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The Great Walt Disney World Gingerbread Crawl of 2019

          In 2019, my parents and I went to Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving. One of my favorite things that we did that week was going to see all of the gingerbread displays at the resorts all around the property. Lots of people know about the huge house at the Grand Floridian, but did you know that there are actually many displays across Walt Disney World? For this post, I wanted to tell you all about my gingerbread crawl in 2019. In addition to looking at the displays, I also purchased gingerbread at the resorts to try. I wanted to see who had the best gingerbread, so read on to find out who’s gingerbread I liked the best. Each pastry chef has their own recipe that the resort pastry team uses, so they are all vastly different. Let’s see who I preferred.

          The first thing to know about each gingerbread display is that there are hidden Mickey’s on each display. Try to find them all, if you can. There is also a list somewhere near the display that tells how many hidden Mickey’s there are. It also tells how much of each ingredient went into the gingerbread and the display as a whole. Be sure to take the time to read it. It’s fascinating to read. It will help you to appreciate the work that the pastry team puts into these displays every year. Be sure to take the time to find all of the details to really appreciate these works of art. Now, let’s get on to the individual displays and gingerbread themselves.

          The first resort I went to was the Grand Floridian Resort to see the beautiful gingerbread house. It's the one featured at the top of the post. It’s so large that they actually sell gingerbread and pastry treats from inside the house. The house is always done in the same style, but the details are different from year to year. It’s so beautiful, and by far my favorite display every year. For my gingerbread to eat, I got the chocolate dipped gingerbread. It was a pack of three pieces. It included two rectangular pieces and a heart-shaped piece. It has chocolate on the bottom side. I love the gingerbread at the Grand Floridian. It’s thick and kind of cake-like, with a pretty good flavor. It’s actually the first gingerbread that I really liked. It’s iconic for a reason.

          The next resort I went to was Wilderness Lodge to see their display. This was the one and only gingerbread display that has ever been done at Wilderness Lodge, and I’m so glad that I got to see it. It was an adorable little log cabin that featured Humphrey the Bear on the front, and Chip and Dale were hanging out on the back corner having a bonfire. It was absolutely adorable. I will admit, I didn’t buy the gingerbread here. I regret that decision now. I hadn’t officially decided to try them all at this point, and I really wasn’t sure that I would like it. The gingerbread here was very dense and dark, which is the type of gingerbread that I have never liked much in the past. Now, I do wish that I had been able to try it though. I’m disappointed that Wilderness Lodge hasn’t done another gingerbread display. Their display was so cute, and totally unique, and I think that it’s a shame that it hasn’t been done since.

          The next resort I went to was the Contemporary Resort. It’s such a cool resort, and their gingerbread display is done in a Mary Blair style, obviously. That year, they did a Cinderella theme with Cinderella, Prince Charming, and Fairy Godmother in front of the castle. It’s an adorable display, and they even had photo props there to use when you took pictures with the display. It was really fun. Also, they had a Cinderella slipper in a display case near the gingerbread display. I loved it. They don’t do the same theme every year, but I think Cinderella is the go-to. I have also seen Frozen in previous years. For my gingerbread, I got a gingerbread shingle. It was the largest individual piece of gingerbread that I got, and I loved it. It has a thick, more cake-like texture, like the Grand Floridian, but the Contemporary uses a lot more spices in their gingerbread. I actually loved it. I had an opportunity to talk to one of the pastry chefs for a little while, and it was a fascinating conversation. I learned how they make the gingerbread, and how long it takes to make enough gingerbread to make a whole display. It was probably my favorite Cast Member interaction of the day.

          Up next was the Boardwalk Resort. Here, they do a miniature version of the resort out of gingerbread. It’s the smallest of the displays, but adorable and fascinating nonetheless. Just be sure not to touch. It’s really disappointing to future guests when the display is broken or smooshed in certain areas because people couldn’t keep their hands to themselves. This applies to children, as well. So parents, please keep them close at hand. This was the only resort that didn’t have a place near the display to buy gingerbread and other holiday treats, so I had to go to the Boardwalk Bakery itself to buy some gingerbread. I got the gingerbread Mickey, which was definitely the cutest of all the gingerbread I got. I found the gingerbread to be okay, but I did not like the flavor of whatever they used to make Mickey’s buttons and shoes. As a result, I felt like it ruined the gingerbread as a whole. The gingerbread was denser than I prefer, and was more cookie-like than the others. In all, it was just okay.

