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EPCOT – America Gardens Theatre

Across from the American Adventure is the America Gardens Theatre. The outdoor amphitheater has seen concerts, singers, and bands from around the world.

During the International Flower and Garden Festival each year in the spring singers and bands from the “Flower Power” era take the stage. The America Gardens Theatre has also hosted full productions including Blast, Barrage, and in 1999 and 2000, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.

With out a doubt, the most popular event at the America Gardens Theatre is the annual thrice nightly production of the Candlelight Processional. This is the traditional story of Christmas in song and narration presented by a guest narrator and performed by the Disney’s cast members who form the tree in the center of the stage, a symphony orchestra of 51 professional musicians from central Florida, and choir members from high school and church groups from Florida and across America. It is the most popular of all Disney events, with visitors paying for dinner at EPCOT’s pricey restaurants just to get reserved seating for one of the three nightly performances.

The theatre today is vastly different than it was in the beginning — an open air stage with no back drops and a view across the World Showcase Lagoon. Later what looked like a vessel from the Colonial era was added to the back of the stage as a dressing room/changing area. Then a roof was added, and columns, then a booth for producers and directors and lighting. And now it’s hard to even tell you are near the World Showcase Lagoon.

So many performers have appeared at the America Gardens Theatre that it would be impossible to name them all. The one that stands out most in my mind is the appearance of Bob McGrath from Sesame Street. My children were still very small and loved Sesame Street. Bob came out into the audience and my daughter wanted to shake his hand. We raised her up in the air and she got her wish!

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EPCOT - America Gardens Theatre
Bob McGrath of Sesame Street performed at EPCOT around 1989. My kids were three and five at the time and big Sesame...
America Gardens Theatre
Bob McGrath of Sesame Street performed at EPCOT around 1989. My kids were three and five at the time and big Sesame...
EPCOT - America Gardens Theatre - Candlelight Processional
Marlee Matlin is one of my favorite performers at Candlelight. Without speaking the words herself, with the aid of her interpretor, she...
EPCOT - America Gardens Theatre - Candlelight Processional
Edward James Olmos narration is wonderful only surpassed by his heart warming words to the audience after each performance.
Derrick Johnson - Candlelight Processional
Conductor Derrick Johnson is responsible for almost all of the arrangements sung at Candlelight at EPCOT. For reasons unknown, he disappeared from...
Candlelight Processional - EPCOT - America Gardens Theatre
This is Ashley processing into the theater with other high school students from around the nation. Lake Mary High Schools chorus students...
Candlelight 2000 Program Guide - cover
I have sung with Lake Mary High School chorus in the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT since 1998. The 2000 concerts were special...
Candlelight 2000 Program Guide - inside flaps
I have sung with Lake Mary High School chorus in the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT since 1998. The 2000 concerts were special...
Candlelight 2000 Program Guide - narrators
I have sung with Lake Mary High School chorus in the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT since 1998. The 2000 concerts were special...
Candlelight 2000 Program Guide - guest choirs
I have sung with Lake Mary High School chorus in the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT since 1998. The 2000 concerts were special...
America Gardens Theatre - 2009
America Gardens Theatre has changed since it was just an open air stage. This is the most recent addition to the theatre...
America Gardens Theatre - 2009
America Gardens Theatre has changed since it was just an open air stage. This is the most recent addition to the theatre...
America Gardens Theatre
America Gardens Theatre has changed since it was just an open air stage. This is the theatre before the production booth was...
America Gardens Theatre 2009
America Gardens Theatre has changed since it was just an open air stage. This shows the stage decked out for Candlelight in...
America Gardens Theatre - 2009
The America Gardens Theatre has changed a lot from its beginnings as a flat stage with no walls or lighting. This is...
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