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Giant Gingerbread House Opens At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

posted on November 16th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

It’s opening day for our amazing Victorian gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  And if you’re like me, the thought of building your own 16-foot jaw-dropper of a gingerbread house has at least crossed your mind.

Giant Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian

Well, to build it you’d need 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of sugar and 1,050 pounds of honey. So we’re offering the next best thing — a taste of the experience.  The Grand Floridian Bake Shop uses a classic gingerbread recipe from Austria to make their gingerbread houses, ornaments and cookies. Here’s a holiday recipe that’ll bring the Disney Parks holiday experience into your home:

Gingerbread Cookies
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Makes 36 cookies

2 sticks softened butter
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground star anise
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground mace

Ingredients for decorations optional
1/4 cup milk
1 cup colored sugar granules

1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth using an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until combined.

2. Sift all the remaining dry ingredients in a separate large mixing bowl and mix well. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until a dough forms

3. Remove dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in refrigerator until firm, two to four hours.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheets.

5. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Divide dough in half and place on floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until about 1/8 inch thick. While rolling, flour the work surface and rolling pin as needed.

6. Cut out desired cookie shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer cookies to a greased cookie sheet, placing them 1 inch apart.

7. Lightly brush cookies with milk and sprinkle with sugar granules as desired.

8. Bake until firm and edges begin to darken, 10-14 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Cook’s notes:
You can find star anise in the ethnic aisle in your local grocery store. To get the best flavor from this spice, you will need to grind the whole star anise pod. For the neatest edges, dip your cookie cutters in flour before cutting out each cookie.

The Grand Floridian gingerbread house offers homemade items like shingles, stollen bread, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate-peppermint bark. You’ll also find gingerbread ornaments and miniature gingerbread houses. Tell us about your favorites in the comments below after checking out some Disney Parks tips for creating your own gingerbread house.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort



Suzannah from FL on November 16th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

This is one of my family’s favorite parts of the Walt Disney World Resort’s holiday decorations! We love trying to find all the golden Hidden Mickeys on the house as well!!

Loved the video and gingerbread house-making tips!!


Cory on November 16th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

This is awesome. One question though. I’m arriving on January 3rd. Would this display still be up?


Thomas Smith on November 16th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Hi Cory, I’m told it’ll operate daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31.


Jessica on November 16th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

I have always wanted to go to WDW at Christmas and honestly, one of the main reasons is this house. It’s amazing.


michele from FL on November 16th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

The wonderful smell of this house is worth the trip. It is really pretty and will certainly put you in the holiday spirit.


Rozi on November 16th, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I wonder what creative mind cooked up the idea for a gingerbread house? That would be so cool if they made a chirstmas Splash Mountain! Some brer animal could be in hoilday outfits. The Zip-A-Dee lady (Boat at the end of the emd of the ride) Would be covered in red and green lights, and some scences of the ride could have Splash Mountain style verson of chirstmas songs. The wagon past the second chain lift could say Lights, Bug Bites, and Hot Cocoa! I would love to use my love of writing to be in show writing in Imaginnering when I get older. Merry Chirstmas Thomas and Disney Park bloggers.


barbara from NY on November 16th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

These are the best gingerbread cookies I ever had, I always have to get extra to bring home to NY. Thanks for the recipe, so I can try to whip up a little Disney magic at home.


Jacob on November 16th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

There is a lot of effort for this house. A lot more effort than it would take to put up the lights of winter.


Jackie from WA on November 17th, 2009 at 2:18 am

This looks like the most incredible thing ever! I’m hoping that our family can make it there one of these years to enjoy the wonderful smells of this gingerbread house! What a beautiful sight!


Angela from BC on November 17th, 2009 at 2:23 am

I just missed seeing the house last time around because I arrived on January 3. I’m nervous about the Xmas crowds but think next time I’ll aim for the beginning of December because I would LOVE to see the house.
Thomas, thanks so much for sharing the gingerbread recipe. Last year I made the Gingerbread Cookie recipe from Pastry Chef Stefan Riemer at the Beach Club, so this year I’m trying this recipe. *Happy Dance*


Daniel on November 17th, 2009 at 8:41 am

The house is wonderful. But with all the recent cuts, Lights of Winter for example, how long will it last?


Nick on November 17th, 2009 at 10:02 am

UGH! I want a shingle! Can’t wait to get back home to FL in a month to get one… If they are not sold out.


robert on November 17th, 2009 at 10:58 am

Simply Amazing!


Lisa from NY on November 17th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

This is one of my favorite stops when I am there for the holiday season. Can’t make it this year (since I just got home) but am planning on it for next year though, sure it will be just as amazing.


Rick on November 17th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

This is so incredible how disney does all this stuff. this is one of my faves each year as well.


James from FL on November 26th, 2009 at 10:30 am

My daughter and I were so spoiled by the great tasting gingerbread that we have not been able to find really good gingerbread anywhere else. We will again return to The Grand Floridian in a couple of weeks for another holiday weekend. Possibly a tradition now. We were told to bring back gingerbread for other family members to sample.


Janie on December 2nd, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Can we order one of the smaller Gingerbread houses from the Grand Floridian to be shipped to our home?

Thank you!


linda from NJ on December 13th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

It says there is honey in the recipe for the gingerbread house, but there is none in the recipe showen. Why not?