by Disney Magic Diva
Have you ever built a gingerbread house with your kids? I’ve done it many times, with my kids and now with my grandkids. And I was always pretty proud of our creations, because we didn’t just buy a kit or put graham crackers on milk cartons. We made the gingerbread from scratch and used (mostly) all edible decorations. But Disney, of course, takes gingerbread houses to an entirely different level! If you really want to get in the holiday spirit, visit Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to see a life-size gingerbread house!
From the moment you walk in the lobby, you know it’s there. Even though you may not be able to see it from your vantage point, you can smell it! The aroma is unforgettable. Think Hansel and Gretel. Or the Gingerbread Man. Just take a moment, close your eyes, and enjoy it.
But that’s easier said than done, because the enormous Christmas tree in the lobby will have your jaw dropping. It is absolutely stunning! I’ve watched time lapse videos of how they set it up, but still find it truly remarkable that such a gigantic tree can be inside. The grandeur of the lobby combined with such a stunning tree is enough to get even the Grinchiest of people in a holiday mood!
After you’ve made your way around the tree, you’ll see the gingerbread house. Just follow that scent of cinnamon! Once I saw the ingredients of this gingerbread house, I knew I would never again complain about the cost of making our own. Over half a ton of honey. 800 pounds of flour. 600 pounds of powdered sugar. 35 pounds of just spices! Think about that for a moment. Spices. Not very heavy. Yet 35 pounds! That’s as much as my 2 ½ year old grandson weighs! But my favorite ingredient is 700 pounds of chocolate! Pure heaven.
As you walk around the house, take time to stop and really notice the details. We all know that Disney excels in telling stories and emphasizing the details, but the Disney pastry chefs have really outdone themselves with this creation. It is quite likely beyond anything you’ve seen before. It’s 16 feet high and has 40 window panes. Notice the shingles, the snowflakes, the candy-canes, the sparkle! It even has electricity – a feature which is both magical and practical, because there is a gift shop INSIDE the gingerbread house! While only cast members are allowed actually in the house, everyone can certainly peek in and drool!
At the shop you can purchase replicas of the gingerbread house (no worries…it’s normal size, not life size!), special limited-edition pins, chocolate-peppermint bark, ornaments and countless other holiday goodies, including, thankfully, gingerbread cookies! (Click here for the recipe!) The gingerbread house is open daily from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm.
If you have time, be sure to explore all the Walt Disney World Resort hotels to see other dazzling trees and gingerbread creations! Just hop on the monorail over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to see a Frozen ice castle complete with Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven! Or head over to Disney’s Beach Club Resort to see a spinning carousel made entirely from gingerbread! That one is still on my bucket list of resorts to visit, but I can’t wait to someday see the life size carousel with ponies made from fondant and chocolate! Next door in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort lobby is a holiday village with a minature train – something Walt definitely would have approved. Or if you’d prefer to visit the parks, inside the Land Pavilion at Epcot is a display of dozens of Disney icons from castles to cruise ships! And in the American Adventure in World Showcase you can find Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop with tasty treats perfect for taking to the Candlelight Processional. You might even find a gingerbread version of the Capitol Building!
So while you’re making your list and checking it twice, don’t forget to add “See Walt Disney World’s Gingerbread Creations” to your holiday plans. It’s guaranteed to be a sweet time!
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