If you have ever been to Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday season, you know the true can’t-miss attraction – the incredible gingerbread displays! These are a staple of the most wonderful time of the year, and for good reason. The pastry teams on both coasts and at sea spend countless hours masterfully crafting these culinary works of art.
These holiday offerings have become a beloved tradition for guests and cast members alike. I, for one, always make sure to get out and see these displays each year, and because of that I’ve put together this list of all the displays so that you too can witness these gingerbread festivities in this Disney Eats guide.
The pastry teams have been working tirelessly to brings these holiday traditions to life. Their passion goes into every detail – from the gingerbread shingles to the masterfully crafted chocolate work, and everything in between. This year marks the return of the display at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and new additions to the Jambo House Lobby Display at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, which may or may not be a life-sized baby zebra, as well as the classic and grand displays at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Resort.
But enough waiting – let’s unwrap the entire list of gingerbread displays coming this year!
Within the walls of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort, you’ll uncover the Haunted Mansion Gingerbread House. For years, this display has added even more holiday flare to the Jack Skellington’s transformation of this classic attraction into Haunted Mansion Holiday, inspired by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The pastry team takes more than 20 days to bring this nearly 300-pound creation with three moving elements to life. Be sure to take a ride on the Haunted Mansion Holiday now through January 8, 2023 for some extra festive fun.
Beginning November 14, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will be home once again to one of its best holiday traditions – the “Grand” Gingerbread House. This giant gingerbread replica of the hotel is a holiday highlight and can’t-miss stop in the lobby. Standing 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide, the structure is created from more than 600 pounds of gingerbread, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 250 pounds of fondant, 1 pound of pixie dust, and features 25 hidden Mickeys!
After being amazed by the beauty of this display and mastery of the pastry team, consider taking one of the Limited-Edition Snow Globe Pins featuring Chip ‘n Dale home with you or stop by the GHC Holiday Cart to enjoy some treats, including:
- Mickey Gingerbread
- Poinsettia Cookie
- Snowman Cookie
- Christmas Cookie
- Hanukkah Cookie
- Holiday Cookie Box
- Assorted Macarons (New)
- Kwanzaa Sweet Potato Loaf (New)
- New Year’s Cookie (New)
- Crisped Rice Treat
- Hot Chocolate
- Hot Apple Cider (Available with Bailey’s Irish Cream, Captain Morgan, Grand Marnier, or Rumchata)
- Waffle Shot (Available with milk, low-fat milk, chocolate milk, or eggnog)
- Waffle Shot (Available with Bailey’s Irish Cream, Captain Morgan, Grand Marnier, Rumchata, Amaretto, Butterscotch Schnapps, Rumple Minze, Crown Royal Apple, Skrewball Whiskey, Fireball Whiskey, Louis the 13th)
If you venture into Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park, you can also bring home the gingerbread festivities with novelties, like the Gingerbread Mickey Ear Hat Bowl or the Gingerbread Bottle Topper, or indulge in gingerbread-flavored and inspired treats, like the Mickey Gingerbread Man – all of which you’ll find in our upcoming Foodie Guide to holidays at Disneyland Resort, so stay tuned on the Disney Eats topics page and Instagram!
Over at Walt Disney World Resort, there are multiple displays to be explored at various resorts. Let’s kick things off with the most famous house of all – the gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Beginning November 9, you can view clouds of cinnamon billowing out of the chimney of this life-sized storybook gingerbread house made from a classic Austrian recipe. This house is adorned with white chocolate, candy canes, edible snowflakes, sugar poinsettias, and 25 – yes, 25 – hidden Mickeys! Along the porches, you’ll find an 85-pound chocolate Santa, nutcrackers, toy soldiers, and snowmen that have all been hand-painted by the Grand Floridian Bakery team.
As the 50th Anniversary celebration at Walt Disney World Resort continues, this year’s displays will feature colors and accents inspired by the signature EARidescent look. You can even get limited edition pins, mugs, holiday ornaments, and treats! Some of the goodies you can purchase from the Gingerbread House include:
- Freshly baked, homemade items, such as Gingerbread Mickeys and Shingles, Stollen Bread, Brownie Christmas Tree, and Chocolate Peppermint Bark
- House-made Gingerbread Ornaments and Gingerbread Houses
- New items like the Gingerbread Latte Whoopie Pie and Hot Cocoa Bombs
- Assorted Gingerbread Cookie Bags, Marshmallow Pops, and Caramel Pecan Fudge Bar
- Gluten-friendly, plant-based, and no sugar added treats
- Grand Floridian Combo Box featuring assorted fan favorite treats, including the Chocolate Mickey Ornament, exclusive to the Combo Box
Let’s take an adventure over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, which on November 23 will be home to a wild display – a Life-sized Baby Gingerbread Giraffe and Baby Zebra. This year continues the new tradition begun last year with a life-sized baby giraffe, or should we say gingeraffe! In addition to this gingerbread guest, there’s a new animal grazing into the lobby. You’ll soon be able to see an adorable life-sized baby zebra – made of gingerbread, of course. Starting December 6, you can even purchase a Gingeraffe Cookie to enjoy!
