General Information

Next Event Scheduled: The official dates for 2016 are: Disneyland Candy Palace November 25, 30; December 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 24 Disney California Adventure Trolley Treats November 26, 29; December 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 25

Frequency: Annually

Location: Candy Palace is on Main Street, U.S.A., on the left side of the street as you face the Castle. Trolley Treats is on Buena Vista Street, on the right side of the street as you face Carthay Circle Theater.

Event Began: The first candy canes were made at Disneyland in the late 1970s.

Park Admission Required: Yes.

Admission Requirements: Regular theme park admission is required to purchase the candy canes from the stores. Visitors with Early Admission can line up to receive their wristband before the park opens to the general public on days when Early Admission overlaps with Candy Cane days.

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Event Information

The #1 question people ask is "HOW DO I GET ONE?!?!" It's not difficult, but you need to plan ahead and be willing to devote some time.

 

First, consult the Candy Cane Calendar for the year. If you have the luxury of being able to go any day you want, your best bet is to pick a weekday when candy canes are being released at Disney California Adventure and it is not an Early Admission day.

If your schedule is less flexible but you still have some options:

  • DCA days are less crowded than Disneyland days, mostly because fewer people enter DCA right at park opening. This means fewer people who didn't already know what was going on are likely to see the crowd/lines/sign and join the line.
  • Weekdays are less crowded than weekends.
  • Avoid Early Entry Days unless you have Early Entry yourself (in which case, that's THE day to go), or unless you have no other choice. If you go on an Early Entry day but don't have that benefit yourself, you'll be in line behind people who got into the park an hour before you.

Once you decide when to go, check to see what time the park opens and get to the front gates at least 30 minutes early. If it's not an Early Entry day, Main Street and/or Buena Vista Street will open a bit early for "Shopping Convenience Hour," and you'll be able to join the line as soon as they do.

Once inside the park, head straight for the Candy Palace or Trolley Treats - there will be time to get Starbucks later. If you're one of the first 40 or so people in line, you may be offered the option to purchase a fresh-and-ready candy cane from the first batch of the day, made before the park opened that morning. Disney this year started making a pre-opening batch to increase the number of candy canes available each day. If you'd prefer to watch your candy cane being made, or if there are no pre-made ones ready, you'll get a wristband.

Each color-coded wristband corresponds to a specific batch, and will have the return time written on it. That's when you'll return to the candy shop to purchase your candy cane.  If you don't want to watch the candies being made, just return at the time indicated to claim your treat. In all cases, you must return by 2:00 p.m., after which unclaimed candy canes will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There is a limit of one wristband per person, and everyone in your party who wants a wristband must be there in person to claim one. You can't send family members off to a ride and claim a wristband for them in their absence. Children can get their own wristbands.

Candy canes are $12.99 plus tax. No discounts apply, and there is a limit of one candy cane per person. Disney says that "All candy canes sold will be made fresh at the Disneyland Resort."

History and Trivia

Like the Candlelight Processional, the freshly-pulled candy canes made at Disneyland were once one of those little Disney gems, known to only a small group of fans. Social media helped spread the word, but it was a 2009 special holiday episode of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" with Guy Fieri that really made them famous.

You can still watch that episode from on Guy Fieri's website, for however long this link is valid.

  • The first candy canes were made at Disneyland in the late 1970s.
  • New candy makers start training as early as July each year to learn to make the freshly-pulled candy canes.
  • Candy makers work in a team of three to make each batch of candy canes.
  • Each batch takes approximately two hours to make from start to finish, which includes 30 minutes of prep and clean up, 30 minutes to cook the sugar and an hour of pulling time.
  • Each batch makes 40-45 candy canes; the count is imprecise due to variations in the melt yield of each pound of crystalized sugar.
  • The candy room is temperature- and humidity-controlled, and temperatures reach over 100 degrees inside during candy cane production. During the 2-hour process, cast members can not enter or leave the candy kitchen, or the sudden drop in temperature can ruin the entire batch of candy canes.
  • The 15 lbs of melted sugar is yellow when first poured onto the shaping table. Air incorporated into the cooling sugar as it is pulled gives it the white appearance.
  • The peppermint flavoring is carefully poured over the rope of sugar during the pulling process. Candy makers say this is the most delicate part of the entire preparation, as any impurities or crystals introduced at this stage can cause the entire batch to crack.
  • The green and red stripes are made by taking small batches of the melted sugar before pulling begins. While one candy maker pulls the main block of candy, a second adds food coloring to the smaller portions and forms small sugar ropes. These colored ropes are laid onto the finished white block, and the entire log is rolled out into the long ropes from which the candy canes are cut.
  • Each section of rope is rolled, cut and weighed before going to a third candy maker, who uses a wooden form to perfectly shape the candy cane into the classic hook.
  • Once the candy canes cool, candy makers package them into plastic sleeves and then wrap them in bubble wrap.