The Shops of Main Street, U.S.A.: Candy Palace and Penny Arcade

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

When you first enter the gates of Disneyland park, you’re transported to the bygone era of smalltown America on Main Street, U.S.A. Imagineered after Walt Disney’s idealistic view of his hometown, Marceline, Mo., feelings of nostalgia are evoked for the turn of the century, when horse-drawn streetcars were common and barbershop quartets like The Dapper Dans could be heard serenading folks with charming tunes. Speciality shops and general stores line the street, fashioned after those from a time gone by, and they are the focus of our new series … starting with the Candy Palace and Penny Arcade!

Opened on July 22, 1955, only several days after the grand opening of Disneyland on July 17, 1955, the Candy Palace has been a treasured favorite for six decades. Colors of vanilla, mint green and cherry pink, along with signs shaped like wrapped candies and chocolate bars, bring out the sweet tooth in every guest. This charismatic candy shop, full of savory popcorn, gooey caramel apples and sweet taffy, is also home to the Candy Kitchen. You can even peek inside the glass-walled kitchen and watch the candy makers create delicious confectionaries! When the scents of these freshly baked treats fill the air, an inviting aroma carries down the street, beckoning guests to come inside and experience this traditional, old-time candy counter.

Located within the Candy Palace is the Penny Arcade. Another classic from 1955, this location houses antique Mutoscopes and Cail-o-Scopes playing some of the world’s first motion pictures. Designed to be reminiscent of the arcades from Walt Disney’s youth, the Penny Arcade is where you’ll also find the Fortune Teller Esmeralda and the Welte Orchestrion. This hand-carved, majestic orchestrion, purchased by Walt Disney for his collection of unusual instruments, plays tunes every seven minutes. So, while you’re shopping for some delightful fudge or chocolate-covered strawberries, be sure to take a look around and experience the sights and sounds of these simpler times.

What is your favorite memory or sweet treat from the Candy Palace and Penny Arcade? Let us know in the comments!


  • I also miss many of the old amusement machines in the Penny Arcade. I especially miss the nickle baseball game. I’d load up on nickles and play nine innings against…well, whomever I was with.

    OK, I don’t think we ever got to a full game, but there were some lengthy ones.

  • Peanut. Butter. Cups. OMG, my sister-in-law and I stock up each trip so we have enough to last throughout the year till the next trip.

  • I miss these attractions in WDW!!!

  • My favorite memories of Candy Palace were buying the Divinity for my Papa every time we’d go to Disneyland (as a kid). I’d watch them make the candy, and enjoy a treat, while my mom bought the Divinity. I still remember how excited my Papa was when we gave him the candy from Disneyland, and I’ll always cherish those memories. I hope that one day I can share the “specialness” of Candy Palace with my own children.

    • What a lovely memory!

  • I never leave the Park without stopping in to the Candy Palace for my English Toffee! Sooooo yummy!

    • That’s one of my favorites, too.

  • Getting a handmade candy last Christmas.

  • I love the Penny Arcade and I’m always a little envious when I look at old photos of the park. It used to be so cool when it was filled with every imaginable type of old fashioned pinball machine, kinetoscope, and what all else! I try to stop by to get my fortune from Esmeralda every day that I’m in Disneyland (and a diagnosis from Shrunken Ned).

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