Candy Cane Inn is a popular Disneyland Good Neighbor hotel, located on Harbor Boulevard. It’s about a 10 minute walk to the Disneyland Esplanade and about a 10 minute walk to the Anaheim Convention Center. This Candy Cane Inn review looks at its quality and value as compared to other Disneyland off-site hotels, and should give you an idea of whether it’s a good option for you.
Much like Alpine Inn, which we also recently reviewed, Candy Cane Inn is a popular pick for Disneyland regulars. Candy Cane Inn advertises itself as a boutique hotel, and while we’ve stayed at plenty of boutique hotels, this is not one of them. Rather, Candy Cane Inn is a 2 to 3-star motel that offers above-average (for the area) accommodations at reasonable prices, and does so in a reasonably nice setting. It doesn’t fit the bill as a boutique hotel because there’s nothing unique or stylized about it–it’s just an ordinary hotel. This isn’t necessary a strike against it, just something to keep in mind so you know what you’re getting. On the plus side, it has a nice location, often reasonable prices, is safe, and generally is a quality place to stay when visiting Disneyland Resort on a budget.
As there are a lot of questions about the best off-site hotels at Disneyland Resort, and because we’ve stayed at a good number of these “walking distance to Disneyland hotels,” we thought we’d put together some quick-hit reviews of each hotel along Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue in which we’ve stayed. You can read our overall comparison of the benefits of staying off-site versus on-site in our Where to Stay at Disneyland post.
As mentioned, Candy Cane Inn has a ton of fans and is one of the most popular Disneyland-area hotel for frequent visitors. It’s even the #3 hotel in Anaheim on TripAdvisor! However, as with Alpine Inn, we don’t quite see all of the hype. It’s a really nice hotel, but we don’t quite view it as the #3 hotel, and wouldn’t give it 4.5/5 stars.
On the plus side, the rooms are clean and very well kept at Candy Cane Inn. Of the walking distance to Disneyland hotels, these rooms are some of the nicest in which we’ve stayed from the perspective of cleanliness and just looking nice. With that said, the rooms are quite dated, with an archaic notch-key (that you have to return) to open the doors, floral bedspreads, and CRT televisions, among other things. Again, it’s all very clean, but it’s not exactly what I’d consider the epitome of luxury traveling. Actually, it reminds me a bit of a guest bedroom at my grandma’s house. Super clean and tidy, but looking like it hasn’t been updated in a few decades.
The bathrooms are fine, with the typical split between the sink and the shower, which we like.
This wouldn’t be a problem at all if the pricing were in line with other budget hotels in the area, but it isn’t. We regularly check it as a possible option when we travel to Disneyland, and rates are often $150+ per night, sometimes nearing $200! In doing some random weekday searches for off-season dates right now, I can’t find it for less than $133/night.
In an area where several hotels are sub-$100/night, paying a $30-50 premium for Candy Cane Inn is completely unjustified. Its added quality does not amount to a $30-50/night premium. $10/night, perhaps, but even then you have to factor in the added distance to Candy Cane Inn from the Disneyland Esplanade versus closer (cheaper) options like Del Sol Inn and Desert Inn. Every hotel in Anaheim has high taxes and other fees added, so expect to pay about 25% more than the listed price no matter where you stay.
Why there are so many fans of Candy Cane Inn is actually a bit unclear to us. The upkeep isn’t that much nicer to justify it, so maybe it’s the flowers? To its credit, Candy Cane Inn does have some nice flowers and a fountain up front, and this does give it a cute and intimate look, but we do not view it as enough of a draw to really make a difference when booking. More like one of those things you pass by and say, “oh, it’s nice that they dressed up the motel a bit with these flowers,” but not something you’d really give a second thought. Maybe that’s just us, though.
Candy Cane Inn is one “sort of” exception to our general rule that none of the Disneyland off-site hotels are places where we’d want to hang out when not in the parks. The grounds here are okay, and we could see possibly sitting on the park bench or by the pool. It definitely would not be our first or even 101st choice for things to do in Southern California, but it’s not a totally unreasonable idea if you wanted a “chill” day at the hotel. With that said, Candy Cane Inn is a motel, not a resort.
Like the other Good Neighbor Disneyland hotels, it’s best used as a place for sleeping and showering. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, although we do find it a tad bit troubling that Candy Cane Inn purports to be a boutique hotel. If I read no reviews, didn’t look at any photos, and booked solely based on the “boutique” claims on their website, I’d be irritated. Then again, it’d be partially my own fault for not looking at reviews or photos, from which it’s clear that this is not a boutique hotel!
Additional amenities are offered, including free parking and a shuttle service to Disneyland, both of which might be very appealing to some guests. Not every Disneyland Good Neighbor offers either of these services. We prefer walking (it’s typically faster) and don’t have a car when visiting Disneyland, so these perks don’t matter to us. Candy Cane Inn also has a pool, free WiFi, fitness center, and guest laundry. A basic, cold-item free continental breakfast is also available in the morning.
Overall, while nice for what it is and located within walking distance of the Disneyland Esplanade, Candy Cane Inn is sort of in no man’s land for us. It’s more expensive than other similarly-situated hotels, without the level of accommodations to really justify the added price. It’s generally priced above the budget motels, but offers quality lower than the nearby major-label hotels. Chances are, if you’re looking at the Good Neighbor hotels in the first place, you’re doing so because price is a concern, and Candy Cane Inn is sort of an outlier in that regard. With that said, if you can find Candy Cane Inn for less than $125/night, and you like the idea of a slightly upgraded hotel, it is probably worth booking. Otherwise, we really can’t recommend Candy Cane Inn too enthusiastically. It’s nice, but it’s not that nice.
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Have you stayed at Candy Cane Inn? Are you a fan of it? Do you prefer staying off-site or on-site at Disneyland? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below!