Ten Scrumptious Facts about the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House
When the holiday season arrives at Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, guests are treated to a spectacular sight that combines the magic of Disney with the irresistible allure of gingerbread. The Massive Gingerbread House is a holiday tradition that has been delighting visitors for years. In this blog post, we will delve into the history and fascinating details of this colossal confectionary creation, exploring its first appearance, fun facts, and what happens to gingerbread after the holidays. Here are our top ten favorite facts about this culinary construction.
10. Decades of Delight – The story of the Massive Gingerbread House began in 1998 when the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa decided to take holiday decorations to a whole new level. That year, the pastry chefs at the resort embarked on a monumental project, constructing a life-sized gingerbread house right in the hotel’s lobby. The result was nothing short of spectacular, and it quickly became a beloved holiday tradition at the Grand Floridian.
9. Ingredients Galore: The gingerbread house is constructed using over 1,000 pounds of honey, 140 pints of egg whites, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, and a whopping 700 pounds of chocolate. It also features a plethora of colorful icing and decorative candies, turning it into a visual and aromatic masterpiece.
8. Edible Facade: Believe it or not, the gingerbread used for the house is indeed edible! Guests are welcome to purchase gingerbread shingles, which are made from the same dough as the house itself. They make for a delectable souvenir. But if it’s not consumed, what happens to all that Gingerbread?
7. Busy Bees – Once the holiday season concludes, it’s only natural to ponder the fate of this extraordinary edible spectacle. Post-January 1, the gingerbread components are carefully disassembled from the structure. With sugar residue still clinging to the building, Disney’s dedicated team transports these gingerbread remnants to the Disney Tree Farm for a meticulous power washing process.
Interestingly, at the Disney Tree Farm, the structures serve as an unexpected source of sustenance for bees during the winter months. The bees, in turn, play an essential role by devouring the remaining sugar, effectively participating in a mutually beneficial relationship with Disney. This unique practice allows Disney to support these vital pollinators, while the bees contribute to preparing the gingerbread house for its grand return the following year!
6. Hidden Mickeys– Could Disney even be Disney without a touch of whimsy? So, when you swing by the Grand Floridian to take in the wonder of this amazing gingerbread creation, don’t hesitate to go on a little treasure hunt! You might just spot a bunch of Hidden Mickeys cleverly scattered around the structure. Legend has it there should be one Hidden Mickey for every year.
5. Disney is in the Details – Apart from the numerous Hidden Mickeys adorning the Gingerbread House, you’ll be delighted to discover a touch of Disney magic in the form of beloved characters woven into the details. Right above each window, you’ll find some of your cherished favorites dressed up for the festive season! This year, keep a keen eye out for Winnie the Pooh and Mickey and Minnie adorned in their seasonal outfits.
4. Take the House Back Home – Literally. The Bake Shop that’s located inside of the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House stays stocked with tons of popular Christmas sweets! Of the many festive desserts, their most popular item is actually their Gingerbread Shingles. These shingles are exact replicas of the ones used to create the life-size edible masterpiece!
3. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – Long before the holiday season begins, Disney’s chefs are hard at work at crafting the materials used in this year’s house. Even before one tile is placed in the lobby of the Grand Floridian, and expert team of chefs are spending hundreds of hours preparing for the year’s display. So much of the magic is happening long before the holiday season.
2. Gingerbread Proliferation – The Grand Floridian’s Massive Gingerbread House isn’t the only sweet attraction at Disney World during the holiday season. Various gingerbread displays can be found at different locations throughout the resort. For example, the Contemporary Resort typically features a gingerbread castle, and the Beach Club Resort showcases a gingerbread carousel. These elaborate creations are a testament to Disney’s dedication to spreading holiday cheer and enchantment.
1. The Lobby Smells like Gingerbread – This seems like an obvious fact about the massive house, but it remains our favorite nonetheless. With the massive amount of tasty pastries, the lobby of the Grand Floridian smells like heaven during the holidays. Guests don’t have to stay at the Grand Floridian to enjoy the smellification of the lobby. Jump on the monorail, head to the lobby of the Grand Floridian and take a whiff, it’s our favorite holiday tradition.
The Massive Gingerbread House at Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a holiday tradition that brings together the magic of Disney and the joy of the season. With its rich history, impressive construction, and delightful details, it’s a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Disney World during the holidays. While it may be taken down after the festivities, the gingerbread lives on in the memories of visitors, making it a sweet and unforgettable experience. So, if you find yourself at Disney World during the holiday season, be sure to stop by the Grand Floridian and savor the enchanting aroma and beauty of this colossal gingerbread masterpiece.
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