Over in the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club Resort, a holiday classic has returned. Since 1999, this resort has been home to the life-sized carousel. Did I mention that it actually spins? This carousel and its horses are masterfully created with chocolate, sugar, and fondant along with hand-painted characters and hand-crafted gingerbread shingles and snowflakes decorating the display. What makes this year even more special is that all the horses celebrate a different Disney princess. See if you can guess who each one represents! Commemorate your holiday viewing with limited edition pins, mugs, holiday ornaments and treats including:
- Signature Stollen Bread
- Candied Pecans (Plant-based)
- Trio of Fudge
- Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Snowman
- Crispy Rice Treat
- Chocolate Mickey Cookie (New)
- Peppermint Bark
- Gingerbread Shingle
- Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie (Gluten-Friendly)
- Gingerbread Cookie (Gluten-Friendly)
Across the way, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is shore to impress with its display, which will be returning on November 17. This incredible gingerbread creation is a miniature, edible version of your favorite spot along Crescent Lake – the BoardWalk Deli! Before leaving, be sure to check out some of the treats you can take home with you, like:
- Mickey and Minnie Sugar Cookies
- BoardWalk Mickey Sugar Cookie (New)
- Giant Gingerbread Mickey Cookie (New)
- Gluten-Friendly & Plant-based Gingerbread Mickey Cookie
- Artisan Peppermint Marshmallows (New)
- Carnival Bark (New)
- Gingerbread Frost Cocktail
This year is very exciting for Disney’s Contemporary Resort because its display is back! This is the 11th year the Contemporary Bakery team has created a masterpiece so how appropriate that it will open on November 11 at 11:00 a.m. The Cinderella Gingerbread Castle is a Mary Blair-inspired castle designed by Walt Disney Imagineers and will feature a brand-new 50th anniversary overlay… and 11 hidden 5-legged goats! Don’t forget to check out the limited-edition pins, mugs, and holiday ornaments to remember the season. There are also plenty of treats you can get, including:
- 50th Anniversary Gingerbread Castle Brick (New)
- Family Tradition Cookie Box featuring a Coconut Macaroon from Chef Jeff’s family, a Sugar Cookie from Chef Kelly’s family, a Butterball from Chef Amber’s family, and a Kitchen Sink Cookie representing all the Cast in the Bakery coming together to bring this display back! (New)
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookie
- Linzer Cookie
- Gluten-friendly 5-Legged Goat Sugar Cookie (New)
- Dark Chocolate Peppermint Holiday Bar (New)
- Hot Cocoa Bombs (New)
- Frozen drinks with optional alcohol floaters:
- Frozen Coquito with a rum floater
- Frozen Hot Chocolate with peppermint schnapps
- Frozen Apple Cider with a fireball floater
In addition, several spots across Resorts will feature a new Gingerbread Martini with Absolut Elyx Vodka, Rumchata Cream Liqueur, and gingerbread spice featuring a rim of gingerbread, freshly baked in the Resort Bakery. It’s the perfect blend of sugar, spice, and everything nice! You can find this delicious holiday beverage at Grand Floridian Café, Cítricos, and Enchanted Rose at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Boma: Flavors of Africa and Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Chef Mickey’s and Outer Rim at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and dinner at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
And returning this year to our Walt Disney World Resorts with exclusive gingerbread merchandise, are pin signings with our pastry chefs! Dates and times will vary by resort.
Moving over to theme parks, The American Adventure at EPCOT also has a display that will be available beginning November 25. This unique display recreates some classic monuments in America and EPCOT with gingerbread versions of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, The American Adventure building with Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue, and a Festival Kiosk.
The gingerbread displays are not just found on land – they’re also taking to the high seas with the Disney Cruise Line fleet! All five ships will continue the yearly tradition of having the talented pastry teams onboard build a unique display for the ships in the atrium. The brand-new Disney Wish will join in on the legacy for its inaugural holiday season with an 8-foot-tall, eight-layer masterpiece. Each gingerbread house in unique for the individual ship and the teams participate in a competition to see which member of the fleet has the best house! Which one do you think will win this year?
As you venture out to any of these locations to see the displays with your own eyes this holiday season, use #DisneyEats to share your photos with us so we can all join in on the festive foodie fun!
by Nicole Cantore, Digital Integration Specialist, Global Food & Beverage
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