Gingerbread houses are being built at Walt Disney World for Christmas 2023, with brand-new and returning lifesize displays in the resort hotels and EPCOT (plus one at Disneyland in California!). This post covers opening dates & details and the full food & drink menus for each.
Before we dig in, it’s worth mentioning that as of November 3, decorations are already up at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Magic Kingdom is now fully decked out for the holidays, with the Christmas tree up, wreaths on Main Street, Jingle Cruise is departing, and more! Likewise, decorations are already up all across Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
As noted above, gingerbread houses are one of the things already going up ahead of the holiday season. These lifesize edible displays are a staple of holiday festivities at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and are quite the sight (and scent!) to behold. After months of hard work and creativity from the talented culinary teams, these displays are brought to life before our very eyes and are well worth the visit to the parks and resorts.
Some of these displays have returned for Christmas for more than 20 years, like the Gingerbread House found at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and the Gingerbread House found inside Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland. Others are making their debut for the very first time in 2023, like the Lighthouse coming soon to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
It’s no surprise visiting these works of art has become a tradition for Walt Disney World and Disneyland fans, Cast Members, and generations of families. With plenty of hidden details, and maybe even some hidden Mickeys, you can easily come back again and again to experience these gingerbread creations.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the full food menus and opening dates for the gingerbread houses on both coasts…
Let’s start in the park, where foolish mortals are welcomed to a gingerbread display unlike any seen before. Found within the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, a few ghosts have made room for a dazzling display this season. The Haunted Mansion Gingerbread House has been materializing for guests of the attraction for more than 20 years from Halloween to the holidays. It’s also been up since early September, so this house is already halfway through its run of two holidays colliding.
Jack Skellington plays Sandy Claws as he and his friends have transformed this beloved attraction into Haunted Mansion Holiday, inspired by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” This gingerbread house, which changes every year, is the centerpiece of the attraction. With three moving elements and nearly 300 pounds, this display took over 20 days to build and decorate with 13 cast members. Take a ride on Haunted Mansion Holiday to see it for yourself before January 8, 2024.
Opening on November 10, 2023 is the Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The lobby of Disneyland Resort’s flagship hotel will be home once again to one of its best holiday classics: the “Grand” Gingerbread House.
This giant gingerbread replica of the hotel is a holiday highlight and a can’t-miss stop in the lobby. Standing 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide, the structure is created from more than 600 pounds of gingerbread, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 250 pounds of fondant, one pound of pixie dust, and features 25 hidden Mickeys!
Grand Californian Great Hall Cart Menu:
Mickey Mouse-shaped Poinsettia Cookie
Mickey-shaped Gingerbread Cookie
Holiday Cookie Box: will include two milk chocolate-dipped Mickey-shaped cookies, two raspberry-filled cookies and two sugar cookies with festive sprinkles
Assorted Macarons: Assorted macaron box will include two gingerbread, two peppermint and two Mexican hot chocolate
Kwanzaa Sweet Potato Loaf
Crisped Rice Treat
Holiday Cinnamon Buns (New)
Hot Cocoa Cookies (New)
Coffee with Liqueur (Available with Amaretto, Butterscotch, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal Apple, Godiva Chocolate, Grand Marnier, Jameson Whiskey, Peppermint Schnapps, Rumchata, Rumple Minz, Skrewball Whiskey) (New)
Eggnog with Baileys
Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot with Milk
Gingerbread Cookie Shot with Milk (New)
Red Velvet Cookie Shot with Milk (New)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot with Liqueur (Available with Amaretto, Butterscotch, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal Apple, Godiva Chocolate, Grand Marnier, Jameson Whiskey, Peppermint Schnapps, Rumchata, Rumple Minz, Skrewball Whiskey)
Cookie shot with Louis XIII Cognac
Cookie shot with Clase Azul Ultra Anejo
Heading over to Walt Disney World Resort, we’re stopping by Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for their life-sized Gingerbread House, which is already under construction and will likely be in nearly-finished form over the weekend or by early next week. This beloved tradition is back again for its 24th year, and will officially be open from November 8, 2023 through January 1, 2024.
All across this gingerbread house, you’ll find white chocolate candy canes, edible snowflakes, sugar poinsettias, and over 10,000 pieces of gingerbread. Not to mention the 85 lb. chocolate Santa (yes, you heard that right), nutcrackers, toy soldiers, and snowmen that are all hand-painted by the Grand Floridian Bakery team led by Pastry Chef de Cuisine Kristine Farmer. The 500 hours spent baking gingerbread and 480 hours spent decorating are well worth it. Be on the lookout for the 24 hidden Mickeys found throughout the entire display to see if you can find them all.
Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Menu:
Freshly baked, homemade items, such as Gingerbread Mickeys and Shingles, Stollen Bread, Brownie Christmas Tree, and Gingersnap Cookies
House-made Gingerbread Ornaments and Gingerbread Houses
Grand Floridian Combo Box featuring assorted fan favorite treats, including the cookies n’ cream Christmas Tree, exclusive to this box
Plant-based, no sugar added, and gluten-friendly options
Taking the monorail over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you’ll find that the hotel’s gingerbread display is back in the Grand Canyon Concourse for its 12th year led by Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes! (Photos from last year, when it was Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary-themed.)
This year’s Mary Blair-inspired 100th Celebration-themed Cinderella Castle Display was designed by Walt Disney Imagineers for this momentous occasion for The Walt Disney Company and will be displayed from November 10, 2023 through January 6, 2024. It stands over 17 feet tall with 612 pounds of sugar, 1012 pounds of flour, 112 pounds of gingerbread spice, over 4000 castle gingerbread bricks, and 12 sprinklings of magical pixie dust! And, be sure to keep your eyes peeled with the 12 hidden five-legged goats.
Frozen Hot Chocolate (Also available with Peppermint Schnapps)
Frozen Apple Cider (Also available with Fireball Cinnamon Whisky floater)
Joining this impressive lineup this year is the Lighthouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. This brand-new edible display was created by Pastry Chef de Cuisine Michael Craig who used the actual blueprints from the real lighthouse located outside the resort along Crescent Lake.
This sweet version is not to be missed on your gingerbread festivities this year. Also, available for purchase are some sweet delights sold at the Holiday Pop Up Shop, including the new Lighthouse Fudge, which is a nod to this new offering.
Walt Disney World has not provided official dates for the Lighthouse edible gingerbread display. Usually, the displays at Yacht & Beach Club would be among the first to go up. We’re not on the ground at Walt Disney World right now, but we haven’t heard any rumblings that they’ve already appeared.
Just next door at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is the classic Holiday Carousel gingerbread display. The life-size creation has been at the resort for 22 years and it actually moves. For Christmas 2023, this gingerbread offering is inspired by Ducktales (!!!), with the horses themed after Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Duey, and Louie. (Photos above are from last year when it was princess-themed.)
To celebrate all the years of tradition, there are 22 hidden Mickeys to find throughout the display, as well as 434 pounds of honey, 25 pounds of spices, 200 pounds of icing, and a whole lot of creativity and talent from the culinary team!
Disney’s Beach Club Resort Gingerbread Display Menu:
Signature Stollen Bread
Mickey Snowman Pop
Crispy Rice Treat
Hot Chocolate Flight
As with Yacht Club’s Lighthouse, no opening date has been provided by Walt Disney World for the Beach Club Carousel.
As we keep going around Crescent Lake, we arrive at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn where their display is shore to impress from November 17 through December 27, 2023.
This creation is a miniature version of some of your favorite spots found along the BoardWalk itself, including the BoardWalk Deli, which is home to none other than the BoardWalk Inn Bakery team led by Pastry Chef Alex Vacher.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Gingerbread Display Menu:
Mickey and Minnie Sugar Cookies
Mickey Caramel Corn Cookie
Christmas Tree Pop
Gluten/ Wheat-Friendly and Plant-based Gingerbread Shingles
Let’s go on a tasty adventure to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge where you’ll find one of the most adorable giraffes and zebras around. In the Jambo House lobby from November 22 through December 31, 2023, the Animal Kingdom Lodge bakery led by Pastry Chef Lexy Ross has continued the tradition with the Life-Size Baby Gingerbread Giraffe and Baby Zebra.
This can’t-miss giraffe, or should we say ginger-affe, named Ginger and baby zebra, Debra, are made with a combination of gingerbread, sugar dough, and modeling chocolate. In fact, the giraffe stands near 7 feet tall. You’ll also be able to pick up some tasty treats to take with you, like the Gingeraffe Cookie, Hot Cocoa Flight, and beer, wine, and cocktails!
Finally, we head into the lone park at Walt Disney World that has a giant gingerbread display, which you’ll find at The American Adventure in EPCOT. From November 24 through December 30, 2023 (during EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays), this ‘Distinctly Patriotic’ display recreates some classic monuments in America and EPCOT alike with gingerbread versions of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, The American Adventure building with Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue, and even a Festival Marketplace. There are also 6 hidden Mickeys found within.
The gingerbread displays are not just found on land – they’re also taking to the high seas with the Disney Cruise Line fleet! The Disney Wish, Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, and Disney Magic will continue the yearly tradition of having the pastry teams onboard each ship build a dazzling, oversized gingerbread creation that will be on display in the atrium of the ships. Each festive creation is unique and the themes are up to the individual ship’s team to decide what theirs will look like this year.
What do you think of the Walt Disney World and Disneyland gingerbread houses? Have a favorite? Looking forward to visiting any/all of these once they open? Planning on ordering anything from the food menus? Excited to see more of these edible displays for Christmas 2023? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!