Our Disneyland Backup Plan Was A Success

I was disappointed when my original plans to use Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points to stay at the Grand Californian Hotel didn’t pan out as I hoped. I came up with several options as a backup, still hoping the DVC room on waitlist would clear.  As our vacation got closer and closer, it became very evident that we wouldn’t be staying at the DVC. I looked at the backup room that I booked to make sure I was still happy with it. I was, so we forged ahead with our Plan B.

Candy Cane Inn
1747 South Harbor Blvd
Anaheim, California 92802

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I booked this room through the Citi Concierge and paid with my Citi Prestige to get the fourth night free benefit. The total charge for the four night stay with AAA discount came to $837.72. I received $209.43 back from Citi so the actual cost was $628.29 (or $157 a night). Not bad, considering the next cheapest option would have been over $700 for the four nights. The nice thing about the Candy Cane is they don’t charge a resort fee and don’t charge guests for parking like other hotels in the area do.

The Candy Cane Inn is a 171 room hotel that opened in 1957, just 2 years after the opening of Disneyland itself, and has been a fixture on the corner of Harbor and Katella ever since. The hotel consists of a large, two story, horseshoe shaped building with a parking lot and pool area in the interior courtyard. The back of it hugs the back of Carsland section of Disney’s California Adventure.

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We arrived the hotel just before noon, quite a bit before the posted 3PM check in time, so our plan was to just drop off our luggage and head to Disneyland. There was only one person working the front desk and he was quite busy helping other guests. When it was our turn, he did some typing on the computer and said that he found a room for us. He assigned us room 252, which was towards the back of the hotel on the second floor.

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While the location was out of the way, it was a little bit of a walk to get there from the front entrance. There was no elevator to get to the second floor so we lugged our suitcases up the stairs and checked out the room.

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It was exactly what you’d expect from a roadside motor lodge. Nothing fancy but the room was clean and the A/C worked and was reasonably quiet. In regards to noise, we could hear other guests climbing the stairs or walking to the nearby rooms in the mornings but we were already awake and it wasn’t a huge drawback.

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We had a small table with two chairs and a nearby power outlet with one open socket, so the power strip we brought came in handy. There was also a flat screen TV which we never turned on for our whole stay. The wifi in the room worked well during our stay.

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There was a single sink outside of the bathroom with a coffee maker on it and the refrigerator was off the the side. There was also a closet large enough to hang some jackets or a few items of clothing.

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The toiletries were “Green” branded, whatever that is. I wasn’t expecting spa level here. The soap got me clean so in that respect it was totally sufficient for its purpose.

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The bathroom had a very simple bath/tub combo and a toilet. It was another design where you needed to close the door before sitting down, just like we had in the Grand Canyon. The water pressure in the shower was fine and the vent in the room blew away from the shower/tub so the curtain wasn’t constantly blowing up against you while showering.

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The grounds of the hotel were very neat and well maintained. There’s a pool area right behind the lobby and there were kids swimming in it every day so I’d imagine it gets a lot of usage in the summer.

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Even though the hotel is only a 10 minute walk from the front gate of Disneyland, they still offer a free shuttle that runs twice an hour. We took it to get back and forth a few times, which, after a few days, our feet were thankful for. Basically if it was there, we hopped on but it didn’t make sense to wait for it because the walk was so short anyway.

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The hotel also offered a free breakfast spread in a dining room just behind the check in desk. We never managed to make it for breakfast but there’s a Starbucks just a short walk away (but you have to wait to cross Harbor and Katella to get there, so it can take a while). There’s also a Walgreens on the corner to pick up anything you need during your stay.

Final Thoughts

We were totally happy with the Candy Cane Inn. Prices for hotels in the area around Disneyland have been rising and if I was judging value on the room alone, this is most definitely not a $200 a night room. In fact, just a few years ago rooms here could be found in the sub $100 range but currently I’d say the mid $100s would be fair. The location close to Disneyland and the things included (shuttle, breakfast) make it appealing to many guests who return time and time again. It will be interesting to see what the Candy Cane does because there are several new hotels being constructed in the area. With the increased capacity, they will either have to update or lower prices back down to compete.

We’ve seen the Candy Cane Inn on the corner since we first visited Disneyland in the 90s and that was what pulled us to stay there. The rooms were dated and felt a little worn out but they were clean. It was the cheapest of the nearby independent hotels we looked at and from friends who have stayed at some of the other hotels on Harbor Blvd. we did as well or better than they did with our choice. I’d give the Candy Cane a look again when staying in the area and would book it again if the price was right but it wasn’t so amazing that I’d never want to stay anywhere else. It’s solid for what it is – a clean room to sleep in that’s right near Disneyland.

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