Who needs a gingerbread man when you can have a gingerbread mouse? A gingerbread Mickey Mouse, that is. Each Christmas, Disney’s elves get to work making sure every bit of the resort feels like your home for the holidays. From Value to Deluxe, each Walt Disney World Resort hotel is decked out with unique, themed ornaments and decorations sure to catch your eye. But the deluxe Disney World resort hotels get an extra special dusting of Christmas magic with gingerbread displays and more. They are so over-the-top beautiful that we make a special trip just to admire the Disney World Resort Christmas Decorations.
Whether you’re staying on- or off-site, you can make like a frog and hop to any and all of the hotels to see the magnificent Christmas decorations. (And catch some savings if you book your hotel with us! ) Here’s a look at our favorite Disney World Resort Christmas Decorations plus a few tips if you want to see them on your next trip!
Our Top 5 Disney World Resort Hotel Christmas Decorations
Cinderella’s (Gingerbread) Castle made its grand return on the fourth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This wondrous display is inspired by the style of Mary Blair of it’s a small world fame. The Fairy Godmother has joined in on the fun, too!
This 18-foot tall display is crafted from the following:
- 560 lbs. Honey
- 428 Eggs
- 998 lbs. Flour
- 62 lbs. Gingerbread Spices
- 212 lbs. Sugar Syrup
- 199 lbs. Royal Icing
- 417 lbs. Chocolate
- Over 1,400 Gingerbread Bricks
- Cinderella’s Magical Dust
Does that recipe have you drooling too? Don’t worry — Disney’s Contemporary has you covered. To the left of the display is a treat station with a huge variety of cookies and sweets, including sugar- and gluten-free options. A cast member recommended the Gingerbread Gelato, and we’re so glad we tried it out. This was an exceptional holiday flavor that the whole frog squad enjoyed. The peppermint bark cookies and Frozen Hot Chocolate were huge hits as well.
At the treat station checkout, you can even find limited edition gingerbread castle merchandise, including pins, ornaments and plates. This Mama Frog couldn’t resist such perfect stocking stuffers!
It took more than seven days for 20 bakery cast members to assemble this confection, and there are tons of Hidden Mickeys in this display. Can you find them all?
The Grand Floridian is dressed head to toe in elegant Christmas fashion. The resort is flooded with beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and garland throughout, with a gigantic tree and life-size gingerbread house at its center.
The Christmas decorations at the Grand Floridian remind me of my grandma’s house growing up … in the best way possible. The décor is complete with delicate flowers and velvet bows, all in gorgeous pink and green hues with golden accents. This beautiful combination perfectly embodies the sophisticated, classic style of the Grand Floridian.
Now on to the main attraction … the life-size gingerbread house! Open from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. between now and Jan. 1, the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is celebrating its 20th year. The house features hand-painted art above each window featuring the Fab Five and classic princesses as well as a miniature Christmas village. You could spend hours admiring the detail put into everything from the hand-carved flowers to the candy canes and snowflakes on the “siding” of the house — created by the Grand Floridian pastry team.
We’re pretty sure this gingerbread house is larger than an affordable New York City apartment. We certainly wouldn’t complain about living inside … it smells delicious! Here’s what goes into this delectable display:
- 1,050 lbs. Honey
- 140 pts. Egg Whites
- 600 lbs. Powdered Sugar
- 700 lbs. Chocolate
- 800 lbs. Flour
- 35 lbs. Spices
- Tons of creativity, Disney magic and Pixie Dust
- Over 400 hours baking
- Over 160 hours constructing and decorating
If you’re inspired to create your own gingerbread masterpiece, attend decorating demos conducted daily in front of the display beginning Dec. 1.
If you thought the Contemporary’s sweets sounded swell, you’re in for a real treat here. I find the most impressive part of this gingerbread house is that it is actually habitable! Maybe not for living, but certainly for selling gingerbread. Visit The Bake Shop for gingerbread ornaments, cookies, house kits, and more — all made using a classic Austrian recipe. If gingerbread isn’t your thing, try the s’mores cookie with toasted marshmallow on top. Yum! We opted for a large chocolate-dipped gingerbread shingle and absolutely loved it. For pin collectors, a limited-edition pin featuring the penguins from Mary Poppins is available as well.
