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Christmas at Disney

By Jane Bokun

This is a message from my friend Charles Stovall…

It’s that time of year again, and our pastry chefs have outdone themselves! With displays at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, as well as Aulani and aboard each Disney Cruise Line ship, there are dazzling gingerbread displays wherever you go! Here’s all the info you need to know on this year’s holiday gingerbread displays, from finding your favorite displays to purchasing holiday sweets. And be sure to look out for some exclusive merchandise, including limited edition pins, ornaments, mugs, headbands and more themed to each of the displays, which can be found at the merchandise shops in each resort’s lobby while supplies last.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

This year, Aulani is dreaming of snow with their “Frozen 2” gingerbread display featuring a giant white chocolate tree adorned with sugar snowflake ornaments and a Hawaiian Olaf tree topper. Along with the main tree, there will also be two macaron tower trees decorated with over 400 glittered macarons. The entire display will be decorated with more than a dozen snow babies getting into a snowball fight with Santa Stitch among a forest of sugar ice trees. 

In addition, you’ll find a few holiday treats for sale as well:

Gingerbread at Disney for the holidays
  • Candy Cane Macarons
  • Holiday Mickey Crispy Treats
  • Holiday Caramel Apples
  • Gingerbread-Spiced Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
  • Seasonal Mickey Cupcakes
  • Giant S’mores Pops
  • DIY Fresh Gingerbread House Kits
  • Mickey Monte Blanc
  • Gingerbread Yule Log
  • Peppermint Brownies

Who wouldn’t want to make a trip to Hawaii for the holidays? If you’re interested booking a Hawaiian vacation with Disney or want to learn more about this resort, visit the Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa website! 

Disney Cruise Line Gingerbread Displays

Each year, the Disney Cruise Line onboard pastry teams build unique displays in the atriums of each ship. These displays are part of annual holiday gingerbread competition between each of the ships’ pastry teams. This year, each of the four distinctly different displays features over 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, over 5,000 gingerbread bricks, and over 200 pounds of sugar! These displays take weeks to construct and move onto the ships, and each brick is individually aligned and placed with icing. You’ll find them throughout the holiday seasons on the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and Disney Wonder ships! 

To book a cruise and see these amazing displays for yourself, visit the Disney Cruise Line website

Disneyland Park – Haunted Mansion Holiday Gingerbread House

This year not only marks the 50th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park, but it also marks the 19th time that Jack Skellington has visited the 999 Happy Haunts who dwell there, transforming it into a Haunted Mansion Holiday. And each year, the Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland pastry teams team up to create a wonderfully spooky gingerbread display in the Grand Hall of The Haunted Mansion. This year’s display celebrates the 50th anniversary of the beloved attraction, standing almost ten feet tall and featuring 15 different gingerbread cookies depicting the various residents of the mansion. You’ll find this display through the end of the holiday season in Disneyland park by visiting the Haunted Mansion Holiday, a merrily macabre makeover inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” 

Disneyland Resort – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Gingerbread Display

Built by a team of talented Disney artists, engineers, and bakers, this gingerbread house, a replica of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, stands over seven feet tall and is decorated with over 600 pounds of gingerbread! If you look closely, you’ll even find a few hidden Mickeys sprinkled throughout the display. This gingerbread house is in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa through the end of the holiday season at Disneyland Resort.

In addition, you can enjoy A Grand Gingerbread House Experience, a hands-on workshop that’s great holiday fun for the whole family! Meet the Disney pastry chefs who crafted the iconic gingerbread house and create one for your party or family. This experience occurs from 3:00-4:30pm on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 11, 15, 18, 21, and 22. For more information and to make reservations, visit the Disneyland Resort website or call (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463.

You can also enjoy an array of sweets and treats at the Holiday Cart located nearby the display. Offerings include:

  • Holiday Cookies – Mickey Poinsettia Cookie, Mickey Santa Cookie, Mickey Reindeer Cookie, Hanukkah Cookie
  • Christmas Cookie Box
  • Gingerbread Man
  • Apple Caramel Pound Cake
  • White Chocolate Brownie Pop
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Truffle Box
  • Gingerbread Crispy Treat
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Cookie Shots (with choice of milk, chocolate milk, rum, Irish cream liqueur, cinnamon cream liqueur, peppermint schnapps, peppermint syrup, caramel syrup, pumpkin syrup, or orange-flavored liqueur)

Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Gingerbread Display

New this year is a gingerbread display at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Escape to the rustic majesty of America’s Great Northwest! This gingerbread cabin is inspired by the turn-of-the-century National Park lodges and even features a familiar bear named Humphrey hanging out right in front of the display. Set inside the lobby, the cabin is nestled beside a murmuring creek among the resort’s towering totem poles right next to a stone hearth fireplace and the majestic seven-story Christmas tree. If you look closely, you might just find a few hidden Mickeys! 

