Gingerbread and the Holidays Go Hand-in-Hand at Walt Disney World

The smell of Disney gingerbread

The Smell of Gingerbread in the Air Signals the Holiday Season at Walt Disney World

And the magic also extends to Disney points beyond WDW

Without a doubt, Christmas is one of my favorite times of year to visit Walt Disney World.

The sights, sounds and smells of the season are everywhere and it makes a very family-friendly place feel even more magical. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is my go-to destination at this time of year (and at most other times as well), and nothing can top the feel of the Christmas season that is everywhere you look in the lobby of this luxurious resort. While the Christmas tree is grand and the decor is amazing, it’s the sweet and spicy smell of gingerbread puffing from the chimney of a life-size gingerbread house that really gets you.

And while this is the pinnacle of Christmas for me personally at Walt Disney World, Disney’s embracing of holiday gingerbread and the holidays extends across many parts of Walt Disney World…and beyond. Gingerbread displays are on display at select Disney theme parks and luxury Disney resort hotels, as well as the ships of Disney Cruise Line. In the spirit of the season, Disney chefs deck the halls (roofs, doorways and windows, too) to create life-sized, gingerbread houses that are yummy enough to eat. And yes, you can buy parts of the houses to eat at select locations!

Here’s a look at the gingerbread storybook houses, carousels and other seasonal goodies baked with love by Disney chefs. Don’t forget to bring some home to share.

Disney's Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

The festive full-size gingerbread house that adorns the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Grand Floridian’s signature gingerbread house. A classic recipe from Austria inspires the ornaments, cookies and a house standing 14 feet tall in the lobby. Home to The Bake Shop, the gingerbread house is the perfect place to pick up holiday treats. Gingerbread house decorating demonstrations occur daily from December 1 through 25. Be sure to watch for the scrumptious puffs of gingerbread “smoke” coming from the chimney.

Christmas Gingerbread at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Cinderella Castle is re-created on the fourth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort with an “it’s a small world” backdrop depicting Cinderella and Prince Charming greeting guests in the castle forecourt. The 18-foot display is crafted from thousands of gingerbread blocks, 80 pounds of rolled fondant and 155 pounds of modeling chocolate, and includes 18 Hidden Mickeys for guests to discover. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

In the lobby of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Cinderella Castle is re-created with an “it’s a small world” backdrop. It features Cinderella and Prince Charming greeting guests in the castle forecourt. The 18-foot display is crafted from thousands of gingerbread blocks. A life-sized spinning carousel highlights the display.

Disney's Beach Club Resort Gingerbread Carousel

A life-size and edible spinning carousel with Donald, Daisy and classic Christmas-themed horses is on display in the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club Resort for the 19th year. The carousel is decorated with 50 pounds of dark chocolate, 100 pounds of confectioners’ sugar and 100 pounds of icing. It’s also home to 19 Hidden Mickeys – one for each year the carousel has been displayed. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Over at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, you’ll find Donald Duck- and Daisy Duck-themed horses decorated with chocolate, sugar and fondant in this scrumptious classic carousel, also located in the main lobby.

Disney’s BoardWalk Resort

Across Crescent Lake at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort there’s a gingerbread version of the resort’s BoardWalk, featuring iconic locales such as BoardWalk Bakery, Flying Fish, Trattoria al Forno and more.

Disney Epcot American Adventure Gingerbread

In the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot, gingerbread miniatures of the United States Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial are brought to life with 140 pounds of gingerbread, 20 pounds of icing and 30 pounds of modeling chocolate. The patriotic pastry display also includes 6 Hidden Mickeys. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)

The American Adventure, Epcot

Patriotic flair meets pastry magic at Epcot, where gingerbread renditions of the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument (topped with golden Mickey ears!) are on display.

Amorette’s Patisserie, Disney Springs

This sophisticated pastry shop at Disney Springs dresses up its front window with a miniature gingerbread replica of itself – right down to the gingerbread trees!

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Gingerbread

Now through Jan. 6, 2019, Haunted Mansion Holiday brings the frightfully fun cheer of “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas” to the Disneyland Resort. This year, the gingerbread display features a giant five foot spider with eerie glowing eyes, attempting to pry the edible mansion from its foundation. This year’s gingerbread creation is made up of 90 pounds of gingerbread, 30 pounds of confectioner’s sugar, 10 pounds of white chocolate and 45 pounds of fondant. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland)

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort turns to Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” to create a wonderfully spooky gingerbread display inside this classic attraction. A giant spider with glowing eyes hangs over the Grand Hall Table, attempting to pry the edible gingerbread mansion from its foundation as gingerbread zombies watch in amazement.

Disney Grand Californian gingerbread

A highlight at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the giant gingerbread replica of the hotel 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” glitter and features 25 hidden Mickeys. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is located in Anaheim, Calif. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Disney artists, engineers and bakers teamed up on a gingerbread house that adds to the resort hotel’s festive lobby. With over 600 pounds of gingerbread and adorned with Hidden Mickeys, this grandly Californian gingerbread house is on display all season long.

Disney Cruise Line Gingerbread House

Each of the four Disney Cruise Line ships, including the Disney Fantasy, has a gingerbread house unique to that ship displayed in its atrium. Bakery teams aboard the ships are challenged to create unique houses each holiday season. Taking weeks to conceptualize and construct, each features more than 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, 200-plus pounds of sugar and 5,000 gingerbread bricks – each one aligned and placed with icing. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)

Disney Cruise Line

Aboard the four Disney Cruise Line ships, the chef competition is on! Bakery teams are challenged to create their own individual gingerbread houses for display throughout the holiday season in the atrium lobby of each ship. Taking weeks to conceptualize and construct, each features more than 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, 200-plus pounds of sugar and 5,000 gingerbread bricks.

Disney Aulani Resort, Hawaii

Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Hawaii gets its gingerbread on with “A Kakamora Holiday.” This festive display includes a chocolate tree, a Moana-inspired gingerbread hut, chocolate sleigh and merrymaking Kakamoras celebrating with a tropical twist.

The Christmas Holidays at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Disney Aulani

As a Luxury Travel Blogger, I write regularly about Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes.

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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Luxury Disney Travel Expert