At the Boardwalk Inn, there is a gingerbread version of the Boardwalk entertainment area, complete with BoardWalk Bakery, Flying Fish, Trattoria al Forno and more! You’d even catch a miniature Chef Mickey building gingerbread houses in the Bakery!
The Boardwalk advertises its very own Gingerbread Academy. This is an awesome opportunity to work directly with The Boardwalk’s pastry chef team to build your own gingerbread house! Priced at $125 for up to four guests, this isn’t a bad deal for such a fun, unique activity. We’re hoping to take part in this soon – we imagine it would be a fun way to make memories and bring a neat souvenir home…if we don’t eat it first!
We didn’t spot any goodies for sale at the Boardwalk Inn, but did see a vacant table where they may be available at select times. Keep an eye out!
We’re huge fans of The Boardwalk’s Christmas decorations as well. A large tree on the outside lawn features traditional ornaments that remind you of something you’d find in your own home. In the beautiful Florida sun, this is the perfect photo-op! Inside, find smaller corresponding trees, garland and swag. We found this to be the most traditional of the resort décor.
We can’t figure out which display to be more wow-ed by: Grand Floridian’s life-size gingerbread house, or Beach Club’s moving gingerbread carousel. We’ll have to call it a tie. This year, we were THRILLED to find a Donald and Daisy-duck themed carousel. The manes on the horses look like feathers!
As soon as you enter the doors of the Beach Club, you’ll be able to smell every scrumptious ingredient that goes into this unbelievable work of art:
- 36 lbs. Honey
- 96 lbs. Breadflour
- 100 pints Eggs
- 10 lbs. Spices
- 10 qts. Simple Syrup
- 150 lbs. Icing
- 50 lbs. Dark Chocolate
- 50 lbs. Modeling Chocolate
- 200 Gum Paste Flowers
- 2017 pieces of gingerbread
- Lots of enthusiasm, energy and talent
Look for more Hidden Mickeys inside this display. Be sure to stop by the Beach Club Marketplace for a limited-edition pin to commemorate this awesome gingerbread carousel!
Hands down, Disney's Yacht Club Resort has our favorite themed decorations. Trees, garland and wreaths alike are abundant with every type of boat you could imagine to match their nautical theme. No detail was forgotten … one sailboat even features a lifejacket! Binoculars and other perfectly matching ornaments hang upon the large lobby tree.
The annual Holiday Miniature Train is the main attraction at Disney's Yacht Club. The side facing the lobby features traditional Christmas town favorites, including an operating ski lift, glowing lights and Christmas shops. On the opposite side facing the window, tadpole-friendly favorites such as Mater of Cars fame and Elsa’s ice castle are on display. There is truly something for everyone to admire in this detailed winter wonderland.
The display operates on the following schedule:
- 6 a.m. – 8 a.m.
- 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
- 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
- 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
- 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Disney World Resort Christmas Decorations Tips
- Make a day of checking out resort decorations! If you have Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party plans in the evening, spend the earlier half of your day resort-hopping.
- Park at (or take a bus to) Magic Kingdom and hop on the monorail to get to Disney's Contemporary and Grand Floridian Resorts.
- If you make the Magic Kingdom-area monorail loop, stop by Disney's Polynesian Resort as well to admire their tropical-themed Christmas décor. You’ll be feeling major Moana vibes with its floral-adorned Christmas trees.
- Park at (or take a bus to) Disney's Hollywood Studios and leap on the ferryboat to head on over to the Boardwalk-area resorts. You can also access Disney’s Boardwalk through International Gateway at the back of Epcot.
- Grab gingerbread shingles as the perfect souvenir gift to bring home to loved ones.
Every year, we are amazed by Disney World’s resort Christmas displays and decorations — but this year we feel even more impressed than usual. The Disney elves really put an extra dose of Pixie Dust into their efforts for 2018. Check out these dreamy presentations before they say goodbye Jan. 1.
Which of these displays is part of your frog family’s holiday tradition? Let us know in the comments! We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Hoppy New Year. Check out our Disney World Resort Hotel comparison tool and book your discount hotel room with us!