If you don’t have Annual Passes, that WDW Yuletide Resort Tour what we recommend doing in the morning before attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party so you don’t waste a park day of your normal tickets. In which case, you probably don’t need to see each individual post in this series unless you’re not totally sold on the tour. (Like Christmas morning, it’s better without “spoilers.”)
We are big fans of Beach Club at Christmas, and that has been the case for years. The life-size gingerbread carousel is always stunning, the marine ornaments are beautiful, and the ocean motif throughout the decor is light and cheerful–just like the holiday season. It’s a coastal twist on Christmas, and one that makes a lot of sense in Florida…
Let’s begin our tour with that delightful gingerbread carousel. This is right up there for me with the Grand Floridian’s gingerbread house in terms of favorite life-size holiday culinary creations at Walt Disney World. The gingerbread house is undeniably cool, but what I love about this is that it serves no readily ascertainable purpose.
Grand Floridian’s gingerbread house is also a snack spot, and I’d hazard a guess that it does far more in sales than it costs to build. Nothing is being sold at Beach Club, and this just feels like more of a passionate project. In reality, both probably are justified and built for the same reasons, but Beach Club’s just seems like a ‘fun for its own sake’ sort of thing.
Last year, Lilo & Stitch took over the carousel at Beach Club. I’d have to dig through my archives to confirm this, but I feel like that happens once every several years, and that Stitch has made appearances at Boardwalk’s gingerbread display as well as the Polynesian when he’s not at Beach Club. It seemed to be more of a “thing” back when Lilo & Stitch was still the hot new-ish property.
Beach Club’s gingerbread carousel is made by the Bakery and Engineering Team at Yacht & Beach Club, who have been making similar carousels for the last 19 years.
This year, they’ve chosen Daisy and Donald Duck to take center stage, with a few nods to other characters.
As indicated on the sign displayed next to the gingerbread carousel, it’s made from 36 pounds of honey, 96 pounds of bread flower, 100 pints of eggs, 10 pounds of spices, 10 quarts of simple syrup, 150 pounds of icing, 50 pounds of dark chocolate, 50 pounds of modeling chocolate, 200 gum paste flowers, 2019 pieces of gingerbread, plus lots of enthusiasm, energy, and talent.
We’d encourage you to pay close attention to each of the horses on the carousel. They’re each carrying presents destined for familiar characters, each of their names has hidden (or not-so-hidden) meaning, and there are other fun little things you’ll spot. Plus, the level of detail on the horses is just really impressive.
There are also 19 hidden Mickeys, and the sign challenges you to find them all.
Since I don’t want to spoil that fun scavenger hunt (and also because I didn’t find them all…but mostly the former), I don’t have photos of each hidden Mickey location.
Daisy and Donald are not featured prominently in the gingerbread carousel, and you might not even see them if you stay on the ground level. I went to the walkway on the second floor to snap this photo of the carousel topper.
This is a pretty character-light design for the gingerbread carousel as compared to other years, which is fine by me.
Beach Club’s gingerbread carousel takes center stage, but there are a ton of ornaments and decorations around the resort. These are very different from what we saw at Yacht Club, which is focuses mostly (and fittingly) on the vessels.
At Beach Club, the other holiday decor is mostly aquatic-colored and ocean-themed, with an abundance of sea life:
We first visited Beach Club at Christmas-time over a decade ago, and Sarah immediately fell in love with the style of Beach Club’s decorations. She started collecting ornaments for an ocean-themed Christmas tree that we’d display someday in our house. Over the years, she’s collected some cool stuff: blown-glass fish, Santa riding a sea turtle, manatees (my contribution), and even a very similar seahorse as the one pictured above. The full tree is a work in progress, but we’ll get there…someday.
Anyway, Disney’s Beach Club Resort is a pretty cool place to visit at Christmas-time. The gingerbread carousel is the main draw–for good reason–but the other decorations are thematically appropriate, varied, and worth checking out. It’s not as ornate and elaborate as Yacht Club, but there is a tremendous amount of variety around the resort. We’d encourage you to pay especially close attention while walking through the hallway between Yacht Club and Beach Club, as it’s interesting to see the decorations transition as you go from one resort to the other.
Finally, a few plugs. First, the 2018 edition of our freeVacation Kingdom at Christmas eBook is now available for download! This free eBook is 90 pages, with 100+ photos, and tons of great tips & info for the holiday season at Walt Disney World. For more details on how to get this totally-free ebook, click here. Did we mention that it’s free?! 😉
What do you think of Disney’s Beach Club Resort at Christmas? Do you like the gingerbread carousel here? What about the aquatic ornaments? Which other resorts would you like to see us individually tour as part of this series? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!