Gingerbread Houses Have Arrived!

With the Halloween decorations all packed up and put away, Disney has transformed the Most Magical Place on Earth into the Merriest Place on Earth! In addition to the garlands and wreaths (and lots and lots of Christmas trees!) that transform this wonderful place into a nostalgic winter wonderland, one of the most beloved Walt Disney World holiday traditions are the gingerbread house that go up throughout the parks and resorts. This year’s assortment features many returning favorites, as well as some new arrivals that are making their debut this Christmas. So, grab those mugs of hot cocoa, get all bundled up with those Mickey scarfs and mittens, and let’s head on over to our first stop…


Stop #1: Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resorts

Our first gingerbread stop takes us to one of the most unusual confectionery holiday displays at Walt Disney World, the Holiday Carousel gingerbread display at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Over the years, this whimsical display has featured many different themes, from Disney Princesses and the Little Mermaid (shown here) to Peter Pan and Sofia the First. This year’s offering was inspired by Ducktales, with the horses themed after Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The life-sized carousel actually moves, and you’ll find 22 Hidden Mickeys scattered throughout. This carnival confection contains 434 pounds of honey, 25 pounds of spices, and 200 pounds of icing…yum! And speaking of yum, you can pick up some scrumptious holiday treats, including:

  • Signature Stollen Bread
  • Lighthouse Fudge
  • Mickey Snowman Pop
  • Crispy Rice Treat
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Gingerbread Shingle
  • Hot Chocolate Flight

But that’s not all! New this year is a gingerbread Lighthouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. This brand-new creation was created by Pastry Chef de Cuisine Michael Craig, who used the actual blueprints from the real lighthouse located on Crescent Lake. While you’re there, be sure to sample the new Lighthouse Fudge!


Stop #2: Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Like the Beach Club, the BoardWalk Inn’s gingerbread display has sported several different themes over the years, including a life-sized gingerbread gazebo with Donald and Daisy. This year’s creation is a miniature version of the actual BoardWalk (as it has been now for several years…though typically with new storefronts to reflect the current line-up). If you get the chance to visit this holiday season, be sure to keep an eye out for the miniature BoardWalk Deli, which in real life is home to the BoardWalk Inn Bakery team led by Pastry Chef Alex Vacher.

You can fulfill your holiday sweet tooth cravings at the Sweet Treats stand, where you can choose from:

  • Mickey and Minnie Sugar Cookies
  • Mickey Caramel Corn Cookie
  • Christmas Tree Pop
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Gingerbread Shingles (including Gluten/ Wheat-Friendly and Plant-based varieties)


Stop #3: The American Adventure

Before we head over to some other resorts, let’s take a quick detour through EPCOT’s World Showcase. In the American Adventure rotunda, you’ll find some miniature recreations of the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the American Adventure building itself. See if you can find the six Hidden Mickeys scattered throughout this patriotic display!


Stop #4: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

OK, back to our resort tour and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Let’s head on over to the Jambo House, where you’ll discover a life-size Baby Gingerbread Giraffe and Baby Zebra. This whimsical display is the creation of the Animal Kingdom Lodge bakery led by Pastry Chef Lexy Ross. The giraffe’s name is (what else) Ginger (who stands seven feet tall), and she is accompanied by her baby zebra pal Debra. The pair were crafted from a combination of gingerbread, sugar dough, and modeling chocolate. You can also pick up some tasty treats to take with you, like the Gingeraffe Cookie and the delicious Hot Cocoa Flight.


