Resort Holidays

Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Opens with Mickey & Minnie, Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer

Hi everyone!

We were there again this year for the grand opening of Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House. This year was new in that Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek retired earlier in 2018. He leaves the Gingerbread House tradition in the capable hands of Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer, who has worked at Walt Disney World for thirty years. She has quickly put her stamp on the house, with a new location in the lobby and some new treats. You will still find Chef Erich’s Austrian recipe here for the house and gingerbread treats (and my favorite stollen bread!), but more items have been added. There are several dozen treats to purchase, including a new Grand Floridian Signature Gift Box for $50.00 with some favorites including Peppermint Bark and a Gingerbread Shingle. There are gluten-free and sugar free items as well.

Mickey and Minnie helped with the ceremony, and I will be showing much more of that in the following 50 photos and video – along with treats and more.

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Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House opened at 10:30am today. It was the busiest I’ve ever seen it for an opening! The house is open through January 1st, 2018.

Balloons and a ribbon were put up. The location is different than previous years, but not by much. The house is closer to the Garden View Tea Room, with the cashier facing toward it.

Here is our video of the ceremony, house and treats – then keep reading for the rest of the article.

Chef Erich is honored on the new sign.

Here are a few details on the house. There are a few small changes that I can see in decorations, but not too many.

This Santa looks different than previous years.

Each year, there are gingerbread ornaments in the window. Gingerbread ornaments are also for sale.

Here is a look at one side of the house. The ingredient list includes 1050 pounds of honey, 140 pints of egg whites, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 700 pounds of chocolate, 800 pounds of flour, 33 pounds of spices

There are so many fun figures and decorations to look at.

A Mickey cookie is in the window, next to a butterfly.

There are more poinsettias than in previous years, mostly lined on the other side (around the queue).

We posted a preview of the house a few days back, and showed the character art above each window. Lilo and Stich are in one.

Princess Tiana is also in one, and I will show more later.

The ribbon was ready to be cut.

Mickey’s are different colors this year, and larger.

Treats were waiting to be purchased.

Here is a look at one side of the house, with a walkway of poinsettias. It is really pretty and also there seem to be more twinkling lights around the house than ever.

Gingerbread houses were ready to be sold.

A really nice vantage point on the house is from above.

Steam was coming from the roof (it is steam, not smoke). Notice also the powdered sugar on the roof, it makes it look like snow.

Here is a full look at the gingerbread house from close to the monorail station.

If you’ve been to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort during the holiday season, you’ve probably seen Ellen – she is a Cast Member who shows how to decorate gingerbread houses and hands out samples (and has for years).

General Manager for Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort & Spa, Cosmo Kapoor said a few words, noting the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House.

Cast Member Seika sang “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”.

Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer entered with Mickey and Minnie.

Farmer talked for just a minute. We did interview her and that will be on our next show. I also plan to write up a separate article in a few days.

Kristine Farmer and Minnie cut the ribbon.

Mickey looked on as the ribbon was cut.

A new location, a new pastry chef and Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is open for the season.

Mickey and Minnie look over the house.

Mickey looks at the decorations.

Mickey and Minnie get ready to head out.

They waved to everyone.

One quick pose.

And the very talented pastry team posed as well. They not only create the house, but the treats that are served here daily – and a LOT are sold. It is worth the stop.

Pluto is on the house this year.

Daisy and Donald.

Mickey holds bells.

We got in line to pick up a stollen bread and to take photos.

There is a very interesting video that plays near the register. It is fairly long, with a lot of information. For example, here it shows what the top 5 sellers are. I expected the Gingerbread Shingle to be in the top 5. I was surprised that Chef Erich’s Stollen Bread with Marzipan in a Holiday Box was not, since it’s very popular and a good value at $20. Small and large Gingerbread Ornaments are on here as well.

For as long as I’ve been photographing the house (12 years), I had no idea that honey bees eat honey off the house once the season is over.

Bees help recycle the gingerbread houses. There is much more information in this video on various topics about the house, I have more photos and I may share those soon too.

There are pin signing events.

Here are a few of the treats. I did purchase the stollen. I discovered it last year and it’s great for gifts too.

White Chocolate Sofia the First Pop, $6.00.

There is an Apple-Cinnamon Cupcake ($5.50). New this year also is Mickey Head Caramel Pecan Fudge ($6.50).

The Gingerbread Shingle with Chocolate ($9.00) is a favorite, a firmer gingerbread from the Austrian recipe.

Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope are on this pop.

This treat has Mickey and Minnie, along with the gingerbread house.

I didn’t photograph the pin yet, but the mug is gorgeous.

I will have more about Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House soon, including the interview with Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer!