Any time of year is a magical time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort, especially if you are lucky enough to be staying at, or at least passing through, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. But add in a little extra holiday pixie dust, and you it becomes a “must go” for any holiday trip to the most magical place on earth!
As you enter the grounds of the hotel, it is tastefully decorated with holiday lights, garland, poinsettias, some not-quite alive reindeer, and tons of white lights…but that is just a small preview of what awaits you inside! Just past the entry way, as you pass two fairly large Victorian-inspired holiday trees, your jaw will drop and you will be filled with the holiday spirit. In front of you is probably one of the largest, if the THE largest, Christmas trees you will ever see. Standing approximately 4 stories, and Victorian in theme, the tree is decorated with birdcages, large mirrors and lots of golden colors, and looks a lot more beautiful than words can describe! It is a popular place to get a family photo taken, although it is really difficult to actually get the whole tree into the picture because of it’s size. (There are plenty of other trees in the lobby and on the upper floor that would work just as well!)
As you are admiring the beautiful tree, and listening to the Christmas music being played by the pianist, you notice a mouth-watering smell and notice a curious looking building towards the end of the lobby…could that be a life-sized Gingerbread house?!? Yes, it could! And it is large enough that it actually doubles as a real bakeshop!! It features gingerbread and offers freshly baked items such as cookies, ornaments, and miniature gingerbread houses. Other homemade items for sale include chocolate peppermint bark, lollipops, and truffles (definitely try the peppermint bark, it is delicious!!). Interested in making your own Gingerbread house? Demonstrations of how to decorate one take place in front of the bakeshop six days a week.
Can’t get enough Gingerbread? There are plenty of other Disney Resort Hotels you won’t want to miss. Disney’s Beach Club Resort has a fully detailed, life-sized gingerbread carousel in the lobby. With chocolate and fondant ponies, candy cane poles, chocolate Disney characters, gingerbread snowflakes, and poinsettias, it is a handcrafted masterpiece. The lobby of Yacht Club Resort has had displays such as a miniature New England-style train racing through a sugary rock mountain surrounded by a candy-coated model village. The lobby of Disney’s BoardWalk Resort features a Gingerbread Gazebo, and a replica of the BoardWalk Bakery that has been taken over by Stitch! There you can watch cast members decorate miniature gingerbread houses, which are made available for purchase. Finally, the Contemporary Resort has had a 17-foot gingerbread Christmas tree that is not to be missed.
The Parks are amazing this time of year, but don’t overlook the Resort hotels to get an additional dose of Disney Christmas magic! Happy Holidays!!
Top photo and gingerbread house photo courtesy of grumpymickey.com.