          The next, and final resort on the list was the Beach Club resort. Here, they do the gingerbread carrousel. It actually rotates, and it’s absolutely precious. I think it’s probably the coolest of all the displays. The theme is different every year, and that year, it was Peter Pan. There are always five horses: four on the carrousel, and one on the side. That year, they did Wendy, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, and Smee on the carrousel, and Captain Hook was on the side. It was adorable, and I loved it. For my gingerbread, I got a chocolate dipped Mickey head. It was pretty good, but I think the chocolate made it. The gingerbread was a bit denser, and slightly more cookie-like, but it was pretty good. I did enjoy it. However, I probably wouldn’t have liked it as well if it didn’t have chocolate on it. I told the Cast Member there what I had decided to do, and she hoped that I would come back and tell her who I thought had the best gingerbread. I never got to go back and tell her, so I hope that she gets to read this post someday.

          Before I get into ranking the gingerbread, I wanted to give some honorable mentions. These are other gingerbread or Christmas displays that you can find on property. Some of them are newer, so I haven’t seen them yet, and others are displays that are not at resort hotels. Here they are! First up is Amorette’s Patisserie in Disney Springs. When I was there in 2019, they had a miniature of the bakery made in gingerbread behind the display counter where some of the specialty cakes are normally displayed. It was so cute! Next up is the Yacht Club Resort. They have a train and miniature village display, and this year, they debuted their first gingerbread display. It’s a lighthouse! I haven’t seen it in person, but the pictures on Instagram look really cool. Next up is the American Adventure pavilion in EPCOT. They usually have a gingerbread display that appears after the start of the Festival of Holidays, and it’s usually American icons (i.e. the Capital, the White House, etc.). I’ve never seen it, but the pictures always look great. Next up would be Animal Kingdom Lodge. They have been doing a gingerbread giraffe the last few years, and it looks spectacular on Instagram. I also haven’t seen this one, but I hope to in the future. Okay, I think that’s all the honorable mentions. On to the ranking!

          In fourth place, I put the Boardwalk Bakery gingerbread Mickey. It was my least favorite, and I really didn’t care for some of the elements of it. I have found that I tend to prefer my gingerbread to be softer and thicker, so this wasn’t my personal preference. In third place, I put the Beach Club gingerbread. It was good, but I’m not sure that I would have liked it as well had it not been dipped in chocolate. In a very close second place, I put the Grand Floridian gingerbread. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this gingerbread. It’s fantastic, and it’s a fan favorite for good reason. I love it, and I am more than willing to buy it again any time. In first place, I put the Contemporary gingerbread. I was very surprised by this, as I fully expected the Grand Floridian to win this. The biggest difference was the amount of spices that the resorts use. Both resorts have similar texture and consistency, but the flavor is the only real difference that I noticed. The Contemporary seems to use more spices in their gingerbread, and since I am a big fan of fall and winter spices, I preferred this one. The only thing I wished different about it was the ability to purchase it in a chocolate dipped form. If I could have combined the lovely chocolate varieties from the Grand Floridian with the flavor of the Contemporary, I would have had my perfect gingerbread. It was a very close call for me, but I had to give the Contemporary the win with their flavor. Please keep in mind, this is just my personal opinion. Other people may think differently. Also, some of the gingerbread may have changed in the last few years, so keep that in mind if it doesn't seem the same as what I described. So, will you do a gingerbread crawl the next time you go to Walt Disney World during the holiday season?

          I hope that you enjoyed this post, and I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get a new post up. I am working on some more exciting content for you to enjoy. If you would like, subscribe to this blog to stay up-to-date on all the latest updates. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for even more Disney fun. Merry Christmas!

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