This Most Magical Place on Earth is the place to be this holiday season! From the stunning decorations to festive treats galore, even the biggest Bah Humbugs are feeling the Christmas spirit around Walt Disney World. If you think the holiday celebrations stop one you leave the parks, you’re missing out on so much additional Christmas magic! One holiday sight that every guest should see is the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House. This life-size edible creation is celebrating a big milestone this year, so to celebrate this National Gingerbread Day we’re sharing 10 amazing facts all about it!
Oodles of Ingredients
Creating a 14-foot tall gingerbread house is no simple task and calls for a Disney-sized batch of ingredients. A gingerbread creation of this size calls for 1,050 pounds of honey, 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of chocolate, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 140 pints of egg whites, 35 pounds of spices, tons of creativity, a sprinkle of Disney magic and, of course, a little pixie dust!
Expert Assembly Required
The gingerbread house is made of over 5,000 individual gingerbread shingles! Talk about a tall order. Each year the Grand Floridian Pastry Team spends over 400 hours baking the delicious gingerbread and then over 160 hours constructing and decorating the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House! So well before we’re all thinking of the holiday season, this pastry team is already working away to create this iconic Christmas masterpiece.
House of Hidden Mickeys
Would it really be Disney if there weren’t a few Hidden Mickeys involved? When you stop by the Grand Floridian to gaze at this gorgeous gingerbread creation, don’t be afraid to explore all sides! You may notice a few Hidden Mickeys sprinkled around the structure. It’s been said that there should be one Hidden Mickey for every year it’s been open, so you’re looking for 20 in total this year!
Full of Sweets
This holiday icon isn’t just something to look at – it’s also a sweets shop where guests can indulge in festive holiday treats. From 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily, guests can shop The Bake Shop at the Gingerbread House right in the Grand Floridian lobby. Talk about the perfect holiday souvenir from such a sweet experience!
Built With Character
In addition to all of the Hidden Mickeys on the Gingerbread House, you may notice a few other Disney Characters have been included in the details. Above each of the windows, you can find some of your favorites decked out for the holidays! Some of the characters to keep an eye out for this year are Princess Tiana, Donald and Daisy, Lilo and Stitch, Pluto, Mickey and Cinderella.
Learn From The Pros
Looking to learn more about the art of gingerbread house creation? Be sure to stop by Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort lobby starting December 1, 2018! A Gingerbread House Decorating Demo will be held outside of the display daily until December 25, 2018. It’s exciting to see what decorating tricks you could pick up from those who make such grand masterpieces! Also, there are sometimes gingerbread samples, so keep an eye out for those.
Shingles, S’mores and Sweets Galore
The Bake Shop that’s located inside of the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House stays stocked with tons of popular Christmas sweets! Of the many festive desserts, their most popular item is actually their Gingerbread Shingles. These shingles are exact replicas of the ones used to create the life-size edible masterpiece! Additional sweets include Gingerbread Cookies, Stollen Bread, S’mores Cookies, Gingerbread Ornaments, Caramel Pecan Fudge, Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Miniature Gingerbread Houses and even some Gluten and Vegan-friendly snack options.
Once the holiday season comes to an end, it’s safe to wonder what happens to this amazing edible display. After January 1, all of the gingerbread is removed from the structure. Since there is still sugar covering the building, Disney’s team takes the pieces to the Disney Tree Farm to be power washed. From there, bees at the Disney Tree Farm visit the structures and eat the remaining sugar off of it throughout the winter as a food source. Disney is able to provide food for bees, while the bees help to clean off the building for the next year!
20 Years of Holiday Cheer
2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House! This life-size edible delight has been a Disney holiday staple at the Most Magical Place on Earth and Chef Erich Herbitscheck has been the mastermind behind this creation since the very beginning. Although Chef Herbitscheck has recently retired from the Grand Floridian earlier this year, he is still honored on a white chocolate plaque above The Bake Shop counter as the creator of the festive masterpiece!
Although the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House was the first of its kind, this creation has inspired addition edible masterpieces around the Walt Disney World resort and beyond! Guests visiting the Most Magical Place on Earth should venture about to view all of the Gingerbread displays the resort has to offer. From the Contemporary Resort to the Beach Club and BoardWalk Resorts, there are quite a few gingerbread delights to be discovered around Disney!
The holidays at Walt Disney World are truly larger than life, and the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is no exception! If you’re heading to the Most Magical Place on Earth before January 1, 2019, don’t forget to stop by to sneak a peek at this edible masterpiece.