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Disneyland Article
Hundreds Wait In Line Then Another Line To Buy 12.99 Candy Cane

Source:Orange County Register
Author:Marla Jo Fisher
Dateline:December 01, 2017
Posted:December 08, 2017
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Some people might call these folks wacky, crazed or just plain nuts. But we'll just call them some of Disneyland's most devoted fans.

Fans who are willing to get up before dawn, drive to the park and stand in line for an hour waiting for Disneyland to open so they can stand in another line. This time to get a wristband, to come back later and, you guessed it, stand in another line. All for the privilege of buying one single candy cane for $12.99.

That's right. I said, "Buy one." Per person.

No, it's not made of solid gold, nor does it contain a golden ticket. It's just a candy cane made by hand by Disney candy makers, and it's only for sale for a few days each holiday season.

Disneyland has been making and selling hand-pulled candy canes since 1968, and the most dedicated fans make a point of visiting the park early in the morning during the holiday season.

Only a small number of wristbands are given out each day the candy canes are available, and people covet them. Disney won't say how many candy cane wristbands are handed out in a day, but parkgoers on a Facebook page for annual pass holders indicate that fewer than 150 candy canes are sold each day.

Every morning the treats are sold, fans turn out wearing festive, glittery holiday mouse ears, Santa hats and lanyards full of Disney pins, and stand in long lines in front of that day's designated candy store in either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure.

Spread by social media, the candy cane fever only grows every year, though opinions are sharply divided over whether it's canny or crazy.

"It's not Christmas until you get your Disneyland candy cane," Brittany Thompson, 28, of Wilmington, said early Friday morning, in line before the park officially opened. "We are crazy people. We line up here every year."

Connie McCrudden and her family came from Alhambra, spending the night in an Anaheim hotel so they could be at the park before it opened, in time to get wristbands. Three years ago, they stumbled upon the line of people waiting for wristbands and have been fans ever since. Now, it's become part of her 4-year-old daughter Allie's birthday celebration. "It accidentally became a family tradition," she said.

On Friday, McCrudden and her husband, Dennis, arrived before Disneyland opened, with daughters Abby and Allie dressed in festive red-and-green holiday dresses and shoes. The girls began clamoring for candy canes before they reached the front of the line.

"It's not for everyone, because it's a lot of work," McCrudden said. "But when you get one, you feel like you lucked out. A lot of people don't get it." The family buys four canes, one for each person, then eats the first one, saving others to eat during the holiday season.

Candy canes are made from pulled sugar and peppermint extract. To keep the sugar pliable, the room must be kept Palm Springs hot. Park visitors line up at the shop windows to watch candy makers dressed in white with striped scarves laboriously pull, prod, cut and push the sugar into the characteristic shape.

"We make them from scratch and hand-pull the 18-inch candy canes, which requires a good deal of time and careful attention, from the initial steps of mixing the ingredients all the way to wrapping each one," Disneyland chef Beau Bailey said in a statement.

Many fans willing to wait for their annual treats say they're the best candy canes ever, because they're made fresh.

Some people dispute that, though, saying Disneyland makes and stockpiles the canes to sell later.

Some canes are indeed made in advance, Disney officials admit, but they're still considered fresh.

"Mine have always been incredibly fresh," Thompson insisted, as she waited outside the Candy Palace in Disneyland for her turn.

McCrudden said their treats "taste like a regular candy cane," but it's the tradition that keeps bringing them back. "It does taste fresh."

Restaurants Referenced

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