It’s been a couple of days since our last post in the Disneyland Tour series, so we thought we’d get back into the game. We’ll try posting two or three of these a week and see if our readers are still interested in having their Disney knowledge expanded in this way.
Besides, we spent a whole day taking hundreds of photos of the park and they’re hogging space on our hard drive so we need to move them onto the internet to make more room for our collection of “Release Song of the South” petitions and Brave fanfic.
One of the most popular features of the Candy Palace is its large display window, through which chefs and chefettes can be seen hand-crafting various handsome confections by hand with their hands. In the early days of the park, the cast members in this display area were not trained cooks but rather actors who had auditioned to play the part of candy makers (or “Mousekonfectionteers,” as Walt Disney called them). They were massively popular — entertaining guests with wacky pantomime and occasional pie- or molten-sugar-throwing antics — but had to be removed when the health department pointed out that their creations tended to be low on tastiness but high on insects, hair, and foreign objects.
The Candy Palace is particularly busy during the holidays when the candymasters make large candy canes the old fashioned way, with cane sugar and actual peppered mints. Guests who want to purchase one of these fabulous creations must line up on Main Street on certain designated “cane crafting” days hours before the Palace’s opening, stand in the order dictated by their numbered wristband, take the “True Spirit of Christmas” pledge, and be prepared to fork over $20 for their allotment of a single cane. The high price has led to an inordinate number of candy-cane speculators who stand in line (or hire others to stand in line for them) in the hope of making a big profit by selling their candy cane on eBay for perhaps ten or twenty times its original price.
When the candy cane tradition first started, the treats were not in such short supply. Instead, Disney hired extra chefs to work in the Candy Palace’s window to increase output. But as demand rose, the number of chefs increased to the point that the display window became known as something of a minty, Christmassy, sweatshop of claustrophobic delights, leading to a change in policy.
Trivia: If you look carefully at this photo, you can plainly see that the Candy Palace’s window — like all windows on Main Street — is made from special glass that does not reverse reflections. It’s magical!
Coming up next: Candy Palace sweets