Stop #5: Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Contemporary Resort has been home to several whimsical gingerbread creations over the years, including a Mary Blair-inspired Frozen Castle display. The Contemporary’s holiday displays had gone on a brief hiatus over the pandemic, but we’re happy to share the news that their gingerbread display is back once again for its 12th year. This year’s creation, put together by a team led by Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes, is a Mary Blair-inspired 100th Celebration-themed Castle. The structure is over 17 feet tall and is made from 612 pounds of sugar, 1,012 pounds of flour, 112 pounds of gingerbread spice, over 4,000 castle gingerbread bricks, and 12 sprinklings of magical pixie dust (yes, we counted)! But what about Hidden Mickeys? We’ll do you one better…or should we say five better? Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and see if you can find the 12 hidden five-legged goats tucked away in the display. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you can pick up:

  • Gingerbread Castle Brick
  • Paint-Your-Own Cookie Box
  • Hot Chocolate Caramel Fudge
  • Chocolate Peppermint Cookie
  • Pistachio Linzer Cookie
  • 5-Legged Goat Cookie
  • Gluten/Wheat Friendly Gingerbread Cookie
  • Gingerbread Latte Cupcake
  • Christmas Tree Butter Cookie
  • Frozen Hot Chocolate (Also available with Peppermint Schnapps)
  • Frozen Apple Cider (Also available with Fireball Cinnamon Whisky floater)



Stop #6: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

OK, we’ve saved the best for last! The Grand Floridian’s legendary life-sized Gingerbread House is back again for its 24th year. White chocolate candy canes, edible snowflakes, sugar poinsettias, and over 10,000 pieces of gingerbread make up this breathtaking structure. You’ll even find an 85-pound chocolate Santa (yes, you heard that right), nutcrackers, toy soldiers, and snowmen – all hand-painted by the Grand Floridian Bakery team led by Pastry Chef de Cuisine Kristine Farmer. The team spent 500 hours baking the gingerbread and another 480 hours decorating the house. Scattered throughout, you’ll find 24 Hidden Mickeys (and a few other surprises as well). No visit to the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is complete without picking up some treats, and this year, you can choose from a scrumptious line-up including:

  • Freshly baked, homemade items, such as Gingerbread Mickeys and Shingles, Stollen Bread, Brownie Christmas Tree, and Gingersnap Cookies
  • House-made Gingerbread Ornaments and Gingerbread Houses
  • Assorted Gingerbread Cookie Bags, Marshmallow Pops, and Milk Chocolate Pecan Fudge
  • Grand Floridian Combo Box featuring assorted fan favorite treats, including the cookies n’ cream Christmas Tree, exclusive to this box


Stop #7: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Now that we’ve wrapped up our Florida Gingerbread tour, let’s head across the country to the park that started it all! At the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you’ll find the “Grand” Gingerbread House. This giant gingerbread replica of the hotel stands 7 feet tall and is 12 feet wide. The impressive structure was created from more than 600 pounds of gingerbread, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 250 pounds of fondant, and one pound of pixie dust, and features 25 Hidden Mickeys! Feel hungry? You can visit the Grand Californian Great Hall Cart and try one (or all!) of the following: 

  • Mickey Mouse-shaped Poinsettia Cookie
  • Mickey-shaped Gingerbread Cookie
  • Christmas Cookie
  • Holiday Cookie Box: will include two milk chocolate-dipped Mickey-shaped cookies, two raspberry-filled cookies, and two sugar cookies with festive sprinkles
  • Assorted Macarons: The assorted macaron box includes two gingerbread, two peppermint, and two Mexican hot chocolate
  • Kwanzaa Sweet Potato Loaf
  • Crisped Rice Treat
  • Holiday Cinnamon Buns (New)
  • Hot Cocoa Cookies (New)
  • Coffee with Liqueur (Available with Amaretto, Butterscotch, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal Apple, Godiva Chocolate, Grand Marnier, Jameson Whiskey, Peppermint Schnapps, Rumchata, Rumple Minz, Skrewball Whiskey) (New)


Stop #8: Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion

What’s that you say? You still miss Halloween? Don’t worry, foolish mortals. The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park is home to a gingerbread display unlike anything you’ve seen before. Jack Skellington, or should we say “Sandy Claws,” and his friends have transformed this beloved attraction into a Haunted Mansion Holiday, inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. This ghoulish concoction features three moving elements and weighs nearly 300 pounds. It took 13 Cast Members over 20 days to build and decorate this miniature mansion. (We think it was well worth it, but watch out for hitch-hiking, and sweet-munching, ghosts!)


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