From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Jennifer Fickley-Baker
The holidays are a magical time of year at Walt Disney World Resort, bringing with it the sights, sounds and tastes of the season. Each year, select resorts across Walt Disney World Resort display elaborate — and in many cases life-size — gingerbread house displays.
These creative culinary wonders would not be possible without 150+ talented cast members and their dedication to creating these magical displays for our Guests to enjoy.
To celebrate National Gingerbread House Day, we wanted to introduce to you a few of the pastry chefs who have worked diligently for months to bring these magnificent works of art to life.
This year, Disney’s Beach Club Resort is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the life-size spinning carousel featuring beloved characters from Peter Pan. A team of more than 20 pastry chefs designed, baked and hand-crafted five chocolate horses, 2,020 shingles and 20 hidden Mickeys to create this one-of-a-kind culinary work of art.
Pastry Chef Assistant Jesse Rodriguez (above), who has worked at Disney’s Beach Club Resort for 18 years, loved working on the carousel because it brought back warm memories of her and her mother baking when she was young. She said she and the other pastry chefs love this time of year because they get to express themselves through their designs and be extra creative putting their own touch to the gingerbread holiday display. Jesse’s special touch is seen on Wendy, the horse wearing a blue dress and matching blue bow and other holiday elements.
New this year is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge’s gingerbread cabin, which was inspired by the Great Pacific Northwest and the turn-of-the-century National Parks’ lodges. Pastry Sous Chef Keith Hiner was excited to take his nearly 30 years of gingerbread-house creating expertise and apply it to designing a new display at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for Guests and Cast to enjoy. He and his team take great pride in creating these culinary masterpieces and delights in seeing people take holiday photos in front of the cabin. He especially likes it when he’s asked to join the photo.
Disney’s BoardWalk Resort is celebrating 10 years of gingerbread houses, and this year, it is featuring “Gingerbread Showplace of the Shore.” Pastry Sous Chef Heather Wall (redhead seated in front) is so proud of her team who spent 300 hours on their miniature model of The Boardwalk which features mini replicas of the Bakery, ESPN Club, Trattoria Al Forno, Flying Fish, the Seabreeze Point Wedding Pavilion, and the Crest O’ The Wave building.
This is just a taste of the gingerbread displays across Walt Disney World Resort. These scrumptious masterpieces can also be found at Disney’s Saratoga Springs, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs and at the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot.
Seeing these holiday sights certainly can make you hungry, so make it a holiday dining adventure and tour. Many of the gingerbread houses are located in resorts with amazing restaurants — Ale & Compass at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is just a stroll from Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and 1900 Park Fare and Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Take time to enjoy a meal and quality time with friends and family. Reservations can be made on MyDisneyExperience.