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Sneak Peek: Giant Gingerbread House in Haunted Mansion Holiday

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

Scary Go Round
Every Halloween since 2001, the Disneyland Resort has a really fun tradition of building a giant gingerbread house in the ballroom scene of Haunted Mansion Holiday. The image above shows last year’s creation in the attraction. It’s a giant carousel – a “Scary Go Round” with LED lighting – that was made of gingerbread and other edible goodies. It’s no ordinary gingerbread house, of course, because the attraction’s holiday overlay incorporates the theme of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Did you notice Zero was prominently featured on the “Scary Go Round?”

This year, we’re sharing a sneak peek of the artwork for the gingerbread structure, here on the Disney Parks Blog.
The Nightmare Before Christmas Gingerbread House
The Foods team will be busy converting this artwork into a giant gingerbread gravestone between now and September 17, while the Entertainment and Walt Disney Imagineering team prepares Haunted Mansion for its seasonal makeover. When Haunted Mansion Holiday opens to guests on September 17, be sure to look for the gingerbread gravestone in the Graveyard Scene Ballroom Scene.

In the coming weeks, Disney Parks Blog author Valarie Sukovaty will also be sharing behind-the-scenes video that shows how the Foods team puts together these remarkable gingerbread structures.

Do you have any questions you would like Valarie to ask the creators of the gingerbread houses?


  • Halloween is my most favorite holiday & I’ve always LOVED the Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Resort! Now that we’ve moved to the east coast, we will be frequenting Walt Disney World & I don’t think I’m alone when I say, can we please have this wonderful overlay at Walt Disney World one year? Please? 🙂

  • So this will be in the Graveyard scene? Will there be a gingerbread sculpture/house in the ballroom scene as well?

    • I just received clarification that this gingerbread gravestone will indeed be in the ballroom scene, not the graveyard scene.

  • I am so excited to see this in person! I’ll be there in 4 weeks! Yay!!

  • Are there any plans to create a pre made gingerbread kit that guests can purchase to take home, decorate and….eat?


  • I’d like to know if a special recipe is used for the gingerbread that makes it stronger or longer lasting.

  • I LOVE the holiday version of the Haunted Mansion! Question: What’s the hardest part of making the Scary Go Round?

  • Does this mean that the haunted mansion ride will be closed until the 17th?! Cause if so I need to change some of my plans I absolutely cannot miss that ride.

  • Looks pretty cool! I love the fact that the gingerbread house is different every year, and that its always made of real gingerbread.

    I have the same question as Melanie; If this design will be on the graveyard, will there be a new gingerbread house in the ballroom as well?

  • Heather, I love you. You always post articles on my favorite things about Disneyland. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this gingerbread house when October comes by.

  • If it’s made of real gingerbread, how do you go about preserving it and making sure it holds together?

  • Veronica beat me to it. Got to love the Hidden Mickey in the picture. 🙂

    #8 – Crystal – It is indeed closed until the 17th. They have a cool Jack Skellington sign in front of the ride right now proclaiming so.

    Can’t wait for this ride to open. Definitely my favorite time of the year in The Park. =D

  • last year we made a smaller version of the gingerbread man in a coffin for xmas at home. it was a blast and got everyone involved. 🙂

  • How much will the gravestone weigh when it’s done?

  • I love the Gingerbread houses that are created every year. And the fact that when the Haunted Mansion Holiday first opens and you go on it, you can smell the fresh gingerbread in the ballroom. If this new gingerbread house is going to be in the Graveyard scene…what are they going to put in the middle of table in the ballroom?

  • Woohoo! We were @ Disneyland last week and saw the sign that said they were working on it. Kids are out of school on the 17th so we will be there.

  • Wohoo! I cannot wait! I am from Calgary Alberta Canada and I am 34 years old and never been to Disneyland. We are taking out daughter there from December 19 to December 30th! I cannot wait! I am so excited I could cry!

  • Hopefully, my sister, niece and nephew will be able to go see Disneyland while all the Halloween decorations are up! (We’ve never been during Halloween.) I am very excited about this, seeing as they don’t know we might go! Can’t wait to see the Haunted Mansion!! 🙂

  • Jason! That’s a brilliant idea!! They would make a mint on the scary-go-round if they had it available. I know they do something like that at WDW every christmas season. I would LOVE to have a disney gingerbread house at my home for the holidays.

  • Crystal, I was at the park last friday and I was told that it should be open tomorrow by the guest services booth 🙂

  • OK – I’m blind. Where is the hidden Mickey??? This gingerbread tombstone looks awesome. We can’t wait for the Halloween decor to spread all over the park. It always looks so great!

  • It says in the article that the gingerbread house is in the ballroom scene. This year’s gingerbread house is designed to look like a giant tombstone. Maybe that’s why a few people are confused.

  • This is always cool can’t wait!!!

  • My 9 year old daughter wants to know: 1. How much icing do you use? 2. How much gingerbread dough do you use? 3.How big is the oven that you cook the gingerbread in? 4.Can I have a bite? We will be there Oct. 17-22 🙂

  • I’m wondering if this sentence has a mistake…

    “be sure to look for the gingerbread gravestone in the Graveyard Scene.”

