Many of us have spent at least one holiday season unleashing our inner architects to build the best gingerbread house around town—but Walt Disney World really knows how to go all out! As the holiday season draws near, the Walt Disney World pastry chefs bustle to prepare their magnificent gingerbread displays that adorn the Parks and Resorts every year, drawing guests from around the world. Here’s the inside scoop on what’s in store for this year! Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Starting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Tusker House Restaurant will have a 3-foot long African-inspired gingerbread marketplace on display from December 10 to January 2, created by Pastry Chef Amber Vega.
Over at Epcot, Pastry Chefs Noah French, Jason Stricker, and Crystal Saunders will be putting together two gingerbread displays at The American Adventure featuring the United States Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial. These will be on display starting November 19 and will contain over 50 pounds of gingerbread! Now that’s a lot of gingerbread.
On November 24, Pastry Chefs Yoly Lazo and Joseph Lodato from Disney Springs will have a set of gingerbread icons that celebrate the story behind Town Center—look for a display in the window of Amorette’s Patisserie where you can enjoy a sweet treat in between shopping stops!
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Starting November 9 on the third floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you’ll find the beautiful Cinderella Castle in gingerbread form, designed by Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes and his talented pastry team. This display recreates the castle in the style of legendary artist Mary Blair on a backdrop inspired by “it’s a small world.” With oversized gingerbread cookies depicting Cinderella and Prince Charming greeting guests from the castle forecourt, this 18-foot tall display is crafted from thousands of gingerbread blocks, rolled fondant, and a mouth-watering amount of modeling chocolate! In this case, a dream is a wish our stomachs make.Disney’s Beach Club Resort
This year also marks the 18th anniversary of the Holiday Carousel—a life-size, edible spinning carousel that’s become a holiday tradition at Disney’s Beach Club Resort! This year’s carousel will be on display starting November 17 and is designed by Pastry Chefs Thomas Huebner, Jennifer Ladisky, and Cindy Roman. The Lilo and Stitch-themed carousel will feature horses with hand-painted holiday characters and hand-crafted gingerbread snowflakes. See if you can spot all 18 hidden Mickeys on this display!
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
And right next door at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, starting November 17 you’ll also find the annual Holiday Miniature Train! These beautiful holiday displays are too beautiful to eat!
Disney’s Grand Floridian
And for the grand finale, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is celebrating the 19th anniversary of its famous life-size gingerbread house, which will sit in the main lobby of the resort from November 15 through January 1! Each year, the Grand Floridian pastry team, led by Executive Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek, spends over 400 hours baking the gingerbread and over 160 hours constructing and decorating the house, which also contains The Bake Shop. There you can find gingerbread ornaments, cookies, and gingerbread house kits, all made using a classic gingerbread recipe from Austria. Gingerbread house? More like gingerbread mansion! We think they may have outdone themselves in the gingerbread house department this year. What’s more, decorating aficionados will be excited to attend gingerbread house decorating demos conducted daily in the lobby in front of the display starting December 1! Sign us up!
Walt Disney World is sure putting on their oven mitts this holiday season! These impressive creations are giving us inspiration for our own miniature gingerbread houses. Unfortunately, we can’t actually feast on these delectable displays, but we’re definitely going to feast our eyes on their grandeur!