Just before 8 a.m., the gates to the park open and the mad rush begins. A stampede dashes down Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A., past the cinema, the penny arcade and the cart selling overpriced cotton candy. Run.
These ambitious guests aren't racing to be the first in line at Space Mountain or The Matterhorn.
The line forms at Candy Palace, the park's longstanding sweets shop with the green-and-white-striped awning. Guy Klender, positioned near the head of the pack, woke up at 3 a.m. to get his hands on one of these prized confections. For the Burbank resident, the adrenaline-fueled pursuit of the Disneyland candy cane has become a beloved holiday tradition.
McHargue, who has been making candy canes at Disneyland for 37 years, uses a metal spatula to work through a gold-ish, blob-like concoction of sugar, water and corn syrup atop a warm, lightly greased metal table. This mixture, cooked up at exactly 313 degrees, will yield 45 candy canes.
Candy maker Matt Caldwell then adds the peppermint oil–just a quarter ounce to flavor 45 candy canes.
“If I don't pour right, you'll know,” Caldwell says with a laugh.
For even more photos, check out our extended version of the candy cane making tour.
The candy canes sell for $9.95, with a limit of two per guest. Customers can call (714) 781-0112 to find out when the next batches will be made.