    Heather, do you mean “ballroom scene”?

    If not, does this mean that there will in fact be two gingerbread sculptures; one in the ballroom and one in the graveyard?

  • The frosting work looks incredible. Is there a secret ingredient or technique to make it look so distinctive?

  • I wonder why they are putting it in the Graveyard. It’s going to be too dark to see it and it’ll be hard to find among all the other tombstones.

  • People are confused because every year, the gingerbread masterpiece is in the ballroom…but Heather’s blog very clearly says, “…be sure to look for the gingerbread gravestone in the Graveyard Scene.” The graveyard scene is not the ballroom scene, so that’s where the confusion lies. What will be in the ballroom?

  • What will be the dimensions of the new gingerbread house? Will anyone try the gingerbread after the Christmas season at the park is over? Have they thought about working with the Disneyland Resort Window Display Team to have similar creations throughout the park? I imagine Pooh Corner and Candy Palace being a perfect fit.

  • Sandy – The gingerbread gravestone will be in the Graveyard Scene.

    Julianna – Look at the bottom of the structure.

  • Would love to see ALL 10 gingerbread creations that the creators and master bakers have made these past 10 years. My husband & I happened upon the Haunted Mansion Holiday in 2001 and vowed to have annual passes as long as the Mansion went thru it’s “Jack” makeover each year. Have the gingerbread creators ever approached the Disney Pin Team to have pins made of their creations?

    “Jack’s adorned the Mansion
    10 years in a row.
    Always a gingerbread centerpiece
    and tombstones with a bow.”

  • When will Disney learn that they can make a few extra bucks and sell the ginger bread cookies at the coffee stand across from the Mansion? Really? No one there thought about the marketing side?

  • Juliana (21),
    Look in the lower left corner of the table.

  • What do you do with the gingerbread after the season is over? Is it just thrown in the trash or is it taken out to the parking lot and smashed?

  • You talk about the gingerbread house which is always placed on the dinning table in the ballroom scene. Then you show a picture of the conceptual artwork for it, BUT at the end of your blog you say:

    “When Haunted Mansion Holiday opens to guests on September 17, be sure to look for the gingerbread gravestone in the Graveyard Scene.”

    So, is the gingerbread structure being placed on the dinning table , OR is it as you say being placed “in the graveyard scene”? And Why would you place the gingerbread structure in the graveyard scene?

  • I absolutely LOVE The Haunted Holiday Mansion and the smell of gingerbread in the ballroom. I only have one question though. What do they do with the houses after the season is over? To get a piece of it would be amazing! 🙂 Love your posts, keep em coming!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I look forward to seeing the new Gingerbread House every year and I can’t wait to see the video of it coming to life!!!

  • @Sandy – No, it actually says “When Haunted Mansion Holiday opens to guests on September 17, be sure to look for the gingerbread gravestone in the Graveyard Scene.” – NOT the ballroom. Could just be a typo… Previous versions were always the centerpiece on the Ballroom table, but there is no mention of what will be on the table this year.

  • Could not agree more with Jackie from WA. I live in FL and can’t understand why DL gets a Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain Halloween makeover and WDW gets nada.

  • Do you think there is a chance that they will start this tradition at WDW?

  • I agree that the Haunted Mansion Holiday is absolutely incredible!

    Walt Disney World needs to do it too!

  • Love Halloween at Disneyland. Seen it at least 2 times. Even better than Christmas! Love the Gingerbread House and of course, the Haunted House in general is all about Halloween!

  • I’m with Jason of California up there in the comments… a kit to make our own gingerbread house would be stellar!

  • Thank you for this post!! I loved the Scary-Go-Round last year and this was really fun to see. Major Kudos to all those involved in the Haunted Mansion holiday styling– it is AMAZING!! Thanks for making it so fun!

  • They need to make gingerbread cookies and sell them at the NMBC cart that’s right outside the exit. Just take a small element like the pumpkin busts and make those to sell. I want a cookie every time I exit that ride during the holidays!

  • I want to go to the Annual Haunted Mansion Holiday Event for the Opening of the Haunted Mansion Holiday on 9/17/2010. I hear about a private party for the opening of the Haunted Mansion Holiday afterwards, but I would like to attend this as I am a Haunted Mansion Nut. How do you get tickets for this or what do I need to do to be able to attend it?

  • I love that this is done! But is there anyway we can get some east coast love? I’d love to see the Nightmare transformation done at the WDW Haunted Mansion. It alone would be worth an annual trip to WDW during Halloween.

  • I do not see the Hidden Mickey! Someone help me find it!

  • That is fantastic! The gingerbread houses are one of the best parts of the Holiday Season at Disney. I would love to see it at WDW as well!!

  • Heather – thanks for the sneak peak. I love how the Haunted Mansion is transformed for the holidays – fantastic. @Melanie – look at the picture of last years house. Look at the lower left hand corner of the table – the plates are arranged to look like Mickey. Next time you go to the park, pick up the book “Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys” by Steven M. Barrett. Great guide that talks about Hidden Mickeys! It’s a fun game that we play while at Disney is to look for the Hidden Mickeys. Might I add, the HM at the entrance to Pooh’s Adventure still baffles me – can’t find it!!

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