Was there a big surprise the first time you narrated Candlelight Processional?
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Epcot, 1510 N Avenue Of The Stars, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA
The surprise was the sheer volume of everything. It's sort of deafening, standing in the middle of the cacophony of sounds coming not only from the orchestra in front of you but also 500 full-throated vocalists all around you. That was a bit of an overwhelm. And when you do three in a row for three days, by the ninth show, you're mostly deaf.
To me, it looks like you're ready to break into song. Is that frowned on?
I know that they say you're welcome to sing along, but I don't know if that's encouraged or just optional. I grew up singing in our church choir and they would sing the "Hallelujah Chorus," so my instincts are to sing, because I mostly know the song.
Do you have a favorite part or passage in the processional?
My favorite Christmas carol has always been "O Holy Night." I really love that song, and it's a beautiful orchestration and arrangement of that one.
Is there a must-do, must-eat, must-see part of Disney World for you?
Where to begin? We really love the Animal Kingdom. There's just so much great stuff there. I love the Kilimanjaro Safari, and we love the coaster [Expedition Everest] although it loses a couple of points with the Yeti not running anymore. I'm a big fan of old-school Audio-Animatronics, so I also am a big Spaceship Earth fan. Haunted Mansion is probably one of my favorite designs ever, so I always have to go see that.
One of the main perks of being a narrator — and a theme-park enthusiast, Disney especially — is that I'm afforded the opportunity to go backstage. One early morning, we got to go tour the Haunted Mansion before it opened, which was very exciting. On another trip I got to go under the stage of American Adventure at Epcot and see all the pneumatics working and how those set pieces fold up into each other. It's that access I really get off on.
Because you're based in California, do you get to Disneyland often?
I have a special soft spot in my heart about Disneyland. I love the scope and the size of what Florida and Disney World is able to provide in just sheer quantity. You get giant flower beds that are amazing and topography. … Since they have such a finite amount of space in Disneyland, every single thing that you look at and glorify over is well designed, a little gem.
Has having children changed your holiday focus or planning? [He and his partner David Burtka are parents of 14-month-old twins.]
It means we're allowed to travel less. It's two kids and a nanny and strollers and portable cribs plus gifts. It's just a lot. I'm anxious to root myself and start our own family traditions. It will be nice to just take a breath during the holidays and decorate and stay in.
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