Orlando Florida is the place to be if you are looking for sunshine, parades, holiday lights, a guaranteed “White Christmas”, life size gingerbread houses, sugar and spice and everything nice.
Nestled in Central Florida, home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, Gatorland and many smaller theme parks. It is named The Theme Park Capital of the World and attracts over 50 million visitors per year. About 4 million of those are international tourists. The city is accessible by train, plane or car. The Orlando International Airport serves over 30 airlines and is the 29th busiest airport in the world.
One of the main attractions in Orlando during Christmas are the array of gingerbread houses in the theme parks particularly Walt Disney World. Every hotel lobby is decked up with bells, lights; sweet delicious displays… gingerbread men, women, girls and boys in their houses and town. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Your child’s storybook comes alive in the Grand Floridian with Hansel and Gretel life-size gingerbread houses in the lobby. The special house was made with over 10,000 pieces of gingerbread and 400 hours of labor and 160 hours of decorating time. The attention to detail in every piece of that house will take your breath away.
When you are done taking photos the resort have treats and sweets for purchase so your little ones will not nibble on the house and bring the house down. For the little princess in your house, Grand Floridian offers My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party. A perfect gift for the season and you must book in advance. Or watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks at the Narcoossee’s shores on the Seven Seas Lagoon with special festive lights and colors.
Disney Boardwalk Resort
A resort with 90,000 square feet of restaurants, shops and nightclubs space, Disney Boardwalk is a village on the water with bright lights and beautiful promenade to walk into the nights with your loved ones.
The resort lobby has two spectacular displays of gingerbread houses. One is a gazebo with a festive scene with over 2,000 individually pieced gingerbread and 301 pounds of sugar, chocolate and gum-paste flowers. At the Boardwalk Bakery sits a replica of Lilo and Stitch and a place to purchase your treats and limited edition Stitch pin.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
A 17-foot gingerbread holiday tree inspired by Disney’s legend Mary Blair (creator of It’s a Small World) with edible ornaments and presents sits in the Grand Concourse of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Remember to look for hidden Mickeys on the tree.
You may like to sample the ornaments on the tree, which are sold in the bakeshop along with other holiday treats.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the closest to the Magic Kingdom Theme Park. If you reserve a room there, you might get a view of Space Mountain and Cinderella Castle. Dine and get comfortable in the California Grill restaurant on the 15th floor and watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
This is a special year to be in the resort as they celebrate their 13th anniversary of holiday display. In Disney’s Beach Club Resort, visit the holiday carousel with ponies and Disney characters crafted out of chocolate and fondant. Or head over to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort next door for a holiday train chugging through a gingerbread village.
It is easy to travel between the resorts in Disney World.
Here are six secret tips to help you save money and time while you are visiting Orlando:
1. You can use Walt Disney’s complimentary buses, monorail or boats to travel to all the resorts.
2. You don’t even need a theme park ticket to visit any of these gingerbread houses and displays.
3. If you plan to watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks for free without the hassle of crowds and sitting on the sidewalks in Magic Kingdom, dine at Narcoossee at the Grand Floridian or California Grill at the Contemporary Resort (these are just two of the many places to dine).
4. If you have a rental car or you drove to Orlando, park at Disney Boardwalk, Yacht Club or Beach Club for free or any of the resorts for free since you are dining in the restaurants.
5. To help you with rental car when you arrive at Orlando International Airport, please take a look.
6. For easy hotel reservation, here is Travelmath’s hotel reservation suggestions.
For your convenience, here is Disney’s dining reservation number:
Dining Reservations (407) WDW-DINE (407) 939-3463