Candy Cane Inn Review: A Classic Disneyland Area Hotel

by | Feb 5, 2024 | Disneyland, Disneyland Parks

Our review of Candy Cane Inn, a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel located just 250 yards away from Disneyland Resort.

On a recent trip to Disneyland Resort, I spent six nights at the Candy Cane Inn. This motel, located on Harbor Blvd. just a 10-minute walk from the Esplanade between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, is a mainstay of the area. In fact, the resort opened as Candy Cane Motel on December 25, 1957, just two years and some change after Disneyland’s opening day.

So what’s it like to stay at Candy Cane Inn? We’ll cover the amenities, pros and cons, and more in our Candy Cane Inn review below.

About Candy Cane Inn Near Disneyland

Despite the name, the destination is not a heavily themed Christmas motel near Disneyland. Instead, it has subtle nods to the name, like candy cane pens in the lobby and evergreen tree pillows in a sitting area. The motel used to lean more into the kitsch when it first opened, but a 1988 refurb saw the loss of the motel’s iconic candy cane neon signs.

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Photo by Timothy Moore

Today, the motel is more upscale, with spacious rooms that have comfy beds, recessed lighting, faux wood floors, and a massive orchid painting behind the toilet (I haven’t quite figured that one out yet).

candy cane inn

Photo by Timothy Moore

The main building carries a Spanish-mission architectural theme. Inside, you’ll find a lovely dining area, which includes complimentary breakfast every morning, with quite a spread: doughnuts, cereal, yogurt, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, cheeses, juice, coffee, and waffles.

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Photo by Timothy Moore

Just outside the dining area is the pool, which includes a relaxing and large main pool with plenty of loungers, as well as a cozy hot tub and a baby pool in the back. I found the pool area to be super relaxing (very few screaming kids, unlike other Disney hotels). The hotel backs up against Cars Land, so from the pool, you can see the rockwork of Radiator Springs Racers.

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Photo by TImothy Moore

Just across the street from the motel is a bevy of restaurant options, which is wonderful after a long day at Disneyland. I especially liked a Mexican restaurant across the street for a late-night burrito. Candy Cane Inn is also conveniently located near multiple convenience stores, and it offers shuttle service to the parks, though the walk is short and fast.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Overall, I loved my stay at Candy Cane Inn and found it had way more pros than cons. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits and disadvantages before booking:

Pros

  • Great price: Nothing at Disneyland is cheap by any means, but compared to the prices of Disney’s actual hotels, Candy Cane Inn felt like a steal. As a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel, you can book Candy Cane Inn and park tickets as a package deal. Work with an authorized Disney Travel Agent if you need help booking.
  • Convenient location: It took me only 10 minutes each day to walk to the parks from Candy Cane Inn. That made it great for a midday nap, and it also made rope drop such an easy process. If I ever didn’t feel like walking, I could always hop on the trolley. Just as convenient, Candy Cane Inn is right next to a 7-Eleven, where I often stocked up on snacks and drinks, and I crossed Harbor Blvd. for food quite a few times.
  • Wonderful pool: The pool was one of my favorite parts of Candy Cane Inn. I’m used to staying on property at Walt Disney World, which means the pools are almost always crowded and full of loud children. As a former loud child who loved the pool, that’s totally fine by me; I just never expected to relax at a pool on a Disney vacation. This was quite the exception. I enjoyed Candy Cane Inn’s pool and hot tub every night, and I usually had the whole complex to myself.
  • Delicious breakfast: Getting free breakfast before a Disney park day is a huge deal. I usually rope drop and hit a few rides before finding food, so I’m always hungry in the mornings at Disney. But with breakfast as early as 6:30 a.m. at Candy Cane Inn, I was able to get a filling meal and still be first in line at rope drop — without spending a cent on food.
  • Spacious rooms: Traveling alone, I found the rooms plenty spacious. My standard room had two massive queen beds, and there was a desk space to work from. The bathroom was a nice size as well, with plenty of counter space and all the toiletries I needed.
  • A Disneyland Classic: Candy Cane Inn was one of the first motels to open around Disneyland, and unlike most others, it has remained an icon for nearly 70 years in the area. You may not be staying on the property when you book the Candy Cane Inn, but you still feel like you’re at a piece of Disney history.

Cons

  • Outside the bubble: Because Candy Cane Inn is a Good Neighbor Hotel, it’s not within the Disney bubble. At the end of your park day, you’ll emerge into Anaheim, where you have to deal with busy streets, non-Disney businesses, and a suspension of the magic you encountered while in the parks.
  • Motel, not hotel: Candy Cane feels luxurious in the rooms and in common spaces, but it is a motel at the end of the day, which means your doors open outside to the public, not an interior space.
  • No early entry: Only guests of the Disneyland Hotel, Pixar Place Hotel, and Grand Californian Hotel get early entry into the parks — one of several benefits of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel. You’ll have to enter with everyone else.
  • Infrequent shuttle: It’s nice that Candy Cane Inn has a shuttle at all (and it’s adorably themed like an old-timey trolley), but it only makes a trip to the parks once every hour. If that doesn’t line up with your schedule, you’re better off walking — but luckily it’s not far at all.
  • Noise level: Maybe I just had upstairs neighbors with cement blocks for feet, but I could hear the people above me shuffling around at all times of the day. Similarly, I could hear guest conversations as they passed by my room. It made me wonder how much they could hear inside my own room.

Is Candy Cane Inn Worth the Cost in 2024?

With a relaxing pool area, a fantastic location near Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, a lovely breakfast, and spacious rooms, I found Candy Cane Inn to be well worth the cost — and it’s a much lower cost than official Disney hotels.

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Photo by Timothy Moore

Definitely do your due diligence to find the best Disneyland hotel for your needs, but I highly recommend adding Candy Cane Inn to your list for consideration.

Posts by Timothy Moore

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Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
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Authored by
Timothy Moore

Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
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