Starring Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jillian Bell, Nick Offerman, and many more recognizable faces along the way, Candy Cane Lane tells the story of the Carver family, as they compete in a yearly holiday house decorating contest to win one hundred thousand dollars.
After losing his job just a few days before Christmas, Chris (Murphy) puts job hunting on the back burner in service of creating a festive masterpiece on his front lawn.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, we felt those Deck The Halls vibes too!
Enlisting the help of his youngest child Holly (sibling of Joy and Nick… get it?), he stumbles across Kringles, a magical Christmas shop where Pepper the elf sells him a ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, Christmas tree.
When it and the ornaments from each of the twelve days unexpectedly come to life and flee the tree on the night of the competition, Chris and his family must find the five golden rings in time or Pepper, who it turns out was exiled from Santa’s workshop, will turn him into a singing ceramic Christmas ornament.
Is it a classic Christmas tale? Not exactly. Is it a little offbeat? Sure.
But did we have fun with the movie and love seeing all of the houses alight and twinkling ahead of the big day? You bet we did!
Now, we know you’re wondering if Candy Cane Lane is a real place, whether you can visit, and if they actually shut down a whole street to film the movie there.
Well, you can have yourself a merry little Christmas because we’ve done the research for you and can answer all of these questions and more – happy holidays!
Is Candy Cane Lane a real place?
Yes, Candy Cane Lane is a very real place located on East Acacia Avenue in El Segundo, California. Every year since 1949, with an understandable one-year hiatus in 2020, the street comes alive in a spectacle of Christmas lights and festive displays made by the residents.
With nightly shows from December 9th – 23rd, and visits every other evening from Santa himself, it’s a sight to behold and definitely one for the bucket list!
Unlike in the movie, there is no competition between neighbors.
Instead, the displays serve to bring the residents and the community together in celebration of the season.
Did they film Candy Cane Lane on the actual Candy Cane Lane?
Whilst it might look just like the real thing, scenes outside the Carver house were actually all shot on a stage.
Where? None other than Colonial Street at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Setting the backdrop for many of our favorite films and television series over the years, if you’re thinking it looks familiar it probably does!
Other productions filmed on Universal Studio’s Colonial Street
Arguably the most recognizable show shot here was Desperate Housewives.
Since the street was as much a character as the residents themselves, we wouldn’t be surprised if some eagle-eyes fans spotted Wisteria Lane the moment they pressed play on Candy Cane Lane.
Other productions include, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Malcolm In The Middle, Leave it to Beaver, Why Him, and Sabrina The Teenage Witch – and that really is just naming a few!
More filming locations from Candy Cane Lane
With no snow to build snowmen or go sledding in, children at the start of the movie can be seen sand surfing and building sandmen instead.
According to Atlas Of Wonders, these scenes were filmed in California on Playa Del Rey Beach. Meanwhile, exteriors from the high school were shot in El Segundo itself.
Other movies that feature Candy Cane Lane
Since we’re guessing you love holiday movies (and movie houses!) just as much as we do, you’ve probably come across Candy Cane Lane in TV shows and films before this one.
Most recently, we saw Candy Cane Lane in the holiday movie The Happiest Season, starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis.
However, this Candy Cane Lane was based on a different, yet equally amazing display in Duboistown, Pennsylvania, and scenes were filmed on Cleveland Avenue in Avalon.
Read all about that and the other dreamy filming locations and houses we tracked down from the movie right here:
Meanwhile, New Girl fans will remember an episode called The 23rd in season one, where the gang drives to Candy Cane Lane at 4 am and proceeds to scream and shout for the residents to turn on their lights.
According to the New Girl podcast, Welcome To Our Show on which the show’s stars, Zooey Deschanel, Hannah Simone, and Lamorne Morris re-watch and give behind-the-scenes info about each episode, this Candy Cane Lane was shot on the Disney ranch.
Why? Like most holiday movies and shows, the episode was not actually shot at Christmas.
The takeaway? Even if you can’t take a trip to Candy Cane Lane this year, there are plenty of festive movies and TV shows that can transport you there from the comfort of your very own home – Merry Christmas everyone!