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Old 12-17-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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Candlelight Processional - First Time Thoughts

Loved, loved, loved the show but was confused on the seating. On the advice of the boards, I purchased the dining packaged. While I didn't enjoy the meal (Le Chefs - it was a new experience) our seats were good but approximately 1/4 of the theatre was roped off the night of the show for people without the package. These seats were center stage and about half way up. I saw the show on Dec 9 at the 8:00 pm seating. I was seated one row below and turned and asked some people behind me if they had purchased the package and they said "no". While seating in the theatre was much better, you could have clearly seen the show sitting at the tables located behind the theatre.

If I were to do the show again (during a slow time at WDW) I would not purchase the package. I would either do the standby line or simply watch the show outside the theatre. There were people on the night I attended that purchased the package (had the sticker on their clothes) that got worst seats than standby (standby was allowed in the theatre probably 15 minutes prior to showtime and the package line was still outside the theatre at this point). Just wanted to share my experience.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ratcatshell View Post
our seats were good but approximately 1/4 of the theatre was roped off the night of the show for people without the package. These seats were center stage and about half way up.
How do you know for whom those seats were reserved?

Doesn't sound like a typical situation to me.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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I have been doing the CP for about 10 years now....some years, I've done it twice depending on the narrators. I have never, ever seen any area roped off for standby people. Perhaps you saw a roped off area for those with some special deal. But there is no way that Disney is going to have any space reserved for those doing standby. If that happens, it will negate the whole dining pkg for CP....people won't pay for it.
I was there on Dec 11th...there were no roped off areas at all. And as I said before, I've never seen a roped off area at any show I've been to in the past 10 years.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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I don't know who the seats where reserved for but I do know the area was roped off. The steps were actually roped off leading to the upper center section. Maybe there was a special group there that night and that is why the area was reserved. I didn't ask the person if they were with a special group - I just asked if they did the package.

I am glad that on one else has seen it before because I couldn't understand how people with the package got worse seats than others 15 minutes prior to showtime.

It was my first time attending so I didn't know if this was a normal procedure - apparently it is not.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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This was our first time seeing the CP, and I was thoroughly impressed. We went on 12/1 and we attended the 8:15 show. We saw the line for the first show and thought Oh no are we going to be able to still get into the show. The line went through a few countries. We had dinner and then went to get in line. By this time the second show had just started, and it was already a long line. When we got seated we were pretty close to the front and there was plenty of room. We will definitely plan on doing the CP again with the dining package. We felt that buying the dining package was worth it because it felt like be bought a ticket to a show and got dinner for free.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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They don't reserve seats for standby guests. Package guests get in first. If you are a package guest and you show up after they start letting standby guests in, you lose your advantage - once they start letting the standby line in, there is nothing reserved for the package. Perhaps the stickered guests had "worse" seats because they came in too late. Maybe they like to sit where they were sitting. Can't conclude for sure that they were blocked from good seating.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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I've only been to CP twice; (2011,2012) both times the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Both times we went, we did standby. When we entered the theater, there were thin ropes which only allowed those without a package to go so far into the theater. The closer it gets to show time, the CMs moved the ropes down a row or two at a time, and allowed standby guest to move to a different seat if they wished. Just before the show begins they removed the ropes altogether.

I can't say that initially anyway, the seats we got as standby were better than what someone with a package got other than we did sit center section, but with the possibility of an obstructed view. The package seats were in front of the obstructions.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:35 PM   #8
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Nope, I have to agree with OP they had a package section and a standby section roped off. We were not allowed to sit in the standby section since we had the package. The CM "guarding" the ropes told us that the package people sit below the ropes. It was for the 6:45 Jodi Benson, by the way, on wednesday. We got great seats, so I didnt think anything of it. There were empty seats even after standby got in as well. She was not very popular apparently. But we really enjoyed it!

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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I usually do standby and when you walk in there is a rope on the stairways so that you can only go down so far. The last time we did the package we went down in the front section. Didn't like it. It was too close and the trumpets on the side were really loud. We prefer to be back farther.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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I also have to agree with OP. I was at the Dec 8th 815 performance. Standby was definitely being let in from one side of the theater while package people were still streaming in from the opposite side. I also saw the rope up and wondered what that was about. While we didn't have terrible seats, I would have preferred to sit in the middle behind that rope instead of where I was with the support pole blocking my view of James Denton!
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:31 PM   #11
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So glad others saw how the theatre was divided this past week. Some of the replies I got made me think I was confused on what I described. It did appear that standby had a dedicated area reserved for them.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:59 PM   #12
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We were at the Candlelight Processional last night (12/16) for the 5:00 show. The lower 75% of the theater was roped off for people who had a package. There seems to be 2 different categories of packages. We bought the dinner package and had green stickers. There were people who had a gold sticker and were seated in the front right section.

The standby people were not allowed into the roped off area until 5 min after the program started. I did not see where any standby people were given early access to areas better or equal to the the package folks.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:07 PM   #13
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I just wanted to chime in with my personal set of "facts" based on attending CP multiple times each year since before packages were even offered. I don't claim for a second that every performance has been as I've observed but it holds true for all the ones I've been to. I wanted to offer this since there seems always to be a lot of confusion about seating for this event.

There is always a large section of the theater roped off for standby. This is done to protect the package area - so in fact the value of the package isn't negated at all. Package seats are guaranteed - a standby seat isn't. The theater seats around 1800, so for any given performance there are 600 to 900 standby seats.

I think the mistaken perception about ropes or no ropes is because package guests don't have occasion to encounter or notice them unless they are seated near them, as was the OP. If someone in front of the ropes leaves the theater for some reason, it probably barely registers that a CM has to unhook the rope to let them pass.

The package area remains exclusively for package holders until approximately the time the narrator comes on stage. At that point, standby are ushered to any empty seats that remain down front. That's the point at which you lose the advantage of the package. And there have been times I've seen as many as 50 to 100 standbys go down front. And yeah, there was some very un-Christmas like grumbling afterwards.

For the record, I've never done the package (too cheap and too many strong opinions about WDW food), but I've always gotten into the presentation I wanted. And with the exception of one Christmas Eve with a very popular narrator, I've always queued for less than an hour.

WDW doesn't sell out or try to sell out the whole theater (as of yet) for packages. I've been told that they always want to make sure that a considerable number of standbys can get a seat.

Because of all of these reasons, if you go standby, you'll likely as not end up talking to Disney locals in line. I really don't know anyone locally that buys a package, though no doubt some do. And this is in now way critical of anyone going the package route - only you can decide what to spend your money on.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:50 PM   #14
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I just came back Saturday night. We went to the Candlelight Processional a couple of times last week. They had roped off approximately the front half or so of the theater for package guests with guaranteed seats. All the seats behind the rope were for standby guests. I guess if they had booked more packages, they would have had to reserve more of those seats.

I don't think the speakers last week were the most popular. It was easy to get in standby and there were even empty seats on the weeknights.

If it was Neil Patrick Harris for instance, you would have been thankful to have your package reserved seats as the standby line for him fills up way early in the day.

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Old 12-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #15
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We were there for the 6:45 12/13 show. The OP is correct as our show had at least 1/3 the seats roped off (not sure who for) but package guests could sit in the left front 1/2 and the back 1/2 (behind the center aisle). The right front 1/2 was roped off and package guests were Not allowed to sit there and it appeared that standby were. The pp who stated that standby isn't allowed to sit there until almost the start of the show...that wasn't our experience. Standby was let in about 15 min before the show started. We loved the show but I'm not sure we will do the package again (at least if its a slow night). The show is incredible though!
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