Next Event Scheduled: For 2021, these fresh candy canes are available just nine dates:
Disneyland Candy Palace – December 7, 9, 15, 21, 23
Disney California Adventure Trolley Treats – December 8, 14, 16, 22
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 and a park reservation is required to purchase the candy canes from the stores.
The #1 question people ask is "HOW DO I GET ONE?!?!" This has changed in 2021 with the introduction of theme park reservations and the use of a new mobile waitlist system.
First, you have to have a reservation for the right park on the right day. Consult the Candy Cane Calendar for the year to see if your reservations line up with release dates.
If so, check to see what time the park opens and get to the front gates at least 30 minutes early. Once inside the park, head straight for the Candy Palace or Trolley Treats - there will be time to get Starbucks later.
Disney will not issue wrist bands this year. Instead, park visitors will use their smartphone to join a mobile wait list, and will receive a message when it's their turn to return to the store and purchase their candy cane. Look for a sign with a QR code outside the store, and be ready to scan that code with your phone's camera to join the wait list. Everyone in your party who wants one must be there in person to join the mobile wait list.
If you don't want to watch the candies being made, you can enjoy the park and wait for the message that it's your turn to return to the store and purchase your candy cane. In past years all candy canes were ready for purchase by around 1:30 p.m. We don't know how many batches will be made this year, or how long you should be prepared to stay in the park to get yours.
No discounts apply, and there is a limit of one candy cane per person.
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, as any 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.