There’s Magic and the Aroma of Gingerbread in the Air
It’s that time of year when Walt Disney World seems to have an extra dose of magic in the air! The resorts are decorated for the holidays. There are giant Christmas trees at every park, and of course, my personal favorite is the aroma of sweet gingerbread that fills the air throughout Disney’s Grand Floridian!
The resort’s iconic life-size gingerbread house is back for 2021, and it’s a feast for the eyes, nose, and tastebuds. Let’s start by looking at the ingredients for this delectable dwelling.
A team of Grand Floridian Bakers spend weeks (more than 400 hours) baking and decorating the house. The dough is made from flour, honey, and the Grand Floridians Bakery’s special gingerbread spices. Their house has 5,089 shingles and consists of; 1,050 lbs of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 700 lbs of chocolate, 800 lbs of flour.
Each year the house’s design varies, and for 2021 the color scheme has had a massive shift from previous years. Typically, the house is adorned with lots and red and green decorations, yet this year the design mirrors WDW’s 50th anniversary colors. It’s accented with blues, subtle pinks, and gold. When walking around the house, the accents practically shimmer under the lobby’s lighting.
Another detailed element that I love is the Disney characters who are featured above the windowpanes. From Mickey and Pluto, or Elsa and Olaf, each window has a hint of Disney incorporated.
While admiring the house, be sure to keep an eye out for the 23 Hidden Mickeys that can be seen throughout the design.
Now when I say life-size house, I’m not exaggerating. There are Cast Members working inside the house and ready to take your orders for a scrumptious snack or two!
When I visited, there was a bit of a line, and honestly, that worked out well for me; it gave me a chance to decide which gingerbread treat I would enjoy that day and which ones I’d purchase to bring home.
Not only are there the traditional gingerbread shingles and gingerbread men, that’s also marshmallow lollipops, peppermint bark, and gingerbread spiced caramel popcorn. If you’re looking for a vegan or gluten-free option, you’re in luck. This gingerbread house has some sweet snack options for you too!
For the serious Gingerbread connoisseur, there’s a Gingerbread House kit that you could purchase for $80 and comes with a 50th anniversary sign that matches the one on Cinderella Castle and the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House. For me, I’m more into eating the cookies after they’ve been decorated versus doing the house construction and decorating.
The house is open daily from 9:30am-9:00pm and will remain open until January 1st 2022.
If you’re like me, you may be wondering what happens to all of that gingerbread on January 2nd? I’m happy to share that it doesn’t get thrown out or go to waste! The house is sent to the Walt Disney World Tree Farm, where honey bees feast on the icing and gingerbread.
It’s a sweet and satisfying meal to these busy-bees.
Over the last few years, I’ve visited WDW twice during the festive season, and standing in the Grand Floridian lobby looking at the house is one of the holiday activities I look forward to the most. I can easily lose track of time appreciating this masterpiece of engineering and edible art.
Another tip is that once you’re done admiring it from the resort’s ground floor, be sure to head up the second level, where you gaze down at the house and find even more intricate details such as presents in the house’s attic.
The first Grand Floridian Gingerbread house started in 1999, and I’m thrilled that the tradition continues for guests to enjoy with their eyes, nose, and tastebuds in 2021!