Holiday Treats for Sale:

  • Gingerbread Man Kits
  • Gingerbread Pine Tree
  • Chocolate Pine Cones
  • Reindeer Food
  • Gluten-Friendly Gingerbread Man
  • Spiced Moose Cookie
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Apple Cider

Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Gingerbread Display

Another new display this year comes to Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Here you’ll find a holiday village themed to the Saratoga Springs, New York complete with a carousel in the park. You’ll also be able to purchase sugar cookies and gingerbread man cookies! 

Walt Disney World Resort – Disney Springs Gingerbread Display

Located in the popular Amorette’s Patisserie in Disney Springs, this storefront display depicts a miniature version of the pastry shop and a miniature kitchen. This adorable gingerbread house will be on display starting Nov. 25, 2018, and will be up through the end of December. And when you stop by the shop to see it for yourself, you can indulge in one of the many holiday offerings available:

  • Holiday Petit Cake – Morello Cherry, Chantilly, Chocolate Chiffon Cake, and Dark Chocolate Mousse
  • Yule Log Dessert – Red Velvet Cake with Spice Cream Cheese Icing 
  • Ornament Macaron – With Milk Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
  • Ornament Pastry – Bourbon Hot Chocolate Mousse, Marshmallow, and Chocolate Chiffon Cake

For more info on all of the holiday sweets at Disney Springs – check out my recent blog with all the yummy details!

Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s BoardWalk Resort Gingerbread Display

Representing the fun restaurants and shops located along Disney’s Boardwalk, this gingerbread display is in the lobby of Disney’s BoardWalk Resort. The display will be up through the end of December. In this display, the BoardWalk Bakery takes center stage with Chef Mickey at the helm! You’ll also be able to snack on festive sweets available for purchase nearby the display:

  • Decorated Mickey and Minnie Sugar Cookies
  • Jumbo Coconut Macaron
  • White and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
  • Zimsterne Sugar Stars
  • Spitz Kuchen
  • Mini Contessa Cookies
  • Spitz Lerkerli
  • Stollen
  • Drinking Chocolate
  • Gingerbread Martini

Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Castle

For the 10th Anniversary of Disney’s Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display, Cinderella and Prince Charming greet guests as they come to visit the fanciful gingerbread castle set on an “it’s a small world” backdrop. This 18-foot tall display is located on the 4th floor concourse of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The castle is crafted from thousands of gingerbread blocks, rolled fondant, and modeling chocolate and features a rolled fondant Fairy Godmother and a display box featuring Cinderella’s glass slipper. The display will be up through January 5, 2020. Be sure to come by and see it, and try to find the nine hidden Mickeys and ten images highlighting ‘it’s a small world’ and ‘Frozen 2’ to celebrate the 10th Anniversary! As a tribute to Mary Blair, you might even see the famous five-legged goat! And available for purchase at the Gingerbread Hut nearby are holiday sweets such as:

  • Tree-Shaped Sugar Cookie
  • No-Sugar-Added Cookie
  • Chocolate Peppermint Cookie
  • Chocolate Pecan Cookie
  • Linzer Cookie
  • Gingerbread Boy
  • Gluten-Friendly Gingerbread Boy
  • Gingerbread Shingle
  • Frozen Hot Chocolate
  • Frozen Apple Cider 
  • Alcohol Floaters available for Frozen Drinks
  • Plant-Based Gingerbread Loaf
  • 10th Anniversary Cookie Box of Assorted Guest Favorites

Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Gingerbread House

As always, the iconic Grand Floridian Gingerbread House fills the resort’s lobby with sugary-sweet scents! This life-size gingerbread house will be up throughout the holiday season. Featuring hidden Mickeys, gingerbread shingles, and more, this 14-foot tall display also houses a little sweet shop selling freshly baked house-made items such as:

  • Gingerbread Shingles
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Stollen
  • Christmas Tree Brownie
  • S’mores Cookie
  • Chocolate-Peppermint Bark
  • Gingerbread Ornaments
  • Mini Gingerbread Houses
  • Assorted Gingerbread Cookie Bags
  • Lollipops
  • Grand Floridian Combo Box
  • Snowman Donut
  • Aurora’s Gifts (petit fours)
  • Grand Floridian Cake Pop
  • Gluten-free Plant-Based Gingerbread Boy
  • Gluten-Free Plant-Based Mint Cookie
  • No-Sugar-Added Cookies

You can also enjoy a Gingerbread House Decorating Demo conducted in front of the display daily Dec. 1-25, 2019. 

Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Beach Club Resort Gingerbread Carousel

This life-sized spinning carousel is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year in the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club Resort. The display features Peter Pan-themed carousel horses decorated with hand-crafted chocolate, sugar, and fondant as well as hand-crafted gingerbread shingles and snowflakes. Can you spot all 20 hidden Mickeys? Treats for sale include:

  • Gingerbread Shingles
  • Gingerbread Mickey Cookie
  • Paint-Your-Own Sugar Cookie
  • Stollen Bread Loaves
  • Holiday Cookie Bags
  • Chocolate Peppermint Bark
  • Plant-Based Chocolate Mint Cookie
  • Plant-Based Gingerbread Cookie
  • Chocolate Lollipops

Walt Disney World Resort – The American Adventure Gingerbread Display at Epcot

This patriotic gingerbread display features the United States Capitol Building as well as the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, and a seven-foot gingerbread Washington Monument topped with golden Mickey ears. Located in The American Adventure at Epcot, the display contains six hidden Mickeys and is made with over 50 pounds of gingerbread and 20 pounds of chocolate.

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Shh! Latest new foods at Disney

By Jane Bokun

Frozen 2 will debut in theaters on November 22, so parents and grandparents will want to be ready for a good time with their kiddos in their local theaters.

I have a good friend at Disney who gives me the low down on everything new at the happiest place on earth from when we were both reporters at the Tampa Tribune. I, of course, want to pass it along to you. Who knows when you’ll be struck with hunger pangs in Disneyland or Disney World?

Elsa’s Frozen Wave – yum!

Let’s start with new foods: in the Magic Kingdom Park (available starting Nov. 8):

  • Olaf’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Cake (Main Street Bakery, available all day) – gluten-friendly chocolate cake layered with chocolate crispy pearls, chocolate panna cotta, and marshmallow fluff
  • Sven’s Carrot Cake (Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café, Exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party) – carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting, sugar carrots, and a chocolate piece

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Leaning Palms

  • Elsa’s Frozen Wave – cotton candy vanilla milkshake with whipped cream, fall and winter sprinkles, and a white chocolate coins

Disney Springs, The Ganachery (available starting Nov. 15)

  • Chocolate Olaf – creamy milk chocolate Olaf filled with mini pumpkin spice marshmallows frolicking in a pile of chocolate leaves
  • Pumpkin Spice Ganache Square
  • Chocolate Ganache Pop – salted caramel ganache pop

Disney Springs, Marketplace Snacks

  • Olaf Dole Whip Slushy – vanilla soft-serve on top of blue raspberry slush with Olaf chocolate piece and chocolate chip buttons

Disney Springs, Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Anna and Elsa Petit Cake – cinnamon-nutmeg chiffon cake with Calvados caramel mousse, cranberry-cherry pate de fruit, and roasted hazelnuts
  • Arendelle Anna Petit Cake – cinnamon-nutmeg chiffon cake with Calvados caramel mousse, cranberry-cherry pate de fruit, and roasted hazelnuts

Epcot, Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

  • 4 Pack Mini Spirit Cupcakes – 
    • Earth – chocolate cupcake with cookie crumbles and candy rocks
    • Wind – vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream and fall leaf sprinkles
    • Fire – chocolate cupcake with fire buttercream
    • Water – vanilla cupcake with blue buttercream and sugar bubbles
  • Fall Cheesecake – lemon cheesecake with graham cracker crust topped with Olaf and fall leaf sprinkles
  • Caramel Mousse – sea salt caramel mousse with vanilla cake crust and white chocolate piece
  • Frozen Orange Vanilla Cream Soda – served in a souvenir sipper
  • Sven’s Apple Cheesecake – apple-filled cheesecake

Resorts

  • Dark Sea Chocolate Cake (Beach Club Marketplace and The Market at Ale & Compass at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort) – chocolate cake with caramel cream cheese swirl, a dulcey chocolate mousse dome, glaçage, and a white chocolate glaze
  • Frozen Waves Cupcake (available starting Nov. 17 at Everything POP Shopping & Dining at Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort) – chocolate cupcake filled with chocolate ganache and topped with vanilla mint buttercream and sanding sugar
  • Frozen Fractals Cupcake (available starting Nov. 1 at Food Courts at Disney’s All-Star Resorts) – blue confetti cupcake with shades of blue frost buttercream and a white chocolate piece
  • “Frozen 2” Pumpkin Spiced Donut Tart (Contempo Café at Disney’s Contemporary Resort) – vanilla tart shell filled with pumpkin custard and topped with a spiced donut cake top, cinnamon glaze, and chocolate leaves
  • Hidden Truth Cupcake (Good’s Food to Go at Disney’s Old Key West Resort and The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa) – chocolate cupcake with blackberry ganache, blackberry buttercream, white chocolate garnish, and blue and white sprinkles
  • Water Spirit Cupcake (Food Courts at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort and Centertown Market at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort) – chocolate cupcake filled with white chocolate mousse and topped with vanilla buttercream, crispy pearls, and a white chocolate garnish
  • Enchanted Forest Leaves (Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) – maple leaf-shaped sugar cookie sandwich filled with maple and praline buttercream and garnished with a chocolate coin
  • Fall Into Winter Dessert (available starting Nov. 24 at Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge) – spiced cheesecake with a caramel apple compote, embossed fondant, and sprinkles

For more information on all of the locations listed above, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or check out the My Disney Experience mobile app.