For over a decade, the WDW holiday gingerbread displays have filled the foyers of some of their best resorts with the scent of freshly baked cookies. Being our first Christmas in Orlando, we’ve never been able to view these edible creations up close until now. I am very excited to finally see these life-sized works of pastry art in person. Teams of Disney pastry chefs work for months baking, detailing and assembling these massive gingerbread sculptures. I can’t wait to share with you all the details of our evening exploring these holiday installations.
Our first stop on the tour was, in my opinion, the most impressive piece at WDW. In the lobby of the Grand Floridian, you’ll find a sweet Victorian gingerbread house! This piece is so huge that there is a store with people inside of it selling souvenirs of the annual event. Also available inside the shop are edible shingles just like those that adorn the roof. As for taste, the shingles aren’t as dense as most of the gingerbread I’ve had. They’re also backed with chocolate and have a noticeable citrus overtone. The cast members who worked inside were bursting with Christmas cheer and had big contagious smiles. How could you NOT be in a good mood when smelling the goodies all day?
Our second destination, The Contemporary, was just a short monorail journey away. On the main concourse sits a giant gingerbread Arendelle Castle with the complete cast of Frozen characters. WDW holiday gingerbread displays are all works of art created by very talented artists. I hold a special place in my heart for the Mary Blair style, so I especially loved this piece. I am in love with the huge “cookie” characters! Surely everyone would want to take home a mini version of Anna or Elsa, but surprisingly, there were not selling them! Alas, we had to settle for the Olaf gingerbread shingle and an individual serving of the blue cake-in-a-jar.
The final two displays were not accessible via the monorail, so we drove our own car to the Boardwalk Inn. Across from the reception desk is Ginger’s Bread & Cookie Shoppe which made of gingerbread. We purchased a gingerbread cupcake and two of the available gelato flavors from the kiosk. All three were delicious. I wish I would have bought a second cupcake for the next day.
While chatting with the attendant, we noticed that her chef’s jacket had gingerbread man buttons! She also told us that in addition to the hidden Mickey’s, the shop also had a bite missing out of the back where someone decided to let their child deface it. It really is a shame, but I don’t think it’s that out of the ordinary, sadly. As we were walking back through the Yacht Club Resort, we heard a young man in his late teens laughing while he proudly detailed to his mother (who was also laughing) how he went over to the display and put one of his fingers through it. I wish people wouldn’t purposefully destroy what does not belong to them, they ruin things for everyone.
Happy and full of gelato, we decided to hop on the boat and head to The Beach Club. Here you can view the life-size rotating gingerbread carousel. While it is not a huge example (only 4 horses), it is full size. This is something that they make fresh every year, switching up the horse designs. Once again, we saw the highly detailed fondant poinsettias we saw earlier at the Grand Floridian. Between the two installations, there must be thousands of these flowers. The snowflake cookies that ring the top of the display were available for purchase in the Beach Club Marketplace. With my nostrils having overdosed on the glorious smell of gingerbread, we called it a night.
If you have access to your own transportation, I encourage you to visit the other deluxe resorts at this time of year. They have gorgeous Christmas trees and other decorations in place until early January. If you are unable to make it to all of them, at least try to check out those with holiday gingerbread displays. For photos and more, you can also visit my post about touring the resorts during the holidays.