Resort Holidays

Disney’s Grand Floridian Iconic Gingerbread House Opens for 17th Year; Mickey Mouse Helps Cut Ribbon

Hi everyone!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House opened for a 17th season yesterday with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Mickey Mouse. Last year was the first year that a Disney character helped cut the ribbon, with Alice assisting Executive Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek with the honors. We have been posting articles about the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House since 2008, and I think the house just keeps getting better. It is always fun to see which characters are chosen as artwork for the windows! Unfortunately, we missed the final dusting this year due to being in California – we had arrived back from Anaheim just hours before heading out for yesterday’s ceremony. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Gingerbread House is a constant through the years, not changing too much since it began 17 years ago. The gingerbread house will remain open through the end of the year.

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Here is our video of the full ceremony. Following that is our article about the ceremony and gingerbread house itself, including treats and the 2015 Minnie Mouse Mary Poppins pin!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Food & Beverage Operators Manager John Harak said he was “incredibly proud” of the bakery team that created the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House. They also create the gorgeous yearly Easter eggs, some of which are still on display in cases around the resort.

The bakery team stood nearby as guests clapped for them.

Mickey Mouse arrived to join Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek in cutting the ribbon.

Herbitschek uses an Austrian recipe in the gingerbread for the house and treats. The recipe creates a firmer gingerbread, and one of our favorite treats to share is the gingerbread shingle with a chocolate backing.

The ribbon is cut.

We didn’t expect Mickey to be available for long, but we waited until other guests had met him and he was still there! This will be a special photo for us.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is created with 1050 pounds of honey, 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of chocolate, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 140 pints of egg whites, and 35 pounds of spices. It takes the Grand Floridian bakery team over 2 months and 840 hours of labor to create the 5,089 shingles used on the house. They are so very talented, and you may find them on weekends demonstrating the technique they use.

There are many more “flowers” than I recall seeing on the house before. It looks lovely and festive! It also smells wonderful.

There are hand-created chocolate pieces as part of the house, including this Santa Claus. I don’t remember him from previous years. Behind him is a building titled “The White Rabbit Book Store” which is very appropriate to the theme of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Snowmen are always a favorite decoration of mine here.

This deer is new, and looks so lifelike!

An older style deer stands in the snow.

Nutcracker soldiers stand guard.

We enjoy viewing the house from every angle.

Each year, I always look forward to seeing which characters appear above the windows. The artwork is fantastic, and traditional favorites are always part of the display. But often there is a window with newer character artwork as well. Last year, there was a Frozen panel. This year, Inside Out artwork features the main characters.

Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and Daisy rest on a pile of presents.

Lady and the Tramp make a beautiful holiday pair.

Winnie the Pooh and friends often are featured, this time they are building a snowman.

It appears that the gingerbread house was too much of a temptation for Pluto! I love the story this artwork tells.

Mickey Mouse wreath holders can always be found all over the house.

Guests can search for Hidden Mickeys.

This hidden Mickey can be found within a candy cane.

There is often a line to purchase the delicious treats found here, and with good reason. Not only do many of the items make a wonderful snack, but they also make great gifts to take home! We will be showing some of the items guests can purchase below, and some of the treats are even snack items on the Disney Dining Plan.

On November 21st, Erich Herbitschek will be signing a cookbook and trading pin.

We purchased our Mary Poppins pin, featuring Minnie as the nanny. It is really quite unique!

This is my favorite of all the treats, even though I haven’t purchased it yet (we will, for ourselves and as gifts). Sadness, Joy, Anger, Fear and Disgust are featured on it. Inside Out makes a great theme, very colorful!

Mickey pops are a traditional favorite.

Cast Member Crosby posed for us, wearing her gingerbread apron.

There are a variety of cookies available.

Traditional gingerbread cookies in the shape of Mickey’s head are a favorite.

Guests can purchase a gingerbread house that is already made. It features a “17” on it for 17 years of Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House.

On the back, the Inside Out characters are here, as is a hidden Mickey wreath.

Cinderella pops.

Guests can pick up a souvenir paper menu, which includes all the treats and information about the house. Prices range from $3.25 for the Chocolate Chip Cookie to $75.00 for a Signature Grand Floridian Chocolate Box with Truffles. There are 8 items available as a snack on the Disney Dining Plan, including the Red Velvet Holiday Cupcake and a few of the gingerbread treats. We aren’t showing the Gingerbread Shingle with Chocolate, but that is what we always purchase as our first treat – it costs $8.25.

This is the back of the paper menu.

It always feels a little more like Christmas when the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is up for the holidays.

Will you be visiting Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort this year? I enjoy the holidays as much at the Walt Disney World resorts as in the parks, there is quite a lot of creativity to be found.