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Gary Sinise’s favorite Christmas celebration involves plenty of fanfare

Gary Sinise Candlelight Processional.

Gary Sinise in the Candlelight Processional.

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Updated: March 22, 2013 5:28PM

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I will be at Disney World as part of the “Candlelight Processional.” I performed in the show annually from 2000 to 2008, and brought my family to Orlando each Christmas holiday where I had the pleasure of narrating this beautiful show, a holiday tradition at both Disney World and Disneyland.

The show begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs until just before New Year’s Eve, with three performances a day, seven days a week. A rotating cast of celebrity narrators alternates every three days, and the first year I did it, I was hooked.

As my children were young at the time, it became a sort of family tradition for us to go there and to enjoy the park while I performed. It’s such a fun place at Christmas time, with each of the parks decorated for the holidays.

The show is filled with music and traditional songs and scripture, telling the story of Christmas with a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir singing everything from “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night” to the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

We perform at Epcot in the America Gardens outdoor theater and, in addition to doing the show, one of the things I love about being there is the “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks display immediately after the final show each night. It’s an incredibly beautiful display with amazing music blasting throughout the park as the fireworks are perfectly choreographed to the score.

The holidays are a great time to visit the Disney parks as the season is all about good cheer and joy for all, and you definitely are filled with the holiday spirit the moment you enter the gates. I love seeing the smiles of so many children. There is so much for them to see.

As I said, we used to go when my kids were young and I’m so glad that my wife and I were able to share those happy times with them. They’re a bit older now and we were surprised and thrilled that they all wanted to go back this year. I’m looking forward to sharing the holiday with our pals at Disney World once again.

A very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season to all.

Gary Sinise donated his fee for writing this column to his foundation,

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