Denise's Corner

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Opens for 2016 Season with Ribbon Cutting, Victorian Mickey & Minnie

Hi everyone!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort celebrated 18 years of the popular Grand Floridian Gingerbread House yesterday with a ribbon cutting ceremony that included Victorian Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek did the honors as always, swiftly cutting the ribbon that was set up. His pastry team was also part of the ceremony, they have spent months readying the over 5000 gingerbread shingles that adorn the house – and the ones they will sell in the next six weeks. The gingerbread is created from Herbitschek’s own European recipe, a little firmer than other recipes I’ve tried – I always purchase a shingle or two during the season here, it’s a favorite treat of mine. Here is a look at the ceremony from yesterday, as well as the house itself and some treats for sale!

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This is our 9th or 10th year bringing Mousesteps readers and viewers coverage of Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House, and this is the fourth year that there has been an actual ribbon cutting. It’s nice having a ceremony that guests can enjoy.

The ribbon was ready to be cut.

The house is very traditional – and huge! It brings thousands of guests per year to the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

The pastry team poses in front of the house before the ribbon cutting. They are very talented, and you can sometimes find one of the team in the lobby during the season, demonstrating how to decorate a gingerbread house.

Here is our video of the ceremony and house, then keep reading for more photos and information.

The ceremony began with a few quick remarks by Marylouise Fitzgibbon, General Manager of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. 

Mickey and Minnie – dressed in their Victorian best – led Herbitschek into the ceremony.

Herbitschek poses with everyone.

I mentioned the ceremony was quick, Master Pastry Chef Herbitschek walked to the ribbon and cut it swiftly.

And Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House was open!

There was a young guest chosen to be part of the ceremony.

Herbitschek smiles with Mickey and Minnie.

The pastry team and Disney’s Grand Floridian executives pose with Mickey and Minnie before the pair leave.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is iconic, established in 1999. This is the first year this sign has been added to the house.

We stood in line to purchase a treat.

The line wasn’t too long when it opened, but the treats here are very popular with guests and it can get busy at times. The wait is worth it! There are SO many items, including gingerbread, chocolate, and stollen bread.

Not all treats are gingerbread, including the Mickey pops. There are gluten free items including snickerdoodles, gingerbread man cookie and a pumpkin mini-loaf.

Some of the items that are for sale include a gingerbread shingle, gingerbread Mickey Mouse head, the lollipop to the left, a Mickey and Minnie Mouse ornament (edible) and cookies.

There are pins for sale, including one limited edition for Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House (not pictured here as it wasn’t yet on sale).

Seasons Greetings ornament in a window.

There are some decorative changes this year, though this large Santa Claus still stands tall.

New this year is this skating rink (a few decorative deer are no longer in this area).

The White Rabbit Book Store is a perfectly themed touch, and has been here for years.

These may be new as well.

Santa in front of village buildings.

I believe all of the Santa figures and nutcrackers are made by Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort pastry team.

A nutcracker stands next to a deer.

For 18 years there are 18 hidden Mickeys, I didn’t look for those this time around – but I recommend visiting to find them yourself! I do love looking at the artwork in the window frames each year, the characters and art always change.

Mickey Mouse holds the wreaths.

This year, Anna and Elsa build Olaf. The Snowgies look on.

Bambi and Thumper celebrate Christmas.

Flynn Rider and Rapunzel get “Tangled”, with Pascal on Flynn’s head.

The Pooh characters often make their way into a window, and it is no different this year.

“The Lion King” is featured here as well.

Cinderella, Princess Aurora and Belle wear their winter best.

Candy cane decorations are always part of the house.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is open from 10:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. every day through the end of the year, it closes on January 1st, 2017.

A sign shows how the house is made, it does take several months of preparation!

Ingredients include 1050 pounds of honey, 140 pints of egg whites, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour and 700 pounds of chocolate!

Mickey and Minnie are featured on this year’s pin.

If you are visiting Walt Disney World this year, definitely check out the gingerbread house!

It’s always nice celebrating with the resort on its first day of operation.