The Ahwahnee, a historic AAA Four-Diamond hotel nestled in the heart of Yosemite National Park,announces the schedule for The Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite, celebrating its 86th season. This American theatrical tradition transforms the hotel into a 17th century English manor for a feast of food, song and mirth for eight performances, held from December 13-25.
Reduced advance booking rates are available now for overnight packages and single tickets. Visitors are also invited to attend complimentary concerts featuring world-class artists singing holiday, pops and Broadway standards in the hotel’s Great Lounge on nights alternating with The Bracebridge Dinner.
The Bracebridge Dinner is a Yosemite tradition that transports guests to Old England, where more than 60 costumed, professional singers and performers enact a lively holiday banquet with Lord Merrick of Bracebridge and his entertaining household. The Bracebridge Dinner is recognized as one of the most sought-after holiday events in the U.S. In 2006, The Wall Street Journal reported, “Bracebridge is, without much doubt, the country’s, if not the world’s, premier Christmas dinner.”
During each Bracebridge performance, up to 300 guests enjoy a lavish, seven-course feast by The Ahwahnee’s Executive Chef Percy Whatley, with service choreographed as part of the pageantry. The Ahwahnee Dining Room, with its 50-foot ceiling topped by massive log beams, serves as the Great Hall at Squire Bracebridge’s manor. The entire room is a stage, crowned by an elaborate Squire’s table and decked with holiday decorations, many of which are restored originals from the first productions in the late 1920s.
The 2012 performances of The Bracebridge Dinner take place December 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 25, at 6 p.m. The following one- and two-night lodging packages for two are available:Two-night Package* One-night Package*
The Ahwahnee from $1,424 from $1,125Yosemite Lodge at the Falls from $1,092 from $959
Wawona Hotel from $1,146 from $996
The Bracebridge Dinner lodging packages include:
- Dinner for two at The Bracebridge Dinner, excluding alcohol (Dinner is on the second night of a two-night Bracebridge Package).
- Professional group portrait sitting to commemorate the event.
- Shuttle services to The Ahwahnee for The Bracebridge Dinner guests staying at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and Wawona Hotel.
For more information or to make package reservations,
please visit http://www.yosemitepark.com/bracebridge or call (801) 559-4903.
Dinner-only tickets are available starting at $299 (adults) and $230 (children 12 and under), including gratuity and exclusive of tax.
Please call the reservations desk to make a dinner-only reservation at (801) 559-4884. Dinner-only tickets are not available online.
Enhancing The Bracebridge Dinner experience at The Ahwahnee are five concert presentations in the hotel’s Great Lounge on nights alternating with Bracebridge performances by the Andrea Fulton Chorale, soloists and dancers. The Ahwahnee Pops concerts feature holiday favorites, and the Say it with Music concert is a showcase of selections from Broadway sensations Chicago, Les Miserables, The Producers, La Cage aux Folles and more. Admission to the performances listed below is complimentary and open to the public:
The Ahwahnee Pops – A Concert of Music of the Christmas Season
December 15 at 8 p.m.; December 23 at 2 p.m., followed by Christmas caroling and the arrival of Santa Claus
Greg Parker – A Holiday Concert
December 12 and 19 at 8 p.m.
Say It with Music – An Evening of Musical Theatre
December 17 and 21 at 8 p.m.
THE HISTORY OF THE BRACEBRIDGE DINNER
The original production of The Bracebridge Dinner was created by Garnet Holme, a California pageant director, who conceived the event for The Ahwahnee’s first Christmas in 1927. The inspiration for this yuletide ceremony was author Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book (1819), which described Squire Bracebridge and English Christmas traditions. After Holme’s death in 1929, Donald Tresidder, president of the Yosemite Park & Curry Company, asked world-famous photographer Ansel Adams to assume directorship. Adams, who was also a talented musician and pianist, worked with Ahwahnee interior designer Jeanette Dyer Spencer to improve the script, set and costumes. Adams continued directing and performing in The Bracebridge Dinner until his retirement from the production in 1973. Eugene Fulton, who took over the directorship from Adams, began as conductor of the Chorale in 1934, and served as musical director beginning in 1946 after a two-year production hiatus for World War II.
The current director and executive producer of The Bracebridge Dinner, Andrea Fulton, took over the role from her father after his death in 1978. Fulton grew up with Bracebridge, performing in the production since the age of five. She currently plays the role of Augusta Billingsly, Housekeeper of Bracebridge Hall. Many of the cast members have been with the production for 20 to 25 years, maintaining a longstanding tradition and consistent mark of theatrical and musical excellence. When not in The Bracebridge Dinner, most perform as soloists, choral singers and actors with major opera companies, theatre productions, festivals and symphony orchestras throughout the world.
ABOUT THE AHWAHNEE
The Ahwahnee, AAA Four-Diamond hotel featuring rustic architecture with Native American, Middle Eastern and Art and Crafts design elements, is located in scenic Yosemite National Park, which is home to stunning natural beauty, year-round activities and historic charm. The Ahwahnee was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and in 1987 it was listed as a National Historic Landmark. The hotel was recognized by Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s “Reader’s Choice Awards” in 2010 as one of the top 100 resorts in the United States. For more information, visit www.yosemitepark.com/ahwahnee.