Once the holiday season kicks off, pastry chefs at Disney Parks scurry to construct some of the most epic gingerbread houses you'll ever see. Using astronomical amounts of gingerbread dough, royal icing, and more candy (spice drops! Peppermints! Nonpareils!) than you can even fathom, these baking masterminds put together life-size houses for all of Disney's visitors to walk through and gawk over.
Whether you're planning a holiday trip to Disney or not, you need to see these magical — and totally delicious — creations. (We even got Disney's secret gingerbread cookie recipe!)
Gingerbread Chateau at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Using more than 10,000 pieces of gingerbread, this mansion inside the hotel lobby features the penguins from Mary Poppins. For the 19th anniversary of crafting gingerbread houses at the resort, pastry chefs turned to a classic Austrian recipe — which we got our hands on for you (see below!).
Christmas Carousel at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
This life-size, fully functioning and completely edible carousel is a long-standing tradition at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club. This year, Lilo & Stitch are taking over the theme with horses and coordinating hand-painted holiday characters, like handmade gingerbread snowmen and snowflakes. Watch it spin round and round or find the 18 hidden Mickeys, which were added to commemorate each year of this beloved tradition.
Holiday Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Resort
This fanciful, albeit spooky, creation celebrates Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Taking center stage is an animated, seven-foot-tall Oogie Boogie, who thrills fans in front of the six-foot-tall house that required more than 200 pounds of gingerbread and more than 200 hours of culinary crafting. Some of the creepy details include over 70 bugs scattered across the ballroom table and the ballroom, plus some others that may have escaped elsewhere — so be on the lookout.
U.S. Capitol Building at Epcot
Iconic American landmarks come to life in this super-sweet display made from over 50 pounds of gingerbread, 20 pounds of icing, hand-crafted chocolate trees, a pond made entirely of sugar, and — of course — six hidden Mickeys. This year, the Lincoln Memorial will make its delectable debut in the intricate arrangement.
Disney's Secret Gingerbread Recipe
Adapted from a traditional Austrian recipe, this tried-and-true gingerbread will make amazing men, houses, and even ornaments.