experience the Candlelight Processional. We missed last year because Ian was only a month old and we weren't ready to leave him by himself yet, but before that, we'd come every year since 2009. This year we're back though with a fifth member of our group. Ian!

He was in a very happy mood today. We're all ready to see Disneyland all dressed up for Christmas.

Ian, what does a reindeer have on his head? Antlers!
Actually he just learned how to do "How big is Ian? So big!!!"

Theresa, Ian and I made our way quickly through the turnstiles and met up with Jacob right around 2:30pm. My favorite spot to see Candlelight was already taken, so we were stuck going over to the City Hall side. Ruston told us where he'd be on the tree ahead of time, so we did our best to find a place we could get a glimpse of him.

And speaking of seating areas, here's what I think is the seating plan for Candlelight. Speaking to some of the people waiting around, the bench seats on the City Hall side had people queueing up outside the park at 6am to get them. The Disabled bench seating we clear until after the 3:30pm parade. I'm not sure where people were allowed to queue up for them or the Disabled seating behind it.

The first showing starts at 5:30pm, so we've some time to kill. Ian was super cute dressed as an elf. He got a lot of comments and even a cast member that asked to take a picture of us that she could show her crew.

Here's what the area looked like at 3pm.

After standing around for so long, I took Ian for a walk so he could stretch his legs.
Is this where they're hiding my presents?

I love how he's up on his tip-toes trying to peek into the window.

Here's what the same area looked like at 3:45pm. Still 1:45 to go before showtime. It definitely gets crowded. By 4:45pm, cast members were walking through the area telling people to start standing up to make room for more guests.

This couple was sitting up here for at least 30 minutes. I forgot to look and see if they got to watch the show from up there or not.

Excited to see the show!

At 5:25pm, Ian went into the Ergo and we all assumed our position to watch the show.

Conductor Nancy Sulahian came out and the orchestra started playing "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear."

And coming down Main Street were the carolers.

And I happened to catch a photo of Ruston as he was walking down Main Street. This has been such a difficult photo to get in all the years past because it's so incredibly dim and the only light sources are the candles.

Welcome to our guest narrator Beau Bridges.

Remember that seating chart I showed. Here's where we ended up standing. Unfortunately there were trees and poles blocking most of our view of the stage.

Here's what it looked like from where we were standing. There was only a row of 1-2 people standing in front of us. I don't think you could go too many rows behind us and expect to see anything.
So can you spot Ruston? He's pretty tall so he always gets put at the end.

How about now? See him yet?

There he is, peeking from behind a pole. Any further towards City Hall and we wouldn't have been able to see him at all.

Beau Bridges did a good job as the Candlelight narrator. It kind-of seemed though that he was playing a character though if that makes any sense.

One of the soloists.

Not a great view of the 2nd soloist.

Ian just couldn't keep his eyes open. He was so well behaved today and didn't get fussy at all while we were just standing around waiting.

A few more random shots throughout the show. I was disappointed I couldn't see the trumpeters on the top of the roof this year.

Drew Tablak and Nancy Sulahian leading the audience in "Silent Night".

We extend our sincere thanks to Candlelight Choir, the featured Soloists and Guitarist, the Sign Laungauge interpreter, Candlelight bell choir and fanfare trumpeters, conductor Nancy Sulahian and special guest narrator Beau Bridges.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, it was my honor to share this wonderful Candlelight service with you here tonight. I love coming to Disneyland... The thing I love the most is watching the excited faces of the children as they scurry from one world to the next... There are so many different traditions and ways of celebrating this special time of year. However you and your loved ones choose to celebrate, I wish you all the love and peace and joy in the world to accompany you as you travel through your the celebratory days here in this wonderful time. Muchas Gracias! Thank you! And Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!" - Beau Bridges

After the show, the four of us shuffled to the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln side of the street to try to catch Ruston as he was leaving backstage.

While we were waiting for Ruston to come out, I made my way to the stage to get a few more shots.

It really is a beautiful setup. I just wish I could see it a little closer.

Getting my photo in front of the stage just because.

Back to meet up with crew, we took part of another tradition. My grandma has a delicious recipe for a spiced holiday tea, and we always make a batch and bring it in a thermos to enjoy. This year, I also brought homemade Gingerbread men to go with them.


A group picture in front of the tree. Ian was a little sleepy.

As luck would have it, I happened to run into some old friends, Armand, his wife Robbin, and their new service dog Duchess. We first got together back in 2012 while he was making a book to celebrate the Candlelight Processional and wanted to use some of my photos. You can read about that whole story here.

I took a quick peek into the shops to see if there was anything I couldn't live without but didn't see anything. I did catch a little snow on Main Street though.

Anyone who tells you that the second showing is less crowded than the first showing... maybe not. It's pretty packed and you're still waiting quite a while. I believe the queue starts just after 5:30pm once the Candlelight Procession goes down Main Street.

Since we've got a little one in tow, T and I aren't sticking around for the 2nd show. Ian needs to get to bed and not get too far off his schedule. Wow, we're such parents now.
Another great Candlelight! We'll be back again next year!

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