PHOTOS, VIDEOS: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Gingerbread House Celebrates 21st Anniversary with Grand Opening Featuring Princesses and Pastry Chefs

We’ve been anxiously watching the construction of this year’s Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. A tradition that began back in 1999, the life-sized gingerbread display celebrated its 21st season with an extravagant grand opening ceremony featuring none other than the resort’s incredible pastry team and even a royal visit from Aurora.

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This popular holiday display stands 14 feet tall in the lobby of the resort. Throughout the year, using a classic Austrian gingerbread recipe, the Grand Floridian pastry chefs spend over 400 hours baking the 10,000 gingerbread pieces it takes to create the display. Once base structure is completed, the chefs spend an entire week decorating the house with over 1,000 pounds of honey, 700 pounds of chocolate, 600 pounds of confectioners sugar, and many more ingredients. This year, the house features 21 hidden Mickeys in celebration of its 21st season.

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The ceremony began with a set of royal squires and merry singers.

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Then, the head pastry chef came forth and announced the surprise guest…

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That’s right, who better to make a special appearance for the ceremony than Aurora, who graces this year’s Gingerbread House pin for the resort.

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Together, they completed the ribbon-cutting ceremony and the house was officially open for business.

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A variety of sweet treats are available, including some vegan and gluten-free options. While no discounts apply, you can redeem many of the options for a Snack Credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

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There’s even a working chimney, which emanates the sweet smells out across the lobby. Here’s a closer look at all of the in-depth details on the house, including Princess-themed windows and tiny chocolate wreaths throughout:

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The Aurora Peppermint Ornament retails for $14.99.

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The Grand Floridian Logo Aurora Gingerbread House Mug retails or $24.99.

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A special set of merchandise, including an ornament, mug, and Limited Edition pin are also available, while supplies last. The Limited Edition pin retails for $17.99.

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You can watch the full opening ceremony, as well as a tour the house, in the video below!

Happy Holidays from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort!